Change-Ups: Rhoades McKee hires Kowalski as COO

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Susan Kowalski. Courtesy Rhoades McKee

Susan Kowalski joined Rhoades McKee as chief operating officer. She will provide input and leadership affecting financial planning and firm growth, human resources, marketing, technology, facilities and client services for the Rhoades McKee law offices located in Grand Rapids, Hastings and Holland. Kowalski previously served as chief financial officer at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP, a full-service law firm with multiple locations. In addition to her time at Shumaker Loop, Kowalski also worked in public accounting at Ernst & Young.

ACCOUNTING

Hungerford Nichols elected Tom Prince as managing shareholder.

ARCHETECTURE & ENGINNERING

Benton Harbor-based Wightman announced the addition of Indiana-based firms to the Wightman brand: Lang, Feeney & Associates Inc. in South Bend and Plymouth Land Surveying & Design in Plymouth. The moves bring Wightman’s total employees to over 150 across seven locations in two states.

ADVERTISING & MARKETING

Muskegon-based marketing agency Revel promoted Sarah Powers to vice president of account services.

ARTS

Meghan Distel, former director of marketing and public relations of Broadway Grand Rapids, has been tapped as its new president and CEO following the retirement of Mike Lloyd.

St. Cecilia Music Center announced the election of board officers Taggart Town, president; Jeffrey Cook, vice president; Ed Meyette, treasurer; and Tom Mathison, secretary.

The Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation added board members Gayl Kessel, community volunteer, and Shane Rider, business manager and senior staff accountant, Nienhuis Financial Group.

AWARDS

StoryPoint Rockford, Boulder Creek Assisted Living & Memory Care and Hathaway Hills Assisted Living & Memory Care are recipients of A Place For Mom’s Best of Senior Living 2022 Award. The award is given to the top 2% of senior living communities in the nation.

BANKING

Lake Odessa-based Union Bank announced the addition of Jon Novetske as mortgage banker.

Sparta-based ChoiceOne Bank announced the promotions of Skylet Cummings to vice president and regional manager, Veronica Bishop to assistant vice president, deposit operations manager, and Cheryl Gregware to assistant vice president, customer service center manager. Kimberly Groves joined the bank as community development manager.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Dave Antonowitsch. Courtesy Andy J. Egan Co.

Andy J. Egan Co. announced the promotions of Dave Antonowitsch as director of service and controls following Jeff Bechtel’s 18 years in that role, and Dylan Pancoast as Grand Rapids service manager, following Jon Dolbee’s retirement. Bechtel will maintain a consultant role with Egan through 2023.

Enviah PC announced the promotions of David Buchanan to director-planning and design and Jake Dykstra to director-owner’s representation services.

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce named Jeff Connolly, senior vice president and president, West Michigan and Upper Peninsula for Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Michigan, chair of the organization’s board of directors. The chamber also welcomed to its board: Krista Flynn, regional president, Huntington Bank; David Leonard, senior vice president, strategic partnerships and chief legal officer, Spectrum Health; Isaac Norris, principal, Isaac Norris Architects; and Natalie Stewart, vice president of government and public affairs, SWITCH. The chamber also announced internal leadership changes: Omar Cuevas, vice president of investor and corporate relations; Andy Johnston, senior vice president of advocacy and strategic engagement; Josh Lunger, vice president of government affairs; and Mark Allen, senior director of business services.

CONSTRUCTION

Bruce Heys Builders hired Jason Nulf as project manager.

Rockford Construction announced Shane Napper has been named the company’s chief operating officer,

Triangle Associates Inc. named David Schoonbeck chief operating officer.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Rehmann announced the appointment of Katie Stewart as human resource solutions senior manager. Stewart will be based in the firm’s Grand Rapids office.

FOUNDATIONS

Artrella Cohn, Kama Mitchell and Dr. L. Marshall Washington joined the Kalamazoo Community Foundation board of trustees.

GOVERNMENT

The Grand Rapids Police Department recognized James Vakertzis as Police Officer of the Year and emergency communications operator Evan Walters as Professional Staff Member of the Year.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to waive the 2022-2023 food licensing fees for all existing food establishments in Kent County. The approximately $1.2 million funding for this waiver comes from the county’s portion of the American Rescue Plan Act. In late 2021, Kent County was awarded more than $127 million to support the continued response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

HEALTH

Megan Erskine has been selected as CEO of Catherine’s Health Center.

LEISURE & RECREATION

The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority, which is responsible for oversight of DeVos Place, DeVos Performance Hall and Van Andel Arena, appointed Omar Cuevas and Joe Jones as co-chairs for the Community Inclusion Group. Cuevas and Jones will lead the task force in ongoing efforts to assist and advise the venues in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. M. Scott Bowen was appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the seven-member CAA board.

MANUFACTURING

Grand Rapids-based industrial technology and electrical services firm Feyen Zylstra was chosen by the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Institute to create a Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center with $250,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

MEDIA

“Behind the Mitten,” co-hosted by Amy Sherman and John Gonzalez, recently made a return to the Michigan airwaves. New to the show is a one-minute weekly segment called “Above the Bridge,” which is hosted by Upper Peninsula resident and business owner Jay Clancey. Radio veteran Phil Tower has been brought on as executive producer. The show is working with I Heart Media and the West Michigan Tourist Association on distribution and partnerships.

Indigenous-led news outlet Native News Online was welcomed as the 10th member of URL Media, a network of high-performing, BIPOC-owned and operated media organizations from across the U.S. Members of the network share content, distribution and other resources to enhance reach, expand revenue and build long-term sustainability.

NONPROFITS

Elisabeth M. Von Eitzen, a partner with Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, has been appointed to a three-year term on the YWCA Kalamazoo board of directors.

Women’s Resource Center appointed to its board Ilana Chamelly, Martha’s Vineyard; Kelsey Dame, Warner Norcross + Judd; Dormica Oppenhuizen, Meijer; and Sherril Soman, Grand Valley State University.

Guiding Light named John C. Harrington board chair.

Chuck Lippstreu. Courtesy The Nature Conservancy

RETAIL

Byron Center-based SpartanNash announced three new independent directors, Julien Mininberg, Jaymin Patel and Pamela Puryear, have been appointed to the company’s board.

SUSTAINABILITY

The Nature Conservancy announced Chuck Lippstreu, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, joined its Michigan board of trustees.

TECHNOLOGY

X-Rite Inc. and Pantone LLC announced the appointment of Chris Brooks to president.

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