Change Ups: Ferris State opens University Center


Ferris State University in Big Rapids recently opened its remodeled University Center located in the heart of campus. The $34 million renovation features spaces for meetings, socializing, studying and relaxing, as well as a food, entertainment and retail venues. The renovated facility replaces the former Rankin Student Center. The Christman Co. construction management firm handled the renovation project, based on designs from Neumann/Smith Architects.


BDO USA LLP announced Katie Ferris and Stephen Maniaci have been admitted to the firm’s partnership in its Grand Rapids office. Ferris and Maniaci are tax partners.

DeHoek & Co. has added Alicia Slonecki, CPA, and Jonathan DeHoek to its staff. Also, Lisa Miller has earned the IRS Enrolled Agent designation.

AWARDS presented Aurora Pond, a retirement community in Wyoming, with its Best of Senior Living Award for receiving consistently high ratings from residents and their families in 2014.

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP announced the results of its 10th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest open to Grand Rapids Public Schools sixth-graders: grand prize, Bodie Bickford, Center for Economicology; first runner-up, Tanya Floyd, Riverside Middle School; and second runner-up, Demarus Jackson, Riverside Middle School. Additionally, 22 students from five schools received honorable mentions.

Baker College of Muskegon received the Chamber Ambassador Brick Award from the Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg for its investment in the construction of the Health Science Center, a two-story 35,000-square-foot building.


Lighthouse Group welcomed E.J. Pearson as vice president of benefits. He will manage group benefits, focusing on business development initiatives, managing market leadership and enhancing Lighthouse’s capabilities in employee benefits brokerage and consulting.


Custer announced the promotion of Scott Robertson to senior project manager.

DK Security announced the appointment of Lauren Heemstra, financial analyst, working in the corporate headquarters. Her responsibilities include financial analysis, communicating P&L variances and making financial presentations to various teams throughout the company.

Nichols announced it has acquired Michigan-based Professional Sanitary Supply. It’s the third acquisition in an 18-month period for Nichols. Professional Sanitary Supply, a privately held, family-owned and operated janitorial and industrial supply distributor, was started in 1997 by Pete and Judy Evans.

Paragon Recruiting added Jen Bradshaw as a senior recruiter. She brings 10 years of experience in the staffing industry.


Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter announced its 2015 board of directors: Jon Potvin, Allied Mechanical Services Inc.; Steve Longstreet, Buist Electric; and Jeff VanderLaan, Kent Companies. 2015 officers are: chairman, Brian Crissman, The Christman Co.; chair-elect: Nate Koetje, Feyen Zylstra; and secretary/treasurer, Anita Rathbun, Triangle Associates.


Aquinas College was named to the President’s 2014 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, marking the second year in a row it received the designation, which is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology has acquired Ambrose, a Holland-based after-school program and screen-printing business. Ambrose founder Adam Weiler will join WMCAT as project director to oversee a new social enterprise that will employ teens and young adults while providing earned revenue for WMCAT’s nationally recognized Teen Arts + Tech Program.


Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation announced the election of Amy L. Freeburg and Michael Scantlebury to its board of trustees, and a $15,000 grant from The Frey Foundation to be used toward the digitization of Robinson Studio Collection and Peninsular Club archives held at the Grand Rapids Public Library.


The Geek Group has been awarded a $220,000 grant by the Michigan Energy Office to complete energy-efficiency upgrades to its 43,000-square-foot Leonard Street Labs facility.


Carlee Bueche has joined Aesthetic Dental Center as a full-time hygienist.


Axios Inc. has named Shannon Burkel executive vice president of its Staffing Inc. division, and Blythe Kazmierczak executive vice president of the Human Resource Services division. Axios also has been named one of the 101 Best Companies to Work For in the nation.


Dickinson Wright PLLC announced the election of attorney Nicolas M. Morano as a member in its Grand Rapids office. Morano focuses his practice in real estate law and corporate law. 

Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones PLC has elected the following lawyers to its management committee for 2015: Douglas A. Donnell (chair), Neil L. Kimball and Benjamin A. Zainea.

Miller Johnson attorneys Patrick Jaicomo and Jon Muth were honored by legal journal The Green Bag for an Amicus Curiae Brief they submitted to the Michigan Supreme Court on the 2014 hearing of People v. Carp. The brief was filed on behalf of the Students of Father Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor.

Wheeler Upham PC announced Michael J. TerBeek is a shareholder of the firm. TerBeek focuses his practice in the areas of business law, commercial litigation and estate planning.


Dynamic Conveyor Corp. announced the U.S. Patent Office issued patent number 8,919,541 for its invention of a quick-release conveyor-belt containment device that gives easy access to the conveyor belt and inner components of the conveyor for easy cleaning and sanitizing for the food-processing and packaging industry.


The Kent County Health Department has been recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials for its ability to plan for, respond to and recover from public health emergencies. It has met the 287 benchmarks proving readiness capabilities required by Project Public Health Ready.

The Michigan Association of Planning has elected Suzanne Schulz and Lynee Wells to serve on its board of directors.


Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. announced Rachel Bomberger has been named director of marketing. Bomberger will lead the nine-person team responsible for publicity, promotions, advertising and Internet marketing.


Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies has acquired Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty with 16 offices and 315 associates in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. It now operates with 65 offices in Michigan, Florida and Ohio with 1,100 associates; its total sales volume exceeds $2 billion with over 14,000 closed sales and listings.

The Commercial Alliance of Realtors West Michigan has elected the following to its 2015 multiple listings service and governance committee: chairperson, Drew Miller, CBRE; and vice-chairperson, Doug Todd, Prudential Preferred. Committee members: Dave Baughman, Signature Associates; George Bera, Bera Group Inc.; Fred Otterbein, Liberty Realty; and Bob Schautz, Re/Max SunQuest.


Dan Sippel has been hired by the West Michigan Tourist Association to serve as its executive director.


Andy Tabisz, president of WorkSmart Database Masters, has been awarded the 2015 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for his technical expertise and contributions to the Microsoft Access community. There are 75 MVPs for Microsoft Access worldwide, 37 of which are in the U.S.

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