Change Ups: Reimer recognized as ‘best of the best’


Laurie Reimer was named one of the top 10 general managers in The Wendy’s Co.’s global restaurant system for 2016. Reimer is general manager at the Comstock Park Wendy’s at 4694 W. River Road operated by Meritage Hospitality Group, a Wendy’s franchise. Reimer was recognized as one of the “best of the best” during festivities held at the first Top GM Conference at Wendy’s Restaurant Support Center in Dublin, Ohio. Reimer successfully runs a $1.5-$2 million or more business by effectively leading her restaurant team.


The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University named Our Community’s Children Executive Director Lynn Heemstra as one of its 100 top alumni at its Centennial Celebration. The school presents the Professional Achievement Award to alumni who embody the Centennial theme: Inspiring Hope, Shaping the Future. Our Community’s Children is a partnership of the City of Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Harvey Cadillac commemorated its 50th anniversary of serving West Michigan with a special award presentation to president/owner John M. Leese by the North Central Region Cadillac Zone Manager and District Sales Manager.


Hoogerhyde is celebrating its 90th anniversary as a supplier of security for homes, businesses, institutions and automobiles. The company selected Habitat for Humanity of Kent County as its charity partner and will provide new locks and keys for each of the nonprofit’s new home builds in the coming year.


The Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center at Aquinas College celebrated its 30th anniversary. The center opened in 1986 as the first women’s studies center in West Michigan. Its 30-year history reflects the Dominican Sisters’ work for social justice, as well as a larger history of women’s movements over the past 40-50 years.

Baker College in Muskegon was recognized with a gold ranking for the second year in a row by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency’s Veteran-Friendly School Program for its commitment to veterans and their dependents attending school under the GI Bill.

Davenport University announced it is celebrating its 150th anniversary, which includes a Founders 150th Anniversary Gala on Sept. 29 during ArtPrize, featuring a performance by internationally renowned a cappella group Chapter 6. The event is open to the public and proceeds will help establish the Founders’ Endowed Scholarship.

Grand Rapids Community College announced the employee recipients of its Excellence in Education Awards for their contributions to the college, higher education and the community: faculty award, Mike Klawitter, a reference librarian and archivist; staff award, Laura DeVries, a support professional with the English department; and the adjunct award, the music department's Yelena Wells.

The International Literacy Association of Newark, Delaware, announced Kentwood Public Schools EL teacher Kathryn Lett was named an honoree to its second annual 30 Under 30 list for advancing literacy.

Vivian Valdmanis was tapped to lead Western Michigan University’s new master of public health program. Valdmanis will serve as director for the hybrid program, which begins this fall and requires both online and in-person instruction at WMU’s Grand Rapids regional location.


Charles Schwab opened an independent Holland branch at The Shops at Westshore, 12365 James St. The Holland branch is led by Schwab Independent branch leader Kurt Kamminga, a financial services professional with 16 years of experience in investment management.


James Wilson was named president of Michigan Blood.

Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming appointed Tom Heetderks as vice president of human resources, Thomas Mulder as vice president of practice administration for the Metro Health Medical Group, Penny DeVries as director of marketing and Laura Smith as director of its cancer center.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services announced the hiring of six psychiatrists to provide care in its outpatient clinics and inpatient hospital: Obo Addy, M.D.; Jonathon Dozeman, D.O.; Sonia Motin, M.D.; Swapnil Rath, M.D.; Jeffrey Stearns, M.D.; and Michael Walsh, M.D.

West Michigan Orthopaedics announced the promotion of Dr. Carl Wierks to partner. He also serves as a physician for the U.S. snowboard team and specializes in hip arthroscopy.


Jenn E. Callahan has joined Clark as vice president of development and executive director of the Clark Foundation.Callahan will be responsible for spearheading Clark’s fundraising efforts and growing the foundation. Annually, Clark raises more than $1 million to provide residents with quality programming and services. Callahan previously served as director of the office of stewardship/development and Catholic Foundation of Southwest Michigan for the Diocese of Kalamazoo. 


Alles Law announced the addition of attorney Jordan Bush to the firm. Bush will expand the practice areas the firm currently offers to include real estate, adding tremendous value to the estate planning, special needs and elder law services currently offered. Bush previously served as district director for U.S. Rep. Justin Amash.

Kalamazoo-based Kreis Enderle attorneys Allison Sleight and David Hill each were named a Rising Star by Michigan Super Lawyers.

Robert E. L. Wright was named Arbitration Lawyer of the Year for Grand Rapids by Best Lawyers in America. Wright founded The Peace Talks PLC in 2000 to devote his practice exclusively to mediation and arbitration matters, and is a former partner with Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone.

The following Varnum attorneys were recognized as Lawyer of the Year in their respective areas of practice in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America: Robert A. Buchanan, Municipal Law; Randall W. Kraker, Litigation – Real Estate; Thomas G. Kyros, Litigation – Trusts and Estates; Wayne D. Roberts (two designations), Litigation and Controversy – Tax, and Tax Law; and Matthew D. Zimmerman, Land Use and Zoning Law


Mary (Olivier) Avery was promoted to vice president of marketing at Walker-based Tubelite Inc.

Novi-based Lacks Wheel Trim Systems LLC, a business unit of Grand Rapids-based Lacks Enterprises Inc., was cited in a joint Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report titled “Midterm Evaluation of Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards for Model Years 2022-2025” for its innovative lightweight eVOLVE wheel.


The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association in Lansing announced its selection of Sheriff Blaine Koops of Allegan County as its new executive director. Koops was elected Allegan County’s sheriff in 2000. He has served as an adjunct professor for Grand Valley State University's School of Criminal Justice, and was a faculty member of Michigan State University's School of Criminal Justice – Regional Center for Community Policing and has lectured on policy and procedure development for Northwestem University's School of Police Staff and Command.


Silverberry announced it closed the retail portion of its Plainfield Avenue area European specialty café and will redirect solely to catering and wholesale services starting in early 2017.

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