Change-Ups: FBA names Burns director

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The Family Business Alliance has named Robin Burns its director. Burns will work with the board and staff to develop and implement the strategic plan of the association whose sole mission is to ensure family businesses throughout West Michigan succeed generation to generation. Burns most recently served as the marketing director and management team member at Rhoades McKee. Established in 2006 in partnership with the Grand Rapids Chamber and Grand Valley State University and re-organized in 2018 as a 501(c)(6) within the Grand Rapids Chamber, the FBA has grown to serve over 160 members.

ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING

Benton Harbor-based Wightman earned an honorable mention award for its architectural and interior design of a STREAM lab for Bishop Noll Institute and two awards by American School & University magazine’s 2020 Education Interiors Showcase for Outstanding Design in both the Technology Centers and Interior Renovation categories completed for the STREAM lab.

ARTS

The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo announced the addition of Erin Bruce as an integrated membership/media specialist who serves as the organization’s public and media relations contact.

The Frauenthal Preservation Campaign Fund has received a $250,000 grant from the Howmet Aerospace Foundation for the preservation and renovation of Muskegon-based Frauenthal Theater.

The Grand Rapids Public Library announced Ericka “Kyd Kane” Thompson has been named Poet Laureate of the Greater Grand Rapids area for a three-year term that started in January.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum recently published all of its collections records and the vast majority of its 150,000-plus digital images under a Creative Commons Zero License, which denotes GRPM has dedicated its images — photographs of artifacts, specimens, scans of photographs, catalogs — to the public domain so they can be downloaded directly and used freely by anyone, anywhere, at any time.

AWARDS

Allendale/West Grand Rapids KOA Holiday is the recipient of the 2021 KOA President’s Award and KOA Founder’s Award from Kampgrounds of America, the world’s largest group of family-friendly, open-to-the-public campgrounds.

8THIRTYFOUR was the only public relations agency in Michigan named to Forbes’ Top PR Agencies of 2021.

iNFable Socks announced the local winners of its first Founder Impact Award for helping transform people’s lives: Christy Buck, founder of be nice; Bridget Clark Whitney, CEO of Kids’ Food Basket; Dr. Floyd Wilson Jr., Cancer & Hematology Associates of West Michigan; Jane Eppard, Family Hope Foundation; Krista Mason, Benjamin’s Hope; Dondrea Brown, 1428 Financial Wellness; Shannon Cohen, Shannon Cohen Inc.; and Maggie Duba, West Catholic High School for sportsmanship.

Make-A-Wish America named Saugatuck resident Ethie Haworth as the 2020 Philanthropist of the Year for her impact on the local Make-A-Wish mission.

Progressive Grocer recently announced a trio of SpartanNash associates as 2020 GenNext Award recipients: director, retail meat and seafood Dan Estelle; director, e-commerce Matt Van Gilder; and director, retail marketing Jessica Wong.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum announced six members of the museum’s staff have received the Clean Up Warriors Award from the Michigan Museums Association: Stevie Hornyak, exhibits specialist; Sarah Humes, associate registrar; Kelsey Laymon, curatorial assistant; Monica Taylor, curatorial assistant and photographer; Jake Van Wyk, collections technician; and Holly Waldenmeyer, registrar and collections manager.

The Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals has awarded Kalamazoo-based LKF Marketing a Platinum Hermes Award for its work on JM Wilson’s website to reflect the company’s reputation as a reliable Managing General Agency and Surplus Lines Broker.

BANKING

Erin Smith has joined Independent Bank as a mortgage loan officer, working from the bank’s Grand Rapids East Beltline location. She is responsible for mortgage lending in Allegan and Kent counties.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Barr Engineering Co. announced the acquisition of King & MacGregor Environmental Inc., a leading Michigan-based provider of natural resource consulting and environmental services.

Fred Bueltmann, an entrepreneur, former brewery executive and expert in company culture, has joined with leaders in equine-assisted experiential learning to launch Red Horse Center for Collaborative Leadership, established to strengthen collaborations for the greater good by working with humans and horses, through mindful experiential learning and considerate leadership models to discover and empower positive change in the world. The inaugural board for the nonprofit includes Bueltmann as executive director, Shawn Gary (Alliance Beverage) as vice chair, Jenny Atlee (Friendship Office) as secretary, Ulla and Tom Loudon (Friendship Office.) 

Holland-based Coastal Container and Coastal Automotive, both subsidiaries of Holland-based Coastal Group, earned perfect scores for quality management across all four facilities, with zero non-conformities after annual audits, from the American Systems Registrar.

JetCo Solutions recently named Jamie Crowley as senior capture manager and hired Riley Winchester as a technical writer.

