Change-Ups: Sutter joins state’s first environmental justice council

Change-Ups: Sutter joins state’s first environmental justice council

Alison Waske Sutter, the city of Grand Rapids’ sustainability and performance management officer, was appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to serve on the state’s first Michigan Advisory Council for Environmental Justice. She joins 21 Michigan residents also on the advisory council. The MAC EJ will provide public and impacted community input for the directors appointed to the Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team. The Response Team plans to hold regional roundtables around the state to ensure as many people as possible are engaged and have a voice on environmental issues.


ddm marketing & communications announced Jordan Buning was named the firm’s new president following Michael McCarthy’s retirement. Buning will be responsible for leading the firm’s strategic vision as it continues to evolve into one of the Midwest’s leading providers of Marcomm and Martech services. He has been with ddm since 2001. Karen Downard joined ddm as business development manager, where she will be responsible for new business acquisition, as well as the firm’s own integrated marketing efforts.


Dick Haworth, chairman emeritus, Haworth, and Jim Brooks, chairman, Brooks Capital Management, received the 2020 Lakeshore Advantage Visionary Award at the recent Lakeshore Advantage annual meeting.

FASTSIGNS of Grand Rapids is the recipient of the Sales Achievement Award, which recognizes the top five centers that achieved the highest sales volume in the U.S. and Canada between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, 2019, at the 2020 FASTSIGNS International Convention. The company also won the CEO Circle Award, which recognizes 25 U.S. centers with the highest total sales from Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2019, as well as a Mentor Recognition Award for seasoned franchisees who serve as mentors to a New FASTSIGNS franchisee for the first six months of operation. 

PMSI Marketing Group received a Diamond Award of Merit from the East Central District of the Public Relations Society of America for its work on the empowHER Leadership Retreat.

TruKitchens won three platinum level awards by the National Association of Home Builders for its work on a midcentury modern home remodel in East Grand Rapids. Awards received are: remodeling (individual spaces, specialty projects and aging in place), Category 41: Kitchen, Over $100,000; remodeling (individual spaces, specialty projects and aging in place), Category 43: Bath, Over $50,000; and best in Region: Midwest.


Ada-based Erhardt Construction hired John Hruska as senior estimator.

Kalamazoo-based CSM Group promoted Brian Beaver to vice president. 


Crystal Flash launched a new bimonthly e-newsletter, The Crystal News Flash: Commercial + Agriculture, which will provide updates on the latest news, product/service offerings, safety information, special offers and more. The inaugural issue of The Crystal News Flash: Commercial + Agriculture can be read at Those interested in subscribing free of charge, can do so at


Rehmann announced the promotions of 15 associates in Grand Rapids and Grandville: Jim Bruxvoort, Grandville, principal; Brian Young, Grandville, principal; Ken Zimmer, Grandville, principal; Jim Baker, Grandville, client service engineer L2 (senior level); Chris Chavez, Grandville, client service engineer L3 (senior level); Fred Helms, Grandville, account manager (senior level); Zack Keck, Grandville, service delivery manager (manager level); Haley Obetts, Grand Rapids, senior consultant; Maria Frigo, Grand Rapids, assurance supervisor; Melanie Jacobus, Grand Rapids, client support manager; Kyle Nixon, Grand Rapids, assurance in-charge; Aaron Thimm, Grand Rapids, assurance supervisor; Erinn Trask, Grand Rapids, government solutions manager; Michael Wilks, Grand Rapids, assurance in-charge; and Peter Woldman, Grand Rapids, assurance manager.


Bell’s Brewery in Comstock announced its beer lineup for 2020, which includes but is not limited to: Hopslam Double IPA. Seasonal beers, Best Brown and Bright White, will both return (Bright White is available now through March or while supplies last). Oberon, Bell’s summer flagship American Wheat, will return on March 23 with midnight release parties, special tappings and more. In May, Oberon mini-kegs will begin shipping, featuring a brand new design. Coming in at 10% ABV, Hopslam was again released in 12-ounce cans, packaged in 6-packs, on draft and in 5L mini-kegs. New for this year is a brand new Hopslam mini-keg design. Cans and mini-kegs are limited and already have arrived on many store shelves and in coolers.


Ottawa County made available the Purchase of Development Rights program. Interested parties can apply now through April 30 to preserve their eligible, agriculturally zoned property by selling its development rights. Creating easements through the sale of development rights guarantees the land is used for agricultural purposes or remains in a natural state in perpetuity. Landowners are compensated for lost development potential, yet still own the land and retain all other rights associated with it. In the past five years, Ottawa County has lost more than 14,000 acres of farmland.


Lakeshore Health Partners – Pediatrics & Internal Medicine/Pediatrics added Drs. Betsy Beckman and Michael Rytting Beckman as a general pediatrician and comprehensive outpatient care for adults, respectively.

The Kent County Medical Society board of directors appointed Dr. Sandy K. Dettmann as its board president. President-elect: Dr. Gerald Lee; immediate past president: Dr. Megan M. Edison; and directors: Drs. Belen Amat, Jayne E. Courts and Eric L. Larson.


Josef Huber and Darin Jemison were promoted to AHC+Hospitality’s regional vice president of food and beverage and regional director of food and beverage, respectively.


Christopher K. Cooke joined Secrest Wardle’s Grand Rapids office as executive partner.

Partners Amanda M. Fielder and Jennifer L. Remondino of Warner Norcross + Judd LLP were named among the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. Fielder practices in the firm’s Grand Rapids office and concentrates her work in all aspects of employment law. Remondino leads the firm’s Holland office as executive partner and chairs the Trusts and Estates Law Practice group and is an estate-planning attorney.


FlannelJax’s is an ax-throwing and lumberjack experience at 601 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Fun activities include: ax-throwing (aiming for targets 13 feet away), Thump the Stump (a race to hammer a nail into a stump using a hatchet) and crosscut sawing (a competition to partner-saw through a log the fastest). FlannelJax’s is open 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon-midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon-10 p.m. on Sunday. All participants must be 18 years or older to throw.

The YWCA West Central Michigan appointed board of director members Veronica Bradford (diversity and inclusion specialist, Gordon Food Service) and Lisa Kreager (financial services – tax manager, Crowe LLP).


Comstock Park-based Great Lakes Label celebrated its 25th year anniversary last year.


Byron Center-based SpartanNash announced it has been named among the nation’s 2020 Top 10 Military Friendly Brands, earning sixth place out of more than 60 organizations. The annual list is compiled by VIQTORY, whose mission is to provide veterans and their spouses with the finest choices for employment opportunities. The Military Friendly Brands designation, one of four components of the Military Friendly Companies ratings, measures a company’s social and material investment in support of the military and veteran community, including consumer supports and protections. Organizations earning the Military Friendly Brand designation were evaluated using public data sources, personal feedback from military community members and responses from VIQTORY’s proprietary survey.


Experience Grand Rapids announced the economic impact in Grand Rapids via the projected February meetings and conventions: Total No. of meetings: 14; total attendees: 10,120; total hotel nights: 6,280; and total estimated spending: $5,912,477.07.

The West Michigan Tourist Association published its 2020 edition of West Michigan Carefree Travel Guide. The free guide is available for viewing online or requesting a free copy be mailed here:

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