Change Ups: GRVBA receives public service award


From left: WMU Cooley Associate Dean Tracey Brame presents Grand Rapids Veterans Bar Association Acting President Ed Perdue and member Thomas L. Dorwin with the Marion Hilligan Public Service Award.

The Grand Rapids Veterans Bar Association (GRVBA) was presented with the Marion Hilligan Public Service Award during the recent Law Day. The award is presented to lawyers who reflect greater individual responsibility in promoting public health and welfare through law and is given in honor of WMU Cooley Grand Rapids campus’ former Associate Dean Marion Hilligan, who passed away in 2007. The GRVBA was informally founded 10 years ago by Ed Perdue, Joe Rossi and Brian Lennon, and its members were originally comprised of U.S. Marine Corps lawyer veterans. It has since evolved into a networking and service organization for local veteran attorneys with veterans from all branches of the military represented.


Kalamazoo-based LKF Marketing celebrated 30 years of business.


Rehmann was named one of West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, for the 17th consecutive year.

Crowe LLP announced the promotions of Travis Ward to partner in tax services and Wil Knibloe to partner in advisory services.


Clark Trombley Randers Consulting Engineers named Scott Morgenstern as a principal in the firm.

Progressive AE hired Bill Culhane as a senior project manager.


Aneka Ingold, a painter whose work explores women’s experiences across time, culture and history, was named the winner of the first Bennett Prize, the largest ever awarded solely to women painters. The announcement was made at the “Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters” exhibition, which opened at the Muskegon Museum of Art. Ingold will receive $25,000 annually for two years.

Kent District Library is the first library in the country to introduce MagnusCards, a mobile app to assist patrons with cognitive special needs such as autism. MagnusCards offers digital Card Decks, which provide step-by-step instructions that walk the user through a variety of activities. KDL’s Card Decks app includes getting a library card; using a self-checkout station; using the KDL catalog and placing holds; logging into a computer at the library; and what to expect at the library.

The Perrigo Company Charitable Foundation donated $130,000 to Allegan District Library for the creation of the Perrigo Learning Lab and the Perrigo STREAM Lab. The gift last year, combined with a millage voted on by the public, made the full renovation of the library possible.


Michael Lomonaco joined John Ball Zoo as chief development and community engagement officer.


Firstronic, a circuit board assembly company for the automotive and medical industries with a plant in Grand Rapids, received Grow Michigan’s Deal of the Year Award for its substantial growth in sales and employment in 2018.

Holland was selected as the Worldwide Express 2018 Midwest Regional Carrier of the Year Award at the Worldwide Express Conference 2019 in Hollywood, Florida.

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport was recognized as the 2018-2019 Balchen/Post Award Honorable Mention recipient for Outstanding Achievement in Airport Snow & Ice Control at the International Aviation Snow Symposium in the “Small” category (less than 100,000 scheduled take-offs and landings annually).

Service Express was named the winner of a Bronze Stevie Award in the Medium Company of the Year – Computer Services category in the 17th annual American Business Awards.


The Middleville Downtown Development Authority welcomed Nichole Lyke as director.


Bazzani Building Co. announced the addition of Mike Coyne as chief executive officer.


City High Middle School was ranked the No. 2 high school in the state of Michigan, and No. 38 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school was evaluated using six categories: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates. The categories then create an overall score, which produces the school’s ranking. 

Cornerstone University’s Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology is a three-story, 29,500-square-foot academic building that provides a new home for the university’s science, technology, engineering and math programs, and features a 374-square-foot green wall installed with the LiveWall Indoor Living Wall System.

Grand Rapids Community College named Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal its 2019 Distinguished Alumna during the 102nd commencement. Neal was the event’s keynote speaker. Nearly 1,500 students will earn GRCC degrees this year.


Greenleaf Trust promoted Lisa Hojnacki to participant services coordinator – team lead in the retirement plan division; and Jackie Sperling joined Greenleaf Trust as a recordkeeping analyst – team lead in Kalamazoo.


The Donut Conspiracy announced it is expanding with new locations at 6783 Cascade Road in Grand Rapids and 3819 Rivertown Parkway, Suite 600 in Grandville.


The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners appointed Vanessa Gutierrez to the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission.


Helen DeVos Children's Hospital received a St. Baldrick's Summer Fellow Grant, which provides two to three years of research funding to young doctors training to become pediatric oncology researchers.

The Perrigo Charitable Foundation donated a total of $90,000 to support homelessness needs in Allegan County: Allegan County Community Mental Health Services ($40,000) and Allegan Homeless Solutions ($50,000).


Muskegon Surgery Center announced it now offers surgical spine procedures using the Mazor X Stealth Robotic Guidance Platform for spine surgery. MSC is only the second ambulatory surgery center in the nation and the first in Michigan to make this state-of-the-art robotic spine system technology available to its patients.

Tetra Discovery Partners announced the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial (PICASSO AD) of BPN14770 in patients diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease. BPN14770, a novel agent that selectively inhibits phosphodiesterase-4D (PDE4D), is designed to enhance early and late stages of memory formation and to potentially improve cognition and memory in central nervous system (CNS) disorders, including AD.


The Fields, 154 68th St. in South Haven, is slated to open June 15 as the Midwest’s first luxury glamping experience on a working blueberry farm. For more information, visit


FirstLight Home Care Grand Rapids franchise owners Jeremy and Don Fellows and Jeff Lamborne are the recipients of FirstLight Home Care’s 2019 Franchisee of the Year Award.

Resthaven Care Center recently opened Janssen Cottage in Holland, a 10-bed Green House and evidence-based alternative to assisted living that emulates a real-home environment and fosters deep relationships among elderly residents and caregivers.


Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Inc. implemented its fully automated serialization and aggregation processes for commercial injectable drug products. The implementation comes four years ahead of the November 2023 deadline outlined in the Drug Supply Chain Security Act.


The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association announced its annual Michigan Restaurant Industry Champion Awards recipients: The Heart of the House Restaurant Employee of the Year, chef Josef Huber, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel; The Restaurant Manager of the Year, Shanna Peterson, Restaurant Partners Management; and National Restaurant Association Restaurant Neighbor Award, Cedar Springs Brewing Company.


The three-day food-tasting event in June, the Grand Taste and Grand Taste Garden, held during the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give intends to divert more than 95% of its waste to recycling or compost.


Jim Becher joined software consultant Augusto Digital as the solutions architect and technical lead.

Portage-based InterNational Electrical Testing Association’s new website creates a more user-friendly, easy-to-use platform that streamlines the entire process. The site features a new layout, providing the opportunity to more effectively organize and highlight the content.

SalesPad named Michael Biwer its CEO.

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