Change-Ups: Dipiazzo joins Chow Hound as CMO

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Dan Dipiazzo has joined Chow Hound Pet Supplies as chief marketing officer. He has more than 30 years of marketing and communications experience. Most recently he spent 16 years as a vice president leading marketing at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks. The teams under his leadership achieved new milestones for sales, customer loyalty and digital engagement. Dipiazzo previously led communications programs for several national brands as a senior vice president and partner at the international public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard.

ADVERTISING & MARKETING

Muskegon-based Revel for the fourth time has been deemed one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for by the Michigan Business and Professional Association.

ARTS

Brian Mortimore, director of human resources and organizational development at Kent District Library, has been named a “Mover and Shaker” in the library industry by the national publication Library Journal because of his commitment to the profession and his innovation in matching the right employee to the right job.

St. Cecilia Music Center announced its 137th season, from September 2020 through April 2021, will feature 18 evenings of performances by world-renowned jazz, folk and chamber music artists. Concerts will include three Spectacular Jazz Series performances, three Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Series events, nine Acoustic Café Folk Series evenings of music and a first-ever music festival, WinterFest, featuring Christian McBride and Friends.

St. Joseph-based Spectrum Health Lakeland and Krasl Art Center partnered to develop a pop-up art and wellness exhibit to help address the behavioral health challenges faced by community members in Southwest Michigan. The pop-up kiosk, which is currently in development by a team of KAC and Spectrum Health Lakeland staff, local artists and regional creatives, is considered timely as the community faces the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the program is to increase understanding of mental health and destigmatize mental illness.

AWARDS

Wexford-Missaukee-Manistee Collaborative with community input has selected the Great Start to Quality NW Resource Center as the 2020 Manistee Early Childhood Champion.

BANKING

Northpointe Bank appointed Brian Kuelbs as its executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief investment officer. Kuelbs will lead the bank’s corporate financial strategy and seek out effective investment opportunities.

EDUCATION

MJ Huebner will join Kalamazoo College as vice president for admission and financial aid, starting Sept. 8. Huebner currently is interim vice president of enrollment management at the University of Texas-Permian Basin.

ENVIRONMENTAL

Ottawa County is the recipient of a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for environmental site assessment and cleanup planning for brownfield properties.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Holland-based New Holland Brewing Co. was selected for the first time as one of West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.

Kalamazoo-based Kalsec announced the appointment of Mark Staples as executive director of marketing.

Bloom & Grow Coffee announced Megan Dimmer as a co-owner and partner. She will help scale and grow the coffee business.

GOVERNMENT

Brandon Davis has joined the city of Grand Rapids as oversight and public accountability director.

GRANTS

Fifth Third Foundation announced $175,000 in philanthropic commitments to help address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in West Michigan to the following organizations: Feeding America West Michigan, Greater Lansing Food Bank, South Michigan Food Bank, Cherry Health and Mel Trotter Ministries.

Health Net of West Michigan has received a $270,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to expand existing equity efforts, including adding additional health equity training for Health Net staff working with families to access early childhood resources, completion of an equity-focused strategic plan, revision of policy and training for board members.

Holland-based Jolt Energy Storage Technologies, a sustainable energy-storage company, was awarded a $250,000 grant from GCxN, a program through the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in partnership with Shell Global, for its work in clean, grid-scale energy storage solutions.

Kalamazoo-based Can-Do Kitchen received a $10,000 grant from Verizon as part of the company’s #PayItForward initiative, to help small businesses meet payroll, pay rent and cover additional immediate operational needs.

Old National Bank has committed $1.2 million for COVID-19 relief, specifically $600,000 focused on meeting the immediate needs in local communities, and $600,000 in Old National Bank Foundation grant funding that will focus on longer-term restorative and transformational needs within local communities.

The Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation announced a $200,000 contribution from the Consumers Energy Foundation to its Rapid Response Economic Relief Fund, which has authorized 48 grants totaling $455,000 thus far to provide short-term, emergency financial relief to small businesses in Kent County impacted by widespread closures brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.

HEALTH

Kelly Peterson, ND, of Grand Rapids Natural Health, announced a new partnership with Andrea McSwain, DO, of Michigan Center for Functional Medicine. The health and wellness centers, with locations in Grand Rapids and Lansing, are now known as Michigan Center for Holistic Medicine.

INSURANCE

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has received the J.D. Power Award for highest member satisfaction among commercial health plans in Michigan for the second time in three years.

LEISURE & RECREATION

The Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission has shifted gears due to COVID-19 and offers nature programs to citizens online at bit.ly/OttawaNaturePrograms.

Wayland-based Gun Lake Casino has been identified as one of the West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by the National Association for Business Resources.

MANUFACTURING

Norton Shores-based Dynamic Conveyor Corp. announced the addition of Hybrid specialty conveyors, designed and built specifically to meet demanding conveyance objectives that can’t be met with traditional conveyor systems. The Hybrid line of conveyors rounds out Dynamic Conveyor’s already diverse lines of plastic belt conveyor systems.

MEDIA

Jenn White has been selected as the new host of the nationally syndicated NPR show 1A, which is broadcast in Grand Rapids and West Michigan.

NONPROFITS

Guiding Light has again been awarded a Platinum Seal of Transparency by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information on U.S. nonprofits.

Wedgwood Christian Services announced the addition of Dan Gowdy as president and chief executive officer, following the retirement of Randy Zylstra after more than 25 years of service to Wedgwood.

REAL ESTATE

Sun Title Agency announced it has created Remote Mobile Notarization to offer clients safe options to obtain signatures quickly and efficiently while maintaining social distancing.

SPORTS

Jorge Capestany, who has managed the Hope College DeWitt Tennis Center in Holland, and Dwayne “Tiger” Teusink, who managed the center from 1996 until 2003, are among those who are being inducted into the Western Michigan Tennis Association’s Hall of Fame. They will be inducted at a date still to be determined.

TRANSPORTATION

Trusted Rides has launched a new iOS and Android app, designed to help working parents meet their children’s transportation needs. The Trusted Rides app offers safe rides for kids ages 5 and up, and allows parents to schedule a ride or series of rides to drive children back and forth to school, academic tutoring, sports and other extracurricular activities.

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