Change Ups: GRCC opens childhood learning lab


Grand Rapids Community College marked the grand opening of the Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory with a community open house.

Grand Rapids Community College marked the grand opening of the Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory with a community open house. GRCC broke ground on a $7.2-million preschool building at 210 Lyon St. NE in summer 2015. The new facility specifically is designed to meet the needs of two populations: preschoolers from ages 6 weeks to 6 years and the students in GRCC’s Child Development and Education programs. The Early Childhood program was founded in 1974 at First United Methodist Church.


Beene Garter added three partners: Dave Shymanski is a new hire and Rebecca Postma and Trace Bauman were promoted, bringing the total number of partners to 16.


FASTSIGNS of Grand Rapids received the CEO Circle Award at the 2017 FASTSIGNS Convention held in Phoenix.


The Holland Historical Trust announced Janet DeYoung as interim director of the Holland Museum.

Kent District Library added to its podcast, KDLcast, a monthly book talk series to that has KDL librarians sharing personal favorites from the library’s collection. For more information and links to the catalog for all the books discussed, go to


Lakeshore Advantage in Zeeland announced the appointment of three members to its board of directors: Scott Brooks, Brooks Capital Management and Partner, IPA; Steve Ramus, Perrigo; and Mirka Wilderer, Evoqua Water Technologies.

Lakeshore Irrigation LLC announced it signed a definitive agreement to purchase the limited assets, namesake, proprietary domains and social media outlets from Aqua-Tec Irrigation of Holland.

Recruitment Management Consultants promoted Mitch Hoogland to account executive. Hoogland will focus on the Grand Rapids and West Michigan markets.

Kalamazoo-based Landscape Forms announced the following appointments: Robb Smalldon, vice president of Studio 431, Landscape’s custom division; Tonia Bryant, business development representative in its New York City territory; David Zolp, marketing lead for Lighting and Studio 431; Daniel Waugh, vice president, group operations; Jodi L. Havera, vice president, finance and chief financial officer; Dyan Van Fossen, vertical market development leader; and Jim Marshall, vice president, culture.


Rockford Construction announced Jennifer Boezwinkle was named the company’s executive vice president.


Christina Hornbach of the Hope College music faculty in Holland is a recipient of an Award of Merit from the Michigan Music Education Association.

Dave Felicijan, president of Accu-Mold LLC, was appointed to the Kalamazoo Valley Groves Advisory Board.

Otsego Public Schools received two Dremel Idea Builder 3-D printers and filament as part of its school-wide STEAM initiative, from Dremel, a manufacturer of tools for life and learning.


Jonathan Wendt of Discovery Financial LLC in Ada was authorized by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to use the Certified Financial Planner and CFP certification marks in accordance with CFP Board certification and renewal requirements.


The Metro Health Hospital Foundation announced the appointments of Eva Aguirre Cooper, WOOD TV8/WOTV 4/WXSP, and Meg Goebel, Paul Goebel Group, to its board of directors.

The SpartanNash Foundation recently made a series of $5,000 donations to 14 food pantries in 13 states. A total of $70,000 was donated to community food pantries located near SpartanNash’s food distribution and MDV distribution centers.

PRO-VISION Video Systems in Byron Center was awarded a Schedule 84 contract by the U.S. General Services Administration. By securing Contract No. GS-07F-051GA, PRO-VISION is an approved vendor of fleet safety solutions for government agencies, which ensures organizations that need systems can get them quickly at an affordable price.


Connect Michigan announced Montcalm County is certified with the Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement program for its technology action plan.

Ottawa County announced the top 10 names for licensed dogs in 2016 were: Bella, Max, Lucy, Charlie, Sadie, Buddy, Molly, Bailey, Sophie and Maggie and Daisy (tied).

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners appointed Kelly Kuiper commissioner of District 6, representing Georgetown Charter Township Precincts 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16. 

Ottawa County created a new Facebook presence for its Community Action Agency and the ongoing campaign, Walk For Warmth. Details:


Catherine’s Health Center was awarded a $26,300 one-year grant from the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer and assist lower-income women in gaining access to care.


Spectrum Health was awarded $100,000 to reach underserved residents of Western Michigan through the 2016 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service.

Wendy’s of Michigan raised over $116,000 to help provide children with patient care at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Its program ran Nov. 14-Dec. 31 at all 43 West Michigan Wendy’s locations. The donation will go toward the hospital’s pediatric cancer research fund.


Brightway Insurance Agencies agency owner Dimitri Apostle was named Brightway’s Mover and Shaker of the Year for 2016 during the company’s annual Awards Celebration held in Orlando, Florida.

Collins & Associates acquired The SAIF Agency Group Inc. Calder Capital LLC served as Collins & Associates’ mergers and acquisitions advisor.


Bankruptcy and reorganization attorneys Susan M. Cook and Rozanne M. Giunta joined Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. The pair brings more than 60 years of combined experience in all facets of bankruptcy and workouts for individuals and financially troubled companies to the firm. They will practice in the Midland and Southfield offices of Warner Norcross and serve clients throughout the United States and Canada.


101.3 The Brew in Grand Rapids debuted the Rover’s Morning Glory show, weekdays from 6-10 a.m., featuring on-air personalities Rover, Duji, Dieter, Charlie and Jeffrey.

WZZM 13’s Chris Legg was promoted to director of sales.


D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s hired Susan Conrad as director of Family Preservation Services.


Gov. Rick Snyder announced the reappointment of Danielle Kruithoff of Holland to the Michigan Board of Cosmetology.


Brent Kanitz joined the Cheryl Grant Real Estate Team as a licensed Realtor.


Cygnus27 announced the appointment of Stephan VanHeulen to chef de cuisine. 


Mel Trotter Ministries was designated as one of the Best & Brightest Companies to Work For in the nation for 2016 by the National Association of Business Resources.


LiveWall Green LLC in Spring Lake constructed seven green walls totaling 4,800 square feet and feature 2,700 LiveWall modular planters and 5,400 plants total for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings’ sustainable indoor arena, Golden 1 Center.


Blue Medora announced Amazon RDS, Amazon Aurora and Amazon DynamoDB management packs for vRealize Operations. Based on technology from SelectStar, the new Amazon management packs extend visibility into key metrics, such as query and capacity units, to optimize performance and uptime for databases and the entire IT stack.

Volta Power Systems in Holland announced a partnership with Auto Meter Products on a lithium ion battery state of charge display system.


The Gerald R. Ford International Airport announced it set a new all-time passenger record for 2016, marking the fourth straight year the airport has seen record-setting growth. In 2016, 2,653,630 passengers flew in and out of GFIA, an increase of 4.06 percent from 2015.


Amy Zapal was hired as St. Joseph Today’s executive director.

Experience Grand Rapids has re-imagined its annual visitor guide, The Experience, to a pocketbook-sized, locally focused and visually stimulating resource for visitors. The online Grand Rapids glossary is located at:

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