Change Ups: GRCC chef receives French medal

Change Ups: GRCC chef receives French medal

Grand Rapids Community College chef Gilles Renusson, professor with the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, recently was awarded the Chevalier du Merite Agricole medal during a private ceremony. Guillaume Lacroix, general consul of France in Chicago, awarded Renusson the Order of Agricultural Merit for outstanding services to agriculture. The medal, created in 1883, is second in importance only to the Legion of Honour. Renusson, a certified master pastry chef and renowned sugar artist, has been with GRCC since 1992.


Taste the Local Difference announced it will have an upcoming free, digital Holiday Gift Guide published through in November. It will highlight Michigan local food businesses with gift offerings for the holiday season and have recipes, deals and pairing ideas to make local the easy option for holiday shopping this year.


Advanced Architectural Products is listed as No. 418 in the 2019 Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America.

Hubbell, Roth & Clark Inc. announced its relocation to a 7,000-square-foot office at 1925 Breton Road SE to support its continued growth.


Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek was granted accreditation by Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ independent Accreditation Commission.

The Girls Choral Academy’s Grandville Avenue Girls Choir celebrated its 20th season this year by expanding into Burton Middle School with the help of a Wege Foundation grant.

The Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon has placed 21st out of 100 Classic & Contemporary Shows by Sunshine Artist Magazine’s 200 Best. In 2019, the Lakeshore Art Festival provided over $22,000 to local nonprofit organizations and artists involved in the festival, including Boys & Girls Club, Muskegon Big Red Football Team, Read Muskegon, Nuveen Art Center, Muskegon JCI and the Salvation Army.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park announced the installation of “Rebecca Louise Law: The Womb,” running through March 1. The on-site-specific exhibition includes an existing collection of approximately 1,000,000 flowers and plant material, and 10,000 flowers and plants gathered on-site and strung by volunteers and staff at Meijer Gardens. Newly created sculpture and painted works also will be on display in spaces preceding the main gallery.


Ada-based Amway’s Nutrilite is the recipient of PR Best in Class gold Stevie Award for the campaign’s pure, safe and effective videos and a silver Stevie Award for the overall program in the consumer brand experience of the year category. The awards highlight the success of the recently launched Nutrilite Traceability Program.

C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy junior Cindy Mazariegos-Barrios’ piece, “We Are All In This Together,” has earned a $1,000 college scholarship from Consumers Energy and prominent display of her winning creation in downtown Grand Rapids as Project 1 by ArtPrize.

Las Vegas-based Switch announced it received a 2019 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Switch has a data center in Gaines Township.

LKF Marketing in Kalamazoo received the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts’ Award of Distinction for an integrated campaign created for Glen Dimplex Thermal Solutions. The submission included an app, brochures, trade show displays, spec sheets, fliers and a drink coozie in addition to other branding elements.

The Lake Trust Foundation awarded LaToya Wright of Muskegon with a Community Impact Scholarship for being an aspiring community-oriented entrepreneur who wishes to run a business with a social purpose. Wright received a full graduate school tuition at Cleary University.

The STINGER CN100B Cap Nailer from National Nail Corp. was named a 2019 Golden Hammer Award winner by HBS Dealer.


Ada-based Erhardt Construction hired Emily Cole as a staff accountant.


Aquinas College is listed as a Top Performer on Social Mobility among the list of National Liberal Arts Colleges in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of the nation’s 2020 Best Colleges.

Goddard School’s new location at Knapp’s Corner is an 11,270-square-foot building that will serve about 148 children ages six weeks to 6 years old and will employ about 26 faculty members.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Calvin University No. 3 overall among Midwest regional universities in its 2020 Best Colleges Guidebook; The Fiske Guide to Colleges ranks Calvin University as one the country’s best and most interesting colleges and universities in its 2020 guidebook; Forbes includes Calvin University on its America’s Top Colleges 2019 list; and The Washington Monthly ranks Calvin 81st on its Top 250 Master’s University Rankings list. Calvin is the top private institution in Michigan on this list.


