Change Ups: River City Improv marks 25th year


River City Improv, Michigan’s longest running comedy team, recently reached its 25th anniversary milestone. Founders and Calvin College graduates, Rick Treur and Jeanne Leep, held their first public performance in 1994, and since then, the team has consistently offered public performances in Grand Rapids and has traveled across North America performing for schools, corporations, churches and nonprofit organizations. River City Improv regularly performs at the Wealthy Theatre in Uptown Grand Rapids and has performed in 100 cities in 23 states and provinces.


Paradigm Design opened a third office in Phoenix at 4650 E. Cotton Center Blvd., Suite 110.


Rachel McKay joined the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum as its first accessibility and inclusion manager.


Kalamazoo Valley culinary instructor chef Stephanie Hughes was named 2018 Chef of the Year by The American Culinary Federation Chapter of Kalamazoo/Battle Creek. Hughes is a culinary instructor for Kalamazoo Valley’s Sustainable Food Systems program.


Kalamazoo-based Consumers Credit Union announced the addition of Jim Stephens, mortgage loan officer, and Jeff Chappell, business development manager, to the Grand Rapids market and beyond.


Monica M. King, chief operating officer and partner of DWH, is the firm’s new chief executive officer and managing partner.

Plymouth-based Comcast Business promoted Byron Center resident Brad Gramlin to director of enterprise sales for the company's Heartland region, which includes Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky.


Noorthoek Academy announced the addition of the following board members: Paul Dymowski, director of center programs for Kent Intermediate School District; Jan Ver Merris, retired special education teacher and high school guidance counselor; Victoria Smalley, estate planning attorney at Bolhouse, Hofstee, & McLean in Grandville; Ric Underhile, associate vice president for the Office of Advancement at Aquinas College; and Tina Hoxie, associate provost and dean of student affairs at Grand Rapids Community College.


The city of East Grand Rapids selected Emmanuel (Manny) Toribio as its new city manager. He was the finalist amongst 28 applicants and was unanimously chosen from the five candidates interviewed. Toribio will succeed incumbent city manager Brian Donovan, who is retiring after 25 years of service.

The Kent County Department of Public Works announced Katelyn Nettler was hired as a resource recovery specialist, and resource recovery specialist Lauren Westerman recently earned her environmental educator certification from the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education.


The city of Wayland received $115,034 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the complete restoration of a building at 106 W. Superior St. in downtown Wayland. The building was badly damaged by a fire and will require all walls, fixtures, HVAC systems, windows, lighting and wiring to be replaced. The building also will be historically renovated and finished for commercial-ready condition. The building’s owner will contribute $180,206 in private funds toward the project.


Railside Golf Club in Byron Center intends to open in May a 5,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor Union Pavilion. Amenities include seating for up to 300 guests, full bar, outdoor patio, private bridal prep suite, executive chef, experienced event manager, friendly staff, ADA accessibility, Wi-Fi, an indoor reception area with vaulted ceilings, exposed wood beams, chandelier lighting and a stone fireplace.


Attorney Alexandre M. Zucco joined Dickinson Wright PLLC as an associate.

Bodman PLC announced Darren J. Burmania was admitted as a member of the firm. Based in Grand Rapids, he is a member of the banking, business, bankruptcy and debtor-creditor rights, and litigation and alternative dispute resolution practice groups.

Clark Hill PLC announced the addition of Jeffrey Dornbos as senior counsel in its Grand Rapids office in the labor and employment practice.

Rhoades McKee announced Jacob Dunlop and Stephanie Myott-Beebe were elected to shareholder.


Kalamazoo-based Humphrey Products announced the expansion of its ProControl line of proportional control solenoid valves: the PV3 and PV10 miniature series. Both models feature improved flow and reduced hysteresis compared to previous PC3 and PC10 models, which will be discontinued.

Leominster, Massachusetts-based AIS welcomed Keith Driesenga as CET Designer implementation project manager. He will be based out of Grand Rapids.

Riverside-based Lindberg/MPH announced the shipment of one Treet-All Box Furnace to the technology industry. The Treet-All Light Industrial Box Furnace is suited for multiple applications, including annealing, ashing, austempering, brazing, preheating and solution treating.


13 ON YOUR SIDE announced a new lineup that includes Kirk Montgomery starting March 4 as the host of the lifestyle show My West Michigan and morning reporter and noon anchor Kristin Mazur.


The Women’s Resource Center announced the addition of Shaquanda Gordon, vice president of North American human resources at Gordon Food Service, to its board of directors.


SpartanNash announced Lori Raya is the company’s new chief merchandising and marketing officer.

The James Salon & Boutique in East Grand Rapids announced the development of its second location on Settlers Drive in downtown Ada, opening summer 2019, as part of the Village of Ada downtown development project.


Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. reported preliminary financial results for the fiscal year ended Dec. 30, 2018: sales increased 39.3 percent to $435.3 million compared to $312.6 million the previous year; earnings from operations increased 75.9 percent to $25.4 million compared to $14.4 million in 2017; net income increased 45.6 percent to $13.2 million compared to $9 million the previous year; consolidated EBITDA increased 50.3 percent to $39.7 million; and the company developed or acquired a net of 62 restaurants during the year, to finish with 317 restaurants in operation across 16 states.

Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. announced the promotion of Doug Poland to vice president of real estate and Jeff VanHaitsma to vice president of human resources.


Bissell ABG Giant announced its new sponsorship strategy that will see its men's amateur team expand into gravel and mountain bike races. It plans to work together with long-term sponsors Bicycle Garage Indy, Giant Bicycles, NUVO News weekly, SRAM and Zipp to integrate different components on various surfaces. The 2019 season will see Bissell ABG Giant implement a three-phase approach with national gravel races in the spring, road racing in the early summer and mountain biking races in the late summer and fall.


C/D/H was acquired by metro Detroit-based technology services company Red Level. The combined companies will give businesses across Michigan access to a broader array of IT services, including custom application development, business analytics and collaboration tools.

Inductive Intelligence was selected to represent the work of America’s Small Business Development Centers at the recent fourth annual Client Showcase Reception on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The company was nominated by the Michigan Small Business Development Center, one of 10 businesses selected from across the ASBDC’s national program to be a guest at the annual invite-only reception.

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