Change Ups: GRCC salutes four women


Grand Rapids Community College’s recent Salute to Women awards honored Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal, GRCC juvenile justice major Nicole Bowl, GRCC biological sciences department teacher Beth Foster, and Kathryn K. Mullins, executive deputy to GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender and liaison to the board of trustees. The women were honored during the 16th annual ceremony sponsored by GRCC’s Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center.


Beene Garter LLP has acquired Matt Rampe Consulting, expanding the firm’s forensic valuation and litigation services group. Matt Rampe, principal of Matt Rampe Consulting, brings more than seven years of experience working with public and private companies to provide independent appraisal and business valuations for tax and financial reporting.


Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber Inc. announced it has a newly redesigned website with intuitive, streamlined navigation. The website can be viewed at Also, the FTC&H board of directors announced the promotions of the following senior associates: Michael Berrevoets, Adam Meeker and Chris Kretovic. Promoted to associates are Jason Early, Bruce Gillett, Juliet Jakobowski Maes; Stephanie Jarrett, Robert Pomeroy, Greg Tkacz and Karen Van Drie.


ArtServe Michigan announced the election of new members to its board of directors: Joseph Voss, Clark Hill, Matthew Bower, Varnum LLP; and Ara Topouzian, Troy Chamber of Commerce.

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra board of directors has appointed Peter H. Gistelinck executive director, effective May 19. Gistelinck was unanimously approved by the KSO board following a six-month nationwide candidate search. He will leave his current position as executive director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.


LeanLogistics is the recipient of two awards in the eighth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Customer support manager Joycelin Denstone won a Silver Stevie Award as Contact Center Professional of the Year, and LeanLogistics received a Bronze Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year in the airlines, distribution and transportation industries.


West Michigan Community Bank announced Robert C. Robbins has joined the bank as vice president of commercial banking in Grand Rapids and surrounding areas.


CSM Group of Kalamazoo has added Kyle Scott and Brian Beaver, project managers, to its staff.

Tubelite Inc. of Walker has hired Mike Peters and Kelly Townsend, client development managers. 

Pleune Service Co. announced the additions of Lisa Ann Prasher, construction manager; Thomas Bell, sales manager; James Bockheim, project manager; and Linda Kanoza, project assistant.


Aquinas College announced Dr. Gilda Gely will be its new executive vice president and provost. Gely previously was Grand Rapids Community College provost and executive vice president. She has a combined 25 years of teaching and top-level administrative experience at public and private academic institutions. She will join Aquinas in late May.


Nicholas S. Messer has joined the Wiser Financial Group as financial research and system analyst.


The Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance of Holland is the recipient of a $375,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The three-year grant will assist the alliance’s efforts to promote racial equality and inclusion through a compilation of new initiatives and existing programming, including the 2014 Summit on Race and Inclusion.


Grand Rapids Ophthalmology announced the addition of retinal specialist Dr. Parin S. Gohel, M.D. Grand Rapids Ophthalmology has several locations in the Greater Grand Rapids area, as well as in Big Rapids, Greenville, Holland and Ionia.


Pregnancy Resource Center elected the following to its board of directors: chairman, John DeBlaay, Dan Vos Construction; vice chair, Molly Klimas, IntentPR; treasurer, Rick Rusthoven, Clark Retirement Community; secretary, Steve DePuys, ddm marketing & communications; and Amy Thomas-Mellema, Thomas-Mellema Law, Paul Pennington, The Judson Group, and Jodi Stanley, Content Consulting.


John D. Arendshorst has joined Varnum as an employee benefits attorney. Arendshorst focuses his practice on tax-qualified retirement plans, nonqualified plans, and health and welfare benefits. He joins Varnum from the Chicago office of Drinker, Biddle & Reath.


Classic Transportation & Warehousing announced the promotion of Rod Cooper to president. 


The Allegan County Commission unanimously elected Kristin Armstrong, executive director at Saugatuck Center for the Arts, to represent Arts & Culture on the Allegan County Economic Development Commission.

City officials announced they have established a Grand River Restoration Steering Committee. Appointees are: Patty Birkholz, Michigan League of Conservation Voters and West Michigan Environmental Leadership Network; Steve Faber, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks; Ryan Huppert and John Helmholdt, GRPS; George Heartwell and Greg Sundstrom, city of Grand Rapids; Rick Treur, Grand Rapids Planning Commission; Scott Hicks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Rachel Hood, West Michigan Environmental Action Council; Joe Jones, Grand Rapids Urban League; Fred Keller, Cascade Engineering; Kris Larson, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.; Megan Lemmen, student; James Moyer, GVSU; Chris Muller, Grand Rapids Whitewater; Veronica Ramirez Garcia, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Larry Romanelli, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians ; Rodney Stokes, Office of Gov. Rick Snyder; Mary Swanson and Jim Talen, Kent County; Jerry Tubergen, RDV Corp.; and Kristian Williams, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to appoint Patrick Szymczak of Grand Rapids to the District Six seat. Szymczak owns the visual graphics company Jant Group LLC.

Kent County Corporate Counsel Daniel Ophoff announced his retirement following 35 years of legal counsel of municipalities. His government legal career dates back to 1978 when he started working for the city of Grand Rapids as assistant city attorney before being hired as Kent County corporate counsel in October 2008. His final day was scheduled for March 31.

Ottawa County ranks No. 1 out of 82 counties as the healthiest county in Michigan, according to County Health Ranking.


Re/Max of Michigan recognized Re/Max United of Rockford and its sales associates for a solid year of real estate sales. Award recipients were: Office Administrator of the Year, Kim Maggini; Broker/Owner of the Year in a medium density market, Tom and Tracie Rich; Excellence in Technology-Office, Re/Max United; Platinum Club based on sales production in 2013, Tracie Rich; 100 Percent Club based on sales production in 2013, Brenda Beerthuis, Laura Ensley, Kimberly Hensley and Tina Johnson; and Executive Club based on sales production in 2013, Wesley Cummings, James Fues, Chris Lehman and Greg Liszewski.

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