Gina Covert is Aquinas College’s new vice president for advancement. Covert will provide leadership for the college’s fundraising strategies and capital campaigns, will direct the growth of the college’s endowment, and will oversee planned giving, stewardship, alumni engagement and grant administration. Covert comes to Aquinas from Grand Valley State University, where she served as director of endowed and planned giving since 2016. Covert has more than 22 years of higher education, foundation and nonprofit experience in Michigan and Colorado.
ADVERTISING & MARKETING
Extra Credit Projects showcased its OOH is Real, a massive media campaign for the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, at the recent Advertising Week New York. With over 200 messages in dozens of locations in and around Times Square and AMC Lincoln Square 13, OOH is Real is an immersive experience that exhibits the real-life impact of out-of-home advertising.
ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING
Nathan VanDrunen joined Bergmann as a practice leader, specializing in infrastructure/transportation construction. VanDrunen has over 21 years of experience in surface transportation, including overseeing new bridge construction, full road reconstruction and bridge rehabilitation.
ROWE Professional Services Co. opened a branch office at 4345 44th St. SE, Suite A, in Kentwood. Its phone number is (616) 272-7125.
Film professional Elizabeth Merriman is Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival’s 2019 Storey Award recipient. Merriman has over a decade of experience in the film industry in both producing and production management. She is passionate about working with college students and underserved youth through teaching and volunteering. She currently serves as manager of recruiting and career advancement for Compass College of Cinematic Arts.
Sign language interpreter Alan Abarbanell recently performed his Abababa Farewell Tour at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Texas Township Campus. Abarbanell’s “The Abababa Road Tour” chronicles his experiences growing up hearing in a deaf family. Abarbanell wrote the show as a tribute to his deaf heritage and family. Each performance is dedicated to his parents, Joe and Yetta Abarbanell, whom he credits with his sense of humor, creativity and love for his community.
The Grand Rapids Art Museum announced its new exhibition, “Relevant: Abstraction from GRAM’s Collection,” curated by UICA Exhibitions Curator Juana Williams, will be on view in GRAM’s Level 3 permanent collection galleries through Jan. 5.
Hudsonville Ice Cream and K&R Trucking are recipients of Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leadership Award. The Children’s Advocacy Center is the first recipient of the newly created Community Impact Award.
Rockford resident Lynn McIntosh is a recipient of the Michigan Environmental Council’s Milliken Award for alerting officials on the health threats of PFAS in the water caused by Wolverine Worldwide’s tannery near her home.
The city of Grand Rapids’ GR PayIt program earned the Center for Digital Government’s 2019 City Government Experience Award and the city’s website portal placed fourth in the Overall City Government Experience competition. Today, grandrapidsmi.gov offers more than 250 online services with new services added monthly. Users have compiled more than 2 million page views and completed more than 45,000 online forms.
Wikiwiki Poke Shop’s "ahi tuna" poke bowl (aka "the O.D.V.") was named one of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Top 10 Vegan Seafood Dishes.
Jeff VanderMeulen joined Lake Michigan Credit Union as vice president of commercial lending.
Reading Success Plus has a new location at 4467 Cascade Road SE, Suite 4471.
The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum conferred the following local organizations with its 2019 Sustainable Business of the Year Awards: Triple Bottom Line Leadership Award: The Gluten Free Bar; Minority-Owned Sustainable Business Award: Jim Roberts Enterprises LLC; Circular Economy Leadership Award: Public Thread; Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Award: Valley City Electronic Recycling; Climate Leadership Award: Environmental Resources Management; and Clean Water Award: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Craft distillery Long Road Distillers released Vivant Big Red Coq Malt Whisky made in partnership with Brewery Vivant. This is the fifth release of the Long Road Beer City Whisky Series, a lineup of whiskies collaboratively made with local breweries who have helped earn Grand Rapids the title of Beer City, USA.
The city of Grand Rapids’ new emergency manager is Allison Farole. She will administer and oversee city emergency management programs and function as a member of the Grand Rapids Fire Department.
Bodman PLC announced real estate attorney David B. Ederer joined the firm as a member in its Grand Rapids office.
Robert J. Buchanan, managing partner of the Buchanan Firm in Grand Rapids, was elected president-elect of the State Bar of Michigan for the 2019-20 bar year.
Willey & Chamberlain announced Peter A. VanGelderen became a partner in the firm.
LEISURE & RECREATION
Hidden Ponds RV Resort is a new resort campground in southwest Michigan. It’s located less than 2 miles from downtown South Haven and includes 40 acres of natural scenery. The resort is pet friendly and offers at least 3,200 square feet of campsites, including waterfront sites, standard oversized, super-oversized RV sites, as well as on-site cottages. Details: (269) 204-5500 or hiddenpondsrvresort.com.
Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp. is included on the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices North America Index in recognition for its longstanding commitment to sustainable business practices.
DLN Integrated Systems announced it has a new website (dlninc.com) and logo and an updated name, from D.L. Neu & Associates to DLN Integrated Systems.
Kent City-based powder coating recycling and manufacturer Innovakote hired Matt Johnson as technical and operations director.
National Nail’s STINGER NailPac partnered with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s FORTIFIED Home program to seal out moisture and provide superior holding power in up to 150 mph hurricane-force winds.
Walmart joined with Perrigo to celebrate Manufacturing Month with tours for area high school students so they could hear from facility managers and local Walmart leadership prior to going on a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility. Perrigo is one of Walmart’s largest supplier of consumer health care and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products. Students toured the Perrigo Holland facility.
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan announced the additions of Sarah Wright as services manager and Emily Armstrong as public relations and communications specialist. Stephanie Hecksel was promoted to access manager and Martha Anderson to eligibility manager.
Business entrepreneur Brett Ryan Buckingham purchased the rights to a Monster Tree Service Territory in West Michigan, covering Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Ada, Kentwood, Lowell and surrounding areas.
The 2020 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship’s May Championship intends to combine golf and scenic views with southwest Michigan-based craft beverages. Event organizers announced there will be 10 breweries, wineries and distilleries that will be showcased in the 2020 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship Makers Trail 19th Hole pavilion.
X-Rite Inc. its subsidiary Pantone LLC, and Sun Chemical have announced two new Metal Deco dependent color libraries for PantoneLIVE, a cloud-based digital color standard ecosystem. Consisting of over 4,000 new color options, the Metal Deco libraries for opaque and transparent applications help beverage manufacturers and brands set achievable expectations for producing Pantone color standards on two-piece beverage cans.