Change Ups: AppleTree & Gilden Woods relocates HQ to larger facility


AppleTree & Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschools moved to an expanded headquarters in Grand Rapids at 555 Cascade W Pkwy. SE so that it can handle all its administrative duties associated with running 23 locations. The first AppleTree School opened Feb. 16, 1998. Since then, it has grown to 23 schools in the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Detroit areas. Two new schools are scheduled to open in 2018, including locations in Troy (October) and Commerce Township (September). The Gilden Woods brand was established in 2012.


Grand Rapids-based Concept Design Group and Ghafari Associates, a full-service engineering, architecture, process design, consulting, and construction services firm with 15 offices worldwide, announced the merger of the two firms. The merger will expand Ghafari’s Western Michigan presence, broaden Concept Design’s reach to international markets and provide enhanced services and resources to the clients of both firms.

Progressive AE welcomed new board member, Dr. Cheryl Richards, CEO and regional dean of Northeastern University's Charlotte Campus, to serve a three-year term.


The Grand Rapids Pride Center announced En Vogue will co-headline, along with Australian singer-songwriter Betty Who, at the 30th Grand Rapids Pride Festival scheduled Saturday, June 16. 


The city of Grand Rapids was named a high performer in the 2018 Equipt to Innovate national survey of American cities. This is the second year in a row Grand Rapids was selected in the survey’s race-informed category. 

Gov. Rick Snyder announced John Noling of Muskegon is the recipient of the Mentor of the Year Award for the 2018 Governor’s Service Awards.

Hire For Hope was named the winner of a Silver Stevie Award in the Startup of the Year category during the 16th annual American Business Awards.

Holland was named the Best Small City to Start a Business two years in a row by WalletHub.


Consumers Credit Union in Kalamazoo announced the addition of Pamala Kemp as a mortgage loan officer, serving Consumers’ Cascade location.

Chris Cleveringa joined Lake Michigan Credit Union as a mortgage loan originator for its Allendale mortgage office.


Knight Watch Inc. acquired Vertex Integration LLC. Employees for both companies will remain in their separate Grand Rapids offices until they move to a larger location in 2019.

Oliver Romano’s PIRTEK is operating a full, Tier 1 Service & Supply Center. 


Addison, Illinois-based McCann Industries Inc. announced its territory as the exclusive full-line dealer for CASE Construction Equipment was expanded by opening a new branch in Dorr. A full line of CASE Construction Equipment for sale or rent, plus parts and service and a line of construction tools.


Grand Rapids Community College was designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. The program's goal is to promote higher education and research in cyberdefense and train professionals with such expertise.


Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery opened the doors to its new facility as part of the Ada Village redevelopment project with a larger space that still offers a familiar, cozy feel the neighborhood brewery evoked before the renovations.


Baird announced it added financial adviser Barbara Paneral, vice president, to its Grand Rapids wealth management office.


The Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously approved a Brownfield Plan Amendment filed by 900 Grandville Property LLC to allow for environmental site assessment grant funding for work at 900 Grandville Ave. SW and 919 Caulfield Ave. SW. The funding will be used in preparation for mitigation of environmental contamination at the site to encourage redevelopment. A developer plans to conduct roughly $26,000 of environmental site assessment activities at the site with 75 percent of the cost being covered by the grant funding.


The CVS Health Foundation in partnership with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics awarded Catherine's Health Center a $20,000 grant and Holland Free Health Clinic a $10,000 grant to help patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases manage and fully understand their conditions.


The Grand Rapids hospitality and tourism industry recently united to fill flowerbeds in Grand Rapids Parks as part of the newly launched Adopt-a-Bed program. A range of tourism businesses adopted beds and include large-sized tourism organizations Amway Hospitality Corporation, DeVos Place and Grand Rapids Art Museum, as well as the smaller-sized staffs of Divani, Eastern Floral, Comfort Inn, Hilton Garden InnHampton Inn, Doubletree and Holiday Inn. Adopt-a-Bed is geared at the beautification of underplanted flowerbeds at downtown parks to enhance resident and visitor experiences.