Aperitivo announced it celebrated its sixth anniversary; “cheesemonger” Heather Camp passed her Certified Cheese Professional exam from the American Cheese Society; general manager Evan Talen recently won the Cheesemonger Invitational, a national competition that pitted him against 45 cheesemongers in the nation ( Talen also recently was the American Cheese Society’s Official Conference Cheesemonger at the annual conference in Richmond, Virginia.


Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded grants to area youth literacy programs: Byron Area Schools, $2,500; Fennville Elementary School, $2,500; Affinity Mentoring in Grandville, $3,000; Holland Middle School in Holland, $1,500; Neighbors Plus in Holland, $2,500; Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo Inc. in Kalamazoo, $3,000; and Bushnell Elementary School in Lowell, $3,000.


The West Michigan Prostate Health Alliance teamed up with bars and restaurants across the area throughout September to raise awareness of prostate cancer with participating locations in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Newaygo, Montcalm, Allegan and Barry counties, many of which are members of the Beer City Brewing Guild, which will take part in individualized efforts to educate men and those who are close to them about prostate cancer. A full list of participants can be found at


Hyatt Place Hotel, 140 Ottawa Ave. NW, in downtown Grand Rapids, is now open. The hotel is managed by local hotel management group AHC+ Hospitality and is part of the newly established hotel district, a three-block radius that includes hotels, restaurants and local businesses.


Fifty-three Warner Norcross + Judd LLP attorneys were named to the Super Lawyers list in the 14th annual publication of Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine. The peer-review award recognizes attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Secrest Wardle announced 11 of its attorneys were named by Super Lawyers Magazine to the 2019 Michigan Super Lawyers list: Daniel P. Makarski; Drew W. Broaddus; Mark F. Masters; Mark E. Morley; Alison M. Quinn; Bruce A. Truex; Thomas J. Azoni; Justin L. Cole; Nathan J. Edmonds; John L. Weston; and Derk W. Beckerleg.

Secrest Wardle also announced 11 of its attorneys were named to Super Lawyers Magazine’s 2019 Michigan Rising Stars list: Matthew J. Consolo; Kellie C. Joyce; Amanda B. Fopma; Heidi J. Gehart,; Justin A. Grimske; Javon R. David; Devon R. Glass; Krystal D. Hermizd; Cleveland B. Simmons; Renee T. Townsend; and Javon L. Williams.


Catholic Charities West Michigan will expand to Southwest Michigan and establish a new office in Benton Harbor, housing 25 employees. The expansion is due to several new family preservation and support contracts with the state of Michigan.

Connect for Water partnered with organizations to quickly deliver water filters to survivors of Hurricane Dorian. The Grand Rapids-based nonprofit hopes to initially deliver 1,000 water filters with a broader goal of distributing as many as 50,000.

West Michigan Partnership for Children announced the addition of board members Nkechy Ezeh, Kayla Morgan and Cheryl Schuch.


The James Salon & Boutique recently opened at 550 Settlers Drive in Ada Village with a grand opening that benefitted the Women’s Resource Center.


Meritage Hospitality Group opened a garden-themed breakfast, brunch and lunch concept named Morning Belle in the company’s former Twisted Rooster location at 1600 East Beltline Ave. NE.


Tetra Therapeutics announced it is conducting Phase 2 clinical trials of BPN14770 in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease and adults with Fragile X Syndrome to protect against memory loss and neuronal atrophy induced by amyloid beta1-42, a hallmark protein of Alzheimer’s disease.


Ben Knighton joined Micro Visions Inc. with a focus on business development and as an account executive.


Midwest Express announced the Elite Airways aircraft, with exterior Midwest Express branding, will service initial flight destinations to Grand Rapids. The plane recently arrived at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport where travelers were given Midwest Express chocolate chip cookies, which will be baked onboard all Midwest Express-marketed flights.

OST welcomed the following to its staff: Johnny Ansari, design; Dave Chinn, principal architect; Tori Dean, talent experience coordinator; Jordan Doorlag, application support; Jeremy Jakobson, project management office; Michael Kiley, data analytics; Sue Koepke, enterprise resource planning; Caleb Miracle, application development; Kiran Sood Patel, marketing; Maria Roelofs, design; Aaron Shaver, sales; Matt Smith, design; Austin Tutu, configuration services; John Ucci, configuration services; Dave VandeWaa, marketing; and Arie Williams, application development.

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