SeyferthPR Vice President of Reputation Management and Branding Brad Back was named to the firm’s ownership team. Back joins Ginny Seyferth, Dan Spaulding, Karen Kirchenbauer, Tyler Lecceadone and Cynthia Domingo as an owner in the firm. Back’s expertise spans from counseling business-to-business clients to supporting the successful growth of several consumer products companies, including Procter & Gamble, United Airlines, Capital One, The Detroit Medical Center, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Subway.
Baker Holtz announced the promotion of Andy Jipping to senior associate.
The Frauenthal Center in Muskegon named Eric Messing as its executive director.
Grand Rapids Public Schools junior Katelyn Sheneman’s painting, “What Makes the World Go ‘Round,” was chosen as the top winner of the fifth annual SmartArt competition among Grand Rapids Public Schools’ high school students, sponsored by Consumers Energy. Sheneman won a $1,000 college scholarship and prominent display of her winning creation in downtown Grand Rapids during ArtPrize Nine.
The Muskegon Museum of Art Foundation board of trustees announced Kirk Hallman, of Muskegon, as its new director effective Oct. 27. Hallman will succeed retiring MMA Executive Director Judith Hayner.
Michael Van Denend joined the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan as executive director. He succeeds Dixie Anderson, who has held the post for 22 years and is retiring later this year. Van Denend previously was Calvin College Alumni Association’s executive director the past 33 years.
Collective Idea and Elzinga & Volkers, both based in Holland, are the recipients of the West Coast Chamber’s Business Leadership Award.
DeVos Place painter Scott Luce’s custom DIY-built Gypsy Queen Bowtop camper won Best Bohemian Living in the 2017 Tennessee Tiny House Festival.
Rosa Parks Circle was named one of five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Association’s annual Great Places in America list.
First National Bank of Michigan in Kalamazoo announced the vice president additions of Tim Hoekstra; Richard Jackson; and Joshua Schultz. The bank also announced it is expanding into Lansing with a loan production office, marking the bank’s sixth regional office.
John Norkus joined GreenStone Farm Credit Services as a vice president and commercial lending group manager.
Kalamazoo-based Consumers Credit Union’s wellness program again was recognized as both a 2017 Healthiest Employer recipient and, for the sixth year in a row, a 2017 Best & Brightest in Wellness award winner, bestowed to organizations exhibiting outstanding quality and excellence programs in health and wellness from MicBusiness, Michigan Food and Beverage Association, and Corp! Magazine.
Kalamazoo-based Consumers Credit Union’s eLearning approach was recognized as BizLibrary’s 2017 Program of the Year.
The West Michigan Small Business Development Center announced the addition of Ed Garner as regional director. Garner will provide comprehensive leadership, oversight, planning, resource development, coordination and management of the SBDC West Michigan regional office.
The Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter announced it hired Aubrey Meikle as education and training coordinator and Claire Broekhuizen as office and events manager.
Sir Home Improvements in Kalamazoo hired Mike Smith as its production manager.
Beth McKellips joined Rehmann as an accounting, consulting and tax associate, and Ryan Bryker as a tax senior manager. Both are based in the firm’s Muskegon office.
Rehmann announced it was included on The National Association of Plan Advisors’ first-ever top defined contribution Advisor Firms list, a valuable Who’s Who of who matters in the world of retirement plans and retirement plan advisors.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
The Grand Rapids Public Museum recently partnered with Brewery Vivant and Grand Rapids Community College brewing students for a special Beer Explorers class to learn about the science of tasting. Participants explored their senses in relationship to how they taste beer.
The Knickerbocker – New Holland Brewing and the Grand Rapids Fire Department Bridge Street Fire Station recently crafted a collaboration fundraiser beer benefitting the Great Lakes Burn Camp to enable it to continue to support burn injured children. The Red Pale Ale was called Hose 'er Down, an easy-drinking pale ale with balanced, hop-forward flavor and a fiery red hue.
