Nichole Steele is Experience Grand Rapids’ new national sales director. Her responsibilities include corporate, pharmaceutical, women’s groups, Greek sororities, finance/insurance, environmental and technical/engineering markets. Steele previously was director of sales at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Grandville. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2010 with a degree in hospitality and tourism management and a minor in business. Experience Grand Rapids is the official destination marketing organization for Kent County/Grand Rapids.
The West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology was named a 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award finalist by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. The WMCAT Teen Arts + Tech Program was recognized for providing an engaging after school program to GRPS high school students.
Alcoa Howmet in Whitehall was awarded the MVPP Star Award, the state's highest workplace safety and health award, from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration. MIOSHA is part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids has received Michigan Recycling Coalition’s Excellence in Recycling Award for its successful and innovative waste reduction and recycling program in Michigan.
Holland Home announced Raybrook Manor has received the Governor’s Award of Excellence in recognition of outstanding achievement in health care quality improvement.
Kent County Health Department announced it issued 471 Food Safety Awards to more than 1,700 licensed facilities inspected in 2013 that showed a high degree of safe food-handling practices and sanitation. Details: accesskent.com/Health/FoodServices/awards.htm.
Lake Michigan Credit Union announced the additions of mortgage loan originators Marie Eicher in its Farmington Hills office, and Sara Curry who will join its southwest Michigan sales team.
Northpointe Bank has hired John Denny as area manager due to growth in the mortgage lending division. He will be based in the Portage location at 3275 W. Central Ave.
CSM Group announced the return of Mandy Turowski, project coordinator.
Wolverine Building Group has hired project coordinators Jamie Smith and Amy Floyd. Smith will support project managers with retail and restaurant projects nationwide, and Floyd will assist with apartments, student housing and senior living facility projects.
Paul Blake has been named interim provost at Ferris State University beginning July 1. He was appointed following current provost and vice president for academic affairs Fritz Erickson’s selection as president of Northern Michigan University.
Andrew Roush has joined Ron Courser & Associates as a financial advisor focusing on portfolio management and income planning.
Merrill Lynch advisors Scott Bernecker, Timothy Long, William Mackay and James Veldheer of The Veldheer, Long, Mackay & Bernecker Group were recognized on the Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors list.
C&C Optical Shop has merged with Eye Care One to form one practice at 1231 W. Main St., Fremont.
Spectrum Health earned the Best of Class 2014 VHA Excellence Award for Sustainability and the 2014 VHA Excellence Award for Innovation and Impact in Sustainability from VHA Inc., a national health care network.
Access of West Michigan announced the appointment of Nicole L. Hansma, president/CEO. Hansma recently relocated to West Michigan from Chicago, where she worked with SourceAmerica for nine years.
Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan announced the hiring of Jeanna Miedema, office coordinator, and the promotion of Janel Mullen to administrative redevelopment manager.
Teri Lenartz, a six-year veteran with Homewatch CareGivers of West Michigan, was recognized with the Champion of Operations Award from Homewatch International for exemplifying compassion, integrity and commitment to her clients and caregivers.
Fremont Insurance announced the Clark Insurance Agency (Casnovia); Integrity Insurance & Investments (Caledonia); Steenland Insurance Agency (Grand Rapids); and United Insurance Service Inc. (Grand Rapids) have been named Five Star Agency award winners. Blackwell Insurance Services (Grand Rapids) earned a Best of the Best Award, one of only five agencies in the state to earn that distinction.
Mark R. Smith was awarded the Grand Rapids Bar Association’s 2014 President’s Award for his special contributions and service with numerous committee chair positions and for being a champion of diversity and inclusion, including as one of the original members of its diversity committee in the 1980s.
NALS of West Michigan announced its 2014-15 officers: president, Wil Antonides; president elect, Carolyn Field, Warner Norcross & Judd; vice president, Cheryl Zorn, Michigan Court of Appeals; secretary, Hedda Martin, Jeffrey J. O’Hara Attorney at Law; treasurer, Luke Gryzbowski, Thrun Law Firm; director, Tonya Mashue, Warner Norcross & Judd; and parliamentarian, Teri Garber, Varnum. Award recipients are: Suzie Christensen, Great Lakes Shorthand Reporting, Award of Excellence; and attorney Gerardyne Drozdowski, Warner Norcross & Judd, 2014 Legal Professional of the Year.
NALS of West Michigan announced Robert Freund, Al Green, Brandy Ham, Matthew Langeland and Krystal Wiseman have earned Accredited Legal Professional certifications.
Phillip D. Torrence, a partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, has been named an Emerging Leader in Mergers and Acquisitions and will receive a 2014 40 under 40 M&A Advisor Recognition Award in the legal advisor category. Torrence is the law firm’s office managing partner in Kalamazoo.
Viastore systems has been named one of the top six largest Hytrol distributors for 2013. The company became a Hytrol distributor in 2010 and was the fastest-growing company to reach the top six in the history of Hytrol, a manufacturer of conveyor systems.
Ablative Solutions Inc. in Kalamazoo announced it has added Paul Sobotka to its scientific advisory board. Sobotka is clinical professor of medicine/cardiology at Ohio State University and an expert in sympathetic nerve modulation and hypertension.
WGVU Public Media is the recipient of seven Communicator Awards from the International Academy of the Visual Arts.
A.K. Rikk’s has been selected by Elle Magazine as its top shop in the May 2014 edition. Richard Gaby founded the store in 1986, which moved to its current 28,000-square-foot location at 6303 28th St. SE in 2012.
Evelyn Parnell has joined Kentwood Office Furniture as inside sales/showroom manager in its Grand Rapids office.
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics opened its first West Michigan location, a 900-square-foot space inside Woodland Mall next to Chico’s.