Change-Ups: Long lands on Forbes’ America’s Top Wealth Advisors list

Tim Long. Courtesy Merrill

Tim Long, a Grand Rapids-based Merrill wealth management adviser, has been named to the Forbes 2022 America’s Top Wealth Advisors list. Long has worked with Merrill since 1994 and concentrates on the financial and investment needs of institutions and high net worth families. Long attended Hope College and was a Baker Scholar. He graduated from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and earned his MBA summa cum laude from St. John’s University in New York.


Kalamazoo-based modern danced company Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers is the recipient of a $250,000 donation by Larry Bell, founder of Bell’s Brewery. Bell’s philanthropic investments are intended to enhance the cultural quality of life in the community.

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 228 negotiating committee representing the musicians of the KSO announced a new three-year collective bargaining agreement has been ratified with its musicians. The new agreement extends until 2025, which includes a 9% pay increase over the term of the agreement for all per-service musicians.


The Community Bankers of Michigan announced Rebecca Gaylor, cash management officer at Highpoint Community Bank in Hastings, is the recipient of the Rising Star Award.



Independent Bank recently opened a new full-service branch at 12368 Riley St. in Holland.

Michael Kozak joined Union Bank as vice president, commercial banker.

Nathan E. Tagg and Chad R. Paalman have been appointed to the board of directors for both Highpoint Community Bank and its holding company, HCB Financial Corp.


Jodi Owczarski, president and CEO of Holland-based Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce, has been selected to participate in the U.S. Chamber Foundation Education and Workforce Fellowship Program, which trains leaders to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.


Ada-based Erhardt Construction is the recipient of the 2022 General Contractor Safety Award of Excellence by the Associated Builders and Contractors, Western Michigan Chapter.

Honor Construction announced the internal promotions of Claire Whitman, vice president of operations; Jason Moore, vice president of construction; and David Laughter, vice president of preconstruction.


Aquinas College for the third year in a row was recognized by U.S. News and World Report for helping students who face economic challenges complete their degrees and obtain jobs after graduation. Aquinas tied for 48th on the list of Top Performers on Social Mobility among the 196 schools that were included in the list of national liberal arts colleges. 

Hope College in Holland received the 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. Hope was featured, along with 102 other recipients, in the November 2022 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Marissa Doshi, associate professor of communication at Hope, received the Early Career Award from the Ethnography Division of the National Communication Association. Susan Ipri Brown, a Hope associate professor of engineering and director of the college’s ExploreHope academic outreach program, has been elected to the Board of Governors of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.


Boyne City-based Great Lakes Energy appointed Scott Blecke to chief strategy officer. Blecke most recently served as GLE’s vice president of engineering.


Greenleaf Trust announced the promotions of Stacy Beekman to assistant vice president, senior trust relationship officer; Jeff Pauza to assistant vice president, senior wealth management adviser; Kathryn Gadbois Schafer to trust relationship officer; Beverly Whaley to senior trust relationship associate; and Tiffany Clubs to senior trust relationship associate.


The Grand Rapids Public Museum is the recipient of two grants, one from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the other from the Wege Foundation, which will help ensure indigenous voices and perspectives are consistently incorporated into the programming and exhibits the GRPM hosts. The grants allowed GRPM to create a new full-time position for an Anishinaabe curator, as well as to create a robust indigenous internship program for local Native American college students. Jannan Cotto joined GRPM as the Anishinaabe curator. Grant funds also will cover costs associated with hosting engagement meetings and public activities introducing project findings and the evaluation of the current Anishinabek: The People of this Place exhibit, which is slated to be refreshed as part of GRPM’s expansion and redesign plans.


Sanford Behavioral Health announced the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has named it a Blue Distinction Center for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery at its Sanford House at Cherry Street for Women, and Sanford House at John Street for Men facilities in Grand Rapids.



Keysharri Johnson joined Rhoades McKee as an associate and member of the litigation practice group.


Comprehensive Therapy Center appointed Ellen Sawyer as interim executive director.

Disability Advocates of Kent County announced five community leaders have joined its board of directors: Miriam Andrade Cuevas, inclusive communications adviser, Corewell Health; Angela Gildea, regional sales manager, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Shontaye Witcher, assistant vice president of inclusion and equity and ADA compliance officer, Grand Valley State University; Sulari White, academic adviser and assistant professor, Grand Rapids Community College; and Tanya Ross, human resources senior manager, Bimbo Bakeries USA.

North Kent Connect announced Cheryl Scales as its board chair. Scales is a retired principal emeritus at Progressive AE.


Byron Center-based SpartanNash announced Andy Clausen, vice president, national accounts, was named winner of the Progressive Grocer’s NextGen Award. Clausen — who leads a team responsible for managing SpartanNash’s national accounts business across several locations within SpartanNash’s national distribution network — was recognized for his overall contributions and efforts to inspire young professionals.


Experience Grand Rapids promoted Kate Lieto to associate vice president of marketing and Kelsey Helstowski to associate director of sales.

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