Change Ups: New Catholic elementary school to have STEM focus

Change Ups: New Catholic elementary school to have STEM focus

St. Robert Catholic School will be a new independent Catholic elementary school scheduled to open in Ada in the fall of 2018, with a particular focus in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curricula. An array of cocurricular and extracurricular activities also will be available. It will be located at St. Robert of Newminster Parish, 6477 Ada Drive, Ada, and offer child care, preschool, kindergarten, first and second grades, with one grade per year added through the eighth grade.


The Grand Rapids Public Library board of library commissioners re-elected James Botts as president and M. Jade VanderVelde as vice president/secretary. New board members Ivory Lehnert was elected to a six-year term, and Rachel S. Anderson was elected to a full six-year term after being appointed by the board to fill a vacant seat in 2016.


West Michigan International/K&R Truck Sales announced it was recognized by International Truck as a Diamond Edge Certified dealer, a collaborative effort between International Truck and its dealer body to recognize dealers for their commitment to uptime and to drive awareness of the high-performing service offered to customers from dealers with this designation.


ChoiceOne Bank in Sparta was invited to present its customer service program, for which it received the 2017 National Community Bank Service Award, to the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee at the Michigan State Capitol. The program was created to help the unbanked and Spanish-speaking consumers in the communities ChoiceOne Bank serves.

Mark Peterson joined Lake Michigan Credit Union as vice president of commercial lending.


Kalamazoo-based Great Lakes Colleges Association board of directors announced Michael A. (Mickey) McDonald will become the eighth president of the consortium in its 55-year history, effective July 2018. He brings to this role 25 years of experience both as a faculty member and administrator at liberal arts colleges.


The Kent County Recycling Center reopened following scheduled upgrades that included installing equipment to mechanically sort paper cartons and corrugated cardboard to help keep up with the community’s growing recycling needs. The upgrades make it possible for residents and businesses whose recycling comes to Kent County’s Recycling Center include cartons, including empty creamer, soy and almond milk containers, juice boxes, milk cartons and boxed water.


Advance Capital Management announced industry veteran James Walsh joined its team of financial professionals serving West Michigan. He is a designated Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor, bringing more than 18 years of experience in the financial and retirement planning industry. Prior to joining Advance Capital, Walsh was an associate director/financial adviser at Zhang Financial in Portage.


The Grand Rapids SmartZone Local Development Finance Authority approved six grant awards totaling $1.6 million to local entities supporting high-technology businesses and entrepreneurs: The applied Medical Device Institute at Grand Valley State University; The Keller Family Businesses LLC; Spectrum Health Systems, in collaboration with GVSU and Kendall College of Art and Design; Start Garden; and Creative Many Michigan. The grant funds will leverage an additional $2.6 million of other private funds and directly serve more than 35 high-tech startups with the potential to serve many more indirectly with the new investments. The LDFA also agreed to reserve $500,000 for a joint talent proposal to be submitted by Grand Rapids Public Schools, West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology and Grand Circus for new high-tech training facilities and programs.


Arbor Circle announced the appointments of Jesse Bernal, Holly Jandernoa, Mark Nettleton, John Rolecki and Wali Thomas to its board of directors. Appointed as officers: board chair, Nancy Miller; vice chair/secretary, David Emdin; and treasurer, Jonathan Sytsma.

Cherry Health announced it was awarded Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) level of certification for Heart of the City Health Center that was built in 2011 with the goal of offering multiple services under one roof, including adult medicine, pediatrics, dental, vision, pharmacy, health insurance assistance, outpatient counseling and integrated behavioral health.

MedNow, Spectrum Health’s telemedicine service, launched its MedNow app for consumers, making Spectrum Health the first health system in the country to build a standalone consumer-facing telemedicine app for users inside and outside of the Spectrum Health System. The app can be used throughout Michigan, is available for iPhone and Android devices, and may be downloaded for free. More information is available at

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health in Wyoming announced the hiring of specialty physicians for its Stroke Center: Augusto Elias, director of neurointerventional radiology; Jeffrey Fletcher, director of neurocritical care; and Ravi Shastri, who is a fellowship trained in neuroradiology and neurointerventional radiology at the University of Michigan Medical Center and is board certified in radiology and neuroradiology. These physicians join an established neurology team consisting of Kipp Chillag and Jordan Taylor.


Bloom Sluggett PC hired attorney Brandon Stewart, who will handle real estate, environmental and contract matters for municipal clients.

Law partners Aileen Leipprandt, Steve Hilger and Ben Hammond announced attorney Mark Rysberg was elected as a shareholder with Hilger Hammond PC. Rysberg served the firm as an associate attorney since 2010

Velzen, Johnsen & Wikander P.C. announced it changed its name to Johnsen Wikander P.C., as a result of the departure of shareholder Randall Velzen, who took a position with Grand Rapids law firm Mika Meyers PLC last spring. Jennifer L. Johnsen and Erica L. Wikander will continue the law practice under the name Johnsen Wikander P.C.


Lindberg/MPH in Riverside announced the shipment of an electrically heated hot stamping furnace to an automotive supplier. This multiple chamber furnace system will be used to preheat steel blanks for hot stamping structural automotive components. The usage of multiple independent chambers means multiple blanks can be simultaneously preheated, resulting in reduced cycle times.


Catholic Charities West Michigan hosted its annual Client Christmas Store that supplied free gifts to more than 1,100 children throughout the Diocese of Grand Rapids and in Traverse City. 


Consort Display Group, of Kalamazoo, marked its 35 years in business with the publication of a new 72-page catalog. The business began as a street banner design and print shop in 1983, and has now expanded to a total of seven pioneering, proprietary brands and product lines, all manufactured at the facilities in Kalamazoo. The catalog can be viewed here:


Southfield-based DENSO acquired Holland-based InfiniteKey Inc. along with several key patents and R&D resources. The acquisition provides foundational pieces to developing phone-as-a-key technology and increases DENSO’s lead in developing and deploying smartphone-based automotive access, a critical component of the company’s strategy to create a future with frictionless mobility.


Jackson-based Consumers Energy was ranked as Michigan's top company — and ninth in the nation — in Newsweek’s annual Green Rankings for its commitment to environmental principles.

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