Change Ups: Nichols joins economic development nonprofit


The Right Place Inc., a regional nonprofit economic development organization, hired Jodi Nichols to serve as the business development coordinator for Lake and Oceana counties. Nichols will provide business support services to prospective and existing companies, and will work to improve the overall economic state of Lake and Oceana counties through business retention, expansion and attraction. Prior to her position with The Right Place, Nichols spent 20 years in community development for various nonprofits in West Michigan.


Andrews Hooper Pavlik PLC hired Benjamin R. Hull as a staff accountant for its Grand Rapids office. Hull previously completed an internship with AHP.


Wightman hired Tyler Cravens as a civil engineer for its Kalamazoo office; Andrew Mallory as a civil engineer for the Kalamazoo office; Scott Saigeon as a transportation engineer for the Allegan office; and Megan Tacey as an environmental specialist for the Benton Harbor office.


Photographer Jim Lommasson recently discussed “Exploring the Treasures of Refugees” at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, which covered the power of art for social change and the evolution of the exhibit “What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from Iraq and Syria.”


Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids honored Amway and AHC+Hospitality (Amway Hotel Corporation) with the Corporate Engagement Award for committing time and talent through different volunteering opportunities and collaboratively contributing over $219,000; Jill Dean of Lowell was honored with the Service Award for her programming leadership for the Lowell Clubhouse; Jeff Jacobi received the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award for his racing challenges that raised over $19,000; and Genevieve Elrod was honored with the Young Professional Award for being a long time Gilda’s Club parlor host and an executive member of Gilda’s Club’s young professionals group, Club Red, and was one of the top fundraisers for West Side Walk for Gilda’s Club.

Marshall Boyd of the Ottawa County Innovation & Technology Department and Amber Reagan Ottawa County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office were recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipients for the third quarter of 2018.

Ottawa County Parks was awarded the 2018 Park Design Award for Grand Ravines by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association. Grand Ravines is the centerpiece of the Grand River Greenway, which is a multidecade effort to preserve land along the Grand River from Lake Michigan to the Ottawa County border and connect the land with a multiuse pathway — the Idema Explorers Trail.

Sara J. Smolenski, chief judge, 63rd District Court, is the recipient of the Fountain Hill Center for Counseling and Consultation’s annual Porchlight Award for Contributions to Community Mental Health.


Consumers Credit Union in Kalamazoo announced the additions of John Shubert and Jesse Horton as CFS Financial Advisors to the Grand Rapids market and beyond.

Fifth Third Bank announced the appointment of Jason Paulateer to community and economic development market manager, with responsibilities for Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. Paulateer will oversee the bank’s regional compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act, cultivate community partnerships and execute community development strategies.


Jessica Vander Ark was hired as the new manager for Groundswell, a program that supports hands-on environmental learning for K-12 students in West Michigan, housed at Grand Valley State University.


David Brouwer was named regional vice president of the AXA Advisors LLC Great Lakes Branch. Brouwer has overall management responsibility for the Grand Rapids office of AXA Advisors and its financial professionals.

Edward Jones financial adviser Becky Anderson of Grand Rapids attended Barron's Top Women Advisors Summit held earlier this month in Palm Beach, Florida. This is Anderson’s sixth time being invited to attend the invitation-only event. The conference gathers the nation's top women financial advisers and leading industry decision-makers. Over the course of the three-day event, attendees have an opportunity to share ideas, grow professionally and network among their peers. 


The Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation appointed Sally W. Andreatta as executive director. Andreatta will lead the foundation in successfully advancing the mission, as well as work to positively impact its reach and effectiveness within Grand Rapids Public Schools and its more than 17,000 students.  

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services hired Donald MacKenzie as executive director of the Pine Rest Foundation, which has assets close to $25 million.


State Sen. Goeff Hansen received the Check In Michigan 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Capitol for his work advancing Michigan lodging and tourism policy.


Miller Johnson welcomed associates Sandra Andre, Blake Padget and Michael Penny. Andre and Penny join the firm’s employment and labor section, while Penny is in the business/corporate section.


Kevin Patterson, assurance partner at BDO Grand Rapids, was elected to the board of directors of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan.

Mel Trotter Ministries and Inner City Christian Federation announced the opening of two affordable housing units for men who are transitioning from the shelter at Mel Trotter into supportive housing. ICCF will serve as the owner and property manager while leasing the two homes to Mel Trotter, which will walk alongside guests in their new living environment. Single men who have completed one of the various programs at MTM and have a steady income stream will be tenants at the homes. The two homes are located on the west side of Grand Rapids; combined, they offer five rooms with rent ranging from $350 to $450 a month. 


City Barbeque finalized plans to open its first location in Michigan in early 2019 at 3050 28th St. SE in Kentwood. The Kentwood eatery will smoke all meats on-site and serve award-winning barbeque, homemade sides and indulgent desserts.

The Commons, a 3,500-square-foot restaurant located in the garden-level suite on the west side of The Oakwood on Cherry Street, opened with a menu that consists of retro comfort food, craft beer and modernized ’70s themed drinks. Regular hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight.

Uccello’s Ristorante now delivers within one mile of its downtown location, 122 Monroe Center NW.


Mister Car Wash opened two new locations at 6771 Old 28th St. SE and 725 N. Lafayette St., Greenville.


OST announced it achieved Amazon Web Serve IoT Competency status. This designation recognizes OST for providing deep expertise in the internet of things (IoT) that helps organizations implement capabilities for a variety of use cases including — though not limited to — smart and connected products and experiences, intelligent factories, smart cities, energy, automotive, transportation and health care.

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