Change-Ups: House selected as bank’s branch manager

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Grand River Bank recently hired Jane House as branch manager of its newest full-service regional banking center located at 50 Crahen Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. House brings 20 years of banking experience as branch manager from other West Michigan banking institutions. She oversees and helps provide financial solutions for both retail and commercial customers through the products and services that Grand River Bank offers. Founded by 23 West Michigan business and professional leaders and hundreds of local investors, Grand River Bank provides full-scope banking solutions for businesses and individuals across West Michigan.

ADVERTISING & MARKETING

King Media is the recent recipient of six digital awards, bringing its new total to 46 national and international awards in the last six years from AVA Digital Awards, an international competition recognizing creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design and production of digital communication.

AWARDS

Union High School students Suada Mohamed and Jessica Garcia-Lopez received the Women’s City Club Impact Award for 2021.

BANKING

Lake Michigan Credit Union opened a full-service branch at 16916 Robbins Road in Grand Haven.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Ann Tillman and Shelly Wermund, of Competitive Edge in Stevensville have earned the certification of MAS (Master Advertising Specialist) administered by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI; ppai.org), the largest international not-for-profit association for more than 15,000 members of the $24-plus billion promotional products industry.

Kalamazoo-based Workforce Strategies Inc. has been named one of “West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For,” for the sixth consecutive year.

CONSTRUCTION

Allen Ewin Homes of Portage received a 2021 Guildmaster Award from GuildQuality for demonstrating exceptional customer service within the residential construction industry.

EV Construction announced the promotion of Tracey Dowker to accounts payable specialist, and the additions of Amy Hecksel as accounting assistant, Eric Frey as field manager, Justin Harrisstep as warehouse assistant and Tyler Howard in the sitework division.

EDUCATION

Grand Rapids Public Schools’ City High Middle School was ranked the top high school in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area, the No. 2 high school in the state of Michigan, and No. 31 in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. City High Middle also ranked No. 1 (tie) in the Graduation Rate category with a 100% grad rate.

Tony Schmid joined Choice Schools Associates as the director of operations, leading the schools’ health, safety, compliance and facilities operations.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Midwest Capital Advisors hired Sarah Hunt as associate financial planner.

GOVERNMENT

Kent County selected Teresa Branson as its first chief inclusion officer. Previously she was deputy administrative health officer for the Kent County Health Department.

The city of Grand Rapids announced the appointment of John Gorney to public works director.

The County Road Association of Michigan board of directors has elected Larry Brown, Allegan County Road Commission commissioner, as its 2021-2022 vice president.

GRANTS

The Gerber Foundation has awarded Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital a $350,000 grant to allow researchers to study the use of two genetic tools: rapid whole genome sequencing and RNA-sequencing. 

Lakeshore Advantage received a $92,787 grant to increase manufacturers’ Industry 4.0 technology adoption readiness. Lakeshore Advantage applied for the grant, in partnership with The Right Place, Greater Muskegon Economic Development and Michigan Manufacturing Technical Center-West (The Center-West). The partnership will allow for the Industry 4.0 readiness initiative to be extended to Ottawa, Allegan, Muskegon, and Kent counties’ employers. The partners are providing $21,400 of in-kind match to this project.

HEALTH

Kalamazoo-based Ascension Borgess Hospital received an “A” grade earlier this year from Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing Ascension Borgess Hospital’s achievements protecting patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

Spectrum Health Butterworth, Blodgett and Zeeland Community hospitals have been named to the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list. It’s the eighth time Spectrum Health Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals have been recognized with this honor since 2010. They were named among the top performing hospitals in the Major Teaching Peer Group. This is the sixth consecutive award for Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital, which was named in the Small Community Peer Group. 

Spectrum Health has announced Bill Hoefer as its market leader for the system’s southwest region covering Allegan and Ottawa counties. Hoefer also is president of Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital, a 57-bed acute care hospital.

HOSPITALITY

The Experience Grand Rapids board of directors has elected new officers to lead the organization for the next two years: Floyd Wilson Jr., Pinnacle Construction Group Inc., board chair; and Jenifer Cutter, AHC + Hospitality, vice chair; and Rick Baker, Grand Rapids Chamber, secretary and treasurer. The 33-member board also elected three new members who were ratified by the full membership of the organization: Kyle Holst, Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Grand Rapids; Grant Hirst, Embassy Suites Downtown Grand Rapids; and Suresh Patel, GR Hospitality Inc.

INSURANCE

Scott Colville Crop Insurance in Spring Lake is a new insurance brand dedicated to helping farmers get the best returns for their hard work. The Colville family has been insuring crops, livestock and dairy for small to medium-sized farms in the Midwest for more than 50 years. Scott’s father, Jim, built the business on personal service starting in 1967.

LEGAL

Clark Hill PLC’s recent rebranding — the first since a series of mergers beginning in 2010 — includes a new tagline (Simply Smarter), a new logo — an entwined modern C and H, and multi-functional new website.

Ford J.H. Turrell, a partner with the law firm Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, has been honored by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of its Up and Coming Lawyers for 2021. Amanda M. Fielder and Jonathan P. Kok have been named co-chairs of the law firm’s labor and employment practice group.

Mika Meyers attorney Elizabeth K. Bransdorfer was recently selected to serve as a trustee of the Grand Rapids Bar Association Board and the Justice Foundation of West Michigan.

Veteran labor and employment attorney Carl Ver Beek is the recipient of the Justice Foundation of West Michigan’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes a member of the Grand Rapids Bar Association for special contributions in service and support to the mission of GRBA and JFWM, the community at large, and the practice of law in West Michigan.

LOGISTICS

ORBCOMM Inc. has been selected by Zeeland-based Grassmid Transport Inc. to provide its integrated in-cab and asset tracking solutions to monitor its fleet of trucks, dry vans and refrigerated trailers.

NONPROFITS

Guiding Light has been awarded for the fourth consecutive year a Platinum Seal of Transparency by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information on U.S. nonprofits.

Read and Write Kalamazoo hired Kandace Lavender as its executive director.

REAL ESTATE

Strongsville, Ohio-based Union Home Mortgage announced the hiring of Paula Sawitski as an area sales and growth manager for the Michigan region. Sawitski is responsible for building a team of new mortgage originators statewide.

RETAIL

Byron Center-based SpartanNash announced Rona Caswell has joined the company as vice president, internal audit.

Delight In Designs in Grand Rapids has been named one of Home Accents Today’s Retail Stars for 2021 by editors of the trade magazine for the home accents industry. DID, owned by Jessica Crosby and Monica Denhof, is located at 5426 Northland Drive NE.

TRANSPORTATION

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport was named one of the 2021 “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in West Michigan” by the National Association for Business Resources.

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