Change Ups: Union Bank opens Ada branch


Union Bank opened a new branch in Ada within the Ada First LLC building at 523 Ada Drive SE. The bank represents a growing list of businesses that are moving into Ada’s new downtown. Union Bank is one of five businesses inside the Ada First LLC building, the first new structure constructed as part of the redevelopment of Ada Village. Union Bank’s arrival is part of the Envision Ada project that is transforming downtown Ada and includes new businesses, new residences, new green space and new roads.


LEAD Marketing Agency announced it acquired Wynott Advertising & Design. Eddie Bullinger was hired as creative director; Dan Gardiner as senior graphic designer; Jeannesa Martin as digital specialist; and Steve Koskela was contracted as CFO and strategic advisor.


Niles resident Herb Miller was appointed to the United Soybean Board.


The Grand Rapids Public Library’s History and Special Collections Department received a donation of over 5,000 historic postcards depicting important Grand Rapids landmarks and scenes. Grand Rapids native Thomas R. Dilley donated the collection. Dilley spent more than 35 years acquiring and organizing the postcards, which date from the 1890s to the 1980s.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum’s new virtual reality experience features Finny, the museum’s iconic 1905 finback whale skeleton that hangs above the first floor Galleria, and the Meet Finny kiosk that enables visitors to come face to face with Finny in the Finny Virtual Reality experience.


The city of Grand Rapids was awarded Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community designation by the League of American Bicyclists.


First National Bank of Michigan in Kalamazoo retained its five-star Superior rating from bank rating and research firm Bauer Financial Inc.


Aquinas College announced Alicia Lloyd was named director for the Center of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and special adviser to the president.

Cornerstone University announced the appointment of Kenneth Russell as director of diversity and multicultural affairs. His role includes growing the cross-cultural and multicultural competency of Cornerstone.

Grand Valley State University professor of education in the College of Education Faite Mack announced his retirement. Mack came to Grand Valley in 1972 and established the graduate program in teacher education in 1975. He was the first African-American at Grand Valley promoted to the rank of full professor and the first faculty member to obtain a Fulbright Award.

WMU Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus announced the student recipients at its Honors Convocation for exemplifying outstanding academic achievement, leadership, professionalism and character: The Leadership Achievement Award, Jacquelyn Ducat, Jerryel McWilliams and Dylan Van Tubergen; Certificates of Merit for academic excellence in Civil Procedure I and Torts II classes, incoming Student Bar Association Vice President Richard Perez; Certificate of Merit for academic excellence in the Race in the Supreme Court class and Certificate of Appreciation for Access to Justice Clinic, Mary Dunn.


Edward Jones financial adviser Becky Anderson of Grand Rapids recently attended the annual Barron’s Top Financial Advisors Summit that was held in Palm Beach, Florida. The conference promotes best practices and generate new ideas across the industry.

Merrill Lynch wealth management advisers Kimberly Hammond of Muskegon and Brett Howell and Craig Sharp of the Howell & Sharp Group in Grand Rapids were named to the 2017 Financial Times annual Top 401 Financial Advisors list.


Boxed Water Is Better, a company that believes in offering a sustainable option to bottled water, was named a bronze winner as Most Environmentally Responsible Company of the Year by Best in Biz Awards for 2017. Best in Biz is the only independent business awards program judged each year by editors and reporters from top-tier publications in North America.

Taster Guild International co-founder Joe Borrello is the recipient of American Wine Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Kent County Clerk/Register of Deeds Lisa Posthumus Lyons named Gerrid Uzarski as the county’s elections director. Uzarski most recently served as a regional representative for ElectionSource, an elections products and services provider based in Grand Rapids.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed the 2018 annual budget set at $417.6 million, which includes $6.9 million for capital improvement projects. The general fund budget is just over $172.3 million, an increase of 3.3 percent from the previous year.


Cherry Health announced Chris Shea will retire as CEO, effective March 31, 2018. Tasha Blackmon was appointed to succeed Shea and will assume the role April 1, 2018.


First-time offenders of Driving While License Suspended now can use a free online program to restore their license and connect virtually with a Kentwood City attorney to negotiate details of their case. The free online program is provided by Matterhorn by Court Innovations Inc., enabling the 62-B District Court to provide virtual services to restore licenses and interact with the prosecuting official without multiple court appearances. Details:


The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre & School of Theatre Arts announced Miller Johnson attorney Matthew L. Vicari was elected to serve a two-year term as chair of the board of directors.


ChoiceOne Bank in Sparta announced the appointment of Carmen Villahermosa de Cox to the board of directors for Kent County Habitat for Humanity. ChoiceOne Bank also will continue to pledge its commitment to Habitat for Humanity with an annual pledge of $15,000 in 2018 and 2019 for a total of $30,000.

Linda Zizos was named development director for the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.


Swift Printing & Communications Inc. recently earned its B Corporation certification. Swift is one of only two B Corp commercial print shops in the world, and the 14th B Corp in West Michigan and the 17th in the state.


Aaron Sanders was appointed the Grand Rapids Diocese’s new director of the office for worship. His role includes overseeing the coordination of liturgical and sacramental policy, diocesan Masses, working with liturgical ministers in all 81 parishes and acting as a resource and spokesperson in liturgical matters for priests, ministers, the laity and the media.


Ada-based Amway and The American Football Coaches Association’s “Cameo with the Coaches” Sweepstakes will give college football fans exclusive access to the televised AFCA Awards and meet several of the nation’s top coaches Jan. 9, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Grand Rapids Griffins kicked off the 2017-18 hockey season with a new conference room, Custer Inc. announced. This is the first time the Griffins updated their conference room since Van Andel Arena was built in 1995.


Holland-based NET(net) and Russia retail chain Lenta announced they have entered into a long-term managed services agreement that builds on their previous mutual relationship in achieving significant investment optimization in technology related projects. The agreement solidifies Lenta's commitment in leveraging IT to further enable and modernize its business and facilitate business growth objectives, and underscores NET(net)'s market leadership in technology supply chain optimization services on a global basis.

Lindberg/MPH in Riverside announced the shipment of a 1,200-degree Celsius single-zone tube furnace to a manufacturer of electronic components. The 1,200 C tube furnace offers exceptional radial and linear temperature uniformity, process repeatability, rapid heat-up and response, and requires minimal maintenance.


Sietsema Farms in Allendale fleet manager Eric Sietsema received vehicle fleet technologies provider Azuga’s quarterly Safe Driving Award.

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