Change Ups: Muskegon’s 2016 Agents of Change recognized


(from left to right) Allen Serio, Toni Seyferth, Ellen Berends, Hoby Thrasher, John Hermanson, Barb Hermanson, RandiLynn Talsma, Jason Talsma, Megan Byard-Karaba, John Severson and Erin Kuhn

Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with WGVU Public Media, recognized eight community leaders and initiatives as the 2016 Agents of Change. They are: Hoby Thrasher’s Bear Lake Tavern; Jason and RandiLynn Talsma’s Blended Furniture Market; Lakeshore Brewer’s Guild’s Burning Foot Beer Festival; Ellen Berends’ First Fridays; John Severson and Megan Byard-Karaba’s Muskegon Area Promise; Toni Seyferth’s Muskegon STAR! Student Program; Erin Kuhn’s Port Day Celebration; and John and Barb Hermanson’s Sails Ablaze Art Installation.



Kelly Brown joined Promotional Impact and Green as marketing project manager, whose responsibilities include supporting the development of national and international accounts, as well as digital marketing with future plans to update and expand social media and web presence. Brown joins Green Giftz shortly before the company’s move to its new 6,000-square-foot building at 532 Ottawa Ave. NW.


Grand Rapids Symphony president/CEO Peter Kjome was named the new president/CEO of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and assumes his duties Feb. 1. Kjome has been with the GRS for 16 years, first for eight years as a musician from 1990-98, and then as president/CEO for the past eight years.

Cornerstone University adjunct music professor Paul Keen is St. Cecilia Music Center’s new conductor of its Grand Band.

The Muskegon Museum of Art will showcase through Feb. 12 an 18th century manuscript in Sanskrit of an extract from the sacred Hindu text “Puranas” in its Expressions of Faith exhibition. Puranas are exceptionally popular texts of Hinduism, oldest and third-largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and “moksha” (liberation) as the ultimate goal.


West Michigan Auto Auction recently received in Las Vegas the inaugural 2016 Auction of the Year Award from the National Auto Auction Association for its excellence in community service and also received $20,000, which WMAA plans to donate all of the award money to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and West Michigan Connected Family Inc.


Level One Bank of Farmington Hills will host a grand opening of a new branch at 2355 Burton St. SE on Jan. 19.


CSM Group of Kalamazoo recognized the following contractors as the “best of the best” during its recent 2016 Key Performer Appreciation Event: Cripps Fontaine Excavating; Lounsbury Excavating; Greenscape Services; and Circuit Electric.


The city of Grand Rapids received the following honors: Its Environmental Services Department’s Biosolids program was recognized for its commitment to energy savings and for environmental stewardship; its Water Resource Recovery Facility achieved a Platinum level audit, and was designated a Clean Corporate Citizen by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The city’s Energy Services Coalition was recognized for its commitment to energy savings, for reducing energy costs and for creating a Sustainable City Future through Energy Performance Contracting.


Churchill Mortgage of Brentwood, Tennessee, announced the additions of Heather Manning and Lindsey Berry as home loan assistants in its Grand Rapids branch.

Troy-based Dart Appraisal, a nationwide, independent appraisal management company, announced the addition of Tina Manshum as an account executive covering Michigan. Manshum’s background includes retail and wholesale channels of the mortgage industry; she most recently was a national wholesale account executive for First National Bank of America in East Lansing.


Holland-based Crust 54 pizzeria is the recipient of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award for the second consecutive year and has opened a second location at 1145 S. Washington Avenue in Holland and has obtained a liquor license.

Rockford Brewing Company in Rockford celebrated four years of brewing craft beers with limited release brews, tapping kegs of 2014 and 2015 Anniversary ale, as well as featuring different versions of the 2015 batch with flavor infusions to complement the Belgian style beer.


The Kent County Board of Commissioners, through a partnership with the National Flag Foundation, the National Sheriffs Association and the National Association of Counties is offering free of charge a U.S. flag retirement box at 300 Monroe Ave. NW near the entrance of the Monroe level in the lobby shared with the city of Grand Rapids. Flags should be folded respectfully before being put in the box.


The Economic Alliance for Michigan and The Leapfrog Group announced the following hospitals were named to its 2016 list of Top Hospitals for being the highest performing hospitals on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Top Teaching Hospital Award: Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming; Top Rural Hospital Award: Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in Fremont and Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital in Reed City.

MyWay Mobile Storage announced its support of the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon and its continued corporate sponsorship for the 2017 Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon. It will provide over 15 portable storage containers that will be utilized as water and safety stations throughout the race.

Orthopaedic hand surgeon Dr. Donald Condit opened the Condit Hand Clinic, 1000 E. Paris SE, Suite 115, to treat disorders of the hand, wrist and elbow. Practice manager Maureen Vanklompenberg and nurse David Raih also joined the clinic.

Sharn Anesthesia Inc. in Caledonia announced it was named a preferred anesthesia sales and distribution partner for Salter Labs. The company also received the 2015 Salter Specialty Dealer of the Year in recognition of outstanding sales performance.


Dan Lemon joined HUB international Midwest East as a sales executive.


Lansing-based Fraser Trebilcock attorney Darrell A. Lindman is the recipient of Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business’ Department of Finance and Commercial Law Outstanding Alumni Award.

Kalamazoo-based Levine & Levine attorney Sarissa Montague was recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s as one of thirty 2016 Up & Coming Lawyers. 


Butterball Farms Inc. announced it joined with the Obama Administration and over 300 companies from across the American economy as a founding partner for the launch of the Fair Chance Business Pledge, a private sector call-to-action to improve their communities by eliminating barriers for those with a criminal record and create a pathway for a second chance.


The Children’s Assessment Center of Kent County received a $1,000 donation from Extend Your Reach, which it will use to provide therapeutic services and Coping Boxes to victims of child sexual abuse.


One Trick Pony Grill and Taproom recently marked its 20th anniversary with giveaways, special music events, commemorative mugs, the return of original menu items, KBS keg tapping and a grand prize drawing for free monthly dinners for a year.


Everstream in Cleveland announced a definitive agreement to acquire Lynx Network Group, a Kalamazoo-based provider of bandwidth infrastructure services.

Spartan Net marked its 15th anniversary. The internet service provider started in East Lansing and expanded service to more than 15,000 residents in Lansing and Grand Rapids. The company was the first internet provider in the Midwest to deliver Gigabit fiber internet to the home, three years before Google Fiber.

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