Frankenmuth Insurance named Ringnalda TenHaken Insurance Group as its 2017 Life Insurance Agency of the Year for being a top performer in profitability, growth and policy retention for life insurance.


Judge William G. Kelly of Kentwood’s 62-B District Court was selected by the Grand Rapids Bar Association as the recipient of the 2018 Donald R. Worsfold Award. Kelly was honored during GRBA’s Annual Law Day Celebration and Awards Luncheon at the University Club in downtown Grand Rapids.

Secrest Wardle Executive Partner Sarah L. Walburn authored Chapter 15, Attorney Fees, in the Institute for Continuing Legal Education handbook, “Michigan Law of Damages and Other Remedies, Third Edition.” Chapter 15 touches on general principles, attorney fee requests and determining reasonable attorney fees.


SMG-managed venues DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena have implemented new box office hours. The box offices at both venues will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday on nonevent days under the new schedule. Additional evening and weekend hours will vary in accordance with the venues’ event schedules.


MOVE Systems in Walker was recognized at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards program as one of the 2018 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch.


DYS Media LLC hired Meagan Beck to the newly created public relations assistant position at DYS’ Holland office.


Amanda DeLong, realtor and associate broker with Patriot Realty, was named to REALTOR Magazine’s 2018 Class of 30 Under 30.

JGR Real Estate was rebranded Clarity Realty and added a lakeshore office in Spring Lake and, most recently, partnered with REALTOR Jame Perry to open an office on Lafayette Street in downtown Greenville.


Aquinas College recently hosted the 2018 NAIA Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse National Invitational in the first of a two-year bid. The West Michigan Sports Commission and Aquinas College won the bid last September to host both the 2018 and 2019 NAIA Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse National Invitationals.

The Art Van Sports Complex announced a new feature, the Consumers Energy Picnic Pavilion, was added at the owned and operated West Michigan Sports Commission baseball/softball complex in Plainfield Township. Located off the drive between Quads A & B before approaching the Championship Field, the 24-foot-by-52-foot lighted pavilion is constructed in the same wooden architectural style as the Championship Field canopy, holding 12 picnic tables that can accommodate up to three teams at a time.

The West Michigan Sports Commission recently hosted its 12th annual luncheon at the JW Marriott Hotel’s International Ballroom with John Beilein, men’s basketball coach for the University of Michigan, as the featured speaker. 


Radley Corp. announced plans to diversify its productivity and automation platform by developing a standard integration to Cityworks utilities management software.

X-Rite Inc. and Pantone LLC announced their cloud-based digital color standard ecosystem, PantoneLIVE, will include the official spectral data from the Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors System for cotton and nylon and the Pantone Matching System for plastics and coatings. For the first time, color specifiers and manufacturers will have instant access to up-to-date spectral values for Pantone Colors for plastics, coatings and textiles, including the Pantone Color of the Year 2018: PANTONE 18-3838, Ultra Violet. They also launched new color management innovations designed to improve the efficiency of plastics manufacturing to help virtually design, specify, communicate, formulate and control color quality across the entire plastics workflow to help speed production and reduce waste.


FosterCare.Team launched its official website with secure registration open to foster parents, counselors, caseworkers, supervisors and agencies. This new collaborative software solution is designed exclusively for the foster care community to enhance the quality of care and to help agencies attract and retain more foster parents. For more information, visit

Kentwood-based Autocam Medical, a contract manufacturer of precision surgical and medical components and devices, launched a new website,, designed to help visitors more quickly use and navigate the site, including enhanced menu features, faster response functionality and the ability to interface with all types of devices and mobile technology. The site was designed to be more visually appealing and richer in content while providing a clearer depiction of what Autocam Medical is as a company.

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