Change-Ups: Meijer scores 100% on LGBTQ workplace equality


Walker-based Meijer recently received a score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. The index’s key performance indicators include nondiscrimination policies, employment benefits, demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion, public commitment to LGBTQ equality and responsible citizenship. Meijer joined the ranks of more than 680 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year.


DeLong & Brower announced Erin Waterway joined the firm. Waterway has been in public accounting since January 2014 and is a certified public accountant.

Pennell CPA announced the promotions of Brian Furness to manager and Stephanie Garland to senior accountant.


Wightman announced the addition of five new employees based in its Benton Harbor, Kalamazoo and Royal Oak offices: Julie Johnston, senior planner, Kalamazoo office; Rick D’Alessandro, senior project manager, Kalamazoo office; Laura Chaddock, project coordinator, Benton Harbor office; Abbi Vida, project coordinator, Benton Harbor office; and Christine Kennedy, project architect, Royal Oak office.


The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts was approved for a $40,000 Art Works grant to support “A Beautiful Struggle” exhibition and programming, an original, interdisciplinary exhibition that explores the integration of Black feminist and Afrofuturist ideas, from the National Endowment for the Arts. The UICA also announced its first exhibition of 2020: “Translating Valence: Redefining Black Male Identity,” which is an exhibition featuring seven artists from various parts of the United States that created a two-dimensional work that seeks to redefine the long-held stereotypes associated with Black males. The multidisciplinary will can be viewed through May 3.


Spartan Emergency Response presented the Emergency Vehicle Technician of the Year Award to Brian Marek, a former firefighter and fire mechanic for the Muskegon Fire Department in Muskegon. Marek was honored by Spartan, in conjunction with Firehouse magazine, at a recent awards ceremony at the Fire Department Safety Officers Association's Fire Apparatus, Safety and Maintenance Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Comerica Bank becme the 11th Gold-Level Veteran-Friendly Employer certified in Michigan for its extensive efforts to recruit, train and retain military veterans, according to the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. Comerica is the first bank recognized by the MVAA as a Gold-Level Veteran-Friendly Employer.


DWH Corp. added Ben Borisch as a partner and COO.

The Right Place announced it will launch a Community Transformation Fund aimed at increasing ethnic and racial diversity in business ownership in West Michigan. Backed by financial commitments from Bank of America and Consumers Energy and operational support from The Right Place, the fund aims to raise $15 million-$25 million in capital for a 2021 launch.


Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. promoted Jeremy Amshey to chief operating officer.


Perry Wolfe joined Kalamazoo-based Greenleaf Trust as senior vice president, executive director of development. He is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation and execution of the overall strategy and growth efforts of our regional markets outside of Kalamazoo.


The city of Grand Rapids hired Doug Start as its information technology director. Start served as the city’s interim IT director for six months before the appointment, improving organizational processes, infrastructure and cybersecurity. He joined the city in 2017 as its IT manager. He previously worked for Grand Haven Public Schools for 17 years, playing a key role in the district’s technology transformation efforts.

The Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission announced its new members are Greg DeJong, Jane Longstreet and Linda McAffrey.


The Porter Hills Foundation received a one-year $13,334 grant from the Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland to support enhancements to recreational therapy services for participants of LifeCircles Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly in Holland.


Matthew J. Malleis joined Secrest Wardle’s Grand Rapids office as a partner. He is a member of the firm’s motor vehicle litigation; premises liability; and property, fire and casualty practice groups.


Friends of Grand Rapids Parks added board members Mayor Rosalynn Bliss; Tom Blower, Strategies Wealth Advisors; and Diane Griffin, Griffin Properties. New team members are Grand Rapids City Commissioner Kurt Reppart as a city liaison, Claire Fisher as volunteer coordinator, Abigail Bruins as community engagement coordinator and Liam Bailey as development coordinator.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition will bring more than 7,000 tropical butterflies to West Michigan beginning March 1. This year’s exhibition highlights Nathaniel Ward and the invention of the Wardian Case.


Grand Haven-based GHSP hired Arnee Gomez as the company’s first chief human resources officer.


13 ON YOUR SIDE launched a new initiative called 13 Reads to encourage kids to read. The TV station is donating to Kent District Library to purchase Booster Packs that help reinforce the five main aspects of reading improvement for grades K-5: comprehension, fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics and vocabulary, and is joining forces with Disney and ABC’s Magic of Storytelling Campaign by encouraging people to post photos of themselves with a favorite book or a bookshelf and tag it with #MagicofStorytelling and #13Reads.


The Pregnancy Resource Center of Grand Rapids hired Emily Gerardy as its advanced practice provider and Taylor Miedema as its medical services nurse. Gerardy will work in the medical services department, providing client care and follow up for STD testing and treatment services, and Miedema will provide care within pregnancy and ultrasound services, as well as STD services.


Fountain Street Church appointed James Taylor, of Elephant AV, to its governing board for 2020.


West Michigan Sports Commission elected Emily Brieve, Kent County Commission, as secretary; K.V. Lacks, Lacks Enterprises, new board director; Jim Horman, Progressive AE, as chair; Mike Donnelly, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, as vice chair; Bob Partridge, Grand Rapids Community College (retired), as treasurer; and Deb Kay as immediate past chair. Board directors who renewed their three-year terms are Brenda Borkowski, Steelcase Inc., and Diane Jones, Kent County Commission.


Waterford-based Pentastar Aviation hired Brent Hanson as account manager and client relations representative. Hanson will be based at Gerald R. Ford International Airport as part of Pentastar’s new partnership with Avflight.


The Michigan Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus recently named its officers for 2020: president: Amanda Wilkin (Charlevoix); vice president: Janet Korn (Grand Rapids); secretary: Mary Robinson (Livingston County); treasurer: Trevor Tkach (Traverse City); past president: Chris Rowley (Mount Pleasant); and members at large: Linda Hoath (Sault Ste. Marie) and Jack Schripsema (Lansing).


Prein&Newhof launched a new website ( with a fresh look and quick access to resources.

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