Change Ups: 2015 Meijer Gardens’ best-attended year


2015 was Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s best-attended year in the organization’s history. More than 775,000 guests visited Meijer Gardens in 2015 compared to approximately 650,000 guests in 2014. To celebrate Meijer Gardens 20th year, numerous programs were centered around the theme “Welcoming the World.” Noteworthy events include the dedication of Ai Weiwei’s large outdoor sculpture “Iron Tree”; exhibit Splendors of Shiga: Treasures from Japan; and the opening of the Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden.


Baker Holtz has promoted Melissa Seguin to senior tax manager; she will play a bigger role in further business development and obtain more management responsibilities.


Joshua Huls has joined Driesenga & Associates Inc. as crew chief in the survey department in its Holland office.


Sparta-based Great American Media Services CEO Matt McCallum was honored at the 2015 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO with the Michigan State Horticultural Society’s Distinguished Service Award and Michigan Vegetable Council’s Master Farmer Associate Award.

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to Kent District Library by the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report.


Independent Bank concluded its 2015 donation campaign, Investing with You, with a total of 12 organizations each winning $5,000. Crash’s Landing and Big Sid’s Sanctuary in Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Youth Symphony were winning nonprofits.

Scott Jennings has joined First National Bank of America as a commercial lender at the Grand Rapids location; David Kistler has joined the bank as vice president, commercial banker. 


The Right Place announced new appointments for 2016. Board of directors: Doug Dozeman, Warner, Norcross; John Irwin, Huntington Bank; Dave Khorey, Varnum; Bill Payne, Amway Corp.; Lauren Walker, Amway Corp. (representing The Right Place/MMTC-West Manufacturers Council); Cameron Van Wyngarden, Plainfield Township; Mary Shafer, Newaygo County Economic Development Office; and Rob Spohr, Montcalm Community College (representing Montcalm Economic Alliance). Executive committee: Mitch Joppich, Pricewaterhouse Coopers.


Triangle Associates Inc. has hired Bill Stewart, senior project manager; Carson Lyons, site project manager; Hannah Pier and Anna Sall, marketing coordinators; and Scott Ogilvie, accounting assistant.


Baker College in Muskegon has been designated a Top School by Military Advanced Education & Transition, a journal of higher education for service members and veterans transitioning from military to the civilian sector. Also, student Kali Davey won third place at the Elevator Pitch Competition for high school and college students. Davey was awarded $500.


Grand Rapids Community Foundation has expanded its Encore presence with three Innovation Fellows who join Tom Rademacher: Mary McLoughlin; Jane Royer and Tera Wozniak Qualls. Encore focuses on inspiring individuals and organizations to establish “encore” opportunities for people in the second half of life.


Ross Mortgage Corp. in Troy has opened a new office in Grand Rapids at 6640 28th St., Suite 2, and has hired Matt Kooistra as branch manager.


Great Lakes Energy’s People Fund awarded $206,294 in grants to 66 charitable and community organizations in its 26-county service area, including: Ladders of Hope, Fennville: $2,800; Howard Christensen Nature Center, Kent City: $1,000; Love INC of NW Allegan County, Hamilton: $1,500; Mercy Health, Muskegon: $1,000; Newaygo County Museum & Heritage Center: $1,000; West Michigan TEAM, Grand Rapids: $5,000; and Christian Neighbors, Plainwell: $2,000.

Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo has received three grants totaling $434,690 from the Federal Aviation Administration NextGen Weather Technology in the Cockpit program to study weather information systems to improve general aviation safety and reduce accident risk.


Spectrum Health announced Roger Jansen has accepted the position of senior vice president for business development and chief strategy officer, and Pamela Ries is senior vice president and chief human resources officer.


Detroit-based McKeen & Associates has opened a new branch office in the Kalamazoo area and hired Raymond Steadmon as associate attorney to head the office.

Diego J. Rojas has joined Secrest Wardle as a partner in the Grand Rapids office where he practices environmental and toxic tort, general negligence, insurance coverage, malpractice/professional liability, motor vehicle litigation, premises liability, products liability, and property, fire and casualty practice groups. 

Miller Johnson announced Robert D. Wolford joins the five-member management committee; Kenneth G. Hofman will serve as chair and Eric R. Starck as vice chair of the business section; Nathan D. Plantinga will serve as chair and Sarah K. Willey as vice chair of the employment and labor section; D. Andrew Portinga will serve as chair and David J. Gass as vice chair of the litigation section.; and Rebecca L. Strauss will serve as diversity officer.

Price Heneveld LLP announced the promotion of Matthew J. Stark to partner. Stark has more than 10 years of legal experience.


American Seating has hired Erica Waayenberg, marketing manager for its architectural environments division.

CK Technologies LLC of Montpelier, Ohio,and a unit of Grand Rapids-based Cascade Engineering, announced the promotion of Tony Kramer to the position of Chief Operating Officer.

Code Blue Corp. in Holland has promoted Michael Zuidema to marketing operations manager and hired Michelle Wong, communications manager.

Quest Precision LLC is renovating a more than 6,000-square-foot space at 2450 Waldorf Court NW in Walker. Quest Precision is a machining and tooling shop that is new to West Michigan and provides high precision gauges and production machining to a variety of industries.


Sun Title announced the addition of Denise Nowak as a client service representative based in the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo areas.


The Meijer LPGA Classic received the top honor at the LPGA Annual Gold Driver Awards event, marking the first time a second-year event took home the Gold Driver – Dave Goff Series Award. Other awards included: Silver awards for Marketing Sales Material, Print Advertising, Social Media and Website; Bronze awards for Overall Tournament Experience and TV Advertising.


Lacks Enterprises in Novi sponsored the 2016 EyesOn Design Award for Design Excellence – Best Designed Production Car, which recognizes designers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and vision in vehicle design for a production vehicle. The award was presented Jan. 12 during the North American International Auto Show.

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