Essence Restaurant Group rebranded its Green Well Rockford location into a more family-friendly concept called Rockford Riverside Grille, at 8 E. Bridge St. NE. The new venue features a kids menu and specials, outdoor live music and American-inspired comfort dishes. Patron feedback and changing dining habits spurred the change considered a better fit for the area, according to Essence Restaurant Group Managing Partner James Berg.
Monroe, Sweeris & Tromp announced Brenda Pavlak, Carolyn Van Allen and David Meyers were named partner.
ADVERTISING & MARKETING
Grand Haven-based marketing firm HAVEN added Katie Appold as senior account manager. Appold’s grant writing and consulting firm, Grace Granted, is folding those services into HAVEN.
ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING
Paradigm Design Inc. announced the promotions of David Hendershott to regional manager out of the Traverse City office; Brian Sinnott to civil practice area leader; and Kim VandenBerg to family entertainment center division leader.
Progressive AE opened a new office in downtown Holland at 3 W. Eighth St., making it AE’s fourth office location.
The Grand Rapids Art Museum announced its concurrent solo exhibitions opening May 19 and running through Aug. 26, which draw inspiration from Islamic tradition and modern abstraction, Anila Quayyum Agha: Intersections and Mirror Variations: The Art of Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian.
The County Road Association of Michigan honored the Kent County Road Commission, Muskegon County Road Commission and Van Buren County Road Commission with an IMPRESS Award for demonstrating innovation with special projects in communications, operations and collaboration.
Kendra R. Parker of the Holland-based Hope College English faculty received the David Bottoms Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of West Georgia’s Department of English and Philosophy.
The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services presented the Ottawa County Health Department with the 2018 Jean Chabut Health Policy Champion Award, and Ranelle Brew and Kathy Agee -– Summer Health Activities and Professions Exploration Camp, Grand Rapids with the 2018 Hometown Health Hero Award.
The Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce in Holland announced twins Manny and Leo Barajas of Coldwell Bank are the recipients of the Minority Business of the Year Award; and Malisa Bryant at Herman Miller received the Minority Business Champion Award.
Mildred "Jane" (Baessler) Doyle is Grand Rapids Community College’s 2018 Distinguished Alumna; Fátima Nieves is GRCC’s 2018 Faculty Emeritus; and Noorthoek Academy students Katie Aubert, Leetrice Souza and David Wolven were awarded honorary Associate of Arts degrees.
The West Michigan World Trade Association will recognize foodservice distributor Gordon Food Service as its 2018 World Trader of the Year on May 10 at the Watermark Country Club in Cascade. The WMWTA will present the award in conjunction with the 33rd annual World Trade Week, hosted by the GVSU Seidman College of Business.
Independent Bank was named a top 10 lender in the state of Michigan for participation in the Mortgage Credit Certificate program through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority in 2017.
Midwest Construction Group in Zeeland hired Matt Anisko as a project manager; Jake Czerkies as an estimator; Bill Nielsen as a project superintendent; and Michelle Tanis in a dual role in marketing and human resources services.
Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. announced the additions of Brandon Hill and Mike Kozicki as project superintendents; Barry Kooistra as assistant project manager; and Fidel Salas as project engineer.
Aquinas College presented the Norbert J. Hruby Emeritus Award to Sam and Janene Cummings at the annual Aquinas Emeritus Evening. The award is a tribute to a person or persons in the community whose leadership, generosity and spirit of service have been sustained over the course of many years and whose dedication to the welfare of all citizens serves as a light to guide those who follow.
BISSELL and the BISSELL Pet Foundation recently completed their Wash’n Wag’n Road Show. The tour began in Grand Rapids and made stops in Chicago; Memphis, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Dallas, before ending with three days of events in Austin, Texas. Over the course of the tour, the BISSELL team washed nearly 100 pups at dog parks and rescues; sponsored adoption fees for shelter and rescue dogs; and donated over 40 BARKBATH units to shelters in support of future adoptions and fundraising activities.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Philadelphia-based retailer Free People partnered with sustainable Grand Rapids water company Boxed Water on a limited-edition Free People Movement boxed water to join in on the brand’s charitable #BetterPlanet campaign.
Round Barn Brewery & Public House in Baroda released 4-packs of Barrel-Aged Catharsis, Russian Imperial Stout, considered one of Round Barn Brewery’s most sought-after beers.
Kent County received a Triple-A credit from S&P Global and Moody’s Investors Service for the 20th consecutive year. Also, the highest short-term notes of MIG1 (Moody’s) and SP-1+ (Standard & Poor’s) were confirmed.
The SpartanNash Foundation donated $87,500 to Habitat for Humanity of Michigan via its companywide scan campaigns that allow customers to donate $1, $5 or $10 toward affordable housing in their communities.
Lakeshore Health Partners Neurology welcomed Amanda Nies, DO, who offers comprehensive consultation, evaluation and treatment of neurological disorders in adults, providing high-level, advanced neurological care.
Parmenter Law in Muskegon was honored at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s annual E-Awards for being a contributing sponsor and the emcee of the 2018 entrepreneur luncheon for the seventh year.
LEISURE & RECREATION
Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park is now part of TreeRunner Adventure Parks and will be re-named TreeRunner Grand Rapids Adventure Park this season. TreeRunner Grand Rapids will add new features to the park including a Junior Park for kids ages 3-7, and several new obstacles and challenges will be added to its aerial trail system.
Family Promise of Grand Rapids received a $10,000 donation from Express Employment Professionals, which will assist five or more families to move into sustainable housing in the near future.
The Grand River Water Festival changed its name to The Grand River Watershed Arts and Music Council. An increased set of programs and events has been added. Details: grandriverwaterfestival.org.
Paul M. Keep joined the Historical Society of Michigan as director of development.
Lambert, Edwards & Associates acquired New York-based financial communications firm Owen Blicksilver Public Relations Inc., making it Lambert’s fifth and largest acquisition.
Lisa Levandoski joined Sabo PR as an associate.
The city of Grand Rapids Fire Department Lt. Harold Elmore is the recipient of the American Legion Furniture City Post 258 2018 Firefighter of the Year.
Kimberly Koster was named the city of Wyoming’s new director of public safety. Koster will lead a team of nearly 130 full-time personnel, including 86 sworn police officers and 29 full-time firefighters. She is the first woman to lead the Department of Public Safety.
Fulton Square, a mixed-use development project at 1 Carlton Ave. SE in Eastown, reached full occupancy, Orion Real Estate Solutions and Colliers International West Michigan announced. MODRN GR is the final retailer to join Fulton Square, alongside two other woman-owned businesses, Ada Mae and E+L Salon. The anchor tenant is Danzon Cubano Eastown.
Belding-based AgHelp, which developed an app that helps agriculture worker find jobs and resources nationally, earned $7,500 at the Traverse City Regional GreenLight Michigan Business Model competition.
OST welcomed Danielle Craft, operations; Marcus Jiles, managed services; Bethany Paquette, opendigital; and TJ Willink, internal systems.
TRAVEL & TOURISM
Global restaurateur HMSHost, in partnership with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, opened a presecurity bar called Leinie Lodge adjacent to Starbucks in the airport’s Grand Hall.
West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative in Muskegon launched its website: westmifoodprocessinginitiative.com.