Change Ups: Wise Men Distillery captures silver medal

Change Ups: Wise Men Distillery captures silver medal

Wise Men Distillery co-founders Tom Borisch, Jason Post and Zack Van Dyke’s Apple Pie Moonshine, made with tart apples from northern Michigan, captured a silver medal at the 11th annual San Diego Spirits Festival. The distillery’s vodka won a bronze medal. Wise Men Distillery uses ingredients that are locally sourced when possible and include Lake Michigan water, tart apples from northern Michigan, corn from West Michigan farms and maple syrup tapped from the state’s maple trees.


Troy-based Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants elected David G. Echelbarger, shareholder and the managing partner at Echelbarger Himebaugh Tamm & Co. PC in Grand Rapids, as chair of its board of directors.


Caledonia-based indoor hydroponics Revolution Farms announced John Green was appointed as CEO. Green is a founding investor in the farm who currently serves as chairman of its board of directors and has served as acting CEO.


The Grand Rapids Public Museum announced the addition of Joshua Verhulst, Ron Yob and Megan Sall to its board of trustees.


Emma Elizabeth Jewelry owner Emma Hoekstra received a $7,500 2019 Halstead Grant for new jewelry businesses, $1,000 in jewelry supplies and a trip to Prescott, Arizona. Hoekstra will appear on the cover and a feature spread in the grant publication, Reveal, jewelry showcase in the 2020 Halstead catalog, press assistance, a detailed feedback report from the judging committee and a signature trophy. 

Five Star Window Coatings was recognized by Window Film magazine as one of the Top Window Film Dealers in 2019.

The Kalamazoo Metropolitan County Planning Commission is the recipient of the Michigan Association of Planning’s Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan for the Kalamazoo County Master Plan.

Stephen, Greg and Herb Herbruck, of Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch in Saranac, received the Michigan Agri-Business Association’s 2019 Leaders and Legends Award at the association’s Outlook Conference on Mackinac Island.


ChoiceOne Bank in Sparta, along with its partner Plinqit, were recently honored as a finalist in the Best Solution for Customer Experience category at the 2019 Best of FinXTech Awards.


Eastbrook Homes’ third annual Taste & Tour features 19 events throughout October, each supporting a local charity, from local beer and wine tastings to a spooky Halloween event. Details:

Elzinga & Volkers Construction hired Anthony Davis as a project manager and Whitney Wolbers as an accountant. Layna O’Connor was promoted to firestop division manager.


David Bennion joined Wayland-based Gun Lake Casino as senior director of food and beverage. He is classically trained in French and international cuisine, health and hygiene, and restaurant management from Colquitt Culinary College in England. Bennion moved to the United States of America in 1987 and became a citizen in 2005.

Gordon Food Service in Wyoming announced the appointment of three new members to its board of directors: Brooke Elliott, EY distinguished professor and head, department of accountancy, University of Illinois, Champaign Illinois.; Tommy Gordon, director of partnerships and pipeline, Relish Works, Chicago; and Peter McLaughlin, managing director, Anne of Green Gables Chocolates, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed Hank Kelley, transportation planning and programs supervisor for the city of Grand Rapids’ Mobile GR and Parking Services Department, to serve on the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission.

Sherriff’s deputy Wade Van Bragt and Erin Rotman from human resources were recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipients for the second quarter of 2019.

The Ottawa County Central Dispatch Authority hired Peter McWatters as director of its 911 services.


Lori Price was named chief operating officer at Metro Health-University of Michigan Health in Wyoming.

Network180 appointed Beverly Ryskamp as chief operating officer. Bill Ward assumes the executive director role.

Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital president Bob Connors, MD, has announced his plans to retire on Jan. 3. Connors has served as president of the children’s hospital for 14 years. He moved to the Grand Rapids community in 1990 as a pediatric surgeon and established Pediatric Surgeons of West Michigan.


Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp.’s recent Global Community Day activated nearly 3,000 employees in 15 countries with volunteer efforts focused on creating more vibrant communities through health and wellness, safe and sustainable housing and enhancing education.


Gibson, a regional insurance broker and risk management services firm with offices in Kalamazoo, retained its Best Practices status by participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America Best Practices Study Group.


Foster Swift shareholder Frederick D. Dilley was recognized for his work in general litigation in Michigan “Super Lawyers” for 2019 and is listed in the “Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers” for the same year.

The Grand Rapids Police Department recently hosted a promotional ceremony for 10 sworn personnel who were moved to the next higher rank, making it the largest promotional ceremony the department has experienced in decades due to the number of recent retirements. Promoted: Deputy Chief: Scott Rifenberg; Captain: Mark Ostapowicz and Kristen Rogers; Lieutenant: Catherine Williams, Jonathan Wu, David Siver; and Sergeant: Timothy Hoornstra, Sean McCamman, Joseph Drelles and Nicholas Calati.

Willey & Chamberlain announced Peter A. VanGelderen became a partner in the firm.


96.9 WLAV-FM announced Jackie Green is now hosting middays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Steve Gorman is hosting from 7 p.m.-midnight.


King Media won PR News Agency Elite’s Awards in Crisis Management and Integrated Communications for its work with Grand Haven Area Public Schools. The award brings King Media to a total of 20 national and international honors since 2015.


GR8 Sports, Great Kids, a program of the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation, announced it was selected as the Aspen Institute’s 2019 Project Play Champion. A national campaign, The Aspen Institute’s Project Play develops, applies and shares knowledge that helps build healthy communities through sports.


Nunica-based LiveWall installed a 276-square-foot green wall with its LiveWall Indoor Living Wall System following the renovation and expansion of the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at the Appleton International Airport in Appleton, Wisconsin.


Fusion IT LLC hired Richard Reiffer as vice president of strategic initiatives.

ITS Partners announced its new location is at 496 Ada Drive, as part of the Village of Ada downtown development project.

Spring Lake-based Norb LLC introduced the Norb brand of LED light bulbs. NorbSLEEP (the “Sleep Right” Light) provides a soft, warm, white-color light produced in the wavelengths of natural evening light. The body produces melatonin, the natural hormone that signals it is time to relax and fall asleep. NorbSMILE (the “Feel Right” Light) illuminates with a white-color light designed with the sun’s “happy” light spectrum that awakens and energizes.

X-Rite Inc. announced the immediate availability of its i1Display Studio and i1Display Pro Plus, technologically enhanced hardware and software solutions for color calibration and profiling of displays, laptops and projectors.


The Manistee County Visitors Bureau released a free, stand-alone 2019 Fall Color Guide for the fall season. The downloadable 36-page fall color guide at provides top photo spots; three color tour driving routes with food, shopping and lodging stops along the way; plus evening activity suggestions. Visitors also can request a free printed guide in the mail by contacting the visitors bureau at (877) 626-4783.


Wightman has redesigned its website: The architecture, engineering, environmental and survey services company, with offices in Allegan, Benton Harbor and Kalamazoo, has improved the depth of company information available to future clients and prospective employees and to enhance service to clients.

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