Change-Ups: Torres selected as WMSBF’s 2020 President’s winner

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West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum has selected Adnoris “Bo” Torres as its 2020 President’s Award winner for his contributions to the organization’s growth and development. Torres has served as the executive director for the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan since January 2019. The HCWM is a nonprofit community-based organization that seeks to address the needs of the Latinx community in Michigan with a mission to educate, advocate and empower. Since becoming executive director of the center, Torres has fostered sustainability within the Hispanic Center and its programming.

ACCOUNTING

Melissa Reyes joined Portage-based Cole Gavlas PC as a bookkeeper.

ADVERTISING & MARKETING

LEAD Marketing Agency hired Emily Gagnon as digital media specialist; Cody Boomsma as accountant; and promoted Olivia Memberto to senior designer and Nick Pollice to account manager.

Voyage Pictures won three Silver and one Bronze national Telly Awards.

AWARDS

Faith Hospice announced executive director Rene Wheaton has been inducted into the Michigan Homecare and Hospice Association Hall of Fame.

Hastings-based Spectrum Health Pennock’s Journey to Zero Infections project was acknowledged by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association with its 2020 Advancing Safe Care Award for showing evidence of an improved safety culture, quality improvement and transparency for improving health care.

Priority Health president and CEO Joan Budden was recognized with the Women of Achievement and Courage Award during Michigan Women Forward’s recent WomanUp & Celebrate virtual awards ceremony. Priority Health recently donated $10,000 to MWF’s Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund.

Traverse City-based SHRM (the Society for Human Resource Management) recently awarded Michigan chapters Kalamazoo HR Management Association; Lakeshore HR Management Association; and Association for HR Management with the 2019 Platinum SHRM Excel Awards.

BANKING

West Michigan Community Bank announced the addition of Kristy Jones as AVP branch manager for its Cascade office.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Holland-based Competitive Wedge, a video interviewing company that helps recruiters connect with candidates, announced it completed the final tranche of its seed funding to $1 million.

Northville-based McKenna has promoted M. Paul Lippens to vice president and director of its Kalamazoo studio.

CONSTRUCTION

The Christman Company placed at No. 88 on the Engineering News-Record’s 2020 ENR 400 list of the top 400 contractors nationally, a jump from the company’s 2019 ranking of 93, and landed No. 90 on the 2020 ENR list of Top 100 Contractors by New Contracts.

EDUCATION

Bishop David Walkowiak announced up to $1 million in tuition assistance for returning and new families for Catholic schools in the Grand Rapids Diocese whose finances have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020-21 school year. Families may apply at CatholicSchools4U.org.

Daryl Van Tongeren of Hope College’s psychology faculty has been elected a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. 

The Hope College Alumni Association board of directors appointed new board members Toni Gordon; Mary Kempker; Jonathan Liepe as president; Chandler Alberda, representative of most recent graduating class; and Terrell Solberg, senior class representative.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Bell’s Brewery in Comstock joined the Black is Beautiful initiative to help bring awareness to the injustices many people of color face daily. Bell’s version of the Weathered Souls Imperial Stout recipe has been released in 6-pack bottles exclusively at Bell’s General Store in downtown Kalamazoo and Upper Hand Brewery Taproom. The initiative originated with Marcus Baskerville, founder and head brewer at Weathered Souls Brewing based in San Antonio.

New Holland Brewing Co. announced the next member of its Dragon’s Milk family: Dragon’s Milk Solera, a 10% ABV foeder-aged ale.

Nutcase Vegan Meats announced it is officially USDA Organic Certified by the Global Organic Alliance.

FOUNDATIONS

Fremont Area Community Foundation recently announced a partnership with MSU Federal Credit Union to create the Small Business Recovery Loan Program. Up to $3.4 million has been leveraged by the Community Foundation with MSUFCU to support businesses in Newaygo County. An additional $100,000 has been invested by community development financial institution Northern Initiatives to provide small business loans.

The Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation has changed its name to Grand Rapids Public Schools Foundation, with a new logo and website, grpsf.org.

