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Carol Chase & April Hulst Partners Chase Bylenga Hulst, PLLC $0-$1.49 MILLION


hase Bylenga Hulst is unique in the legal industry, because the firm is led by two women among the three partners. In a profession that often sees few women at the top, the female partners and attorneys at Chase Bylenga Hulst are leaders in the industry. Carol Chase started her career in the male-dominated area of bankruptcy law and built a reputation for herself that she brought with her when she co-founded her firm six years ago. “Bankruptcy law is a male-dominated area of practice, which the female attorneys at our firm have been able to successfully break through,” she said. With six years under its belt, Chase Bylenga Hulst has expanded beyond bankruptcy law to also include litigation, probate, estate planning, tax and business law.

The firm also has grown from its two founding attorneys, Chase and Steve Bylenga, to seven attorneys, including its third partner, April Hulst. Hulst specializes in bankruptcy, estate planning, probate and general civil litigation. She came to the firm from Chicago, where she managed a local office for a multi-state bankruptcy firm. Chase said she is proud of the “collaborative work atmosphere” at the firm and the flexibility it is able to provide. Chase continues to be recognized for her work. She was honored last year with the Distinguished Colleague Award from the Debtors Bar of West Michigan and the Nims-Howard Civility Award, presented by the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Michigan Bankruptcy Section.

Catherine Lazarock President Symplicity Communications $0-$1.49 MILLION


atherine Lazarock wasn’t joking when she predicted in 2007 she’d have an office in Paris someday. The comment at Symplicity Communication’s ribbon cutting wasn’t too farfetched, as she launched Simplicity International LTD in the United Kingdom in October 2016. “I’m in the process of launching and will be focusing on sales in England in 2017,” she said. “My goal still may be to have an office in Paris, but now, that dream is much closer to reality with our London office.” The telecommunications firm was selected as a Super9 Cloud Certification Program by California-based Intelisys Communications, a master agent providing engineering support and training to clients nationwide. Nine out of 2,400 agents were selected in the inaugural class.


Symplicity Communications was a 2011 honoree of Corp Magazine’s Best of Michigan Business and 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. The firm also is a three-time finalist for EPIC Awards’ Top Women Owned Business and has been nominated by various other organizations, such as Ernst & Young, Michigan Small Business Development Center and the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs. Lazarock chose a tough time to launch her business having to navigate both early entrepreneurship and the Great Recession at the same time, but she’s happy with the decision now. “I’ve built a reputation as a leader with an excellent integrity that has grown beyond the West Michigan market,” Lazarock said.

Top Women Owned Businesses - 2017  

Grand Rapids Business Journal presents a celebration of women entrepreneurs

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