Originally from France, Olivier spent the last 15 years living and working outside of London, England. But when his wife began thinking about relocating for her job with Amway, the couple began to consider leaving the bustling life of London for a more family-centered life in West Michigan. Both cities have their merits, but the welcoming attitudes and global opportunities helped convince Olivier and his wife to relocate to West Michigan.
The decision to relocate was a four to five month in the making plus a week-long visit to the States for Olivier and his family to decide if West Michigan was the right place for them. “We went to see what was there to be discovered,” said Olivier. “We realized that Grand Rapids was a great place for arts, cultural events… annual events like Art prize, Laugh Fest.” Not only was there a cultural draw from West Michigan, Olivier “also realized there were a lot of international, global companies that were based in Grand Rapids.” It was in these companies that Olivier saw a lot of opportunity.
During that same visit to the States, Olivier was connected with Hello West Michigan as a trailing significant other of Amway, a Hello West Michigan member. Over a phone conversation, Cindy, Executive Director of Hello West Michigan, discussed the opportunities that region had to offer Olivier in his particular field. She explained the organization’s involvement in connecting job candidates with employers through resume packs, personal contacts, and events such as ReThink West Michigan.
Once Olivier had relocated to West Michigan, he began to search for jobs. He took advantage of Hello West Michigan’s connections and events. Through those events, Olivier began to make “more regular connections” with the people he’d met so that when the job that he wanted appeared on X-Rite’s website, he already personally knew the people that he needed to contact.
Olivier now works at X-Rite as a Marketing Campaign Manager for Global Markets. “It’s a great work environment.” Olivier commented. “People here are friendly and welcoming, and I already feel at ease within my new surroundings.”
In his time living in the U.S., Olivier has noticed some major differences between the UK and Michigan. “[West Michigan] is a good place for raising a family, and I think there’s a positive emphasis on work / life balance here. People work hard but also take time to enjoy spending time with friends & family,” he said.
Olivier also mentioned his love for Michigan’s “four distinctive seasons.” He went on to explain that “in France or England from the fall to the beginning of spring, the weather was not drastically different. There was rarely heavy snow and the fall wasn’t as colorful. Here there are so many things to see, so many places to visit, activities on the Lake that I couldn’t even contemplate doing in London. I love the fact that so many outdoor activities are available in summer like, I enjoy the space to run, cycle, but I love the snow too as I snowboard. I can enjoy the best of both worlds.”