Change Ups: McNeely Cobham selected as GRCC’s chief equity, inclusion officer


B. Afeni McNeely Cobham. Courtesy GRCC

B. Afeni McNeely Cobham will serve as Grand Rapids Community College’s chief equity and inclusion officer. Selected after a national search, McNeely Cobham will work with stakeholders — students, faculty, staff and community members — to ensure GRCC is a leader in equity and inclusion. An expert in race, identity and culture in American higher education, McNeely Cobham also will oversee the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion, which focuses on educating and honoring the dignity of all people through opportunities such as the Institute for Healing Racism, student workshops, the Latino Youth Conference and the Giants Awards.


National Nail announced its STINGER CS150B Cap Stapler is the single winner of the Roofers’ Choice Award in the recent Sep/Oct issue in a full-page feature of Roofing magazine. The product generated the most interest from Roofing’s readers when it was featured in the May/June issue’s Materials & Gadgets section.

The Grand Rapids Chamber announced the recipients of its 2018 EPIC Awards: Emerging Leader of the Year: Alexis Reame, Lake Michigan Credit Union; Woman-Owned Enterprise of the Year: Symplicity Communications Inc.; Minority-Owned Enterprise of the Year: Jireh Metal Products; Veteran-Owned Enterprise of the Year: Joost Vapor; Small Business of the Year: Micro Visions Inc.; Nonprofit of the Year: Safe Haven Ministries; and Excellence in Business: The Mitten Brewing Co.


Lansing-based eM Services LLC announced it appointed Grand Rapids resident Laura Hopson as president and chief executive officer.

The Rotary Club of Grand Rapids announced Chelsea Dubey will serve as its 2018-19 president. Dubey is one of six females to be named president of the club and the youngest female to serve in that role in the organization’s 105-year history.


Grand Rapids Community College students David Dekens and Marqea Lee earned Grand Awards. Dekens received Outstanding Lead Actor in a College Production for his role in the GRCC Players production “This Is Our Youth”; Lee received Outstanding Lead Actress in a College Production for her role in the GRCC Players production of “Detroit '67.” GRCC alumni received several Grand Awards: Outstanding Direction: Michelle Urbane; Outstanding Sound Design: Sam Johnson; and Outstanding Lighting Design: Catherine Marlett-Dreher.


Brooktree Capital Management announced the hiring of Hunter E. Lewis as vice president-portfolio manager responsible for all portfolio changes and analysis.


The Muskegon County Circuit Court and the 60th District Court in Muskegon announced they collectively received more than $820,000 from the Michigan Supreme Court to fund the swift and sure sanctions probation program and multiple problem-solving courts including drug/sobriety, mental health, veterans treatment in fiscal year 2019.


Zeal Aerial Fitness announced the opening of West Michigan’s first all-inclusive aerial fitness studio at 1111 Godfrey.


Suburban Inns named Michelle Burnett as director of sales for its Embassy Suites Hotel at 710 Monroe Ave. NW in downtown Grand Rapids that is set to open in spring 2019.


Anthony C. Norman PLLC opened its doors at 1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 242, focusing its practice on consumer protection, business law, debt defense, civil litigation and family law. The firm’s managing attorney, Anthony Norman, is a Grand Rapids native who recently moved back from Florida, where he practiced law for the past four years. Norman is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Michigan, and his firm handles matters in both states.

Corinne N. Sprague, a partner with Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, was named as an Up & Coming Lawyer for 2018 by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

The Federal Bar Association Western District of Michigan Chapter and the Grand Rapids Veterans Bar Association hosted a free Wills for Veterans program at the Salvation Army Kroc Community Center that paired a team of volunteer attorneys from both organizations, along with law students from Western Michigan Cooley Law School, to have one-on-one meetings with veterans and spouses who wanted to prepare a simple will, durable power of attorney and patient advocate designation.

Rhoades McKee’s president, executive committee member and commercial litigation attorney Paul McCarthy was named as a 2018 Benchmark Litigation Local Litigation Star. McCarthy is among only 41 other Michigan litigators to be included in this year’s publication.

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP attorney Peter Kulas-Dominguez was elected to the chair-elect of the State Bar of Michigan LGBTQA section and accepted a position as the co-chair of the Court Rules Committee for the Bar's Family Law Section.


Camp Newaygo in Newaygo constructed a 6,300-square-foot LEED certified Health and Leadership Lodge to keep pace with the needs of resident girls, co-ed day campers and the community. The lodge is the third and final phase for Camp Newaygo’s Building a Healthy Future Capital Campaign for Health, Leadership & the Arts.

Allegan-based Ropes Courses Inc. rebranded its name to Ropes Courses Incorporated to reflect a broader range of products it now offers, as well as a new logo and colors.


Schioppa Casters confirmed its caster products are not impacted by the recent Section 301 tariffs imposed on imported goods from China. Schioppa is manufactured in Brazil and assembled in the U.S., and it will not incur import tariffs on any of its products. 

Wayland-based FootMaster announced the recent Section 301 tariffs imposed on imported goods from China does not impact its line of casters. FootMaster is manufactured in South Korea, thus is not subject to import tariffs on any of its products.


Sabo PR promoted Brian Greenleaf to managing director.


Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Kurt Hofman, owner and executive vice president of RoMan Manufacturing Inc., to the Ferris State University board of trustees; OST chief innovation officer Jim VanderMey was appointed to the Health Information Technology Commission.


CBRE Inc. and CBRE Martin announced a mutual decision not to renew their affiliate agreement covering operations in Grand Rapids and Lansing. CBRE Martin offices in those markets will remain CBRE affiliates through the end of 2018 and will then drop the CBRE branding and change its operating name to Martin Commercial Properties.

NAI Wisinski of West Michigan welcomed commercial real estate specialist Shane Ikola to the Grand Rapids brokerage team. Ikola will primarily focus on the sale and leasing of commercial properties.


Idealease of West Michigan/West Michigan International/K&R Truck Sales recently held a 5K walk/run fundraiser at Millennium Park in Walker, donating $3,500 to Saladin Shriners.

Plackers expanded its dental floss line with limited-edition apple cinnamon flavored dental flossers, available on for $2 per 60-count pack.


RAI Jets LLC in Kalamazoo added a new, larger service door to its main hangar at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport in order to easily accommodate their aircraft management customers with super midsize jets. The door measures 24 feet by 80 feet and welcomes jets into an easily accessible, newly remodeled hangar place to manage or store their aircraft.

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