Change Ups: Chocolate entry snags $2,000 award


For the second consecutive year, Justin Raha won first place and was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2014 Great Lakes Regional Masterpiece Chocolate-Pastry Competition. Raha, a Baker College of Muskegon Culinary Institute of Michigan instructor, and owner/executive pastry chef of Grand Finale Desserts & Pastries of Grand Haven, won the first-place $2,000 award for his 47.5-inch entry, Long Live the Spartans. Great Lakes Gourmet and Cacao Noel sponsor the competition. 


Michael C. Haines and William A. Horn, members of law firm Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones, were named co-chairs of the Michigan Oil and Gas Association’s legal and legislative committee.

Nicole Forward has joined the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council as director of partnerships and corporate relations for both Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation. She will focus on growing the council’s business membership, securing sponsorships for events, and researching and writing grants.

Kelly A. LaGrave, a business and corporate paralegal with Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, has been elected to serve as the 2014-2015 president of the National Association of Legal Assistants.


Melissa DeWild, collection development manager for Kent District Library, has been named one of Library Journal’s 2014 Movers & Shakers, one of 50 individuals who are innovative, creative and making a difference in the library world. DeWild was honored in the Community Builders category.

Women’s Resource Center has reached two milestones: 2013 was its 40th anniversary, and this year it hosted its 25th annual Huntington Pillar Awards honoring local employers who empower women in the workplace.


The Bank of Holland announced the addition of Bruce May, AVP/mortgage originator in its new Grand Haven office.

Christine Price has joined Lake Michigan Credit Union’s Traverse City retail mortgage sales team as a mortgage loan originator.


Trillium is celebrating its 30th anniversary by hosting a nationwide food drive encompassing each of the 86 locations. Non-perishable food items may be dropped off at a Trillium Staffing office or by contacting the company to pick up contributions. Trillium includes Trillium Staffing Solutions, Trillium Driver Solutions, Trillium Construction Services, Trillium Environmental, Trillium Marine and Trillium Technical.


CSM Group has received an Eagle Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. for serving as construction manager of Corporation Hall, a 33,000-square-foot renovated building in downtown Kalamazoo. The project was selected a national winner in the Renovation — $4 million-$10 million category after winning an Excellence Award for Green Construction in the $5 million-$10 million award category through ABC West Michigan.


Calvin College’s provost search committee has recommended Cheryl Brandsen, dean of social sciences and contextual disciplines, as its next provost. The recommendation needs to be ratified by the board of trustees.


Wiser Financial Group in Kalamazoo announced the addition of Tracy A. Boekeloo, client services specialist, assistant to Rob Campbell, partner.


Family Promise of Grand Rapids has received a commitment from HarperCollins Christian Publishing to donate $25,000 beginning in July. It will be used to support homeless families. In addition, the company is interested in creating annual volunteer opportunities for HCCP employees.


The American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine has accredited the neurodiagnostics lab at Bronson Methodist Hospital

The Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Program has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 Governor’s Fitness Award in the Extraordinary Event/Organization category. Finalists will be recognized at the State Capitol April 24, followed by an awards ceremony at Ford Field in Detroit.

Natural Wellness Alliance announced the appointment of Scott Southard, chief strategy officer.


Gaëtan Gerville-Réache, a partner with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, is co-editor of the new Michigan Appellate Handbook, which provides a “guided tour inside the Michigan appellate courts” and offers insider practice tips and expert advice on strategy and procedure. 

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP announced that partner Jonathan P. O’Brien has been named one of 30 Leaders in the Law for 2014 by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Dickinson Wright PLLC attorney Jeffrey G. York has joined the firm’s Grand Rapids office as a member.

Law Weathers announced Nick Missad was unanimously elected to shareholder.

Parmenter O’Toole in Muskegon has added attorney Brian E. Leibrandt.

Plachta, Murphy & Associates has added attorney Jeffrey M. Black.


CRST Expedited Inc. recently recognized driver Peter Coryell of Comstock Park for driving 1 million accident-free miles.


WGVU-FM 88.5/95.3 is a finalist in the 2013 Michigan Association Press Media Editors radio and news contest in the following: best individual reporting, best natural sound, best feature story, best news documentary, best spot news, best enterprise/investigative reporting, best hard news; and best newscast.


Dixie Anderson, executive director of World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, has been re-elected for a second term as vice chair of the World Affairs Council of America board.

Pam Spaeth has joined Catholic Charities West Michigan as vice president of philanthropy and community outreach. Spaeth is responsible for planning and implementing fund development, marketing and community outreach programs, and providing leadership and oversight for major gifts, volunteer services, grant writing, fundraising and donor engagement initiatives.


John A. Meyer, owner of John A. Meyer Appraisal Co., has been named 2014 Realtor of the Year by the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors.


Kayla M. Habermehl has joined the office of the director at Van Andel Research Institute. Her responsibilities include enhancing research communications on the VARI web page.

Van Andel Research Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science has appointed Drs. Jiyan Ma and Darren Moore, who will focus on specific, nuanced areas of Parkinson’s disease research. 


IT Resource has achieved partnership status with Cisco Meraki. The partnership allows IT Resource to enhance customer experiences by centrally managing wireless, switching security, WAN optimization and mobile device management over the web, as well as integrate hardware, software and cloud services.


Experience Grand Rapids announced the appointment of Tom Bennett, vice president of sales and services.

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