Lillian Kalaczinski, an associate professor for Ferris State University’s Michigan College of Optometry, has been named the Michigan Optometric Association’s 2021 Educator of the Year. Kalaczinski is a 1998 MCO graduate following three years in the pre-optometry program at Ferris.
With more than a decade of experience in recruiting, business consulting, sales training and management, Brian Eggleston has joined AEBetancourt as chief operating officer. Eggleston was most recently the chief sales officer at Hub International, the world’s fifth-largest insurance broker with offices across North America.
Kyle Grooters has joined Bradley Company as an adviser within the brokerage department. Grooters brings several years of sales experience to the team. Prior to joining Bradley Company, Grooters worked with Robert Grooters Development Co. where he focused on leasing and land acquisitions among several clients generating millions in lease and sales transactions.
Grand Rapids resident Deb Fragel has been appointed director of human resources for 26 West Michigan-area Burger King restaurants recently acquired by Factorial Restaurant Holdings LLC.
Gary Beyer joined Independent Bank as vice president, commercial lending for the West Michigan lakeshore market. He previously worked at Chase Bank, for a total of over 30 years of experience in commercial banking and wealth management. Beyer also serves on the board of Good Samaritan Ministries in Holland and is active in volunteering with Kids Hope USA, as well as Hand2Hand, a nonprofit that mobilizes churches and schools to provide food for children on weekends. Independent Bank’s total assets are approximately $4.2 billion. It was founded as First National Bank of Ionia in 1864.
Bethany Hall, a licensed family nurse practitioner in Grand Rapids specializing in Complex Developmental Trauma, has launched Healing Connection, a trauma-informed resource for training and advocacy for childhood trauma-related education.
JetCo Solutions, a Grand Rapids-based government sales and marketing firm, has promoted Jessica Sweet to vice president of client services. Sweet oversees the organization’s operations, including the capture (government business development), proposal management, research and General Service Administration departments.
The Family Business Alliance has named Robin Burns its director. Burns will work with the board and staff to develop and implement the strategic plan of the association whose sole mission is to ensure family businesses throughout West Michigan succeed generation to generation.
Monica Mendez is the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s new talent development manager. She is responsible for overseeing Leading Edge, Leadership Advantage, and expanding upon ATHENA Grand Rapids programming, as well as providing support to chamber members.
Melissa Hruska was recently hired as Erhardt Construction’s 5th female project manager. Hruska joins director Aaron Mead in the Facilities Solutions Group division of Erhardt Construction, managing multiple projects throughout West Michigan.
Benjamin Elenbaas has been hired as First Tee-West Michigan’s first full-time administrative and accounting coordinator. Elenbaas’ work experience includes two years at Everett’s Landscape and two years at the Christian Athletic Complex, serving in accounting and programming roles.
Guiding Light received $25,000 from TCF Financial Corp. and $24,943 from Builders Exchange of Michigan to support its Back to Work program.
After serving as interim chief operating officer since June, The Rapid appointed Steve Schipper as its new COO. His new role has Schipper overseeing the transportation, fleet maintenance, facilities and special services departments.
Kent County Administrator/Controller Wayman P. Britt announced his intent to retire from the county effective July 2021. He has held top administrative positions with Kent County since March 2004 and was appointed to his current post in January 2018.
Aaron Smith has joined Independent Bank as first vice president, digital banking. Smith will create strategies to deliver the best digital experience for Independent Bank’s customers, as well as identify new digital products and service opportunities.
Dr. Antonia Henry has joined Metro Health – University of Michigan Health’s gastroenterology department, serving multiple departments across the health system, including Metro Health’s contributions to the Cancer Network of West Michigan, a joint venture launched this year in collaboration with Mercy Health and Michigan Medicine.
Grand Rapids-based Blackstar Building Group recently received CD Barnes Construction’s Key To Our Success Award for its work at the new Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Caledonia.
Jane Clark, Holland-based Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce president, has been designated a Certified Chamber Executive by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
Jennifer Heymoss is Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s new community investment officer. She will support an equitable and effective grantmaking process and build relationships with community partners. Heymoss previously worked for 15 years in the education field as a teacher and youth development professional in Kalamazoo.
West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum has selected Adnoris “Bo” Torres as its 2020 President’s Award winner for his contributions to the organization’s growth and development.