Change-Ups: Johnston earns Elite Award


Andy Johnston, vice president of government affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber, has been designated a Certified Chamber Executive by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. The association is based in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 1,600 chambers of commerce and related business and economic development organizations as members, representing more than 9,000 professionals in the industry. Johnston is one of 16 chamber professionals to earn the Certified Chamber Executive designation in 2021. 


Jackie Foss has been promoted to media director of Extra Credit Media Inc., a division of Grand Rapids-based advertising agency Extra Credit Projects.

Kalamazoo-based LKF Marketing has developed a WordPress theme that allows for the creation of customizable websites at an affordable price with templated design options created by the LKF team.


Barr Engineering Co. in Ann Arbor announced the additions to its Grand Rapids office of Paula Sumrall, air quality scientist, Laura Pinter, project accounting administrator, Matthew Billette, chemical engineer, and Michael Spenle, electrical engineer. 

David Krysak joined Progressive AE’s leadership team as director of practice development.

Fishbeck announced Greg Ehmke and Josh Rozeboom joined the Kalamazoo office as project managers on the parking and restoration team.


Eric and Becky Vetter and Craig and Jennifer Vetter, owners of Allegra Marketing Print Mail in Grand Rapids, were acknowledged with an annual Sales Pinnacle Award by the Alliance Franchise Brands network.


Kalamazoo-based First National Bank of Michigan appointed Bill Manns, president and CEO of Bronson Healthcare, to its board of directors.

50/50 Women on Boards has recognized Independent Bank as a “3+” company for having three or more women on its corporate board of directors.


Dave DeJonge has been appointed president of Behler-Young.

DK Security hired Stephen Corcoran as a marketing coordinator at the company’s Grand Rapids headquarters.


Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. announced the additions of project superintendents Chris Tobin, Matthew Stoll, Bob Serba, Trevor Anderson, Matthew Gamalski and James Griffith; Josiah Kozicki, assistant project superintendent; Alyssa Rigley, administration assistant; and Jeremy Taylor, estimator.


Grand Rapids Public Schools announced Coit Creative Arts Academy has been designated Kent County’s first International Baccalaureate World School for the Primary Years Programme, which offers interdisciplinary curriculum programs with a rigorous application process.

Hope College Theatre received two national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for its production of Larissa FastHorse’s “The Thanksgiving Play.” It received a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Award; junior Lisbeth Franzon of Whitehall was honored for Special Achievement in Stage Management; the college co-received the Golden Keyboard Award; and senior Madison Meeron of Oxford was selected as a finalist for the Musical Theatre Intensive Program.

Jennifer Hampton of the Hope College physics faculty, who was killed in an automobile accident in Holland on March 14, has posthumously received this year’s Hope Outstanding Professor Educator Award from the graduating Class of 2021. The award is presented by the graduating class to the professor who they feel epitomizes the best qualities of the Hope College educator.

Jordan Dischinger-Smedes, AP environmental science and human anatomy teacher at Grand River Preparatory High School, was named the 2021 Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies. Grand River is a charter school authorized by Grand Valley State University.


Foresight Management added Matthew VanSweden to its team of energy engineering and sustainability experts.


Kalamazoo-based Greenleaf Trust has been named to Inc. magazine’s annual list of the Best Workplaces for 2021. Sarah Pease also has joined the firm as a financial accounting analyst.


Grandville-based Littlefoot Coffee Roasters is the recipient of the 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Michigan State University Product Center.


Danielle R. Brown joined Grand Rapids Community Foundation as finance director.


The Kentwood Police Department received the 2020 Outstanding Traffic Achievement Award from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission in recognition of its school safety campaign.


Eastown Veterinary Clinic marked its 10th anniversary as a community-focused veterinary clinic in Grand Rapids. It has grown from a team of four to 33 team members.

Emmanuel Hospice has been named for the second time one of West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by the National Association for Business Resources.


Radisson Hotel Group Americas awarded the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center, operated by Greenleaf Hospitality Group, with three awards: The RHG Americas Hero Award; Hospitality Excellence Award; and General Manager of the Year Award.


Hastings Mutual Insurance Co. announced Richard Swain as vice president and chief marketing officer. He will be responsible for all marketing department functions for staff in the field and at the home office in Hastings.


Plunkett Cooney welcomed attorneys Jason R. Hodge and Bryan Janes to its Grand Rapids transportation law practice group.

Magistrate Judge Phillip J. Green is the recipient of the Marion Hilligan Public Service Award, for promoting public health and welfare through law, during the Grand Rapids Bar Association’s The Bar Has Talent gala.

Mika Meyers attorney Elizabeth K. Bransdorfer recently co-authored the book “Handling a Divorce Case in Michigan,” a step-by-step guide for lawyers working in the field of divorce. The book focuses on practical matters of procedure, strategy, organization and timing.

Real Estate litigator and managing member Sara Lachman’s real estate law and litigation firm’s new address is: Lachman Stuart PLC, Waters Center, 161 Ottawa Ave. NW, in downtown Grand Rapids.

Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge announced attorney Jeremy N. Orenstein has joined the firm’s Grand Rapids office, practicing in the firm’s litigation practice group.

Varnum labor and employment partner Elizabeth Wells Skaggs has been recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a Go To Lawyer for Employment Law.

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP has been recognized for the 19th consecutive year as one of the leading law firms in Michigan by Chambers USA 2021. Seven attorneys have been awarded for their work: Douglas A. Dozeman, general commercial litigation; Anthony J. Kolenic Jr., employee benefits and executive compensation; Mary Jo Larson, employee benefits and executive compensation; Heidi A. Lyon, employee benefits and executive compensation; Justin W. Stemple, employee benefits and executive compensation; Stephen C. Waterbury, corporate/M&A; and Lisa B. Zimmer, employee benefits and executive compensation.


The Salvation Army Western Michigan and Northern Indiana Division announced the hiring of Jason Boeve as its Turning Point Programs director. Turning Point is a licensed and accredited specialized treatment center with a focus on treating alcohol, prescription or illicit drug misuse and co-occurring disorders.


Hunter Haley joined DYS Media as public relations manager.

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