Grand Rapids-based Blackstar Building Group recently received CD Barnes Construction’s Key To Our Success Award for its work at the new Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Caledonia. CD Barnes’ site manager, Chris Sevigny, nominated Blackstar for the award, adding that the commercial construction company’s attentive crew worked well in combination with other trade contractors on the project. Blackstar Building Group was formed 25 years ago as a general trades contractor and focuses on technically challenging projects and retail fixturing.
CapinCrouse LLP has been designated for the fourth consecutive year a 2020 IPA 200 Firm by INSIDE Public Accounting.
Maner Costerisan recently was named one of the Best Accounting Firms to Work For in 2020 by Accounting Today in partnership with Best Companies Group. The firm has promoted Tara Brynn-Young Drost to a managerial position, working mainly work in the nonprofit niche. In addition, Matt Candela and Caleb Grey Samborski were hired as associates in the audit department.
ADVERTISING & MARKETING
Muskegon-based NEW SCHOOL has merged with IGNITE, expanding NEW SCHOOL’s marketing capabilities and overall capacity.
Michele Bosak, previously the curator of exhibitions at the FED galleries at Kendall College of Art and Design, has been promoted to director of curatorial. This expanded role will include overseeing Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts exhibitions as well as the KCAD gallery collection and student galleries.
Brien Fox, CEO of Grand Rapids-based Henry A. Fox Sales, was re-elected chair of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA) board of directors.
Janay Brower, founder of Public Thread, is the recipient of Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan’s BBB Trust Award.
Grandville-based Grand River Bank announced the promotion of Sandy Cilek to first vice president, relationship executive.
Scott Rowley has been named senior vice president and group manager of commercial banking for Independent Bank in West Michigan, where he will lead a team of eight commercial bankers and three loan assistants.
Fortz Legal Support, a full-service litigation support and court reporting firm serving clients in Michigan and across the country, has been ranked No. 4031 on Inc. magazine’s annual 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
The Rotary Club of Grand Rapids announced Jon Hankins will serve as the Club’s 2020-21 president. Hankins has been a Rotarian for 17 years.
Paul Plotkowski, dean of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing at Grand Valley State University, was nominated by the West Michigan Alumni Chapter of Tau Beta Pi as a distinguished alumnus. Tau Beta Pi is the oldest engineering honor society and the second oldest collegiate honor society in the United States.
Crystal Flash Inc. has been named ESOP Company of the Year by The Michigan Chapter of The ESOP Association.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Founders Brewing Co. announced it has launched an off-site catering program in the Greater Grand Rapids area. The menu offerings range from small get-togethers to larger events.
Holland Farmers Market and Ottawa Food have partnered to hire Chara Bouma-Prediger as food navigator, a role that will involve her helping customers that utilize food assistance programs at the Holland Farmers Market.
Saugatuck-based Guardian Brewing Co. has joined a collaborative “Black is Beautiful” campaign to raise awareness for the injustices people of color face daily and raise funds for police brutality reform and legal defenses for those who have been wronged.
Adejoke Ayoola, Ph.D., RN – Calvin University, will be recognized by the American Academy of Nursing for her significant contributions to health and health care at the academy’s annual Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference scheduled virtually Oct. 29-31.
Family medicine physician and women’s health specialist Laurie Birkholz, MD, NCMP, announced the opening of her Ms.Medicine Holland office, 11971 James St., as well as the hiring of nurse practitioner Anna Spoelhof and aesthetics trained nurse injector Kelli Rivera.
Heidi Gras has been promoted to the newly created position of strategic director of health plan operations for LifeCircles PACE, in Holland and Muskegon.
Lakeshore Health Partners announced it will be rebranded under the Holland Hospital name this fall. Lakeshore Health Partners – Women’s Health will reopen as Holland Hospital Women’s Specialty Care at a newly renovated facility at 844 Washington Ave, Building Entrance B in Holland.
Amanda M. Fielder, a partner with the law firm Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, has been recognized as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly 2020 Women in the Law.
Attorney Steve William joined Thacker Sleigh in its estate planning group.
Daniel C. Persinger returned to Warner Norcross + Judd LLP as a senior counsel in the firm’s Grand Rapids office.
Rhoades McKee announced Catherine Brained has been named chair of its employment law practice team.
