Juan R. Olivarez received Grand Rapids Community College’s President Emeritus Award as part of the college’s recent commencement. Olivarez became the first Hispanic president of a Michigan college or university when he was tapped to lead GRCC in 1999. The son of migrant laborers, he has degrees from Aquinas College, Wayne State University and Michigan State University. He was named GRCC’s eighth president and is known for his efforts to develop community partnerships and boost minority enrollment, so all West Michigan students have opportunities for a strong education.
ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING
Fleis & VandenBrink hired Michael Pastor, construction technician, and Jamie VanDyke and Anne Hagedorn, administrative assistants.
Paradigm Design Inc. announced the promotions of David Hendershott to regional manager out of the Traverse City office; Brian Sinnott to civil practice area leader; and Kim VandenBerg to family entertainment center division leader.
Progressive AE opened a new office in downtown Holland at 3 W. Eighth St., making it AE’s fourth office location.
The city of Grand Rapids was named a high performer in the 2018 Equipt to Innovate national survey of American cities. This is the second year in a row Grand Rapids was selected in the survey’s race-informed category.
The Grand Rapids Bar Association in partnership with Western Michigan University, Thomas M. Cooley Law School announced the Urban League of West Michigan will receive the 2018 Liberty Bell Award; Michael D. Adams (of the Law Office of Michael David Adams, PLLC) and William M. Azkoul (of Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman PLLC) will receive the GRBA President's Award; Hon. William G. Kelly, Hon. Janet T. Neff and Hon. Paul J. Sullivan will receive the Donald R. Worsfold Distinguished Service Award; Hon. Christina Elmore will receive the 2018 Marion Hilligan Public Service Award, of Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School; and Philip Balkema, William Hineline, Glenn House, James Mitchell, Patrick Muldoon, Bruce Neckers, John Porter, Arthur Spalding, Fredric Sytsma and James Zerrenner will be recognized for their 50 years in legal practice.
LP Transport LTD (LP Padnos) of Holland finished third in the Best Fleet Award, Medium Class Category in the Institute of Scrape Recycling Industries’ sixth annual Vehicle Safety Awards. The Medium Class Category includes fleets with 1,000,001-5 million miles.
Independent Bank was named a top 10 lender in the state of Michigan for participation in the Mortgage Credit Certificate program through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority in 2017.
Independent Bank Corp., the holding company of Independent Bank, announced Terrance L. Beia was appointed to the boards of the corporation and the bank.
J.P. Morgan Private Bank Grand Rapids hired two new private bankers Paul Quinn, client adviser, executive director, and Jonathan C. Hatfield, client advisor, vice president.
Oliver Romano’s PIRTEK is operating a full, Tier 1 Service & Supply Center.
Baird announced it added financial adviser Barbara Paneral, vice president, to its Grand Rapids wealth management office.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Byron Center-based SpartanNash was named a Silver-Level Veteran-Friendly Employer by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
Long Road Distillers announced its lineup of locally crafted spirits will be distributed exclusively by Kalamazoo-based Imperial Beverage throughout the state of Michigan. To mark its new partnership, Long Road released a limited quantity of its Straight Bourbon Whisky into statewide distribution.
The Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously approved a Brownfield Plan Amendment filed by 900 Grandville Property LLC to allow for environmental site assessment grant funding for work at 900 Grandville Ave. SW and 919 Caulfield Ave. SW. The funding will be used in preparation for mitigation of environmental contamination at the site to encourage redevelopment. A developer plans to conduct roughly $26,000 of environmental site assessment activities at the site with 75 percent of the cost being covered by the grant funding.
Locker Lifestyle is the recipient of a $7,500 grant and $1,000 in FedEx office services due to its sixth annual Small Business Grant Contest.
Ottawa County Parks Foundation’s Grand River Greenway Campaign is the recipient of a $50,000 grant from Consumers Energy Foundation toward the Grand River Greenway and the Idema Explorers Trail. The greenway campaign is the culmination of a 30-year vision to protect thousands of acres of high quality natural and recreational lands along the Grand River in Ottawa County and then connect the lands with a multiuse trail, the Idema Explorers Trail.
The Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Holland earned four awards from the Marriott Hotels national brand: Lori Vaarner, corporate director of sales, was named Courtyard Direct Sales Leader of the Year; the Courtyard also won the Intent to Recommend Award; the Room Cleanliness Award; and the Platinum Circle Award for being in the top 5 percent of the brand for guest service scores.
Parmenter Law in Muskegon was honored at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s annual E-Awards for being a contributing sponsor and the emcee of the 2018 entrepreneur luncheon for the seventh year.
LEISURE & RECREATION
Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park is now part of TreeRunner Adventure Parks and will be re-named TreeRunner Grand Rapids Adventure Park this season. TreeRunner Grand Rapids will add new features to the park, including a Junior Park for kids ages 3-7, and several new obstacles and challenges will be added to its aerial trail system.
SMG-managed venues DeVos Performance Hall ranked No. 4 among venues with a capacity between 2,001-5,000, and Van Andel Arena slotted in at No. 6 among venues with a capacity between 10,001-15,000 in industry magazine VenuesNow’s 2018 Midwest Top Stops list.
AeroVision International in Muskegon announced the addition of Thomas Otto to its engine sales team.
Lindberg/MPH in Riverside announced the shipment of three natural gas fired box furnaces to a parts manufacturer for the oil and gas industry. The box furnaces will be used to develop process control requirements for heat-treating and stress relieving of underground mining/drill heads.
Tarps Now in St. Joseph released a new line of indoor and outdoor Sports Field Tarps engineered to reduce or eliminate wear and tear on sports field turf everywhere. In order to avoid having to re-seed or repair the surface, Tarps Now custom manufactures huge unobtrusive sheets of industrial grade protective fabric coverings that come in a number of different weights, fabric types, colors and custom printing options that are engineered specific to the needs of individual facility needs.
Longtime WGVU Public Media general manager Michael Walenta announced he will retire effective June 29. Walenta, who came to Grand Valley in 1988, celebrated 30 years at WGVU in January. Under his leadership, WGVU has grown from one FM station and two TV stations to a multiplatform public media station with two FM NPR stations, two AM Real Oldies and NPR stations, two TV stations with five channels each, WGVU Digital Studios and WGVU Engage.
Paul M. Keep joined the Historical Society of Michigan as director of development.
Chip Hurley joined Signature Associates with a primary focus on health care, industrial, real estate-owned (bank or government), general office properties and transportation/rail related transactions.
The Homes at River’s Edge newest eatery, Linear Restaurant, 1001 Monroe Ave. NW, recently opened for business.
The Wendy’s Company announced Jeremy Klap and Jennifer Coe with Meritage Hospitality Group, a Grand Rapids-based franchisee, were recognized as Top General Managers in its global restaurant system for 2017, for their leadership, performance, dedication and continuing service to the Wendy’s brand. These GMs represent the top 3 percent of the Wendy’s system.
BIGGBY COFFEE announced the addition of Jamie Stepanian-Bennett as vice president of the brand sphere.
Jackson-based Consumers Energy is working with Nest in The Power Project to provide 10,000 free thermostats to income-qualified Michigan residents through its energy efficiency income-qualified programs over the next three years.
FosterCare.Team launched its official website with secure registration open to foster parents, counselors, caseworkers, supervisors and agencies. This new collaborative software solution is designed exclusively for the foster care community to enhance the quality of care and to help agencies attract and retain more foster parents. For more information, visit fostercare.team.
Kentwood-based Autocam Medical, a contract manufacturer of precision surgical and medical components and devices, launched a new website, autocam-medical.com, designed to help visitors more quickly use and navigate the site, including enhanced menu features, faster response functionality and the ability to interface with all types of devices and mobile technology. The site was designed to be more visually appealing and richer in content while providing a clearer depiction of what Autocam Medical is as a company.