Blandford Nature Center is now certified as sensory inclusive. Partnering with KultureCity, the certification process ensures the center’s programs and events are staffed by people who know how to recognize guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads are available to guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment. Access to a dedicated quiet room is available for those who may need a quieter and more secure environment. Families can download the free KultureCity app where sensory features can be accessed.
ADVERTISING & MARKETING
Clark Communications celebrated its 15th year of business. It has served more than 350 clients representing a variety of interests, and provided $30,000 of pro bono public relations in 2019 to 12 nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurs.
Cre8gency won Best of Show at the 2020 West Michigan American Advertising Awards for its video “Love Shouldn’t Hurt,” which tells the story of a partnership between The Mitten Brewing Company, The Mitten State apparel company, and 22 West Michigan craft beverage producers to benefit Safe Haven Ministries. The campaign raised awareness of domestic violence in the community and promoted responsible alcohol consumption.
Kalamazoo-based LKF Marketing recently received a Silver Davey Award and a Silver W3 Award from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for updates to Wightman’s website.
Voyage Pictures announced it won four local American Advertising Awards: two Bronze Awards for Bissell Business Ventures; a Silver Award for Harvest Health Foods; and a Gold Award with The Colossian Forum.
ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING
Grand Rapids-based Lott3Metz Architecture and Farmington-based Crutcher Studio Inc. joined forces to contribute to Detroit’s urban evolution. The new union will be known as Lott3Metz Crutcher Architecture.
Sean Simmons joined Driesenga & Associates Inc. as crew chief in the firm’s Kalamazoo survey department.
Acrisure Benefits Group was one of three finalists in the Health & Benefit Education Category at the Ragan’s Employee Communication Awards Luncheon in New York City, for its 2019 Employee Communications Campaign with Leppink’s Inc.
Stephanie Slingerland, director, philanthropy and social impact for Battle Creek-based Kellogg Company, is the recipient of the No Kid Hungry campaign’s 2020 Breakfast Hero award.
Lake Michigan Credit Union promoted Peter Rahrig to vice president of commercial lending for its Michigan region.
Holland-based Macatawa Bank added John Pasquinelli as mortgage loan officer in its Zeeland market; Chad Creevy as vice president and portfolio manager; Justin Van Beek as senior vice president, chief risk officer; and Jeff Tatreau as senior vice president, chief technology officer.
Shane Kissack joined Calder Capital as a mergers and acquisitions adviser to support Calder’s sell-side services for middle market clients in northern Illinois and southeast Wisconsin.
Kuyper College plans to freeze tuition for new full-time students entering the college in the fall 2020 semester. Published tuition for new and transfer students entering the college will remain the same for four years for freshmen and up to four years for transfer students depending on their class standing at transfer. Current students also will benefit from these actions due to a combination of the freeze and increased institutional aid.
Olivet College announced the appointment of John Linzy Jones Jr. to its board of trustees.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Wise Men Distillery’s Red Tape Series, White Rum, was awarded a silver medal by Fifty Best, a rating organization that uses blind tasting tests and a scoring system to award medals.
Stamford, Connecticut-based Nestlé Waters North America, in partnership with Fremont Area Community Foundation, announced its most recent recipients of grants awarded through the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund: the Michigan United Conservation Clubs; Muskegon Area Intermediate School District; Muskegon River Watershed Assembly; and Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited.
American Medical Response added Hope, an emotional support and therapy dog (golden doodle) that supports the AMR EMTs as well as local public safety agencies throughout the community.
Compass Health & Wellness in Spring Lake recently opened for business. Owner Josh Watson will lead the company’s efforts and provide a variety of health coaching services along the lakeshore. For more information, visit facebook.com/compassjosh.
Dentist Michael J. Crete, of Grand Rapids and Lake Odessa, recently was elected chairman of the board of directors at the Pankey Institute (The L.D. Pankey Foundation Inc.). He also serves as a member of the board of advisers for the Pankey Institute and is a member of its visiting faculty.
Mercy Health Muskegon announced Cheryl Goodell as its chief human resources officer.
LEISURE & RECREATION
Steve Sandack, former director of security, has been promoted to director of security and compliance at Wayland-based Gun Lake Casino.
Aspen Surgical Products Inc. in Caledonia appointed Jason Krieser as its chief executive officer.
The Grand Rapids Downtown Market announced the addition of Nicholas Remes, regional general manager of AHC+Hospitality’s Marriott properties, to its board of directors.
Grand Rapids Women’s Golf Association announced the commencement of its second season, kicking off in April 2020. The association has 115 members for the 2020 season with new memberships arriving daily. The 2020 season will feature 27 events at premier courses around Greater Grand Rapids. A travel trip to Arcadia Bluffs is planned for June 2020, and members also will enjoy a variety of golf formats. The GRWGA also is scheduled to co-host The West Michigan Women’s Cup on Aug. 12 at the Lynx Golf Course in Otsego. This Solheim Cup-style event is in partnership with the Kalamazoo Women’s Golf Association.
Jack Seufert, a junior at East Grand Rapids High School, and Alex Karhunen, a junior at Jenison High School, were sent by local nonprofit First Tee of West Michigan to compete in the recent Golf to Paradise – First Tee Champions Challenge in Naples, Florida. They both took 2nd place out of the 12 First Tee teams.
John Ball Zoo announced beginning this season it no longer will have plastic beverage bottles in the zoo. Plastic soft drink bottles instead will be replaced by canned beverages or fountain drinks. Plastic bottled water will be replaced by the local Boxed Water Is Better. Vending machines will have recyclable aluminum cans.
The Iserv Company LLC has signed a statement of support for the National Guard & Reserve Employer Support Program, in celebration of those who are actively serving and have served, their families, friends and employers. In addition, the brother of an Iserv employee who is a Michigan Army National Guardsman who drills with a unit based out of the Grand Valley Armory in Wyoming will receive letters of encouragement and monthly care packages for himself and his squad once they undertake an 18-month deployment in the near future.
CARSTAR Impact of Cascade is now a certified automotive repair shop, ensuring collision repairs will be performed according to the manufacturer repair protocol by properly trained, qualified technicians using proper tools and equipment.
TRAVEL & TOURISM
Experience Grand Rapids announced the economic impact in Grand Rapids via the projected March meetings and conventions: Total number of meetings: 27; total attendees: 25,037; total hotel nights: 10,718; and total estimated spending: $ $10,450,878.50.
Saranac-based Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch launched its consumer education website, LoveYourEggs.com, that includes an Egg Personality Quiz to educate visitors on what goes into raising a hen to produce specific types of eggs.