Change-Ups: Custer receives alumni award

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Dave Custer, CEO and founder of Custer Inc., is the recipient of the American Association of Community Colleges’ 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award. A first-generation student at Grand Rapids Community College (then known as Grand Rapids Junior College) in the 1960s, Custer transferred his GRJC credits in 1967 to Western Michigan University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. Thereafter, Custer spent 39 years building a successful workplace interiors business that now employs 114 people with sales of $58 million. Custer also has dedicated his time and abilities to ensuring current Grand Rapids Community College students get the opportunities that changed his life.

ACCOUNTING

D. K. Weiss & Associates PLLC has changed its name to D. K. Weiss, Holt & Associates PLLC.

Muskegon-based Brickley DeLong PC was recognized for its accomplishments in Forbes America’s Top Recommended Tax and Accounting Firms. The honor is based on the results from market research company Statista, which considered 1,800 survey responses from CPAs, enrolled agents, tax lawyers, accountants and CFOs between Aug. 12 and Sept. 13, 2019. Survey participants who worked for a tax or accounting firm named up to 10 firms for tax and 10 firms for accounting that they would recommend if their company were not able to take on a client.

ARTS

Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon won the eighth annual America’s Best Art Fair Awards competition as one of the finest juried art fairs in the country, according to a national survey from Art Fair Calendar. Sponsored by ArtFairCalendar.com, the 2019 online survey opened voting beyond traditional “art fair insiders” to focus on voting by art fair patrons, fine art collectors and the public who attend art shows and festivals nationwide.

AWARDS

Association for Human Resource Management announced it has earned the 2019 Pinnacle Award from the Society for Human Resource Management in recognition of its high achievements advancing the profession of human resources.

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi announced its Pokagon Health Services is the recipient of the Indian Health Service’s (an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) 2019 Area Director’s Award and the Michigan Breastfeeding Network’s Michigan Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace GOLD Award. Pokagon Health Services serves as a primary care provider for Native American populations in Allegan, Van Buren, Berrien and Cass counties.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Gallagher Uniform in Battle Creek promoted Cory Bracy, Trent Crawford and Raeha Weaver to salespersons, hired Carrie Johnson as a salesperson and promoted Allison Tobey to marketing manager.

EDUCATION

Catholic Central High School recently was recognized as a Catholic Education Honor Roll School. The national Honor Roll program is directed by the Cardinal Newman Society and has recognized over 300 high-performing Catholic high schools nationwide since the program’s inception in 2004.

Grand Rapids Community College president Bill Pink was elected to the Washington, D.C.-based American Council on Education’s board of directors.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Muskegon-based infused sparkling waters producer HyVIDA Brands Inc. announced Strome Investment Management founder Mark Strome was appointed to its board of directors.

GOVERNMENT

Lance Werner, executive director of Kent District Library, was appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the State Historical Records Advisory Board for a term that expires Dec. 31, 2023.

The city of Grand Rapids’ water utility’s meter replacement program has integrated the smart utility network Sensus Xylem brand that has to date upgraded 80,000 endpoints that includes iPERL residential water meters, OMNI commercial meters and connecting to customer-owned sewer meters. The utility also is looking to install ally residential meters for additional pressure information at some accounts. The Sensus FlexNet communication network will drive fast, accurate meter data collection.

GRANTS

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women received a $12,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County to expand entrepreneurial training programs, business counseling, loan options and mentoring to Muskegon residents.

The Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation received a $15,000 grant from the Wege Foundation of Grand Rapids to support the Grand Rapids Public Library system’s broad and ongoing diversity and outreach programming in 2020.

HEALTH

American Medical Response announced the appointment of veteran ambulance services executive John M. Robben as regional director in Michigan. Robben brings more than 10 years of executive emergency medical services experience and business development expertise to the new role. He will oversee the company’s operations and pursue new opportunities in the region. Robben remains certified as a paramedic.

Former Byron Center School District Superintendent Dan Takens is the new president of faith-based Exalta Health.

LEISURE & RECREATION

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board recommended $300,000 in development funds to be allocated to the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation development and construction of a 1-mile segment of the Idema Explorers Trail in Jenison. The trail is a key feature of the Grand River Greenway, which is comprised of 9,000 acres of public land between Grand Haven and Grand Rapids.

Thompsonville-based four-season resort Crystal Mountain named long-time communications professional Sammie Lukaskiewicz as public relations director.

MANUFACTURING

Food Logistics named Radley Corp. to its 2019 FL100+ Top Software and Technology Providers list.

Battle Creek-based Kellogg Co.’s Pringles recently donated more than 250,000 cans of Pringles Roasted Turkey crisps to local police, fire and EMT in select cities during the holiday season.

South Haven-based US Tarp Inc. appointed Thomas J. Bronz president and CEO.

NONPROFITS

Children’s Advocacy Center of Kent County announced the appointment of new board members Jathan Austin, One Church Empowerment Center; Amanda Fielder, Warner Norcross + Judd; Jane Gietzen, Spectrum Health; Kim Krause, Fox 17; and community advocates Fran Miller and Tracy Wolford.

Wheels to Work, a Hope Network initiative, launched the ride-to-work transportation program in Muskegon.

RETAIL

Oh, Hello Co. Paper & Gifts’ new location is at 40 Monroe Center in downtown Grand Rapids.

TECHNOLOGY

Byron Center-based PRO-VISION Video Systems announced it is an approved school bus stop-arm camera vendor for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. PRO-VISION’s HD Dual-Lens Stop-Arm Camera will be on school buses to capture video evidence of vehicles that illegally pass buses while the stop arm is extended and red lights are flashing. To earn PennDOT approval, the camera had to pass a rigorous multi-step evaluation including performance and quality testing.

WEBSITES

Mental health services nonprofit Family Outreach Center launched its redesigned website at focgr.org.

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