Change-Ups: Acosta joins Independent Bank as digital marketing manager


Frank Acosta Jr. is Independent Bank’s new digital marketing manager. He will focus on management of the bank’s website and social media platforms, as well as search engine optimization and search engine marketing. Acosta has over four years of banking experience, including his most recent role as retail marketing specialist at ChoiceOne Bank. Acosta earned a degree in business administration and marketing from Davenport University and is a member of the Michigan Bankers Association Marketing Committee. He also volunteers with Affinity Mentoring.


Array of Engineers has been recognized by Michigan Celebrates Small Business as one of the 2020 awardees for the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Award.

Benton Harbor-based Wightman has hired Brianna White as a survey field technician; Sebastian Hill as field service technician; Kelsey Terpstra to provide administrative support for the survey department; and Steve Gamba as a survey project manager.

Driesenga & Associates Inc. has hired senior engineering technicians Blaine Simmerman and Andy Anschuetz in its Kalamazoo office and engineering technician Autumn Burns in its Holland office.

Wightman announced it has been ranked 80th of the Top 100 design firms in the Midwest by Engineering News-Record for 2020.


Faith Hospice announced executive director Rene Wheaton has been inducted into the Michigan Homecare and Hospice Association Hall of Fame.

Hastings-based Spectrum Health Pennock’s Journey to Zero Infections project was acknowledged by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association with its 2020 Advancing Safe Care Award for showing evidence of an improved safety culture, quality improvement and transparency for improving health care.

Priority Health president and CEO Joan Budden was recognized with the Women of Achievement and Courage Award during Michigan Women Forward’s recent WomanUp & Celebrate virtual awards ceremony. Priority Health recently donated $10,000 to MWF’s Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund.


Grand River Bank in Grandville has promoted Matt Vermeer to first vice president, commercial banking and Pam Davis to assistant vice president and branch manager.

MSU Federal Credit Union opened its 20th branch and first northern Michigan location at 312 S. Union St. in Traverse City.

Sturgis Bancorp Inc. appointed John T. Wiedlea chairman.


Sensi Media Group LLC and CannaBIZ Connection announced a partnership and launch of Grand Haven-based, formerly CannaBIZ Connection, an online community that connects business owners and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.

Laura Traxler, director of membership for the Grand Rapids Chamber, is the recipient of Association of Chamber of Commerce ExecutivesDana Ketterling Lifetime Sales Achievement Award, Bronze. The award highlights the new dollar value of personal sales (500 transactions or $175,000 in sales). Traxler placed fifth overall in the Sales Achievement, dues income category for dollar value of new personal sales.


Bell’s Brewery in Comstock announced it has joined the Black is Beautiful initiative to help bring awareness to the injustices many people of color face daily. Bell’s version of the Weathered Souls Imperial Stout recipe has been released in 6-pack bottles exclusively at Bell’s General Store in downtown Kalamazoo and Upper Hand Brewery Taproom. The initiative originated with Marcus Baskerville, founder and head brewer at Weathered Souls Brewing based in San Antonio.

Nutcase Vegan Meats announced it is officially USDA Organic Certified by Global Organic Alliance.


Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University since 2003, has been hired as executive director for the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation effective Sept. 1. He replaces Joe Calvaruso, who will retire after serving as the foundation’s executive director since 2008.


Gretchen Johnson was promoted to the chief nurse executive position at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.

Minority-owned Pink Lounge: Dry Salt Therapy recently opened its facility in Kentwood at 3105 Broadmoor Ave.

Spectrum Health announced Drew Dostal as its new market leader for the system’s northwest region covering Newaygo, Mason, Oceana and Muskegon counties. Dostal will oversee operations at Ludington Hospital, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in Fremont and the Integrated Care Campus in North Muskegon.

Surgical oncologist Susan Sharpe has joined Wyoming-based Metro Health – University of Michigan Health. Sharpe is an integral part of the Cancer Network of West Michigan, a collaborative between Metro Health, Mercy Health and Michigan Medicine to integrate cancer care services in West Michigan.

U.S. News & World Report has included Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in its 2020 Best Children’s Hospital rankings, with a total of eight of 10 specialty areas in pediatrics: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology.


Plunkett Cooney welcomed 2020 summer associates Malcolm Mortley and Aleanna Saicon from Howard University School of Law and Wayne State University Law School, respectively.

Ret. Brigadier General Michael C.H. McDaniel, associate dean and professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, has been named to the Michigan Lawyers Weekly Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

Rhoades McKee announced Tysean Hendrix, Erykah Ross and Peter Veldkamp have joined the firm to complete the summer associate program.

The Michigan Supreme Court Office of Dispute Resolution announced the availability of its MI-Resolve online dispute resolution tool in Ottawa, Allegan and Barry counties. MI-Resolve provides an accessible way of resolving disputes typically filed as small claims, general civil, or landlord-tenant cases in the district court. Details:

Scott A. Dienes, of counsel at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, was elected vice chair of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s board of directors.


Muskegon-based Rolar Manufacturing is the recipient of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Award, presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

Perrigo Co. announced a two-phased, science-based partnership with Kazmira LLC in the CBD market to provide high-quality hemp-based CBD free of tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC-free”) to consumers.

TG Integration LLC, a division of West Michigan-based TGM Group, announced it has acquired Grand Rapids-based Turnkey Fabrication’s gaming machine integration division. TG Integration will carry forward the operations and employees at the TG Integration facility in Grand Rapids.


Chris Slater announced he has resigned as Catholic Charities West Michigan chief executive to become chief financial officer at Choice Schools Associates in Wyoming. Laura Ploof, CCWM chief administrative officer, has been appointed interim CEO.

Junior Achievement of The Michigan Great Lakes recently received $5,000 from State Farm of Michigan/Indiana to provide online curriculum for students learning from home through the end of the school year.

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan announced the election to its board of directors: Kristina Araya, Warner, Norcross + Judd; Kerry Brozyna, Wolverine Worldwide; Jennifer Dakoske, Chemical Bank; and Cameron Young, Behler-Young.


Sydney Smith has joined Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications as a communications strategist.


Byron Center-based PRO-VISION Video Systems announced the addition of Michael Finn as president and Kevin Spalding as chief financial officer.

Marketing technology agency dig has been named one of 50 Companies to Watch by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.


Northern Jet Management has been recognized as one of the 2020 awardees of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Award by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

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