Monica Mendez is the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s new talent development manager. She is responsible for overseeing Leading Edge, Leadership Advantage, and expanding upon ATHENA Grand Rapids programming, as well as providing support to chamber members. An immigrant from Mexico, Mendez came to the United States 20 years ago. She spent the first 15 years of her career as a business professional in a variety of different sales roles, but the magna cum laude graduate from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in International Business said she always felt drawn to other causes related to creating positive change within the community.
ADVERTISING & MARKETING
DEKSIA ranked No. 17 on Agency Spotter’s Top 100 Marketing Agencies 2020 Report.
King Media opened its third Michigan office in Ada.
LEAD Marketing Agency hired Emily Gagnon as digital media specialist and Cody Boomsma as an accountant and promoted Olivia Memberto to senior designer and Nick Pollice to account manager.
ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING
Matt Schmalzel joined Mathison/Mathison Architects as an architect after working in Washington for the last five years.
Stiles Machinery for the second year in a row is the recipient of the Gold HIRE Vets Medallion Award from the United States Department of Labor.
Sue Tellier, president of JetCo Federal, is the recipient of the Small Business Association of Michigan’s 2020 Energy Waste Reduction Champion Award for her commitment to reducing energy waste.
The George and Lucile Heeringa Civic Center in Holland (contractor: GO Construction, Owen-Ames-Kimball and GDK Construction Co. partnership); Grand Haven State Park Channel Restroom Building Replacement (architect: Straub Pettitt Yaste, contractor: 44th Street Construction); Critical Infrastructure in Grand Rapids (architect: Lott3Metz Architecture); and Information Technology at Steelcase Global Headquarters (architect: Progressive AE, contractor: The Christman Company) are among the projects that received the American Institute of Architects Michigan’s Design Awards.
Davenport University graduate Beatrice Kelly has joined Comerica Inc. as senior vice president and director of community development lending.
Independent Bank opened a new branch at 8700 N. 2nd St. in Brighton.
Kalamazoo-based Consumers Credit Union announced the internal promotion of Mauri Story to mortgage loan officer in the Kalamazoo market, specifically the Corner@Drake office.
Lake Michigan Credit Union announced the addition of Tim Gortsema, president of the Grand Rapids Griffins, to its corporate board of directors.
Lake Michigan Credit Union has hired Dinah Mohr as mortgage loan officer for the Greater Grand Rapids area and Rob Arnoys as vice president of treasury management.
Barr Engineering Co. announced the acquisition of King & MacGregor Environmental Inc., a leading Michigan-based provider of natural resource consulting and environmental services.
LINC UP has earned a LEED Silver Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s new version 4.1 rating system for a single-family residence built in Grand Rapids’ Seeds of Promise neighborhood.
Aquinas College for the 10th time has been listed by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges in its Guide to Green Colleges: 2021 Edition. The college also was listed as one of the top performers in the area of waste minimization and reduction by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s 2020 Sustainable Campus Index lists.
Austin Marsman, 21, became the youngest elected official in Allegan County by winning a seat on the Martin Public Schools Board of Education.
Michigan State University announced the promotion of Tony Avellino, MD, MBA, to assistant vice president for health sciences and chief clinical and medical officer.
Centennial Securities announced Ryan Diepstra has been appointed chief operating officer.
The Kentwood City Commission extended changes through October 2021 to business approval requirements and procedures as part of the city’s continued efforts to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resolution allows for an expedited site plan review process for temporary outdoor retail, food, beverage and personal service uses. The extension also means time limits on temporary sign display and certain business licensing fees remain suspended. The changes were set to expire Nov. 1.
Kent County hired Jennifer Kimball James as deputy county administrator.
Arbor Circle received a $30,000 grant award from the PNC Foundation in support of The Great Start to Quality Western Resource Center, part of Arbor Circle’s Early Childhood division.
Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce received a $25,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation supporting the chamber’s efforts in addressing the small business community’s needs during the COVID-19 crisis, with a focus on women- and minority-owned businesses.
