Change Ups: Attorney earns Wedgwood’s diversity award


Varnum attorney Luis Avila has earned Wedgwood Christian Services’ Diversity Award. Avila serves on the boards of Grand Rapids Ballet and the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He is involved in committees for the Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Rapids Community Foundation and Dwelling Place, and is a member of the Asociaciónde Profesionistas Mexicanos en Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder recently appointed Avila to the Michigan Board of Medicine.


Hungerford Nichols announced the additions of Nicole Wojciakowski, staff accountant, and Nathanial Chol, summer audit intern.

Rob Parker has been promoted to partner at Crowe Horwath LLP. Parker manages tax engagement relationships for financial institutions in the Southeast region of the country; he specializes in mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, tax consulting and income tax accounting.


Extra Credit Projects received a silver Obie Award for the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital 2013 holiday campaign. ECP also had three projects that were finalists: for Mary Free Bed’s trauma outdoor campaign, MSU College of Human Medicine and Outdoor Advertising Association of America.


Visbeen Architects announced it has opened an office at 4000 Main St. in Bay Harbor to provide excellence in waterfront architecture and home design. The company also has offices in Grand Rapids and Chicago.


Bruce W. Neckers, shareholder at Rhoades McKee, was inducted into the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, an association of professional members distinguished by experience in civil and commercial mediation and alternative dispute resolution.

Quota International of Grand Rapids announced the election of its 2014-2015 board of directors: president, Martha Herman, Empowered Consulting; vice president, Pam Howland, retired; secretary, Cathy Kaiser, Michigan Small Business Development Center; treasurer, Maureen Martin, Home Repair Services; and directors, Sandi Aten, retired; Kathleen Freeman, Hope Network; Sarah Glover, retired; and Robin Keith, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP.

Quota International of Grand Rapids announced Sarah Glover has been selected as the 2014 Grand Rapids Quotarian of the Year for exemplifying the standards of Quota International and the organization’s motto, “We Share.”


Brian Hofstra, vice president, commercial lending at Founders Bank & Trust, has been selected by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis for the Affordable Housing Advisory Council’s 2014 Community Spirit Award for showing an outstanding dedication to affordable housing and community economic development.

Grand Rapids Community College students won first-place awards in the national Business Professionals of America competition in Indianapolis: Brandon Klotz, video production team; Robert Martinez, prepared speech; Beth Steimel, administrative support concepts, advanced office systems and procedures, and advanced word processing; Corwin Tobias, contemporary issues and video production team; and Rocky VanZegeren, managerial accounting.

Cooley Law School’s West Michigan Public Defenders Clinic was honored with LINC Community Revitalization’s Cornerstone Award for an organization that best exemplifies the model of capacity building and demonstrates impact in a specific area.

Morris Builders Inc. has been awarded a 2014 Guildmaster Award for exceptional customer service by GuildQuality, an independent customer satisfaction surveying company.


Northpointe Bank announced the additions of loan officers Jeffery Potter and Don Timlowski to its residential lending business in Holland.


Triangle Associates Inc. has  named Steven Datema and Alicia Espinoza assistant project managers; and Jeff Behm, Adam Holcomb and Vern Sommers project superintendents.


Ferris State University announced the appointment of Shelly Armstrong, vice president for university advancement and marketing.

Todd Visser, a teacher at Highlands Middle School, Northview Public Schools, is among 70 teachers worldwide who have been selected by Honeywell to receive a scholarship to attend its Green Boot Camp, a five-day interactive workshop June 22-27 in San Diego focused on best practices for teaching energy, sustainability and environmental concepts.


Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids has received a $13,000 grant from The UPS Foundation to help train and place people seeking employment in the Grand Rapids community.


Homewatch CareGivers of West Michigan has received the Best of Home Care Award, based on client satisfaction scores gathered by Home Care Pulse.


Ciarra Adkins has joined Rhoades McKee as a summer associate through its participation in a clerkship program of the Grand Rapids Bar Association and Floyd Skinner Bar Association.

Miller Canfield announced Floyd E. Gates Jr. has joined the Grand Rapids office as senior counsel. He has more than 16 years of experience as a litigator and a corporate and banking attorney.

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP announced six minority students have received Law School Admissions Test Preparation scholarships to prepare them for the LSAT, which determines entrance into law school. The 2014 scholarship winners are: Destiny M. Carter, Marlin Guiterrez McCoy and Kashira Doné Patterson, University of Michigan; Brenda Garcia and Sandy N. Nguyen, Grand Valley State University; and Baltazar Nuñez-Aguado, Hope College.


MVP Athletic Club has opened an 80,500-square-foot full-service facility at 115 Kraft Ave. NE. Features include cardiovascular and strength-training equipment, functional training and sports performance training turf area and indoor basketball and tennis courts.


Coastal Container and Coastal Automotive Corp., of Holland, announced Paul Doyle has joined the company as CEO.


Perrigo has promoted Kacy Norton to human resources generalist for its Holland site. Norton will support human resources for the 400-plus employees at this facility.


Michigan Radio has launched a new on-air and online initiative, MI Curious, which lets listeners ask questions for reporters to investigate. Details:


West Michigan Power Cleaning Equipment now offers consumer and commercial power cleaning equipment and accessories online. Details:


Grand Rapids City Manager Gregory Sundstrom has named police captain Daniel Savage interim police chief.

Kevin R. Belk, former Grand Rapids police chief, has joined the Michigan Department of Corrections Parole Board.


Quantum Leap Communications has moved into office space at 2006 44th St. SE in Kentwood. The 11,000-square-foot facility provides a training center, warehouse and room for its 15-member staff and future employees.

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