Change Ups: Thompson Remodeling earns Chrysalis Award


Thompson Remodeling of Grand Rapids is a regional winner in the Chrysalis Awards’ Kitchen Remodel $75,000 to $100,000 and Basement Remodel categories of the annual awards competition. President Ben Thompson said this is the first time the company entered the competition, which recognizes the nation’s best work in 15 categories of residential and commercial remodeling. The Chrysalis Awards are open to any professional remodeler and design professional in the United States.


Kalamazoo Institute of Arts announced the cash prize winners of its 64th Annual Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair. 2015 Grand Prize Winners were: $1,000 First Place, Peter Czuk (Wood); $600 Second Place, Ed Brownlee (Ceramics); and $300 Third Place, Bill McCamish (Jewelry). In addition, $150 prizes for best artwork by medium also were awarded.


Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of its 2015 EPIC Awards: Excellence in Business, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital; Small Business of the Year, Lambert, Edwards & Associates; Minority-Owned Business of the Year, Malamiah Juice Bar; Women-Owned Business, Eastown Veterinary Clinic; Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Chris Andrus and Max Trierweiler (Mitten Brewing Co.); Nonprofit of the Year, West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology; and Veteran-Owned Business, JetCo Solutions.

The National Small Business Association honored Gary Kushner, president and CEO of Kushner & Co. in Portage, as the 2015 Lewis Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year.

Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce announced its Future 15 emerging young leaders: Joseph Crowley, Anderson Global; Frank Peterson, City of Muskegon; Andrew Zahrt,; Josh Wallace, McKenzie-Price Agency; Brittany Lenertz, Michigan Works! Muskegon-Oceana; Jonathan Wilson, Muskegon County Economic Development; Amber Cahill, Orchard View Adult Education; Don Kalisz, Revel; David Matuzeski, Riversedge Photography;  Jennifer Vanderstelt, Service 1 Federal Credit Union; Kristi Kettler, Sparrow Boutique; Jamie Helsen, United Way of the Lakeshore; Mark Gongalski, Unruly Brewing Co. and Rebel Pies; Laurel Sass, Watermark 920; and Adam Zuwerink, West Michigan Law.


Lake Michigan Credit Union has hired Lauren Zielinski, assistant media buyer, in its marketing department.


Custer announced its completion of the renovation of the West Michigan Whitecaps corporate offices at 4500 West River Drive NE following a fire in 2014. Custer provided interior design and furniture for nine offices, 31 open office stations, enclaves, conference room, break room and reception waiting area.

Interphase Interiors has added Emily May and Linsey Wood to its design department.

Nichols of Norton Shores announced the additions of Chris LaVallee, corporate account leader, and Mark Peterson, packaging equipment specialist.

Not-for-profit employee support organization The Source announced Mindy Ysasi is its new executive director.


Sobie Company Inc. announced Tony Vermaas has joined the company as chief financial officer.


Grand Valley State University assistant professor of graphic design Vinicius Lima has received a 2015 American Inhouse Design Award from Graphic Design USA for his Poetry on The Rapid placard designs.

Amy L. Lenz, a research engineer with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s John F. Butzer Center for Research & Innovation, has been named a Future Academic Scholar in Teaching fellow at Michigan State University.


Hot Capicola Records has added label coordinator and media specialist Ben Davey.


Greenleaf Trust in Kalamazoo has been named to the list of Best Places to Work for Millennials in America.

Quan Mac has joined Legacy Trust as managing director of family office services.

Waddell & Reed Inc. financial advisor Leslie G. Nichols has been authorized by The American College, Bryn Mawr, to use the Retirement Income Certified Professional designation.


D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s announced for the second year in a row it has received a $4,500 youth grant from Grand Rapids Community Foundation to assist in its Sisters in Support program, which matches young mothers in need with a female mentor.


Jim Wilson has been appointed chief operating officer for Michigan Blood.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services North Shore Clinic clinician Amy VanDenToorn has been appointed the new manager of the Northeast Clinic.

Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital announced it has been ranked in three specialties by U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Children’s Hospitals for a fourth consecutive year in the following categories: pediatrics: cancer; pediatrics: nephrology; and pediatrics: pulmonology.


The Suburban Inns announced Gran Hirst is the new general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in downtown Holland.

Tammy Augustoni has been promoted to assistant director of food and beverage at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.


Chris Brigman has joined Grand Rapids Law Group as an associate attorney. He is a 2011 graduate of Thomas Cooley Law School and worked for his family's law firm, the Law Office of Constance L. Brigman, until April 2015.

Parmenter O’Toole announced the addition of Matthew D. Mills, associate attorney. Mills is involved in all practice areas of the firm with the intention to concentrate his practice in litigation, business and employee benefits.

Smith Haughey in Muskegon has named attorney Eugene A. Franks chair of the firm’s Business and Real Estate practice group.

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP partner John J. Bursch has been elected to the American Law Institute, and Warner Norcross partner Ian R. Kennedy has been named president of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association.


Armstrong International in Three Rivers has launched a new website that is more intuitive, easier to use and more helpful for visitors:

Nucraft in Comstock Park announced Sheri Cuccarese has joined the company in the new position of vice president of marketing and product development. Her responsibilities include leading new product development and management, and developing and executing programs to promote the Nucraft brand.

SoundOff Signal announced its intention to break ground on a new 27,000-square-foot addition to its Hudsonville facility starting at the end of June. The project will be managed by Pioneer Construction.


WOOD TV 8 has hired Evan Dean as a reporter for “24 Hour News 8.” He previously worked at Hour News 8 from 9&10 News in Cadillac where he anchored WWTV’s morning newscast, “Michigan This Morning.”


Catholic Charities West Michigan has named Paul Keep director of philanthropy and communications.


The International Softball Congress announced Grand Rapids will be the host site for the 2017 ISC Men’s Fastball World Tournament at the Art Van Sports Complex Aug.11-20, 2017.

The Detroit Red Wings announced Jeff Blashill has been named the 27th head coach in franchise history, marking the fourth Grand Rapids Griffins head coach in 19 seasons to earn a promotion to the National Hockey League.


Great Lakes Computer in Grand Rapids announced a partnership with all-flash enterprise storage company Pure Storage.

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