Change Ups: Updates planned for GRCC technology center


Grand Rapids Community College’s Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center will be updated and expanded, thanks in part to $6,367,250 in state funding that will cover half the cost of the $12,734,500 project. The development will focus on computer and manufacturing programs. Students completing these programs are in high demand, and so it's important for GRCC to keep its classrooms current with the latest equipment and tools used in these industries, according to Amy Koning, dean of the School of Workforce Development.


The Grand Rapids Public Museum will open a new exhibit starting Nov. 11 called Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids, organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The exhibition will trace the natural and cultural roots of some of the world’s most enduring mythological creatures from Asia, Europe, the Americas and beyond. It will include interactive stations and give visitors the opportunity to build their own dragon on a touch screen.

The Lakeshore Art Festival in downtown Muskegon featured more than 110 exhibitors in Fine Art and Fine Craft categories. Award recipients: Best in Show Award presented to Doyle Borntrager for his Knarley Knot wooden goods; second place presented to Heather Miles for her abstract paintings; and third place went to Jonathan Kesler for his clay stoneware. Honorable Mention: Emre Tekeli, for her handmade jewelry; and Committee’s Choice to Charity Mendoza for her textured artwork.


BDR Custom Homes announced it is a first-place award recipient for interior design by the Home Builders Association Grand Traverse Area for its entry in the 2017 Parade of Homes. The award-winning home is located at The Homestead in Glen Arbor.

Matthew Rizzo was named an Emerging Leader by the M&A Advisor as part of their eighth annual Emerging Leaders awards. Rizzo provides litigation economic damages to clients at O’Keefe.


Custer Inc. announced C&S Electric acquired Erickson Electric Service Inc., a Grand Haven-based electric contractor serving commercial, industrial, telecommunications and residential customers in greater West Michigan. Erickson Electric Service will operate under C&S Electric, which was purchased by Custer in 2014.

Joshua Webb joined Custer Inc. as an operations furniture installer.

Midstate Security in Wyoming announced the additions of Dan Barbrick, controller; Ryan Bostic, solutions account manager; and Chris Pieri, director of business development.


Calvin College was included in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018 guidebook as one the country’s best and most interesting colleges.

Kuyper College announced Christine Mulka was appointed to the post of controller-chief financial officer. In addition to the financial office, Mulka also will be responsible for the College’s IT and human resources functions.


Long Road Distillers is the recipient of the Double Gold medal for its Long Road MICHIGIN gin at The Fifty Best Gin tasting event. Long Road MICHIGIN was named Best Gin in the World, taking home top honors for the distillery for the second straight year.


Merrill Lynch firm The Veldheer, Long, Mackay & Bernecker Group managing partners James Veldheer, Timothy Long and William Mackay were named to the Barron’s Top 30 Institutional Consultants in 2017.


Jonathan Ball joined Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch in Saranac as chief financial officer.


Lt. Governor Brian Calley recently spoke at a Kent County Lead Task Force meeting. The Lead Task Force is chaired by Kent County commissioner Emily Brieve and vice-chair Senita Lenear (Commissioner, city of Grand Rapids) and includes more than a dozen community leaders, as well as health and housing specialists.


Network180, Mercy Health’s Affinia Health Network and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services were authorized to implement a pilot program integrating physical health care and behavioral health services in the state budget signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. This pilot program, The Kent Total Health Collaborative, is designed to offer comprehensive and integrated services for all levels of physical health, mental health, substance use disorder and developmental disability.


Sydney, Australia-based HotelsCombined announced the finalists and winner of its Recognition of Excellence Awards. Finalist in Michigan for Best Hotels in a Metropolitan Area: The Leonard at Logan House in Grand Rapids; Best Small City Hotels finalists: Huron House, Oscoda; Bay Pointe Inn Shelbyville, Hopkins; Boyden House Inn, Grand Haven, and the winner, Kara’s Kottages, Kalamazoo.


Goodwill and Hired Hitch have partnered to offer pickup and delivery of larger purchases from local Goodwill stores. Visit to schedule a donation pickup. Hired Hitch will deliver furniture or larger items from a Goodwill store or by visiting

Meijer’s spring Simply Give campaign set a record with more than $3 million — or 33 million meals — to stock the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest, making it the most successful campaign in the program’s nine-year history. The spring success came on the heels of a record $1-million donation to the program during the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and a record-setting year in 2016.

Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel is partnering with Food Bank Council of Michigan to raise donations for its online “Summ’re Hungry” campaign to help feed Kent County kids and others across the state. Monetary donations can be made through MARSP’s website,, which goes to FBCM to purchase food in volume and distribute it to local food pantries.

Nimlok Michigan recently hosted the first annual Shannon E. Benton Be Nice Memorial golf outing at the Railside Golf Club in Byron Center, which raised $10,000 for the be nice. program, a mental health awareness, bullying and suicide prevention initiative that focuses on school-wide change through simple daily actions.


Frankenmuth Insurance, with an office in Grand Rapids, announced the company was named to Ward's 50 list for 2017 as one of the nation’s top performing insurance companies.


Bodman PLC announced attorney John David Gardiner joined the firm’s new Grand Rapids office as a member.

Miller Canfield announced Michael E. Moore joined the firm’s banking and finance group in its Grand Rapids office.


SMG staff at Van Andel Arena were recently visited by staff members of Knoxville, Tennessee-based EventBooking to gather insight about the evolution of technology used within venues, as well as the future technology of booking, marketing and managing events.


Grand Rapids Police Department officer Benjamin Hawkins was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Mika Meyers attorney Jennifer A. Puplava was appointed as an alternate member of the Cascade Township Zoning Board of Appeals.


Nick Duncan was named general manager of the new Big E’s Sports Bar and Grill at 2321 E. Beltline Ave. SE.


Matt Kaulig, owner, president and CEO of LeafFilter North, which has an office in Grand Rapids, was one of 50 business owners invited to the White House for the first Certified Made in America event. 

U-Haul Company of Michigan announced National Storage Centers signed on as a U-Haul neighborhood dealer to serve the Comstock Park area at 4970 W. River Drive NE. National Storage offers U-Haul trucks, towing equipment, support rental items and in-store pickup for boxes.

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