Change Ups: Land Conservancy hires Karn as development director


Kim Karn. Courtesy Land Conservancy of West Michigan

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan, a nonprofit land trust, hired Kim Karn as development director. Her initial focus will be to refine and implement an effective major donor and planned giving program, as well as grow the Land Conservancy’s donor and volunteer base. Karn also will reach out to partners and stakeholders involved in Land Conservancy projects while working with the rest of the team to develop comprehensive strategies to meet the organization’s financial and strategic goals. Karn previously is from the Four Corners region of Colorado, where she was director of development for the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.


Grand Haven-based HA Digital Marketing launched a new website and brand. Now known as Evenbound, the agency is expanding its digital marketing services to encompass both inbound and outbound marketing services, as well as website design projects, HubSpot training and support, and growth strategies. The launch of their new brand coincides with an investment in expanded office space and a plan to grow their workforce significantly in the next year. 

Grand Rapids-based Creators Collective opened an office in Austin, Texas, where it seeks to contribute to the thriving local freelance economy.

Grand Rapids public transportation provider The Rapid partnered with New York-based advertising company Mesmerize. The agreement provides Mesmerize exclusive sales of exterior and interior transit advertising on over 150 buses and 67 paratransit vans in the region while also working to develop new opportunities at both Rapid Central Station and other mass transit properties over the next five years.

Kalamazoo-based LKF Marketing hired Kristin Graham as account manager.

Newly formed digital marketing and web design firm Hungerford Media LLC announced it will partner with IT firm Hungerford Technologies. Hungerford Media will provide services for small- to medium-sized businesses throughout Michigan. Since 1999, Hungerford Technologies has been a subsidiary of Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors.


Dan VanderHeide joined Rochester Hills-based Spalding DeDecker as its Grand Rapids office manager.


The Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives recently partnered with the Grand Rapids Community Foundation through a $150,000 grant from the organization’s Fund for Community Good. GRAAMA will use the funds to support pre-campaign efforts toward the goal of establishing a permanent home and to encourage continued efforts toward organizational sustainability and archiving collections. 


The Muskegon Heights Business Association has formed. These groups of businesses have joined forces to create a united voice for a supportive business climate. It plans to work closely with city officials, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and Muskegon Area First to advocate for better roads and new development.


Attorney Brianna T. Scott is the recipient of Spring Lake-based ATHENA on the Lakeshore’s 2019 ATHENA on the Lakeshore Award, and CPA Abby Selby received its 2019 ATHENA on the Lakeshore Young Professional Award.

Leisure Living Management honored care specialist Leslie See with its first Inspiration Award for her dedication to providing high-quality lifestyle services. See works at Boulder Creek Assisted Living and Memory Care near Rockford.

Grand Rapids Opportunities For Women announced its 2019 Seeds of Growth Award recipients: Leadership Award, Ana Olson, Los Amigos Mexican Bar & Grill; GROW Partner Award; Veronica Quintino-Aranda, Michigan State University Research Center; Business of the Year Award, Theresa Mosley, Mosley's School of Cosmetology; and LeAnne Moss Award, Volunteer of the Year, Sonali Allen, Mercantile Bank of West Michigan.


First National Bank of Michigan promoted Shaunna Padgett to vice president, strategic and operating manager.

Lake Michigan Credit Union announced the hiring of Noel Watts as vice president of mortgage operations.

Patricia Lucas-Simerson joined Hudsonville-based West Michigan Community Bank at its Grand Rapids branch at 177 Ottawa Ave. NW.

United Federal Credit Union appointed Michael DeVries to mortgage adviser in Holland.


Competitive Edge, a promotional products company headquartered in Stevensville, was named one of Counselor magazine’s Best Places to Work, ranking No. 15 out of the top 40 promotional products companies around the country.


Grand Rapids Community College will launch a Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training program focused on public works with a $79,567 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. With its Public Works Academy partners, GRCC will recruit adult learners for the new safety training, specifically, current and former military members, their spouses or their children. Michigan is home to the 11th-largest population of veterans in the nation, and 78,821 reside in the new program’s seven-county target area. 

Knapp Charter Academy students’ annual fundraiser walk raised $3,900, $441 of which will be donated to The American Red Cross and the remaining $3,500 will go back into the school for classroom necessities and school activities.


The W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek announced the election of Christina Hanger, of Plano, Texas, as a member of its board of trustees.


The Native American Heritage Fund awarded the following grants to local organizations: Godfrey-Lee Public Schools – $98,000 to rebrand the current mascot from "Rebels" to a new mascot and nickname that is culturally responsive; Grand Rapids Community College – $5,285 to support the Grand Rapids Community College Education and Reconciliation Project, including a trip to the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways and a Native American Speaker’s Forum.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $53,645 environmental education grant to the Kent Conservation District. The district’s Connecting Urban and Rural Agricultural Stewardship project will partner with schools and local farms to educate landowners and students on the various ways agriculture practices affect the health of the Grand River.


Blue Sky Vision’s partners, Grand Rapids Ophthalmology and Shoreline Vision, now have the first FDA-approved tri-focal lifestyle lens implant available to West Michigan and the lakeshore. The Alcon's PanOptix Trifocal IOL is the newest generation of lifestyle lenses used during cataract surgery to allow an extended range of near and far vision, reducing the need for glasses after surgery.


Amanda Rauh-Bieri joined Miller Canfield’s Grand Rapids office as an associate in the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution group.

Mika Meyers attorney Elizabeth K. Bransdorfer recently assumed the position of chair of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.


Experience Grand Rapids announced the economic impact in Grand Rapids via the October meetings and conventions: Total No. of meetings: 37; total attendees: 9,595; total hotel nights: 11,532; and total estimated spending: $6,936,583.94.


Holland was selected by Transplace as one of its 2019 Regional LTL Carriers of the Year.


The Grand Rapids Downtown Market hired Trevor Young as the director of sales and private events. He is responsible for prospecting new private event rental opportunities, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the events department, building and implementing sales strategies and ensuring the event logistics team and vendors provide flawless execution.


Micro Visions Inc. announced the addition of Susie Gordon, whose focus will be business development. 

X-Rite Inc. and subsidiary Pantone LLC launched the MA-5 QC, a compact and easy-to-operate multiangle spectrophotometer for the measurement of metallic paint colors and effect finishes commonly used in the automotive, appliance, plastics and electronics industries. This cost-effective five-angle color measurement instrument allows quality controllers to quickly verify and prove product compliance with quantifiable color measurement data.


Allegiant recently began two new nonstop routes to Grand Rapids from New Orleans and Jacksonville, Florida. The new routes to Gerald R. Ford International Airport include: New Orleans via Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport; and Jacksonville via Jacksonville International Airport. The new nonstop routes will operate twice weekly.

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