Change Ups: GRCC receives special project award


From left: GRCC Pathways to Success program manager John VanElst; GRCC Workforce Training job developer John James; America's Promise program manager David Lovell; GRCC Workforce Training career coach Jeff Byrd; and GRCC Workforce Training Executive Director Julie Parks.

Grand Rapids Community College’s ESL/CNC Precision Machining program received the 2017 Special Project Award from the Michigan Association of Continuing Education and Training. The program combines English as a Second Language coursework with technical skills training. GRCC teamed up with the Hispanic Center of West Michigan and the Literacy Center of West Michigan to develop the program, which launched in spring 2016. Of the 15 people who entered the program in spring 2016, 14 completed it and all received either new jobs or jobs with higher wages.


RCP Marketing in Muskegon announced the promotion of Michael L. Davis to vice president of technology.


Fleis & VandenBrink announced it reached a milestone in staffing with the hiring of its 200th employee. The firm has seven offices in Michigan and two in Indiana, and two sister companies, FV Construction and FV Operations & Resources Management Inc.


Curtis Cunningham and Anders Dahlberg joined Kalamazoo-based Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival as the director of marketing and public relations and the director of operations, respectively.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum announced it will premiere Jan. 27 a solo exhibition of new work by New York-based artist Alexis Rockman that examines the past, present and future of the Great Lakes, based on Rockman’s extensive research, travel within the region and conversations with environmental scientists, historians and Great Lakes specialists. The exhibit will run through April 29.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum, in partnership with Kent Records Management Inc., will digitize more than 1,500 rare and out-of-print furniture catalogs that document Grand Rapids’ history in the furniture industry. The project is made possible through Furniture Manufacturers Heritage Advised Fund and Grand Rapids Community Foundation grants. The project is expected to be completed by year’s end.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum will continue its Beer Explorers program with Back to Beer School on Sept. 21, highlighting six local breweries: Perrin Brewing Co., Elk Brewing, Founders Brewing Co., Speciation Artisan Ales, Brewery Vivant and Creston Brewery, to learn more about various types of beer and what goes into making them.


Patrick H. Flannery was appointed to Coldwater-based Southern Michigan Bancorp Inc.’s board of directors. Flannery is a licensed CPA and vice president for finance and treasurer at Hillsdale College.


Renovations are complete to Grand Rapids Community College’s Albert P. Smith Music Center, 142 Ransom St. NE. Upgrades include a new recital hall and classrooms, new informal gathering and study spaces, private teaching studios, instrument and music storage and new acoustic and sound-reduction measures for teaching, rehearsal and practice areas.


Cedar Springs Brewing Co. in Cedar Springs garnered three Best in the U.S. titles in The World Beer Awards international competition: Küsterer Original Weissbier was named Best Bavarian Hefeweiss in the U.S.; Küsterer Salzburger Märzen was named Best Seasonal German Pale in the U.S.; and Küsterer Weizenbock was named Best Strong Wheat Beer in the U.S.


The Grand Rapids City Commission adopted a Property Assessed Clean Energy program. The program's Special assessment PACE districts make it easier for property owners to complete energy-saving improvements and installations.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners approved the merger of the Area Community Services and Employment Training Council’s Community Action Agency and the Kent County Community Development/Housing Commission. The newly formed department will operate as Kent County Community Action.

Kent County commissioners Emily BrieveStan Ponstein and Robert Womack joined more than 50 county commissioners from across Michigan at a recent White House Conference to discuss greater cooperation between local and federal leaders. The commissioners were invited by the Trump administration to share their views on public policy challenges facing local governments.


Grand Valley Medical Specialists secured a new lease at 1000 E. Paris Ave. SE for a 14,180-square-foot space that will allow the medical practice to add physicians and assist more patients. GVMS is relocating from 1900 Wealthy St. SE.

Van Andel Institute announced the appointment of Holland native Brett Holleman as chief development officer. Holleman comes to VAI from Mayo Clinic and most recently from Vail Valley Medical Center Foundation in Colorado, where he served as vice president of development.


First Hospitality Group, Inc. announced the grand reopening of its Residence Inn Grand Rapids West hotel in Grandville following an extensive $2-million renovation.


Warner Norcross & Judd LLP was recognized by the State Bar of Michigan with a 2017 Pro Bono Circle of Excellence Award at the leadership level for the pro-bono contributions of partners, associates and of-counsel attorneys.


The Kent County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of land that will add more than 157 acres collectively to Fallasburg Park in Lowell and Chief Hazy Cloud Park in Ada Township.

SMG, the venue management company that manages Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall, announced director of event services Todd Johnson transitioned into a new role as director of event operations and security; Josh Zeigler was hired for the newly created position ticketing coordinator; Alison Goodyke was hired as marketing manager; Rebecca Chesnut transitioned from group sales manager to the new role of promotions and special events manager; and marketing assistant Mike Klompstra’s new role is digital marketing coordinator.

The South Haven/Van Buren County Convention and Visitors Bureau announced it is broadcasting a new television advertisement promoting South Haven in the fall season. The ad is entitled Find Your Escape This Fall in South Haven, a 30-second spot that will air in Chicago’s western and southwestern suburbs, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Detroit until the end of September.


Columbian Logistics Network was named to Food Logistics’ 2017 Top 3PL & Cold Storage Providers list.


Rockford-based Wolverine Worldwide announced the appointment of Stewart Whitney as vice president and managing director of the company’s Asia Pacific division.


Advantage Sign & Graphic Solutions in Hudsonville announced the company expanded its product portfolio of sign making equipment and supplies to include Vivid Easymount Laminators.


COM 616 hired Elise Pelletier as a public relations coordinator. 

Grand Rapids-based SeyferthPR announced it formed a strategic alliance with Infused PR & Events of Metro Detroit, aimed at expanding client brand reputations, community conversations and overall collaboration among consumers and businesses in Michigan.


The Grand Rapids Police Department announced the Recruit Class 17-02 successfully completed their in-house training and have taken their Oath of Office as police officers: Rick HebdanBrenna LinkMakentorch Seide; and Brian Slate. The officers have started 21 weeks on the road with their field-training officers, prior to solo patrol.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners is seeking residents to serve on various boards, commissions and committees. Details:


Grand Rapids-based Fox Motors announced it acquired Fox Ann Arbor, formerly known as Ann Arbor Automotive, the first Fox Motors entry in the Ann Arbor market. It will feature the Acura, Hyundai and Nissan lines. Fox Ann Arbor is comprised of three separate dealerships, Fox Ann Arbor Acura, 540 Auto Mall Drive, and Fox Ann Arbor Hyundai and Fox Ann Arbor Nissan, 3975 Jackson Road. 


EarthTronics in Muskegon introduced new PAR20, PAR30 and PAR38 EarthBulb LED floodlights to maximize the visual experience in high color clarity applications. The LED floodlights offer a color-rendering index of greater than 91 and an R9 value of greater than 50.

SoundOff Signal in Hudsonville announced it extended its bluePRINT Control System product line by integrating the technology of the Upfitter Interface Module from InterMotive Vehicle Controls.

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