Change Ups: GR CityFlats Hotel achieves LEED Gold


The five-story CityFlatsHotel Grand Rapids is downtown on Monroe Center Street NW.

The CityFlats Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification. The Grand Rapids hotel and its sister hotel in Holland are the only LEED Gold Certified hotels in Michigan. The five-story CityFlats at 83 Monroe Center inhabits what was once the Fox Jewelers building. LEED buildings are designed to reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


The American Institute of Building Design has named Visbeen Architects one of its top designers in the fifth annual American Residential Design Awards. Visbeen was awarded 11 trophies, including eight first place in a variety of categories, including the Global Choice Award.


Holland Museum announced Christopher Shires has been appointed its permanent executive director. Shires is the former director of interpretation and programs at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Point Shores.


The National Association of Health Underwriters has installed Lighthouse Group account executive Denise R. VanPutten as national member chair.


Tom Gabi has joined Independent Bank as a residential loan officer. He is responsible for originating mortgages and consumer loans for Kent and Muskegon counties. Gabi will work from the Sparta office, 525 S. State St.


Axios Inc., a 100-percent employee-owned human resource services firm, noted its 25th year in business.

Michigan Works! Kent & Allegan Counties announced the additions of six staff members to expand its business services team: business services manager, Deb Lyzenga; and business services representatives Michael Blakley, Dan Cain, Shelly Jewell, Amy Lebednick and Whitney White.


Jeff Razmus has joined Kal-Blue as an account executive covering Michigan and Indiana to promote Autodesk software, Wide-Format Equipment and Bluebeam software. Razmus previously worked for JVH Engineering.


The Princeton Reviewhas selected Grand Valley State University as one of 155 colleges and universities included on the Best in the Midwest section of its 2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region feature. About 25 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities are selected to a regional list.

Hope College announced the election of the following new trustees: Rev. David Bast of Grand Rapids; Gerald J. Pillay of Liverpool, England; Suzanne L. Shier of Chicago; and Mark VanGenderen of Weston, Fla. Reelected were: James L. Jurries of Holland; chairperson, Mary V. Baurman of Grand Rapids; vice-chairperson, Rev. Dr. William R. Boersma of Holland; and secretary, David. W. Lowry of Holland.

Hope College Alumni Association board of directors announced its officers and members: president, Tom Kyros; vice president, Todd Houtman; secretary, Nancy Otterstrom. New board members are Connor Brady; and Jodi Wickersheimer. Lisa Bos will continue to serve on the board.


Barbara Paneral has joined the Buettner Karsten Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors as a financial advisor.


Sam Tidwell has joined the American Red Cross of West Michigan as regional CEO.

Mel Trotter Ministries announced the addition of Rodney McNany, director of marketing and communications.


Chop Tree Services announced it has acquired Jenison’s R&S Quality Stump Grinding and Tree Removal. A division of PROCARE Landscape Management, Chop recently branched off and was rebranded to specialize in tree trimming and tree removal services.


Miller Canfield senior counsel Steven F. Stapleton and CEO Michael P. McGee participated in a panel discussion on emergency manager laws as an alternative to bankruptcy in local government at the American Bar Association State and Local Government Law Section’s annual meeting in San Francisco.


Cascade Engineering announced the appointment of Judy Bland, vice president of manufacturing. Bland will be responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction for all aspects of manufacturing for the Cascade Engineering Family of Companies.

Perrigo announced Michael Burgos has been promoted as SAP business analyst for the SAP product lifecycle management team at Perrigo’s Water Street, Allegan, location.


Quota International of Grand Rapids announced is 2013-2014 board of directors: president, Kim Savoie, Stifel Nicolaus; vice president, Martha Herman, Empowered Consulting LLC; secretary, Cathy Kaiser, Michigan Small Business & Technology Center; treasurer, Maureen Martin, Home Repair Services; directors, Sandi Aten, retired; Barbara Griffin, Robert W. Baird & Co.; Robin Keith, Warner Norcross & Judd; and Emily Uebbing, First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids. Quota also announced Martha Herman has been selected as the 2013 Grand Rapids Quotarian of the Year and Maureen Martin was awarded the Kathryn Homan Award.


Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services announced the opening of its second thrift store, at 2741 28th St. SE. The 20,000-square-foot store will be able to accept more furniture donations and, beginning in September, donations of all kinds will be accepted.


Gentry DeWinter, 16, of Hudsonville, was selected to be a member of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s 2013-2014 Youth Leadership Team, a diverse group of 17 teens across the country who serve an 18-month term.

Gov. Rick Synder announced the appointment of Kathleen Vogelsang of Ada to the Michigan Women’s Commission. The 15-member board works to improve the quality of life for Michigan women, including providing support for female veterans, fighting human trafficking and assisting women business owners.


David Morris has been named vice president and publisher of Zondervan nonfiction trade books. Morris previously was vice president and editorial director of Guideposts Books.


Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. announced the addition of Doug Poland, director of real estate, to its corporate team.

Four local general managers are recipients of Darden Restaurants’ top honor, the Joe R. Lee Diamond Club Award: Jim Jonkman, Olive Garden, Grand Rapids; Pete Garcia, Olive Garden, Grand Rapids; Chas DeCarlo, Red Lobster, Grandville; and Kathy Trosko, Olive Garden, Grandville.


Varnum Consulting announced the addition of Juliana Nahas-Viilo, communications coordinator. She will be responsible for external communications, social media and website.

Corrigan International has earned certification from the International Federation of Furniture Movers.


The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties has named Ottawa County’s website a winner in the 2013 Digital Counties Survey. Ottawa County clinched the ninth spot in the nation compared to counties of similar size. Ottawa has made the top 10 in four of the past five years.

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