The Clark Foundation announced JoAnn Abraham as its new vice president.
The Grand Valley University Foundation announced the election of new directors and advisory cabinet members: New foundation directors: Matthew DeCamp; Robert Roth; James Sebastian Jr.; Elizabeth Welch; and Steven Workman. Advisory cabinet members: Robert Bernecker; Raleigh Finkelstein; Allen Hunting; Helen Hunting; B.P. (Budge) Sherwood III; and Joyce Wisner.
The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners approved a purchase agreement with the estate of Joyce Carle to acquire 1.28 acres, including a historic house located on 12th Avenue in the Bend Area, a county park property on the Grand River in Georgetown Township. The Ottawa County Parks Foundation will assist the Parks Commission with the $160,000 purchase price with a $17,000 grant. The Parks Commission will explore adapting the house for weddings and other public gatherings.
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash received the Taxpayers’ Friend Award from the National Taxpayers Union in recognition of the “A” grade he earned for his 2016 voting record. His score of 93 percent on the organization’s 2016 scorecard earned him the highest rating in the House of Representatives.
Love In Action Free Health Clinic in Grand Haven received $11,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation to improve medication adherence in patients with at least one chronic illness who take three or more medications and are low-income, uninsured or underinsured.
Greater Hopes Inc. purchased a 1,168-square-foot space at 2453 28th St. SW in Wyoming. The organization will relocate there from a leased space in downtown Grand Rapids, with plans to occupy its new location sometime in the first quarter of 2018.
Samaritas opened an independent living Holland home for teen girls in foster care.
West Michigan Partnership for Children is a pilot program with an eye on improving outcomes for children in the foster care system. Representatives partnering to create WMPC include Kent County, Network180, the 17th Circuit Court and local child welfare agencies including Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Charities West Michigan, D.A. Blodgett/St. John’s, Samaritas, and Wellspring Lutheran Services. Kent County is the only county in Michigan with such a pilot.
LEISURE & RECREATION
The Van Andel Arena’s smoking area was relocated from the plaza in front of the building to outside the southeast corner of the venue for all events. The relocation allows for more efficient access for patrons coming and going from the arena.
Stiles Machinery Inc. recently sponsored interactive demonstrations to Grand Rapids students in honor of National Manufacturing Day.
Friends of GR Parks announced the addition of Dia Noble as community engagement coordinator; new board of directors are Rachael Ruiz; Josh Verhulst; Megan Odegaard; and Farmhaus Cider. Joe Jones joins the nonprofit as city liaison.
3:11 Youth Housing opened its sixth house to offer long-term supportive housing to 19 young adults who are homeless in Kent County in 2017. The organization now operates out of its new office space at 722 Eastern Ave. SE.
The Grand Rapids Police Department announced its first sponsored recruit class in 16 years, Recruit Class 17-01, successfully completed its in-house training. Recruits recently took their Oath of Office and now begin their 21 weeks of side-by-side training with their field-training officers prior to going on solo patrol.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office K9 service dogs Andy and Blitz are wearing bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a donation Vested Interest in K9s Inc. made. Each vest is valued between $1,795 to $2,234 and weighs 4-5 pounds.
Dime & Regal, a boutique that sells local Michigan brands, will open at 650 Wealthy St. SE in November.
EarthTronics in Muskegon introduced a new series of IC-Rated LED Recessed Downlight Fixture Series to provide interior downlight illumination for commercial, residential and municipal facilities.
Radley Corp. provides companies in the manufacturing industry with a comprehensive platform of RFID services, software solutions, hardware and supplies. Its services include end-to-end solution hardware, middleware and services for a one-stop source for RFID implementation. Hardware offerings include fixed and handheld readers, portals, printers, tags, inserts and labels specifically selected for the customer's environment and process specifications.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced Dick DeVos is one of seven new members on the Management Advisory Council. The 13-member group advises the FAA's senior management on policy, spending, long-term planning and regulatory matters.