GRANTS

Muskegon-based United Way of the Lakeshore has received a $230,000 grant from the DTE Foundation to support youth employment and training opportunities in Muskegon and West Central Michigan.

Service Express along with six other companies donated $42,335 to Kids’ Food Basket during its recent virtual fundraiser.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has awarded the Land Conservancy of West Michigan $217,433 to stabilize streambanks, implement storm water best management practices and daylight a portion of Indian Mill Creek to reduce sudden changes in flows and sediment loading downstream; and Calvin University $806,346 to implement streambank stabilization, install green infrastructure practices, host educational events and conduct monitoring in the Plaster Creek Watershed where impacts from sedimentation and sudden changes in flow rates have impaired aquatic life.

HEALTH

Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy opened its 16th location, the Pelvic Rehabilitation Center at 5340 Plaza Ave., Suite 3, in Hudsonville, with co-owner Lisa Vi, center manager, and Nicole Elders, licensed physical therapist.

Palliative care physicians Drs. Kayla Andres and Michael Dozeman joined Holland Home’s hospice division, Faith Hospice.

Sturgis-based GT Independence named Michael Murray as its first chief relationship officer.

HOSPITALITY

ASM Global’s Kathy Bart, director of sales and event services for DeVos Place convention center, has been named “Best Supplier” in Michigan Meetings + Events magazine’s 2020 Hall of Fame.

LEGAL

Andrew Birge and Matthew Schneider, the U.S. Attorneys for the Western and Eastern Districts of Michigan respectively, announced the appointment of Joel Postma to serve as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Coordinator for the two districts. Postma will respond to MMIP issues affecting each of the 12 tribes in the state. He is one of 10 such coordinators around the country appointed by the Department of Justice.

Ten law school students have joined Varnum for the 2020 summer associate program: Jordan Ewald, Wayne State University Law School; Julia Kosnik, Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Kylee Nemetz, Michigan State University College of Law; Lauren Parker, University of Wisconsin Law School; Todd Postma, Loyola University Chicago School of Law; Aaron Roberson Jr., University of Detroit Mercy School of Law; Gage Selvius, Michigan State University School of Law; Matthew Shina, University of Michigan Law School; Jason Wesseling, Emory University School of Law; and Justin Wolber, Notre Dame University Law School.

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP partners Carl W. Dufendach, Mark K. Harder, Susan Gell Meyers, David L.J.M. Skidmore and Of Counsel W. Michael Van Haren were recognized as distinguished practitioners in private wealth law for the fourth consecutive year in Chambers High Net Worth’s 2020 guide.

MANUFACTURING

Zeeland-based Gentex Corp. was named a GM Supplier of the Year by General Motors during a virtual ceremony honoring the recipients of the company’s 28th annual Supplier of the Year Awards.

NONPROFITS

Eric Williams, chief executive officer of the United Methodist Community House, has joined Guiding Light’s board of directors. 

Mel Trotter Ministries has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to help offset the ongoing costs associated with COVID-19.

Wedgwood Christian Services has been named a top-ranked Substance Use Rehab Center in Grand Rapids by a national research and resource organization, Help.org.

Wedgwood Christian Services named Chris Rivera director of substance use disorder treatment services.

REAL ESTATE

Transnation Title Agency hired its first chief legal officer, Lavinia Biasell.

RETAIL

Children’s consignment shop Freshwater Whale Boutique is open for business at 1558 Wealthy St., and is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and closed Mondays.

TECHNOLOGY

Byron Center-based PRO-VISION Video Systems has released its 900 Series Hybrid HD DVR for school buses, which simultaneously records video and provides exterior camera views on an in-cab monitor — including the rear and blind spot views — in 1080p HD resolution. A new line of interior cameras designed for school bus applications, including the PRO-VISION AHD Mini-Dome Camera, also were released.

TRANSPORTATION

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport announced Avflight has opened its state-of-the-art passenger terminal and hangar facility, featuring a 5,000-square-foot passenger terminal building connected to a 30,000-square-foot hangar on a 5-acre leased parcel on the airport’s east side. 

Van Go Delivery LLC has relocated to 7760 Clyde Park, Byron Center.

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