Mel Trotter Ministries has been awarded a grant from TCF Bank to be used to expand its Workforce Development Programs for MTM’s guests.
TCF National Bank has awarded $15,000 to Community enCompass toward Eviction Prevention Services in Muskegon and partnered with Community enCompass Homeless Services to provide financially focused educational opportunities to neighbors, such as budgeting, building credit and homeownership classes.
The Gun Lake Tribe announced donations totaling $500,000 that came from the Tribe’s Coronavirus Relief Fund pursuant to the federal CARES Act to several local schools and the Allegan County government to assist in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency selected the city of Grand Rapids as a recipient of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for its Nation Act grant. The $5.1 million grant will help fund the replacement of lead service lines in the city’s Neighborhoods of Focus and support public engagement on the risks of lead in drinking water.
The West Michigan Edward Jones Foundation conferred $17,000 that was raised by West Michigan Edward Jones employees and presented to Junior Achievement; Grand Rapids Community Foundation Recovery Fund; and the Community Foundation for Holland/Zeeland.
Wedgwood Christian Services for the second year in a row has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Perrigo Foundation.
Muskegon-based Hackley Community Care welcomed Dr. Byron Varnado, MD to its family practice.
Spectrum Health has selected Dr. Marzia Leacche, MD, as the Richard DeVos Endowed Heart Transplant and Ventricular Assist Device surgical director for its Richard DeVos Heart & Lung Transplant Program. Leacche has been a member of the transplant team since 2016.
Wyoming-based Metro Health–University of Michigan Health opened its first office exclusively for pediatric care in Hudsonville at 2917 Port Sheldon St. Pediatricians Caitlin Mlynarek and Kurt Meppelink have moved to the new office from the nearby Metro Health Hudsonville office on 32nd Avenue.
Attorney Michael J. Huff, an associate at Mika Meyers PLC, was selected as a member of the Michigan Lawyers Weekly 2020 Up & Coming Lawyers.
CMC Family Law Group PLLC opened an office in Grand Rapids. Founding attorney and managing partner Cristina M. Crescentini continues to maintain offices in Beverly Hills, California.
Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC is included in the 2021 U.S. News – Best Lawyers Best Law Firms list. The firm has five Tier 1 rankings for its Grand Rapids office.
Warner Norcross + Judd LLP’s Grand Rapids location has received top tier rankings in multiple practice areas in the 2021 Best Law Firms by Best Lawyers and U.S. News & World Report.
LEISURE & RECREATION
Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek announced a baby black and white colobus monkey recently was born at the zoo.
Meijer was recognized as a SmartWay Excellence Award winner as a mixed carrier by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Haviland Enterprises Inc. hired Mackenzie Klahr as marketing manager.
Norton Shores-based Smart Vision Lights announced it has earned ISO 9001:2015 certification for its quality management system.
D.A. Blodgett–St. John’s appointed Mary Muliett president and CEO.
Mel Trotter Ministries recently unveiled a three-stall mobile shower unit for the homeless that will be placed at strategic locations throughout the city where hygiene services are most needed.
The Job Post, a full-service hiring firm and social enterprise of Guiding Light, moved into a new office in Grand Rapids at 401 Hall St. SW.
Sonia Noorman has been appointed chief executive officer for the West Michigan Partnership for Children. She replaces founding CEO Kristyn Peck who recently accepted an opportunity that will bring her closer to family in the D.C. area.
Foremost Graphics launched the new HP Indigo 15K Digital Press solution to deliver cost-effective retail packaging applications and higher impact commercial print.
Chriscynethia Floyd joined Our Daily Bread Ministries as vice president and publisher. She will oversee all U.S. publishing including trade books, children’s books, gifts, video series, devotionals, Bible studies and more.
AHC Hospitality announced the opening of MDRD (pronounced Madrid), a Spanish-inspired full-service restaurant at the Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton on the 27th floor.
A consortium of West Michigan health departments, hospitals, health care providers, universities and others have launched VaccinateWestMI.com where area residents can find the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine.