Change-Ups: Feeding America West Michigan receives $10,000 grant

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Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance have donated $10,000 to Feeding America West Michigan, a nonprofit organization dedicated to gathering and distributing food to relieve hunger and increase food security in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The donation is part of an Emergency Community Support Grant to help independent agents give back to their local community during the COVID-19 crisis. The $10,000 donation will assist in purchasing food for distribution through their network of hunger-relief agencies in 40 Michigan counties, and fuel their trucks.

ACCOUNTING

Phillip Mitchell, president of Kroon & Mitchell, has been appointed to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee for renewing 1-year terms over 3 years.

ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING

Founding principals Kasey Vliet and Travis Williams have launched architecture firm In Parallel Architects + Builders.

ARTS

The Grand Rapids Public Museum announced it now has gift cards available for purchase, which can be used toward tickets for admission, traveling exhibits and planetarium shows, and for purchases in its Museum Cafe and Curiosity Shop during a visit. Gift cards are available in various amounts and can be purchased online at tickets.grpm.org/buy-gift-card. GRPM also has launched its Keeping it Curious blog that provides written content and vlogs with behind-the-scenes stories, in-depth looks at pieces from the GRPM’s collection, theories behind the design of the museum’s educational programming and more. Readers can access the blog online at grpm.org/blog.

ASSOCIATIONS

BIFMA announced the launch of BIFMA Learning, a new portal for training and education accessible directly from BIFMA.org. Initially, BIFMA Learning will serve as the training platform for BIFMA faculty, who are in turn authorized to deliver the association’s CEU-accredited courses in-person or via webinar.

BANKING

Kalamazoo-based Consumers Credit Union has hired David Pendley as vice president of mortgage lending.

Northpointe Bank has been named a top-performing bank in the nation by the Independent Community Bankers of America because of its focus on efficiency and personal service to build strong, lasting relationships consistently year after year, and its FDIC data for return-on-assets figures from 2017, 2018 and 2019, with 2019 carrying the most weight. This is the seventh year Northpointe Bank has been named as a top performing community bank out of approximately 5,000 ICBA member banks.

The Independent Community Bankers of America announced Shaunna Padgett, vice president, strategic and operating manager at First National Bank of Michigan, has been named to its annual 40 Under 40: Emerging Community Bank Leaders list.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Jennifer Maxson & Associates Inc. announced its president Jennifer Maxson is now a Certified Professional Coach.

Wyoming-based Management Business Solutions announced the formation of its newest division – CROSSROADS, which will offer two service tracks: assisting candidates with career guidance and helping businesses support their personnel through virtual and in-person workshops and seminars.

EDUCATION

Holland-based Hope College has again earned a STARS Silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Maner Costerisan has launched a new wealth management division, Maner Wealth. Its suite of services encompasses all areas of clients’ lives, from wealth management to estate planning and will act as a personal chief financial officer.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Ottawa Food is working with four local food pantries — Salvation Army, St. Francis de Sales Parish, Harvest Stand Ministries and Community Action House — to purchase produce directly from local farmers to feed families in the Holland/Zeeland area, with the intent to replicate it in other areas within Ottawa County. Also, the Lakeshore Food RescueFarm Relief Effort will purchase food from local farmers to feed local families. The program will run through Oct. 31.

Taste the Local Difference has published its first statewide Local Food Guide for Michigan. The free, magazine-style guide is a directory to local food businesses, such as farms, farmers markets, restaurants, wineries, breweries and more throughout the state. Orders for the guide may be placed at localdifference.org/getyourguide.

GOVERNMENT

Most Kent County departments, offices and agencies resumed in-person services on June 15. Court operations — 17th Circuit Court, 63rd District Court and Probate — are open but remain closed to in-person services. Court staff is assisting the public by e-mail and telephone, and, to the greatest extent possible, hearings and proceedings are conducted electronically and live streamed via YouTube. Visit the county’s website for specific information on how to interact with each county department, office and agency at accesskent.com/News/covid-19.htm.

Ottawa County’s 2019 population estimates for its townships, cities and villages shows it to be the fastest growing in the state and the eighth-most populous, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released in March. Highlights: Since 2010, all local units have continued to gain population; the greatest growth was seen in Allendale (29%), Jamestown (26.5%), Spring Lake (26.1%), and Blendon (17.8%) townships; between 2018 and 2019, Jamestown Township experienced the greatest population growth (3.5%). Details: bit.ly/OttawaPopulation.

GRANTS

The Grand Rapids Symphony is the recipient of a $18,760 grant from the League of American Orchestras that will be used to strengthen its understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion and to help transform organizational culture.

HEALTH

ASM Global-managed Van Andel Arena was home to a recent blood drive hosted by The American Red Cross of Michigan. The drive was held in three of the arena’s banquet rooms with over 30 people walking through the arena’s doors to make their donation. Event organizers said the blood collected from donors will be able to save up to 72 lives.

Kent County has partnered with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Spectrum Health, the city of Grand Rapids and Meijer to develop a set of guidelines and best practices to help businesses with a thoughtful re-opening strategy. The program includes a daily health-screening tool to help employers survey the health of employees. Details: kentcountybacktowork.com.

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market welcomed Root Functional Medicine, a functional medicine and nutrition practice, as an Incubator Kitchen tenant. The Incubator Kitchen will serve as the hub for the practice to produce and package meals as a part of their recently expanded prepared meal service program, Root Farmacy. Owner Dr. Erica Armstrong began Root Functional Medicine in October 2018 in a small co-working space. The first of its kind in West Michigan, the practice works with clients to solve and prevent health problems at the root cause through advanced testing, natural therapies and nutrition.

HUMAN SERVICES

Thrive Ottawa County, a collaborative effort between dozens of Ottawa County organizations, has launched a campaign to educate the general public about the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences, because there is a strong connection between childhood experiences of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction and an adult’s physical, emotional and social health outcomes. Visit thriveottawa.org.

INSURANCE

Tim Mann has joined Hastings Mutual Insurance Co. as chief claim officer.

LEISURE & RECREATION

The Kent County Parks Department has started a staggered reopening schedule for its beaches, campgrounds, open shelters, picnic areas, public restrooms and splashpad. Visitors are required to follow new health guidelines and precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visit the parks and recreation guidelines on the Kent County Back to Work website: kentcountybacktowork.com/.

MEDIA

WGVU Public Radio has expanded its coverage in West Michigan thanks to an agreement with Goodrich Radio LLC. WGVU-FM will be carried on Goodrich’s 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids (W237CZ), expanding WGVU-FM’s coverage of the Grand Rapids Metro area to include better reception in downtown Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Kentwood and Ada.

RELIGION

Bishop David Walkowiak announced Greg Deja, principal/CEO of Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids, as the new executive director of The Catholic Foundation of West Michigan and Erinn Hill as the foundation’s new stewardship officer.

The Rev. Mariela Pérez-Simons will serve as Fountain Street Church’s senior minister. Pérez-Simons is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister who will become the first woman and first person of color to serve as Fountain Street’s senior minister.

TECHNOLOGY

Tyler Cromley recently joined Micro Visions Inc. and will focus on IT systems administration.

WEBSITES

JetCo Federal, a supply chain management and warehouse supply company, has unveiled a new website to showcase the company’s expanded products and services. The new website can be viewed at www.jetcofederal.com.

The Ottawa County clerk’s office has launched a new website, miottawa.org/securingthevote, that provides citizens in Ottawa County with information on how their votes are counted and details the security steps that go into the elections process.

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