Change Ups: Sofranko appointed artistic director


James Sofranko was appointed Grand Rapids Ballet’s new artistic director. Sofranko will be responsible for all artistic direction and artistic planning, including programming and hiring of dancers and choreographers, production staff, touring and outreach efforts. He plans to choreograph new works for GRB, as well as hire outside choreographers. He intends to build upon outgoing Artistic Director Patricia Barker’s reputation as a company that presents new and established works in classical and contemporary styles. He officially joins GRB on July 1.


Hungerford Nichols added Stephanie Seube, staff accountant, and Scott Wakerley, tax manager, and promoted Kayla Mayhue and Mariah van Fossen to senior accountants.


Emily Potts joined 8THIRTYFOUR as a senior account executive.


The Gary Lee Price sculpture Earth, Wind ‘n Fire was recently installed near Grand Rapids Township Park and the 63rd District Court, in the westerly circle of the Courthouse Plaza.

Lance Werner, executive director of Kent District Library, was named 2018 Librarian of the Year by Library Journal.


Consumers Credit Union recently moved into its new corporate home on a 22-acre site located in Kalamazoo. Nearly 150 employees previously working in four separate buildings now work together in a contemporary, three-story open office concept, where innovation and collaboration are the foundation for quality member service.

Ryan Gardner joined Northpointe Bank as account executive in business development.


CSM Group in Kalamazoo promoted Isaac Anderson to safety specialist.

Erhardt Construction announced the promotions of Marc Felt to senior project manager, Jennifer Pelletier to project manager and Jon Reimink to project manager.


Hope College in Holland named critically acclaimed director Lenny Banovez as artistic director of the long-running Hope Summer Repertory Theatre 

Kalamazoo Valley Community College, in partnership with Western Michigan University and Urban Alliance, held a special graduation for 13 Momentum/Warehouse Management and Inventory Control Academy graduates, all of whom have faced significant barriers to employment, but now have new skills and job opportunities.


DTE Energy Foundation provided 5,000 hot meals to Michigan’s vulnerable senior citizens throughout West Michigan during the holiday season. More than 100 volunteers packed, served and delivered meals at multiple events leading up to Christmas Day.


The Kent County Board of Commissioners re-elected commissioner Jim Saalfeld as chair of the board; commissioner Mandy Bolter was re-elected vice-chair and chair of the Legislative and Human Resources Committee, and commissioner Diane Jones was re-elected chair of the Finance and Physical Resources Committee. Commissioner Carol Hennessy continues to serve as minority party vice-chair. The board also voted to appoint 55 residents and commissioners to 22 boards, commissions and committees.

Wyoming City announced Rosa Ooms, former deputy finance director, was promoted to finance director following a unanimous vote by the city council.


Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women is a recipient of a grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County that will enable GROW to expand its services on the lakeshore and add at least one staff member dedicated to the Muskegon area.


The Center for Physical Rehabilitation welcomed Amy Frazee to its Belmont location, 6290 Jupiter Ave. NE. Frazee has a doctorate in physical therapy from Grand Valley State University and is a sports-certified specialist who specialized in outpatient orthopedics.

Kalamazoo-based Cirius Therapeutics, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat liver disease, announced Dennis Fenton was appointed to the company's board of directors as an independent member.

Perrigo Co. plc announced the appointment of Uwe Röhrhoff as chief executive officer, following the retirement of John T. Hendrickson.

Sunset Retirement Communities & Services announced its Waterford Rehab Center, 1725 Port Sheldon St. in Jenison, will transform into a long-term memory care center. The facility will close March 5 to begin the transition to a therapeutic neighborhood for people living with dementia and anticipates opening its new memory care facility in late fall.

The Trinity Health-owned health systems of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in southeast Michigan and Mercy Health in West Michigan announced the executive team that will lead its new unified statewide system: Mary Boyd, chief integration officer; Sally Guindi, general counsel; Michael Gusho, chief financial officer; Ane McNeil, chief human resources officer; Michele Szczypka, chief marketing and communications officer; and Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, chief clinical officer.


Dickinson Wright PLLC announced the election of member attorneys to the firm’s Grand Rapids office: Nicholas Curcio, who represents municipalities and businesses in a broad range of transactional and litigation matters, and Emily Rysberg, who practices family law and municipal law.


Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park announced its 2018 calendar of events and exhibitions that can be viewed at


G&T Industries in Byron Center acquired substantially all the assets of Crane Interiors Inc. of Woodbury, Tennessee. Crane Interiors has operated as a marine sewing/upholstery business for more than 40 years and under its current ownership structure since 1984.


Grand Rapids-based Crowned Free, a fashion-forward, direct sales fashion retailer whose mission is to change the lives human trafficking survivors, chose to donate a portion of proceeds earned during January’s Human Trafficking Awareness Month to: Refuge for Women North Texas, Hope for Justice in Nashville and Created Gainesville in Florida.

Guiding Light was awarded Platinum status by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information on U.S. nonprofits.

The Salvation Army of Kent County appointed Nancy Oliver as the executive director of social services, replacing Betty Zylstra, who retired.

The United Methodist Community House announced the appointment of Eric J. Williams as president and chief executive officer.


The Grand Rapids Downtown Market announced the addition of board of director members Lisa Cooper, Brian Harris, Tim Schowalter, Doug Apple and Brian Behler.

SpartanNash wants cooks of all levels to send their favorite soup recipe as part of its Our Family is Souper recipe contest to introduce its Our Family brand in the Michigan market. The grand prize winner will receive $2,500 in free groceries, and the winning recipe will be featured on, and Family Fare Supermarkets, D&W Fresh Market, Forest Hills Foods, ValuLand and VG’s websites. Recipes must be submitted by 5 p.m. Jan. 31. Visit


Emily Bridson was hired as the manager of operations at Padnos where she will work in its Grandville paper division.  


C/D/H announced it is partnering with Valo Intranet to provide its pioneering intranet platform to clients throughout Michigan and the Midwest.

Smart Vision Lights in Muskegon introduced its most advanced LED mini ring light — the RM140, which is a low-angle ring light that works best for dark field ring applications and also can be used for radial illumination. 

X-Rite Inc. and subsidiary Pantone LLC announced it was a Platinum sponsor of the recent PIA's Color Conference in San Diego, where a number of its experts presented emerging color trends and technology.

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