Change Ups: Manier recognized as ’15 Over 50′


Mary Manier. Courtesy Experience Grand Rapids

Mary Manier, director of sales at Experience Grand Rapids, was selected as one of Connect Association’s inaugural 15 Over 50. The distinction recognizes event professionals who have spent their career moving the meetings industry forward. Manier’s focus at EXGR is to bring conventions and meetings to Kent County and Grand Rapids. Manier graduated from Davenport University with a degree in hospitality and, since then, has accumulated over 30 years of tourism experience. Connect Association is a national magazine that provides resources to professionals and planners in the meetings and events industry.


TowerPinkster hired Greg Adamczyk, Shelbi Iseminger, Yvonne VanWormer and Zach Verhulst as associates.


Margaret Gingrich, D.D.S., of Big Rapids, was appointed president of the 5,900-member Michigan Dental Association.


Alliant Healthcare owner Bob Taylor, a U.S. Air Force Reserve veteran, is the winner of Michigan Celebrates Small Business’ 2019 Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year Award.

Service Express was named the winner of a Bronze Stevie Award in the Medium Company of the Year – Computer Services category in the 17th annual American Business Awards.

The Gun Lake Tribe (also known as the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians) received the 24th annual Parker/Gentry Award from the Field Museum. Founded in 1996 in honor of late conservationists Theodore A. Parker III and Alwyn Gentry, the Parker/Gentry Award recognizes one individual, team or organization that has made a significant contribution to the field of conservation biology and whose actions can provide a model to others.

The Right Place Inc. was named as a recipient of the 2019 Mac Conway Awards for Excellence in Economic Development by Site Selection Magazine. The Right Place joined peer agencies from 19 other markets across the country in being recognized for its 2018 economic development efforts.

The School Finance Research Collaborative is the recipient of the Michigan School Business Officials’ 2019 Friend of Education Award, given to people or organizations dedicated to serving the best interests of education and students.

Walker-based Meijer announced its social media and creative teams won its first national honor at the Shorty Awards ceremony in New York City, in the Audience Honor in the Best Overall Instagram Presence category.


Macatawa Bank in Holland welcomed Tim Doyle as senior vice president, chief commercial banking officer.

United Bank announced the appointment of Mary Tuuk to its board of directors.


Grand Rapids-based DK Security announced the addition of a new office at 653 Saginaw St. in Flint, which will oversee 88,000 hours of security services annually.

The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce announced the promotions of Joshua Lunger, senior director of government affairs, and Alexa Rae Kramer, director of government affairs.

Liquid Asset Partners are now the care holders of a rare collection of Vincent and Grigg motorcycles. The bikes include six Vincent Motorcycles, a one-of-a-kind Grigg motorcycle and a lifetime collection of rare parts. The gem of the collection is a 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin, coined by many as the rarest and most collectible motorcycle in the world.

Praxis Business Brokers of Grand Rapids recently brokered two business sales: Sterling Performance, a testing service in Milford, was purchased by a strategic buyer group from Bloomfield Hills; and Closet Concepts, a Grand Rapids designer, builder and installer of storage solutions, was purchased by a West Michigan financial buyer.


Zeeland-based ODL Inc. appointed Sandra Anders as sales manager and transitioned Amanda Fowler to territory sales manager.


West Michigan high school students celebrated Law Day during a program led by WMU Cooley Law School students and graduates at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. The program’s featured presenter was Mary Beth Tinker, a plaintiff in the 1969 United States Supreme Court Case Tinker v. Des Moines, which led to a landmark decision defining First Amendment rights of students in public schools.


CMS Energy in Jackson announced Shaun Johnson was named senior vice president and general counsel of CMS Energy and Consumers Energy. He will replace Catherine Reynolds, who has retired after 40 years of service to the companies.


Grandville investment firm Blueprint Financial will join Allworth Financial, a national investment advisory firm. The move comes as Dean Baumgartner and Denis York, co-founders of Blueprint, seek to grow and offer clients additional services. The acquisition will provide an opportunity for Blueprint to access Allworth’s resources and expertise around retirement planning and investment management. 


Root Café in downtown Fennville recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.


City of Kentwood engineer Dan VanderHeide was recently named Young Engineer of the Year by the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers.


Anita Avery, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in Lansing, was elected chairperson of the Michigan State Medical Society Board of Directors during the 154th annual meeting of the MSMS House of Delegates annual meeting in Kalamazoo.

Grand Rapids-based Advanced Radiology Services PC and East Lasing-based MSU Health Care have formed a joint venture to provide exclusive reading services to McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital, including the new McLaren Hospital.

WMU Cooley Law School student Cody Brock used the NCAA basketball tournament as an opportunity to engage fellows by organizing a March Madness bracket challenge in order to collect funds for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The hospital provided a wish list of toys, and Brock and fellow WMU Cooley student Richard Perez delivered toys hospitalized children had requested and made an additional donation of $102. 


The High Five GR opened in the heart of Grand Rapids and features original hardwood, roller-rink floors and contemporary finishings for weddings, receptions and private parties.


Around 30 Dégagé Ministries staff, volunteers and 12 women from Dégagé’s Open Door Women’s Center who have overcome or are working to overcome poverty, addiction and homelessness participated in the 42nd River Bank 5K Walk with Dégagé’s walking group, the Heartside All Stars for Health. Walking provides physical benefits and offers emotional, social and spiritual benefits, particularly for women for whom exercise is not always an option.


Farmers Insurance agent Jeffrey Lake was named to the national insurer’s Presidents Council, the Los Angeles-based insurance company announced.


Detroit-based Bodman PLC announced intellectual property attorney Kelley N. Goldberg joined the firm as a member in its Grand Rapids office.


Sugar Free Specialties LLC, dba Dr. John’s opened a new $2.3-million, 25,000-square-foot candy manufacturing facility at 5320 West River Drive in Plainfield Township. The company’s expansion is due to global demand for its line of Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets product line.


Hunter Zuk joined Sabo PR as an associate.


Trent Wieringa, vice president of Colliers International West Michigan, earned his SIOR industrial designation from the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS, a leading global professional office and industrial real estate association


Plant Shop, a plant store committed to connecting the community with plants and urban gardening, opened a brick-and-mortar store at 1056 Wealthy St. SE. Shop hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Seattle-based REI Co-op opened a, 20,000-square-foot store at Woodland Mall, where it sells outdoor gear and offers a specialty bike shop for maintenance and repairs, personal outfitting services, workshops and outdoor expertise.


Coopersville-based IT Resource Inc. announced it reached Datto Blue Partner status, which is presented to the top 5% of the company’s partners worldwide.

Kalamazoo-based Marana Group announced Olga Kudrina joined the firm as manager of application development.


The Plunkett Cooney law firm launched a new responsive design website,, featuring substantive legal information, a bold graphics interface and refreshed brand messaging.

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