Lilly Epstein Stotland has been named CEO of Vesco Oil Corporation.

CONSTRUCTION

LINC UP earned a LEED Silver Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s new version 4.1 rating system for a single-family residence built in Grand Rapids’ Seeds of Promise neighborhood.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Bob Bishop, managing director – investments and premier adviser in the Holland branch of Wells Fargo Advisors, was recently named a Forbes 2020 Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisor.

Centennial Securities announced Ryan Diepstra has been appointed chief operating officer. 

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Kalsec announced it is now a Certified B Corporation.

GOVERNMENT

State Rep. Thomas Albert has been named House Appropriations Committee chair for the upcoming 2021-22 legislative session.

GRANTS

Kent County and Heart of West Michigan United Way announced seven nonprofits were awarded grants ranging from $15,000 to $150,000: Bethany Christian Services of Michigan; Boys & Girls Club of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth Inc.; Edge Urban Fellowship; Grand Rapids Urban League; New City Kids Inc.; Muse Ed; and YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.

HEALTH

Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo has been named as one of the nation’s 50 Top cardiovascular hospitals by Fortune and IBM Watson Health.

Houston-based The National Diversity Council announced it has appointed Ovell Barbee, senior vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer at Spectrum Health, to its board of directors for the National Coalition for Racial Justice & Equity.

Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy announced the addition of Perla Perez as a licensed physical therapist. Perez is fluent in Spanish and English.

Spectrum Health Medical Group Orthopedics – Rockford is now open at the Spectrum Health Integrated Care Campus, 8501 Meadow Creek, Rockford, to treat work- and sports-related injuries, pain from arthritis, hand and wrist injuries, sprains, fractures and offer rehabilitation for hand therapy patients.

LEGAL

Bloom Sluggett PC has been selected as a 2021 Best Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for its work in municipal law in the Grand Rapids area. This is the sixth time the firm has been recognized.

For the 11th consecutive year, Plunkett Cooney has been named one of the “Best Law Firms” in the nation in 2021 by Best Lawyers.

Foster Swift has created a “2020 Year in Review” resource webpage that identifies a number of key topics for individuals and businesses to consider going forward into 2021. For more information, visit fosterswift.com/f-year-in-review-resource-page-2020.html.

LOGISTICS

Meijer was recognized as a SmartWay Excellence Award winner as a mixed carrier by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

MANUFACTURING

Haviland Enterprises Inc. hired Mackenzie Klahr as marketing manager.

Muskegon-based AvaSure announced the promotions of Brad Playford, who remains CEO, but with a greater emphasis on corporate strategy and vision; Kyle Pett, president and chief operating officer; Lisbeth Votruba, clinical innovation officer; and Toby Eadelman, chief technology officer.

Norton Shores-based Smart Vision Lights announced it has earned ISO 9001:2015 certification for its quality management system.

NONPROFITS

D.A. Blodgett–St. John’s appointed Mary Muliett president and CEO.

Mel Trotter Ministries recently unveiled a three-stall mobile shower unit for the homeless that will be placed at strategic locations throughout the city where hygiene services are most needed.

Quota Club of Grand Rapids announces its board of directors for 2021: president Betsy Smith, Montcalm Area Intermediate School District and Newaygo County RESA; president-elect Barbara Griffin, Robert W Baird & Co.; secretary Kathleen Slagal, retired; treasurer Pam Howland, retired, Bank of America; president emeritus Sue Scharf, The Wellness Forum.

Sonia Noorman has been appointed chief executive officer for the West Michigan Partnership for Children. She replaces founding CEO Kristyn Peck.

The Job Post, a full-service hiring firm and social enterprise of Guiding Light, moved into a new office in Grand Rapids at 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 425.

Wedgwood Christian Services named Jason Todd the organization’s first chief process and innovation officer. Also, the West Michigan Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized Wedgwood Christian Services with The West Michigan Chapter Award for Excellence in Fundraising.

PRINTING

Foremost Graphics launched the new HP Indigo 15K Digital Press solution to deliver cost-effective retail packaging applications and higher impact commercial print.

PUBLISHING

Chriscynethia Floyd joined Our Daily Bread Ministries as vice president and publisher. She will oversee all U.S. publishing including trade books, children’s books, gifts, video series, devotionals, Bible studies and more.

RESTAURANTS

AHC Hospitality announced the opening of MDRD (pronounced Madrid), a Spanish-inspired full-service restaurant at the Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton on the 27th floor.

TRANSPORTATION

Grand Rapids-based Northern Jet Management recently celebrated 25 years as a private jet operator in the Midwest.

WEBSITES

A consortium of West Michigan health departments, hospitals, health care providers, universities and others have launched VaccinateWestMI.com where area residents can find the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

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