Change-Ups: Kent Companies promotes its first female VP

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Kent Companies, a third-generation family-owned commercial and industrial construction business, has promoted Leah Gradl to vice president of support operations, becoming the company’s first female VP in its 60-plus year history. Gradl will oversee marketing, safety, human resources, training/education and IT divisions nationwide. Gradl joined Kent Companies in 2011, initially in a consulting role. As corporate marketing manager, she oversaw the organization’s national rebranding 2013. Gradl champions new technology platforms, employee engagement initiatives, business development resources and community stewardship.

AGRICULTURE

Sparta-based Applewood Fresh Growers LLC announced Nicholas Mascari has stepped down as president and minority owner. Maascari will launch his own company, Mascari Strategy Group, a management consulting firm.

ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING

Fishbeck and Prein&Newhof are recipients of the American Council of Engineering Companies’ Engineering Honorable Conceptor Award for their work on the water treatment plant improvements in Ludington and water treatment pilot study for PFAS removal project in Plainfield Charter Township, respectively, at the association’s annual Engineering and Surveying Excellence Awards Gala. Larry Fleis, of Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering Inc., received the Felix A. Anderson Image Award for his contributions to enhance the image of the profession.

ARTS

The Holland Museum has again received accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, signifying excellence to the museum community, governments, funders, outside agencies and museum-going public. The Holland Museum was initially accredited in 2000.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum announced the recent election of Kurt Hassberger as president and Erin Gravelyn as vice president of its board of trustees. Re-elected were Lizbeth O’Shaughnessy as secretary/treasurer and Lauretta Murphy as president of the Grand Rapids Art Museum Foundation’s board of trustees.

AWARDS

Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce announced Kavy Lenon, senior supplier diversity manager for Zeeland-based Herman Miller Inc., is the recipient of APACC’s 2020 Minority Advocate Award. Lenon is chair of the NMSDC Retail Industry Group, Michigan Asian American Pacific Affairs Commissioner, and serves as an adviser for the Veteran Owned Business Roundtable.

Chief William Lux of the Pokagon Tribal Police recently received the 2020 Soaring Eagle Award from the LaSalle Council, Boy Scouts of America at a ceremony held at the Pokagon Justice Center. The Soaring Eagle Award recognizes a person whose leadership in business, industry, government, education, social work or other endeavors has contributed significantly to the growth and vitality of Berrien County.

Holland industrial manufacturer of industrial paperboard partitions Bradford Co. has been selected as the 2020 Outstanding Growth Award recipient by the Association for Corporate Growth Western Michigan for demonstrating sustained growth in sales, profitability, employment and community involvement.

Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes Inc. announced Bob Herr, (retired) formerly of Crowe LLP, and Jamie Mills, president of JRM Holdings LLC, will be inducted as Laureates into the Junior Achievement West Michigan Business Hall of Fame on June 22 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

UPS announced local drivers Jon Grasso, Todd Hart, Steven Herring, Max Maxwell, Gerald Middendorf, Nick Rau, Daniel Ronning, Steven Snyder, Harlan Tollefson and Alan Webber have been inducted in the company’s annual Circle of Honor to recognize drivers for achieving 25 or more years of accident-free driving.

BANKING

Independent Bank was recognized by Women on Boards, a global education and advocacy campaign committed to increasing the number of women on corporate boards, with a “W” for “Winning” company because its corporate board had at least 20% women directors in 2019. Independent Bank has three women directors out of 10 total members, equating to 30% of its corporate board seats.

Independent Bank mortgage loan officers Bob Brill, Diane Cochran, Ray Conley, Pete Humphreys, Maria Labie, Matthew Sitterlet and Kathy Vidakovics were declared in the top 1% of mortgage originators nationally for 2019 by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Premier Banking, part of Lake Michigan Credit Union, has hired Jon Weisenberger as premier banker.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Zach Verhulst joined woman-owned construction and design firm Metric Structures as managing partner.

CONSTRUTION

Kent Companies promoted Jason Harrall to division manager for the commercial concrete division operating in Traverse City.

Triangle Associates Inc. announced Pat Cebelak has been promoted to president and Jim Conner has been promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer. Craig Datema will continue in his role as Triangle’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Wightman announced the additions of Brad Lyons, senior wastewater process engineer and project manager in the Kalamazoo office; Lisa Cooley, drafter in the Benton Harbor office; Noah Boyd, civil engineer, Kalamazoo office; Matt VanderHulst, drafter, Allegan office; and Gary Blinkiewicz, environmental project manager, Kalamazoo office.

EDUCATION

Educator-architect Brian K. Craig, of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, and American Institute of Architects member, has been elevated to its College of Fellows, AIA’s highest membership honor, for his exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society.

Hudsonville Public Schools District has been listed as one of BackgroundChecks.org’s 2020 Top School District Rankings for fostering the highest-quality educational environments for its students.

INSURANCE

Lake Michigan Insurance Agency has been named a Leading Partner by EMC Insurance Companies, awarded to the highest-performing EMC agencies in the country, placing the agency in the top 20% of all EMC agencies nationally.

United Insurance has been named a Leading Partner by EMC Insurance Companies, placing United Insurance in the top 20% highest performing EMC partners nationally

LEISURE & RECREATION

John Ball Zoo announced its long-standing JUMP program will provide greater accessibility by offering free admission to anyone who possesses MI Bridges or WIC cards in the state of Michigan, for up to nine people in the same household.

Wayland-based Gun Lake Casino has partnered with Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino to the launch a Gun Lake Casino Sportsbook and online gaming site.

LEGAL

Plunkett Cooney Grand Rapids shareholder Michael S. Bogren was re-elected to a one-year term as chairman of the firm’s board of directors.

REAL ESTATE

NAI Wisinski of West Michigan hired Chris Vanderband and Paul Oosterbaan as commercial real estate specialists and Diane Tomasunas as a property manager.

RELIGION

Rory Marshall II was recently installed as Lighthouse Full Life Center’s senior pastor.

RETAIL

Byron Center-based SpartanNash announced the promotion of Thomas E. Swanson to executive vice president and general manager, corporate retail.

TECHNOLOGY

AUVESY Inc. announced the promotion Emily (Emma) Baranowski to chief operating officer and Joel Purl to vice president of sales.

WEBSITES

Ottawa Countys new website, careOttawaCounty.com, connects residents with volunteer needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those wishing to assist will be connected to a variety of opportunities to make an impact: volunteering, donating goods or making a financial gift. The hub was developed by a community coalition including the Greater Ottawa County United Way, The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance, Community Spoke and The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area.

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