Change Ups: Jonker, Mulder new owners of Wolverine Building Group


Aaron Jonker and Curt Mulder are Wolverine Building Group’s new owners. Jonker joined Wolverine in 2007 as a project manager, became vice president in 2010 and was promoted to co-president in 2016. Mulder has been with Wolverine for 20 years, starting out as an intern while attending Calvin College. In 2000, Mulder joined the company as a project manager, was promoted to vice president in 2010 and then co-president in 2016. The two are the company’s fifth owners in its 79-year history.


Rehmann announced Kim Lindsay was named principal in its Grand Rapids office. Lindsay is the primary business advisor for a multitude of governmental clients, leading financial statement audit, single audit and outsourced CFO engagements.


Cannabiz Connection in Grand Haven announced the Michigan launch of its all-in-one platform for building a successful business in the cannabis industry. Cannabiz Connection serves as a social community, a directory and a business accelerator for cannabis startups, consultants and existing businesses.


Fleis & VandenBrink announced Elaine Venema, Steve Bishop and Jeremy Patzer were named associates and Blair Selover was named senior associate.

TowerPinkster was recognized as one of 2017’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation from the National Association for Business Resources. The firm also was awarded an elite spot in the top 101 companies in the nation.


Brenda Kimball is the recipient of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Ambassador of the Year. Kimball works in the family-owned business, Arete Technology.

Dimitri Apostle, owner of the Rockford-based Brightway, The Dimitri J. Apostle Agency is the recipient of the Auto Sales Award from Jacksonville, Florida-based Brightway Insurance.

Local First announced folk artist Reb Roberts is the recipient of the 2018 Guy Bazzani Local Legacy Award. 

MichBusiness announced the women leaders at its 22nd annual Women Thrive Conference and Symposium program held at the MGM Grand Detroit. Honorees for this year: Holly Gilmer, St. John Providence; Carolyn Krieger, CKC Agency; Monica L. Martinez, Comerica Bank; Amy Peterson, Rebel Nell; and Carla Walker-Miller, Walker-Miller Energy Services. Shooting Stars (women under age 40): Evette Griffie, DTE Energy, and Margaret Kennedy, PwC. Michigan Business Women Hall of Fame inductees: Terry Barclay, Inforum; Florine Mark, The Weight Watchers Group; Sandra Pierce, The Huntington National Bank; and Carole Valade, Gemini Publications.


Derek DeLange joined Northpointe Bank as vice president of loan systems.

Beth Oates joined Fifth Third Bank as vice president and regional communications manager. Oates will lead the reputation management, internal communications and public relations efforts for Fifth Third’s Michigan regions with an emphasis on Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Traverse City.

United Bank recently collected 550 blankets at its 12 branches and distributed them to those in need through its Blanket the Community project.


Compliance One Group in Kalamazoo announced the promotions of Joe Humphries, business development director; Val Halcomb, director of survey readiness; Scott Mason, director of testing; Michael Crall, director of barrier management/design, codes, & standards; Tom Martin, director of safety, security and training; and Carrie Kotecki, director of emergency preparedness.

O’KEEFE is the recipient of M&A Advisors’ Turnaround Consulting Firm of the Year Award. It will be presented to founder/CEO Patrick O’Keefe on March 21 in Palm Beach, Florida, for his contribution to the bankruptcy and restructuring industry.


Alan J. Veneklasen announced his retirement as CEO of a.j. Veneklasen Inc., a firm he founded 41 years ago. His son, acting president Chris Veneklasen, took over the company’s reins.

Rockford-based Sable Homes was honored as one of the top 250 production homebuilders in the nation during the National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show held in Orlando, Florida.

Triangle Associates was named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the nation for 2017 for the third consecutive year by the National Association for Business Resources.

Witt’s Woods & Greens selected Grand Rapids-based National Nail’s CAMO Edge Fastening System for the construction of an award-winning, two-story boathouse and dock on Sturgeon Lake in Ontario. 


Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice named Terry Larkin, principal of New Branches Charter Academy, as its 2017 School Leader of the Year.