Warner Norcross + Judd LLP partners Matthew D. Johnson and Margaret C. Stalker were selected to participate in the nine-month Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Leadership Grand Rapids program and five-week Emerging Leaders program.
WMU-Cooley Law School associate dean Tracey Brame has been named Lawyer of the Year by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Brame also was selected to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Leaders in the Law Class of 2020.
LEISURE & RECREATION
Battle Creek-based Binder Park Zoo’s version of the zoo map is now available for Spanish speaking visitors when they enter through the admission gate, and available to view or download from the zoo website at binderparkzoo.org/map/.
John Ball Zoo announced it will honor the legacy and memory of Ruth Jones-Hairston by naming its new bald eagle “Ruth.” Jones-Hairston, who died in June 2019, was a teacher and principal in the Grand Rapids Public Schools and served on the zoo’s board where she helped found the Zoo’s JUMP program.
American Seating announced longtime chief executive officer and chairman of the board Edward Clark has shifted to the chairman role; president and chief operating officer Thomas Bush has been appointed CEO.
Duvaltex announced the launch of its X7 facemask, a highly innovative, non-medical protective facemask that provides maximum comfort while minimizing the risk of contamination and transmission of viruses, such as COVID-19.
Fabri-Kal refreshed its Greenware brand. The company’s updated Greenware Cup and Portion Cup stock print design instructs customers to properly dispose of Greenware packaging in commercial composting facilities. The new stock design is available on all Greenware Cups and Portion Cups.
Samantha Jacques joined 13 ON YOUR SIDE as a weekend morning meteorologist.
Grand Rapids native and Navy Damage Controlman 2nd Class Jeffrey Garvin, serving aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), was recognized by the commander of the Navy’s Expeditionary Strike Group Three for his efforts while fighting a fire aboard the ship.
Danielle Engle has joined MomsBloom as the community liaison. She holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling and is a former Blackhawk pilot.
The West Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recognized Spectrum Health as a winner of its Diamond Award in the 42nd annual Diamond Awards competition for its internal communications work being done for the “The Next Us — Wave 2 of the Spectrum Health Nexus Journey” campaign.
Kent Communications Inc. is the first company in Michigan to work with local election officials to add a critical layer of integrity and accountability to the vote-by-mail process with its TrackMIBallot, which uses a service from the United States Postal Service, Informed Visibility, to track each piece of ballot mail as it travels through the postal system.
The American Hockey League announced Larry Figurski, sports anchor and reporter for WOOD TV8 and color commentator for Grand Rapids Griffins games on Newsradio WOOD 1300 and 106.9 FM, has been selected as the recipient of the James H. Ellery Memorial Award for the 2019-20 season, in recognition of outstanding media coverage of the AHL.
West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum hired Maritza Vasquez as an intern working to support its sustainability and equity programming.
Byron Center-based Pro-Vision Systems has released its new Enhanced Connectivity Bundle software that automatically uploads video from Pro-Vision video recording systems directly to the cloud through a cellular or Wi-Fi connection — all with hands-free operation to keep workers safe during COVID-19. The firm also announced it is now the exclusive body-worn camera vendor for Rampart International — the leading supplier of operational equipment for law enforcement in Canada.
Holland-based Wedge, a one-way recorded video assessment that enables job candidates to show their true selves, announced a partnership with Hiretual, an AI-powered recruitment software that functions as a candidate data engine to centralize all recruiting efforts for hiring teams big and small.
Robin Kleinjans-McKee joined OST as vice president of finance and operations.
Vista IT Group was named the Most Promising Data Center Solution Providers by CIO Review. The company was nominated by industry peers for demonstrating competencies in modern day data center infrastructures.
X-Rite Inc. and Pantone LLC have expanded their portfolio of color management solutions for the beverage industry to include orange juice measurement by offering a range of measurement instrumentation and quality control software to measure juices, dairy, sports drinks, beer, spirits and other liquids. This helps manufacturers achieve color standards and batch-to-batch consistency.
Comstock Park-based Label Gator Brand launched a new website, buy.labelgatorbrand.com, that allows growers to quickly and efficiently purchase online horticulture labels, ribbons, printers, software, rewinders and more.
The Saugatuck Douglas Area Convention and Visitor Bureau has launched a new tourism website for the Saugatuck/Douglas/Fennville area, saugatuck.com.