Change-Ups: Union Bank hires Kowalewski as VP

Robert Kowalewski. Courtesy Union Bank

Robert Kowalewski joined Union Bank as vice president, director of business development. Kowalewski will focus on strategic initiatives that will help support and build the bank’s brand in the various markets Union Bank serves. This will include commercial, retail, consumer, mortgage, investments and treasury management.


Beene Garter LLP promoted Brandi Clark-Hubbard, Sarah Pattison, Elizabeth Potocki and Jennifer Stolsonburg to partner.

Korte & Kowatch hired Trevor Maas as a tax associate and Joann Harding as an executive assistant.


Taylor Kallio joined the staff at the Mill at Vicksburg as content creator.


Rochester Hills-based Spalding DeDecker hired John Fortunato as construction engineering senior project manager.


Kent District Library announced Darius Quinn is the recipient of the Library Champion Award for his consultant work that helped KDL move toward ensuring library services better reflect the diverse needs of the community.

The Grand Rapids Historical Society elected for its 2021-22 board of trustees president Gina Bivins; vice-president Matthew Daley; treasurer John Gelderloos; secretary Nan Schichtel; Charles Bocskey; Angela Cluley; Thomas Dilley; Matthew Ellis; Chris Kaupa, Ed Paciencia; Jeffrey Sytsma; Julie Tabberer and Jim Winslow.

The city of Muskegon received $50,000 from philanthropist Patrick O’Leary to create a fund to preserve the public art collection of Muskegon. O’Leary’s previous philanthropy spurred the creation of the Muskegon City Public Art Initiative, which has added six new artworks in the last three years.


Carrie Rivette, wastewater/stormwater maintenance superintendent with the city of Grand Rapids’ Environmental Services Department, is West Michigan Environmental Action Council’s eighth George Heartwell Environmental Legacy Award recipient.

The Michigan Works! Association named state Rep. Beth Griffin (R-Mattawan) the Michigan Works! Association 2021 Legislator of the Year.

Wave Burns of West Michigan Works! received a Shining Star Award from the Michigan Works! Association for her efforts to meet employment needs in Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon and Ottawa counties.


First Community Bank hired Alicia Skiver-Palmer as branch manager of its newest full-service regional banking center at 4455 Cascade Road SE


BIFMA appointed Andi Barajas marketing and communications manager.


Aquinas College for the third consecutive year was named by U.S. News and World Report a Top Performer in Social Mobility among national liberal arts colleges and Aquinas ranked 40th on the list among National Liberal Arts Colleges.

Grand Valley State University has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report third overall for Top Public Regional Universities in the Midwest. Among regional universities in Michigan, GVSU is No. 1.

Veteran West Michigan educator Thomas DeJonge was named chairperson of the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority, overseeing the program that removes cost as a barrier to higher education for Grand Rapids students.


Aperitivo added Alex Blake as assistant general manager, Stephen Staggs as lead cheesemonger and Krystal Cripe as lead chef/kitchen manager.

Fennville-based Waypost Brewing Co. was awarded a gold medal at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival competition presented by the Brewers Association. Waypost was recognized in the Classic Saison beer-style category for its Saison.


The Saint Mary’s Foundation announced four additions to its board of trustees for three-year terms: Erin Bonovetz, senior vice president/general manager, OTC and Consumer Selfcare Americas at Perrigo Co.; Jill Onesti, medical director of Surgical Oncology at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s; Roslyn “Roz” Sullivan, student mentor at Catholic Central High School and volunteer executive coach/mentor for Exodus Place’s fundraising committee; and Ellie Frey Zagel, president and founder of Successful Generations Coaching. The following officers were appointed: Kim Clarke, chair; Scott Breslin, vice chair; Kim McLaughlin, treasurer; Jennifer Crowley, secretary; Brian Hauenstein, officer; Rhonda Huismann, officer; and Ben Williams, officer.


Kentwood Police Chief Richard Roberts has retired from the force. He initially served starting in 1987 as a police paramedic. During his more than 30 years with the city of Kentwood, Roberts served in many different roles, including 24 years in supervisory and management positions. As chief, Roberts led a team of nearly 95 personnel, including 70 sworn police officers.


Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes is the recipient of a $200,000 grant from the Perrigo Company and the Perrigo Company Charitable Foundation toward its capital campaign to create the JA Free Enterprise Center for students from across the region and scholarships for area students from Allegan, Kent and Ottawa counties.


Michigan HomeCare & Hospice Association in Okemos added board members Melinda Gruber, vice president, Continued Care Services, Spectrum Health Lakeland, St. Joseph, and Sara Lowe, executive director, Emmanuel Hospice, Grand Rapids, for two-year terms.

The Michigan Works! Association named Kalamazoo-based Bronson Healthcare the 2021 Employer of the Year.


Acrisure appointed Lowell Singer as chief financial officer. Singer joins Acrisure following 14 years with The Walt Disney Company, where he served as senior vice president of investor relations.


Rhoades McKee announced Meaghan Clayton joined the firm as an associate and member of the employment law team, and Nathan Russell as an associate and member of the business and corporate services team.


Wayland-based Gun Lake Casino opened two restaurants and a new entertainment space included in its most recent $100 million expansion that brings the total investment into the Gun Lake Casino property to $415 million. The expansion adds 72,000 square feet to the existing 156,000-square-foot facility.


MiBiz announced manufacturing and economic development executive Justine Burdette joined the company as associate publisher.


Arbor Circle announced Monique Carter as program director of Arbor Circle’s Youth Development Services.


Mark Peters, CEO for Butterball Farms Inc., has written a book titled “THE SOURCE” that explains how to develop meaningful leadership that succeeds in running a profitable business, improving the lives of frontline workers and helping the community. It’s for sale at


The Grand Rapids Gold hired Travess Armenta, Tamisha Augustin, Nathan Babcock and Jim Lyman Jr. as assistant coaches.


Coopersville-based IT Resource Inc. announced Community Bankers of Michigan has designated IT Resource as a Preferred Partner delivering intuitive managed support, managed security and compliance services to community banks throughout Michigan. The company also hired Carrigan Conaway as a customer service representative and Noah Veik as an IT support analyst.

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