Christopher Fashun of the Hope College music faculty in Holland is a recipient of a Postdoctoral Scholar Award in All Disciplines through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Fashun has a passion for Afro-Brazilian music since being introduced to it during his own undergraduate days in Minnesota. He will spend four months in Salvador da Bahia in northeastern Brazil.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University announced dean of academic affairs Charles Wright was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors for The International Council of Fine Arts Deans.

Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business received a major naming gift from alumnus Todd Sanford, CEO/founder of Sanford Financial Services of Portage, that will be used to establish a new center focusing on personal finance. The Sanford Center for Financial Planning and Wellness will provide a variety of services and programs for members of both the greater Kalamazoo community and the campus community.


Philip Streng, who has served as an Edward Jones financial adviser in Grand Rapids the past 22 years, was named a principal with the firm's holding company, The Jones Financial Companies LLLP.


Varnum attorney Yvonne Kupfermann was named to the education and programming committee of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. The foundation provides mental health awareness and education through programs and other resource for schools, communities and businesses.


Grand Rapids city clerk Darlene O’Neal announced she will retire after nearly 33 years of service to the city.

Interim Kent County administrator Wayman Britt was promoted to administrator/controller by the Kent County Board of Commissioners’ 19-0 unanimous vote.


Fair Housing Center of West Michigan received two grants totaling $425,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under its Fair Housing Initiatives Program.

West Michigan Works! notified 212 employers they will receive Skilled Trades Training Funds awards ranging from $1,293 to $299,455 in 2018 to help find qualified talent to fill their openings.

The Perrigo Company Charitable Foundation donated $130,000 to the city of Allegan to build a new splash pad on the site of a former parking lot that will part of an ongoing project at Downtown Riverfront Park and another $130,000 to the Allegan District Library to fund the Perrigo Learning Lab for children and the Perrigo STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, Math) Lab for teens.


The Allegan Medical Clinic announced the additions of Dr. Heather Wright and physician assistant Jennifer Vance.

Rx Optical plans to open in September 2018 a third Holland office location at 590 E. 16th St. The new office will provide eyeglass lens manufacturing and fitting, medical patient care, eye-care solutions for adults and children, contact lens fitting, adjustments and repair.


AHC+Hospitality promoted Kylene Geyer to senior marketing manager; Ashley Savransky was hired as a marketing coordinator.

Greenleaf Companies in Kalamazoo announced Tim Rayman as the chief executive officer of the Greenleaf Hospitality Group; Brad Vandenberg was promoted to vice president of business development and managing director of Stadium Management Corporation; Ryan Cunningham was promoted to executive director of food and beverage; and Sarah Olszowy was promoted to vice president of marketing.


Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP welcomed partners Tim Flory and Peter Cummings to its intellectual property practice in the firm’s Grand Rapids office.

Parmenter Law in Muskegon announced Joshua A. Reece and Brian R. Leibrandt were named partner.


Wedgwood Christian Services appointed to its executive board of directors Daniel Baisch, HUB International; and Lynwood “Woody” VandenBosch, Foster Swift Collins Smith. Ellen Bruinsma was appointed its chairperson. Michael Zahrt, Foster Swift Collins Smith PC, was elected to serve on Wedgwood Foundation’s board of directors.


MHVillage, a Grand Rapids-based website for buying and selling manufactured housing, launched a new print magazine for manufactured housing industry professionals called  MHInsider, a 50-page, full-color print publication that debuted at the 2018 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.


Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers opened a new location at 6006 28th St. SE, making it the third Freddy’s in Grand Rapids.


Trivalent Group in Grandville promoted Ken Zimmer to vice president of business development and Brian Young to vice president of market development.


The Gerald R. Ford International Airport announced that in 2017, 2,811,622 passengers flew in and out of GFIA, an increase of 5.95 percent from 2016, marking the fifth straight year the airport saw record-setting growth and recording the best year in airport history.


Bob Lukens of Muskegon was elected treasurer of the Michigan Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus.


Jackson-based Consumers Energy announced it donated $10 million to help people in need with their energy bills. People who call 2-1-1 might be referred to six nonprofit organizations: Michigan Community Action; The Salvation Army; The Heat and Warmth Fund; TrueNorth Community Services; Society of St. Vincent DePaul; and United Way of Jackson County.

Facebook Comments