Change Ups: Stanton to hoist anchor from WZZM 13

Lauren Stanton is fulfilling her maritime dream. The WZZM 13 morning news co-anchor will leave the station in May after 18 years to follow her entrepreneurial ambition. Stanton and her significant other, John, launched Retro Boat Rentals in Saugatuck last summer. They have a fleet of classic vintage runabout boats that cruise the waterways around Saugatuck. The business has been successful enough that they are adding more boats this summer with an eye toward expanding their business.


The Austin Company in Kalamazoo promoted Steven Lotz to regional safety manager.


The Grand Rapids Public Museum’s upcoming exhibit is called Zoo in You: Microbes, opening May 19. It will include an interactive journey to learn about the four major types of microbes that live in humans, hands-on activities to learn about “good” microbes, green screen technology for a “weather report” on the climate conditions of a person’s nose, mouth, gut or skin, and a touch-screen video game that challenges guests to keep gut microbes in balance. For more information, visit


Pam Van Putten, coordinator of mentoring and internships for the studies in ministry minor at Hope College in Holland, was named among Western Great Lakes Young Life’s Women of the Year for 2018. The program recognized 11 women in the region in conjunction with International Women’s Day.


Fifth Third Private Bank welcomed Richard Tober as vice president and wealth management adviser. He will work with individual, business and institutional investors in Grand Rapids and the lakeshore area to help build their wealth and achieve their financial goals. 


Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women Chief Executive Officer Bonnie Nawara was elected to chair of the Association of Women’s Business Centers board of directors. WBCs help women succeed in business by providing training, mentoring, business development and financing opportunities to over 140,000 women entrepreneurs each year in every state in the union.


Roger Hekstra, in-home sales consultant for Pella By Horne of Grand Rapids; Steve Schlaudt, sales representative for the commercial division; and Chris Dykstra, sales representative for the builder & architect division, are the recipients of the 2017 President’s Award for outstanding sales performance that has led to growth and development of the brand.

Triangle Associates Inc. named Milan Milivojevic as chief financial officer and Ty Beckering as business development manager.


Kevin Budelmann, co-founder and president of Peopledesign, recently was promoted to IxDA (Interaction Design Association) global vice president at its recent gathering in Lyon, France. Budelmann was actively involved in the IxDA board of directors the past two years.


Ferris State University student Alana Fletcher of Grand Rapids received help in launching her careers as a professional illustrator and artist by being a winner in the L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 34. She’ll travel to Hollywood the first week of April for a weeklong workshop and awards event.

Seeds of Promise, a grassroots community improvement initiative, was highlighted in the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability policy report, Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-being for All, for its successful model in transforming the Dickinson neighborhood in southeast Grand Rapids. Grand Valley State University's Kirkhof College of Nursing, College of Education, Department of Geography and Sustainable Planning, and Office of Sustainability Practices are involved in Seeds of Promise. View the article here:


Long Road Distillers received bronze medals for its Long Road Gin, Long Road Aquavit and Long Road Old Aquavit from the American Craft Spirits Association 2018 Craft Spirits Awards. Award winners were hand-selected from a crowded field of more than 500 entrants from across 38 states and four countries.

Madcap Coffee will collaborate with the band, Punch Brothers, for their 2018 summer tour titled, Ahoy! Madcap will include two bags of the Ahoy! blend, a custom blend of two of Punch Brother’s favorite Ethiopian coffees, as part of the Premium Big Time Friends Package. 


Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Daniel Williams, president and CEO of the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, to make the 13-member board of the Michigan Consortium of Advanced Networks.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners’ Lead Task Force’s final report shows 615 children in Kent County had Elevated Blood Lead Levels (EBLLs) in 2016; there’s a 40 percent increase in lead-poisoned children in the 49507 ZIP code in the past two years; and more children had elevated blood lead levels in 49507 than the entire city of Flint during the Flint water crisis. The complete report is posted at


The city of Grand Rapids received a $1.5-million grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to expand residential lead hazard control services to eligible households with a Medicaid enrolled resident.

Kids’ Food Basket received a $40,000 grant from the Perrigo Company Charitable Foundation; $30,000 will support KFB’s Sack Supper programs in Ottawa County and Kent counties; 10,000 will launch its urban agriculture initiative called Feeding Our Future campaign in Kent County.


A summary of Ottawa County’s new Community Health Needs Assessment is at and the full report is available at

The Economic Alliance for Michigan announced Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital and Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital are the recipients of its Excellence Award for consistently performing high marks and improvements in patient safety and quality of care.


Elisa J. Lintemuth joined Dykema’s labor and employment practice.

Foster Swift elected attorney Jennifer B. Van Regenmorter to lead its health care practice group.

Varnum partner Bonnie Y. Sawusch was elected to Pine Lake Fund’s board of directors; attorney Rob Huff was appointed to the Western Michigan Planned Giving Group’s board of directors and also will serve as vice chair of the membership committee; partner Jeff DeVree was selected to chair the Tax and Economics Committee of the Michigan Oil and Gas Association; and attorneys Barbara Buchanan and Terry Miglio are contributing authors to the recently released Third Edition of “Employment Litigation in Michigan,” published by the Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School graduate Joy Fossel was recently honored during WMU-Cooley’s annual alumni reception for her new role as Grand Rapids Bar Association president. Fossel graduated in 1987 and is a partner with Varnum Attorneys at Law in Grand Rapids.


The Gun Lake Tribe hired J. Kevin Bassett as its first chief information officer. Bassett will manage information technology and staff within tribal government, casino operations and the tribal gaming commission.


The Children’s Advocacy Center of Kent County welcomed the following to its board of directors: Dawn Kibben, board treasurer and VP of finance & administration, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park; Tasha Blackmon, CEO, Cherry Health; India Manns, community volunteer/advocate; and Rev. Nathaniel Moody, founder, Brown-Hutcherson Ministries.

Family Promise Grand Rapids received $10,000 from the Grand Rapids franchise of Express Employment Professionals’ The Impact Project, an initiative of the company’s philanthropic committee designed to give back to nonprofits nominated by franchisees among their more than 800 franchise locations.


Jon Geenen joined Colliers International West Michigan as a retail associate.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners voted to approve the sale of four properties on Monroe Avenue NW, just north of I-196, and to purchase a property on Ottawa Avenue NW, as part of a three-way public partnership that will clear the way for development of a downtown, riverfront park by the city of Grand Rapids and for expansion of the innovation park by Michigan State University.


The Michigan Small Business Development Center announced the departure of state director Keith Brophy, effective March 8. Ed Garner, West Michigan SBDC regional director, will be the interim director. Grand Valley State University will begin a formal nationwide search for a new Michigan SBDC state director in the upcoming months.


Grand Rapids Griffins hockey on Newsradio WOOD 106.9 FM & 1300 AM/ESPN 96.1 FM was honored by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters during its 2017 Broadcast Excellence Award. A montage of Griffins’ vice president of community relations and broadcasting Bob Kaser’s calls from the Griffins’ journey to the Calder Cup was awarded Merit in the Play-By-Play Sports category for Commercial Radio Market.


Bergmann, with an office in Grand Rapids, unveiled a redesigned and fully mobile responsive website at The new website features enhanced careers functionality, as well as access to more information about Bergmann’s markets, services, projects, local offices, news and events.

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