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John C. Kennedy has served as the president and CEO of Autocam Corporation since 1988 when he purchased the company. Today, Autocam Corporation boasts more than $280 million in revenues from operations around the globe. John’s belief that all Autocam associates should share in the company’s success with exceptional wage and benefit programs has helped Autocam become an employer of choice at all of its operations.

Join Rev. Robert Sirico, president and co-founder of the Acton Institute, as he interviews John during the lunch segment of the "Business Matters" conference. Their conversation will include John's personal story of starting and growing his businesses, along with topics on the difficult moral decisions faced by businesses, such as:

  • Crony capitalism
  • Firing employees
  • The responsibility of business to employees, customers, and the community they live and serve in

For those unable to join us at this event in person, the conversation will be livestreamed at 12:00 p.m. on October 18th.


John Kennedy
John C. Kennedy


The entrepreneurial success of Autocam has prompted John to become active in a number of educational organizations and institutes. He currently serves as a trustee of Grand Valley State University and an advisory board member of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business’ Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. Kennedy also is a board member of Lacks Enterprises, the Van Andel Institute and the Acton Institute. Additionally, he is a founding board member of Grand Rapids University Prep Academy.

Through this community involvement, Kennedy seeks to play a role in developing future entrepreneurs who will become the next generation of job creators, driving the country’s future success and ultimately building a stronger America.

Kennedy received his BA from the University of Detroit Mercy and his MBA from the University of Michigan. In 2002, he was inducted into the Junior Achievement West Michigan Business Hall of Fame and received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The Economic Club of Grand Rapids also honored Kennedy with the Business Person of the Year in 2004. In 2006, he received the Grand Valley University Foundation Enrichment Award and is a past recipient of the Leadership Award of the Grand Valley University Foundation, Jaycees Distinguished Service Award and Michigan Jaycees Five Outstanding Young People of Michigan Award. In 2012, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation awarded John and his wife, Nancy, the Chaille Community Philanthropy Award. In 2013, John was selected to receive the John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award by the Michigan Manufacturers Association.

Event Details

Start Date

End Date


Acton Institute | Mark Murray Auditorium
98 E. Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States


11:45 a.m. Arrival
12:00 p.m. Lunch and Conversation
1:00 p.m.   End


$15 -- Includes speaker, box lunch, and beverage

Please RSVP at least 48 hours in advance to guarantee a box lunch.

Please note, this luncheon event is part of the larger "Business Matters" conference. To participate in the full conference (a $50 registration fee), visit the conference site.


Directions to the Acton Institute

Metered street parking is available. Please bring sufficient change with you for meters or pay for parking with the Motu Parking app on your smartphone (iOS and Android). 

Paid parking lots are also available nearby. Please enter building off of Sheldon Blvd.

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