Change Ups: Reeg joins Exalta Health as advancement director

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Abby Reeg. Courtesy Exalta Health

Abby Reeg is the new director of advancement of the faith-based nonprofit, Exalta Health. She comes to Exalta after a decade of fund development work at Hope College, her alma mater. Reeg will direct fund development, marketing and communications for Exalta, which provides compassionate, accessible health care to uninsured, underinsured and underserved families. Reeg’s position is key because Exalta Health relies heavily on donations from businesses, individuals, churches and foundations to provide primary and urgent care medical and dental services.

ACCOUNTING

Korte & Kowatch announced the additions of Marsha Schmuker as a tax manager and Mabelle Lawson as a tax associate.

ARTS

LowellArts announced 12 concerts for the 2020 Gallery Concert Series where guests can listen to music while enjoying the exhibition that is on display. All concerts are held at LowellArts, 223 W. Main St., Lowell. For more information visit lowellartsmi.org/gallery-concerts.

AWARDS

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce named Mary Beth Ramos, Ramos & Sons Auto Body, and Lisa Falcon, Comerica Bank, as this year’s recipients of the 2019 Ambassador of the Year Award.

BANKING

Coldwater-based Southern Michigan Bancorp Inc., the holding company of Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, recently announced the appointment of Stacey Hamlin, president and CEO of CTS Telecom, as a member of its board of directors.

BUSINESS SERVICES

The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan announced the following joined its BBB board of directors: Adam Aukerman, Whirlpool; Catherine Jacobs, Warner, Norcross + Judd; Dan Morrison, West Michigan Whitecaps; Jason Reyes, Amway; Jessica Ann Tyson, JA PR Group and The Candied Yam; and Janet Zahn, Kennari Consulting.

CONSTRUCTION

Wolverine Building Group announced the additions of Cliff Kilboy as a senior project manager; David de Velder and John Lafrinere as project managers; Timothy Thome as preconstruction manager; and Mitchell Japowicz, Lee Purches and Timothy Clogg as superintendents.

ECONOMY

The latest Michigan Future Business Index data shows more than 8 in 10 (82%) of statewide business leaders representing small- to midsized businesses remain satisfied with the overall economy. Satisfaction is strongest in West Michigan (88%).

EDUCATION

Grandville-based World Literacy Foundation announced a new initiative with the Harry Moon book series to specifically target children in grades 3, 4 and 5 in response to low-level reading skills since 2000 as reported recently in the Programme for International Student Assessment. The new Kids Read One program will provide books and education resources to school districts so the whole class can read the same book series together.

Grand Rapids Community College received its third Impact Award in five years from West Michigan Works! With help from Grand Rapids Community College Workforce Training, the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District and West Michigan Works!, Nepal native Aruna Khadka completed the Certified Nurse Assistant training program, is working in the field and plans to continue her education. Khadka’s success — and the collaboration supporting her journey — earned GRCC Workforce Training the award.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Two K Farms of Suttons Bay was awarded two Jefferson Cups for their Rosé Cider and 2017 Riesling at the 2019 Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition.

St. Julian, with six tasting rooms in Michigan, reached a long-term supply agreement with Indianapolis-based Ardagh Group, Glass – North America, a division of Ardagh Group, to manufacture its wine bottles. The new agreement pairs the longest continually operating and largest winery in the state of Michigan with the largest domestic manufacturer of glass bottles for the U.S. wine market.

GOVERNMENT

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reappointed Ottawa County administrator Al Vanderberg to the Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission with a term expiring Dec. 15, 2023.

The city of Kentwood promoted Capt. Bryan Litwin to deputy police chief of the Kentwood Police Department.

GRANTS

The Grand Rapids Public Library received a $152,000 grant from the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation to fund the library’s annual One Book, One City for Kids community event; the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition; the Grand Rapids Poet Laureate; digitization and preservation of historical material in the archives; Vander Veen Center for the Book local author events; audiobooks; and accessions to the archival collection. They also approved a grant to support a yearlong celebration of the library's 150th anniversary in 2021. The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs granted $15,000 to be used for youth literature programming, which includes One Book, One City for Kids, which provides all of the fifth graders in Grand Rapids Public Schools with the selected book and the opportunity to meet the author; and the library’s annual Summer Reading Challenge.

HEALTH

Dr. Laura Ford joined Grand Rapids OB/GYN as its director of the Center for Women’s Sexual Health at 4070 Lake Drive, Suite 101. Ford sees women of all ages for gynecological care.

Exalta Health in Grand Rapids announced the appointment of four new board members: Tom Hillegonds, attorney with Varnum; Jose Neites, relationship banker at Bank of America; Martha Norden, retired scoring director for Measurement Inc.; and Zayda Rodriguez, community connector with Molina Healthcare of Michigan

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital recently received $22,859 raised from local Subway restaurant owners during this year’s Subway Cares program in Grand Rapids. The money will be used to fund more than 20 different programs in the hospital. 

HOSPITALITY

JW Marriott Grand Rapids will host a two-day Wedding Showcase, Jan. 12-13, to unveil its newly renovated International Ballroom. Wedding and event experts from JW Marriott will be on hand to answer questions regarding ceremonies and receptions on the property and the space will be set as an example wedding. The newly renovated space has been completely renovated to create a warm environment for weddings and celebrations, with dark, muted tones and metallic accents. The pre-function space also will feature furniture made from rich wood and plush fabrics.

LEGAL

Adam Baginski joined Rhoades McKee’s Business Law, Real Estate Law, and the Estate Planning and Administration teams as an associate.

Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge announced associate attorneys Anurima Deshpande and Ali Fardoun joined the firm’s Grand Rapids office.

MANUFACTURING

Haviland Contract Manufacturing hired Dan Burke as account manager.

Lowell-based custom team athletic wear manufacturer ADDIX launched a nine-day order-to-ship promise. In addition, ADDIX’s go-to-market strategy includes a new logo, new mission statement, new online retail store (addixgear.com/shop), new product lines — including kick bags and full-size custom re-apply wall images — new strategic alliances forged in hockey, flag football and softball, as well as new relationships in soccer. Equipment investments include new Golden Laser automated cutting equipment for precise cuts and faster production. Noel Dean was promoted to EVP of business development;  John Kunter was hired as controller and Will Farr as director of events.

NONPROFITS

Mel Trotter Ministries recently opened its third thrift store at 2111 W. Main St., Lowell, 49331. All profits from Mel Trotter Thrift Stores go to support the ongoing work of Mel Trotter Ministries to support individuals and families overcoming homelessness in greater Grand Rapids.

SPORTS

Battle Creek-based Kellogg Co.’s Tony the Tiger and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation teamed up to give a $500,000 Sports Matter grant to every public middle school athletic department in El Paso, Texas, in order to help give more middle school kids access to sports.

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