Erhardt Construction expanded its carpentry services by hiring Scott Colby, enabling Erhardt to offer its clients high-end custom cabinetry and millwork services. Colby has 20 years of experience in residential custom woodworking, most recently owning Scott Philip Custom Woodworking the past 10 years. Ben Wickstrom, Erhardt president and CEO, said he talked with Colby last year about joining the company to produce high-end custom cabinets, doors and other custom pieces.
The John Ball Zoo and the Grand Rapids Public Museum have partnered with KultureCity to make their organizations, including all of the programs and events hosted, to be sensory inclusive. This new initiative is intended to promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests with a sensory issue who visit the John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapids Public Museum. Sensory bags, equipped with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will be available to guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.
Experience Grand Rapids was presented the 2019 Governor's Award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration in the nontraditional partnership category during the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Traverse City.
Owner and President John M. Lesse announced Harvey Lexus of Grand Rapids was awarded Elite of Lexus status for 2018.
Rehmann announced it has won ClearlyRated’s Best of Accounting Award based entirely on ratings provided by the firm's clients.
Steepletown Neighborhood Services Education Coordinator Melanie Rose Grandy was named the winner of Sing for Your Teacher contest, which asked community members to nominate influential teachers. Grandy received a Sing for Your Life prize pack, including two VIP tickets to attend the show, Ryan Speedo Green: Sing for Your Life; A Conversation with Daniel Bergner at DeVos Performance Hall.
The Worgess Agency of Battle Creek was named Diamond Achiever for the state of Michigan by Frankenmuth Insurance for attaining the highest overall percentage rating in profitability, growth and policy retention during the past year.
The West Michigan World Trade Association announced the recipients of its World Traders of the Year Event: World Trader of the Year Business Award, Dematic; World Trader of the Year Organization Award, Women at Risk International; World Trader of the Year Individual Award, Kerri Orders; and 2019 Student Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, Joshua Hunter.
Family Financial Credit Union opened its third branch office in downtown Muskegon in the street level of High Point Flats, the eight-story mixed-use apartment building at West Western Avenue and First Street.
Close Air Support LLC and Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets graduated from Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s ExporTech Lansing to sharpen their strategic export plans under the guidance of seasoned experts in various fields.
DHE Climate Solutions LLC in Sparta hired Lynn Moe as HVAC service coordinator and Scott Beuschel as HVAC preventive maintenance sales.
Travis Blom joined Bruce Heys Builders as project manager.
Ferris State University's Bachelor of Science program in digital animation and game design ranks in the top 20 for its instruction in game design, from The Princeton Review, of Framingham, Massachusetts. This is the fifth straight year Ferris has been named in The Princeton Review report, and the program moved up one spot, compared to the Top Game Design Schools 2018 rankings.
Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities launched its Dream STEAM program for middle school students who now have an opportunity at both the library and arts centers to get homework help, develop individual long-term projects and work in groups to learn new skills. Dream STEAM also includes various field trips to Blandford Nature Center and local colleges.
Grand Rapids Community College provost Laurie Chesley was named president of Central Oregon Community College by its board of directors. Chesley has been GRCC’s provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs since 2014 and has been with the college since 2005. She assumes her new role July 1.
Grand Rapids Community College’s Main Building, which houses classes for more than 5,200 students each week, will be renamed Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, based on a resolution approved by the GRCC board of trustees. Finkelstein’s financial and business acumen helped him and his brothers grow Michigan Clothiers, the family business started by their parents. Renovations to the building are expected to start in 2021, which will reconfigure existing spaces to meet program needs and provide additional classrooms and study spaces, revitalize labs and art studios, and support technology-based learning.
Beverly Whaley joined Greenleaf Trust of Kalamazoo as a team service coordinator.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. reported it has appointed BDO USA LLP as its new independent certified public accounting firm.
The Mitten Brewing Company was recognized as one of the 2019 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Awards presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. The Mitten Brewing Company will be honored at an awards ceremony during the 15th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business gala event, May 8 in Lansing.
The Hope Network Center for Youth Mental Health, 385 Leonard St. NW in Grand Rapids, is now open to serve youth between the ages of 5 and 17 years old with comprehensive psychological and psychiatric outpatient therapy.
David & Wierenga PC announced the firm was renamed to David, Wierenga & Lauka PC and promoted attorney Jeshua Lauka to partner.
WMU Cooley Law School’s Black Law Students Association recently honored Kent County Circuit Court Judge Christina Elmore for being the first African American woman elected to the circuit court bench in Kent County. Faculty and students gathered at Forty Acres Soul Food restaurant in Grand Rapids.
Star Truck Rentals promoted Jim Kennedy to director of maintenance; Dave Donbrock, John Teunis and Ken Herman are now regional managers.
Lindberg/MPH in Riverside announced the shipment of a 1,200-degree Celsius crucible furnace to a company in the energy industry. The crucible furnace may be used for a number of applications and processes, including annealing, ashing, carbon firing, ceramic firing, hardening, melting, metallizing, normalizing, sintering, solution treating and stress relieving.
City Barbeque opened its first Michigan location at 3050 28th St. SE, Kentwood.
MyWay Mobile Storage of Grand Rapids announced is again the corporate sponsor of the Gazelle Girl 5K/10K/Half Marathon scheduled for April 14. Four thousand runners will participate.
Fabri-Kal in Kalamazoo announced it joined the Association of Plastic Recyclers Demand Champions campaign, which develops new markets for recycled plastics in an ongoing effort to expand recycling in North America and boost recycled plastic demand.
Stanwood-based Nestlé Waters North America will invest an additional $2 million into its Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund to support the long-term sustainability of the Muskegon River Watershed and its ecosystems by funding environmental conservation projects and programs throughout the Watershed.
Dewpoint entered into a strategic go-to-market partnership with Rubrik, enabling Dewpoint to resell, consult and implement cloud data management and protection products.
i3 Business Solutions LLC was recognized as one of the 2019 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, an awards program presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.
OST for the sixth consecutive year was named to the Elite 150 of CRN’s 2019 Managed Service Provider 500 list. The annual list recognizes North American solution providers with innovative approaches to managed services.
TRAVEL & TOURISM
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport reported February 2019 was its busiest February in the airport’s history, with 272,982 passengers compared to 251,680 in 2018 — an 8.46 percent increase year over year. Combined with January, GFIA is 7.84 percent ahead of 2018 passenger traffic, which was a record-breaking year with over 3.2 million passengers served.