Change-Ups: Memorial Garden earns landscape award

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The Memorial Garden at Michigan Veteran Homes in Grand Rapids received a 2021 Community Landscape Beautification Award from the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association. Initially conceptualized by Robert Troost, the Memorial Garden eventually became a joint project between MVHGR and the Kent Garden Club. A capital campaign raised over $18,000 through the MVHGR, Kent Garden Club, Michigan Garden Club, Secchia Family Foundation, West Michigan Alliance for Veterans, veteran service organizations and the community at large to establish the garden for the benefit of its members.

ACCOUNTING

Colby Craig has been hired as Pennell CPA’s business support manager.

Rehmann is the recipient of the 2020 Best Pivot Award by the Association for Accounting Marketing for best external campaign or initiative in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ADVERTISING & MARKETING

Extra Credit Projects recently earned one of only five gold awards, as well as two silver and two bronze, presented at the 79th annual OBIE Awards.

ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING

Benton Harbor-based Wightman promoted Ashley Sonnevil to human resources director and Kevin Marks to engineering director.

AWARDS

Mercantile Bank is the recipient of the 2021 MBA Financial Literacy Award and the 2021 MBA Innovator Award by the Michigan Bankers Association for its financial literacy efforts throughout 2020.

Rockford-based Morris Builders Inc. received a 2021 Guildmaster with Distinction Award from GuildQuality for demonstrating exceptional customer service within the residential construction industry.

BANKING

Credit Union Trust appointed Carrie Iafrate, Members First Credit Union, and Dana Tell, Team One Credit Union, to its board of directors.

Honor Credit Union in Berrien Springs announced the internal promotion of Tracy Sanders to assistant vice president of operations.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Nichols Paper & Supply Co. in Norton Shores promoted Heather Smith to marketing manager.

RanDee Hartman joined JetCo Solutions as a technical writer.

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce hired Muskegon native Tamara Jackson-Gatewood as its director of membership services.

CONSTRUCTION

CD Barnes Construction hired Casey Pinkelman as a project manager and Trevor Petroelje, who attended Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State University for construction management.

EV Construction hired the following: Jennifer Rodriguez-Duran, painter; Chad Wilcox, field manager; Brian McGhee, interiors foreman; Judd VanBergen, assistant project manager; and interns Marcelo Laranja, Ben Mesler and Madelyn Wright.

EDUCATION

Godfrey-Lee Public Schools has been awarded $10,000 for the enhancement of its current STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) programs because it contributed in the MiSTEM Place, Project and Problem (3-P) Based Learning Playbook for the State of Michigan.

Ryan Corcoran has been named principal of Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic School.

Two-time Western Michigan University graduate Joanne Roehm, director of Strategic Initiatives and LaughFest for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, took on the role of director for WMU’s Grand Rapids regional location.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Mitten Foundation Inc., the charity arm of The Mitten Brewing Co., elected Chris Andrus to serve as board president and Julie Green as board vice president.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Huizenga Gamache & Associates earned the 2020 Ameriprise Client Experience Award for its ability to consistently deliver personalized, goal-based advice and exceptional client service.

Kalamazoo-based Amerifirst Home Mortgage hired Matt Jones as senior adviser-capital markets.

GOVERNMENT

Karianne Thomas joined the Grand Rapids Police Department as the department’s first chief of staff. Thomas comes to the GRPD with comprehensive public safety fiscal management experience, including eight years in the leadership of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

The Grand Rapids Fire Department achieved accredited agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. It earned reaccreditation, originally awarded in 2016, for meeting the criteria established through the CFAI’s voluntary self-assessment and accreditation program.

GRANTS

Women’s Resource Center is the recipient of a $200,000 grant from the Michigan Justice Fund at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The grant will provide an expansion of the jail-based New Beginnings program to Muskegon and Ottawa county correctional facilities.

HEALTH

Dr. Alex Korte joined Mitten Kids Dentistry.

Douglas Apple, MD, has been appointed to serve as chief clinical officer for the Warren-based Ascension Michigan market.

A mental health practitioner with over 25 years of experience, Patricia Roehling joined Holland Hospital Women’s Specialty Care.

Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital was in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Children’s Hospitals in seven of 10 specialty pediatrics areas: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology.

United Methodist Retirement Communities and Porter Hills have been named a Best and Brightest Company to Work For in both Metro Detroit and West Michigan.

HOSPITALITY

Ben Koopman joined Hudsonville-based Suburban Inns’ leadership team as chief operations officer; Danielle Matz has been named chief financial officer.

INSURANCE

Health Alliance Plan ranked highest in member satisfaction among commercial health plans in the Michigan region, according to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study. This marks two out of the last three years that HAP has been ranked No. 1 according to this study by J.D. Power.

LEGAL

Bloomfield Hills-based Plunkett Cooney added associate attorney Andrea L. Kahn to its transportation law practice group in Grand Rapids. 

Mark Greidanus joined Rhoades McKee as an associate and member of its litigation practice group.

Melissa B. Heinz joined Gruel Mills as an associate attorney.

Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge announced shareholder Michael E. Doversberger has been named chair of the firm’s business and real estate practice group.

MEDIA

Dan Boers has been hired as FOX 17’s news director. He previously worked nearly 20-years at WOOD/WOTV/WXSP, where he most recently was news director for the past 6-plus years.

NONPROFITS

Lake Michigan Credit Union’s Band Together campaign recently raised $75,000 to support kids’ care in their local communities. More than a dozen different hospitals throughout Michigan and Florida will each receive a portion of the donations.

Solutions to End Exploitation, a nonprofit committed to creating a future free from human trafficking, announced the appointment of Missy Weismann as executive director.

Grand Rapids Community Media Center appointed Karisa Wilson Sprite to its board.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Sabo PR received from the Public Relations Society of America West Michigan Chapter six gold awards and two silver awards; senior associate Lisa Taylor is the recipient of the Newcomer of the Year Award.

RETAIL

The National Association for Business Resources announced the Kalamazoo dealership group Zeigler Automotive Group is for the third consecutive time among the Best And Brightest Companies to Work For.

SUSTAINABILITY

Catalyst Partners is a recipient of the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2021 USGBC Leadership Award for its high performance, restorative design, construction, operations and education services, and supporting over 100 LEED-certified projects with 56 of them achieving Gold or Platinum status.

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