Change-Ups: O-A-K hires project manager with SW Michigan focus


Courtney James comes to Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. with 20 years of construction management and architectural experience, managing projects up to $70 million, with a large focus in the education and governmental industries. As O-A-K’s project manager, James will serve current and future clients in the Southwest Michigan region, where O-A-K is experiencing growth. James previously served as the co-founder, vice president and project manager for a technology consultant firm, and volunteers for the Animal Rescue Project. She also serves on the Gerald D. Barnes Family Scholarship Selection Committee and the Battle Creek Central High School Hall of Fame Board of Directors.


Ghafari Associates announced the promotion of Tom Tooley to executive vice president and business unit leader. Tooley will lead office operations while continuing to maintain client partnerships and pursue new corporate, commercial and mixed-use opportunities. Project architect Matthew Christie has been appointed president of the American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids chapter for 2020. The local chapter serves over 200 members within the greater Grand Rapids area.

M.C. Smith Associates Inc. in East Grand Rapids announced it has received national certification as a Women Owned Small Business granted by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Prein&Newhof announced Payton Novak recently earned his Professional Engineer License in the state of Michigan.


The Grand Rapids Art Museum will participate in two paid internship programs this summer to encourage art professions for underrepresented students. As one of 10 museums nationally selected in year two of the Association of Art Museum Directors paid internship program, GRAM will offer one undergraduate position with the museum’s Curatorial Department. In addition, the museum is launching the pilot year of its Steelcase Fellowship program for two graduate level students pursuing degrees in arts administration, nonprofit management or a related field.


Holland industrial manufacturer Bradford Co. has been selected as the 2020 Outstanding Growth Award recipient by the Association for Corporate Growth Western Michigan. With eight manufacturing locations across North America, Bradford is North America’s largest manufacturer of industrial paperboard partitions, sewn textile packaging and custom engineered reusable/returnable interior protective packaging.

Meijer Gardens Hospitality head chef Andy Krause was awarded the American Culinary Federation of Greater Grand Rapids Chef of the Year Award, and Meijer Gardens Hospitality received the Innovative Award.


The Freddie Mac Affordable Housing Advisory Council announced the appointment of new member Patrick Ervin, Independent Bank executive vice president of mortgage banking.

BUSINESS SERVICES has acquired Snowfighters Institute, a provider of educational events for the professional snow and ice management industry in North America. Entrepreneurs Phil Harwood of Grand Rapids Township and Neal Glatt of Wilmington, Massachusetts, are managing partners of

Plante Moran announced the promotion of Grand Rapids partner Rob Bondy to leader of the firm’s mortgage and finance practice.


Asa J. Lakeman announced the formation of Lakeman Financial, a division of VantagePointe Financial Group, an independent financial services firm.

Kristin Bennett has joined Kalamazoo-based Greenleaf Trust as vice president, assistant director of wealth management; Victor Perez has been hired as associate participant services administrator.


New Holland Brewing announced the upcoming launch of Lightpoint Functional White Ale, its first “active pursuits” beer. Featuring coconut water, orange peel and raw honey, the drink features 2g of carbs and 86 calories per 12-oz. can. Lightpoint White Ale is brewed with natural ingredients and local Lake Michigan water. To kickstart the launch, New Holland will be hosting its first annual Lightpoint 5K fun run, on March 28, starting and finishing at New Holland Grand Rapids brewpub: The Knickerbocker.


Kent County Board of Commissioners chair Mandy Bolter and Grand Rapids mayor Rosalynn Bliss co-sponsored a new initiative aimed at ending child lead exposure in Kent County by announcing the formation of the Kent County Lead Action Team. The LAT will focus on specific goals and priorities and take concrete steps to advance and complete those goals.


Grand Haven-based education organization DO MORE GOOD has launched a grant program providing in-kind gifts of marketing-related services to nonprofits from for-profit businesses. The grants will range in value from $500 and $5,000 and feature services utilized by most nonprofits.

Ottawa County is the recipient of a $438,750 grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) Local Farmland Preservation Program for permanent agricultural conservation easements. The county has 168 acres of farmland.


Anne Marie Carson, Ryan P. Duffy, Brittany R. Harden, Amy E. Murphy and Stephen J. van Stempvoort recently were elected to membership at Miller Johnson.

Miller Johnson attorney Reid Williams has been accepted into the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellows Program, a yearlong, in-depth program that focuses on relationship building, in-person training, peer-group projects and extensive contact with LCLD’s top leadership and the teachers.


Alexis Manufacturing Co. in Grand Rapids has been purchased by Brooklyn-based lighting design and manufacturing company Roll & Hill. Father and son Ivan and Norman Alexis founded Alexis Manufacturing in 1946.

Kalamazoo-based Stryker announced Lisa Skeete Tatum, founder and CEO of Landit Inc., has been nominated for election to the company’s board of directors at Stryker’s 2020 annual meeting of shareholders, scheduled for May 5.


The Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan hired Jessica Harrison as its marketing and development director and Kortney Hapner in the newly created position of volunteer services coordinator.

Wedgwood Christian Services hired Patricia Hawkin as the director of Substance Use Disorder Services.


Chow Hound Pet Supplies now offers positive pet training at all Chow Hound locations and Pet Wellness Clinics. Owners are taught how to socialize their pets and how to prevent unwanted behaviors. All trainers are certified by the Animal Behavior College, AKC, or are a graduate of Pet Training Apprentice Program and have a minimum of 5 years of training experience. The fee for each six-week class is $135: $25 non-refundable deposit plus $110 due at first class. For more information, visit


Northern Jet Management Inc. of Grand Rapids announced the opening of its Naples, Florida, base at the Naples Airport, which includes a 12,000-square-foot hangar, office space and a fuel farm.


Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch in Saranac has re-launched its corporate website,, with several new, interactive features to highlight the Herbruck’s story for its business partners and current and prospective employees. The updated website includes a detailed history of the Herbruck family, its leadership in egg production dating back to 1958, and information on all Herbruck’s products on the market.

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