Change Ups: Placzkowski tapped to lead B&GC of Grand Rapids


Patrick Placzkowski. Courtesy Boys & Girls Club of Grand Rapids

Patrick Placzkowski was chosen as the CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Grand Rapids following a six-month national search. The club serves more than 2,500 youths annually and includes facilities throughout the city of Grand Rapids and Camp O’Malley in Alto. Placzkowski earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and his master’s from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was recruited in 2012 by Van Andel Institute to lead itsfundraising initiatives as director of development.


Architect Michael Lubbers joined Ghafari Associates as its director of design in Grand Rapids. He will assume lead responsibility for design direction and process management in West Michigan while also collaborating with clients in Chicago and southeast Michigan.


Dick DeWitt from the facilities maintenance department and Joan Grillo from the prosecutor's office were recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipients for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Next-day delivery service Holland was recognized by Echo Global Logistics with its 2018 Regional LTL Carrier of the Year Award.


Grand Rapids Christian Schools announced the appointment of Ben Buursma as principal of Rockford Christian School and John Barkel as principal of Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School – Iroquois Campus.


Lansing-based Michigan Conservative Energy Forum announced the addition of Rob VerHeulen to its Leadership Council. VerHeulen recently completed his third term in the Michigan House of Representatives and previously served as the mayor of Walker for 11 years.


Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve announced Ken Freestone and the late Patty Birkholz were inducted in the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame. Freestone helped launch the Macatawa Greenway and started to help educate the public on sustainable resources. Birkholz’s 14 years in the Michigan Legislature left a legacy of major environmental policy changes and sponsored the Recreation Passport, the Great Lakes Compact of 2008, and wetlands and land-use regulations.


Ada-based USA Financial launched a podcast for financial advisers called UnNiched with the intent of dismantling the notion women are simply a niche market. It addresses some of the biggest challenges that face professional women working in the financial services industry.


Grand Rapids-based Better Drinking Culture and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced a partnership to launch a mindful retailing program intended to help distillers provide memorable experiences and mitigate alcohol-related harms. Visitor centers that successfully complete an audit of its best practices will receive recognition from BDC and its growing tribe.


Ablative Solutions Inc. in Kalamazoo released new data from the Peregrine Post-Market Clinical Trial that evaluates the safety and efficacy of the CE-marked Peregrine Catheter when used in the treatment of patients with uncontrolled hypertension in conjunction with antihypertensive medications. The usefulness endpoint of the study was met, with a reduction in mean systolic 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure of 11 mmHg at a six-month follow-up. Additionally, the average reduction in systolic office blood pressure was 18 mmHg.

Exalta Health now provides dental care on a walk-in basis in the Burton Heights area of Grand Rapids, which will help increase access to dental care for uninsured and underserved individuals who live, work and attend school in Grand Rapids.

Hope Network and the Hope Network Center for Recovery expanded their substance use disorder services in Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Petoskey. The Hope Network Center for Recovery is onboarding professionals who have been serving people through West Brook Recovery for more than 10 years, and it will accept insurance and extend treatment services to include detox and residential treatment. 

Kalamazoo-based Innovative Cardiovascular Solutions LLC, a privately held medical device company, announced the first clinical use of its next-generation Emblok Embolic Protection System in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedures in its European feasibility study. The cases were successfully performed by primary investigator Dr. Federico De Marco at Policlinico San Donato (Milan, Italy).

Kalamazoo-based Streamline Healthcare Solutions reached a partnership with Community Alliance in Omaha, Nebraska, that will help Community Alliance use one integrated system for its broad range of services, including outpatient, residential and community services.


Detroit-based Bodman PLC announced Brent R. Scott joined the firm as an associate attorney in the workplace law practice group in the firm’s Grand Rapids office.

Raj Malviya, a partner in the private client practice group of Miller Johnson, is a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.


Composite Builders is more than doubling its manufacturing space and investing $344,600 to retrofit 30,000 square feet within a larger facility at 430 W. 18th St. in Holland. The expansion will allow the company to support new projects, including the building of the America’s Cup sailboat that is slated to be completed this fall. The expansion is expected to create 15 new jobs.

Hines Corp. transferred ownership of Muskegon-based Michigan Spring & Stamping to KERN-LIEBERS. MS&S manufactures a wide range of technical springs, assemblies, precision stampings and wire forms used in a variety of industries, including medical, automotive, recreation, industrial and more.


Grand Rapids Griffins hockey on Newsradio WOOD (106.9 FM) and (1300 AM) was honored by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters during its 2018 Broadcast Excellence Awards. The Griffins’ Vice President of Community Relations and Broadcasting Bob Kaser’s call of the Griffins’ 4-3 shootout win over Cleveland on Dec. 29 was awarded Best in the Play-By-Play Sports category for Commercial Radio Market 2.


Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, a women-focused entrepreneurial support and training organization, is celebrating 30 years of supporting and educating men and women of West Michigan through all facets of entrepreneurship. GROW offers hundreds of training classes and hundreds of hours in free business counseling serving nearly 2,000 clients in Grand Rapids and Muskegon annually.


Comcast Business promoted Brad Gramlin to director of enterprise sales for the company's Heartland region, which includes Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky. Based in Grand Rapids, Gramlin will lead Comcast Business’s Strategic Enterprise group, which services government, education, medical, finance, and the largest commercial and manufacturing accounts.

X-Rite announced a partnership with Dassault Systèmes to support the Appearance Exchange Format for digital measured material representations. The new partnership provides Dassault customers with a standard way to communicate color and appearance material by using Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform and AxF, automotive, aerospace, architecture, apparel and consumer goods companies will be able to share material libraries that include color and appearance data between departments, suppliers and partners to accelerate business innovation.

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