Change-Ups: WMTA digital cookbook features West Michigan recipes


The West Michigan Tourist Association has rounded up the area’s best recipes for home cooks to try their hands at. Working with restaurants, farm markets, wineries and more from throughout the area, WMTA has compiled a cookbook full of delicious dishes and drink recipes from around West Michigan. Aspiring chefs and home cooks alike will find recipe options to re-create a favorite dish, make a homemade version of a restaurant staple, or try something new. Download a PDF of the cookbook at


Battle Creek-based Binder Park Zoo’s resident animals have made their way back to their outdoor habitats and the zoo has recently installed a new live web camera (“ZooCam”), which allows people to view the zoo’s savanna from their homes.

The spring 2020 issue of the Innisfree Poetry Journal is highlighting the poetry and career of Jack Ridl, professor emeritus of English at Hope College. The publication shares 36 of Ridl’s poems drawn from multiple collections published between 1984 and 2019. The issue also includes work by 27 other poets. Ridl taught at Hope from 1971 until retiring in 2006.


Business Leaders for Michigan announced President and Chief Executive Officer, Doug Rothwell, will retire on Dec. 31. He has led BLM and its predecessor organization (Detroit Renaissance) for 15 years. A national search will be conducted to fill the position, with a successor expected to be announced in November 2020.

Holland-based Shoreline Container announced New-Indy Containerboard LLC has acquired its company, a 50/50 joint venture between two well-known family businesses, the Kraft Group and Schwarz Partners. The company will continue to operate the Shoreline Container facilities in West Michigan and will carry its customer-focused and community-minded approach under new leadership.


City High Middle has been ranked No. 1 in Michigan and No. 21 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. This is up from the No. 2 spot in Michigan and No. 38 in the nation based on last year’s rankings. More than 17,700 schools were ranked nationwide.

Hope College’s Boerigter Center for Calling and Career in Holland has been named a Program of Distinction by Colleges of Distinction, for its programs that have a superior ability to think ahead about how their students will succeed after they graduate.


Holland-based Boxed Water Is Better has planted 1 million trees in partnership with the National Forest Foundation as a part of its ongoing commitment to support the planet and sustainability efforts.


Kent County has once again received long-term Triple-A credit ratings from rating agencies S&P Global and Moody’s Investors Service.

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Tribal Council chairperson Jamie Stuck was recently appointed to the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The task force will specifically examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color throughout Michigan, and will act in an advisory capacity to Whitmer, and study the causes of racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19 and recommend actions to immediately address such disparities, as well as the historical and systemic inequities that underlie them.


Start Garden announced it selected 68 entrepreneurs for its 100 Comeback Fund. Entrepreneurs recently had 100 hours to apply for a grant and a review committee awarded more than $300,000 from the Start Garden 100 relief fund.

The Porter Hills Foundation announced it has received $10,000 from the Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation and Greater Ottawa County United Way Emergency Human Needs Fund to support its telehealth initiatives for low-income, nursing home eligible participants at LifeCircles PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) in Holland. LifeCircles PACE serves older adults living in Muskegon County and portions of Ottawa and Allegan counties.


A group of Ferris State University faculty and fourth-year pharmacy students are involved in a review of research reports and studies to help put the best COVID-19 information before doctors and other health care professionals in the Spectrum Health integrated health system. The various Ferris collaborators join with peers at the Van Andel Institute, Michigan State University, Henry Ford Health System and the Spectrum research office to assess more than 3,500 articles detailing research on the virus at the heart of this pandemic.


Downtown Grand Rapids homeless shelter Degage Ministries continues to adapt to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, thanks to partnerships and donations from local businesses and Degage patrons employed by the organization. Degage is providing nearly 300 free to-go meals each day, which typically are provided at a cost of $2/meal. In addition, hygiene services remain available three days each week.

The Kent County and city of Grand Rapids Emergency Management Divisions have partnered with the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, Mel Trotter Ministries and The Salvation Army to establish a temporary and safe shelter for homeless women who are presumed negative for COVID-19. The facility, located at Catholic Central High School, provides permanent shelters in the area to reduce their daily populations so individuals experiencing homelessness are better able to socially/physically distance. The Catholic Central High School gymnasium can hold up to 75 women and provides shower facilities, food services provided by The Salvation Army and other essential services. Kent County volunteers, the city of Grand Rapids Homeless Outreach Team and Mel Trotter Ministries staff will primarily staff it.

West Michigan Sews Hope has donated 150 facemasks for Grand Rapids-based Exodus Place’s staff and residents.


Michigan Millers Insurance has named the Dan Charles Agency as one of its Preferred Agency partners for 2020. The independent agency represents the top 10% in terms of production, profitability and professionalism with the company.


Miller Canfield announced “Chambers USA 2020” has ranked 10 of the firm’s attorneys and six of its core practice areas among the best in the U.S. The firm earned rankings in: Banking & Finance, Corporate/M&A, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Litigation: General Commercial and Real Estate.


Rockford-based Wolverine Worldwide Inc. announced the appointments of Chris Hufnagel, Joelle Grunberg and Tom Kennedy to the company’s executive leadership team. Each will now be responsible for multiple brands within the company’s diverse portfolio. Grunberg is global president of Sperry. Grunberg will continue in that role, and Saucony, Keds and the Wolverine Kids Group will also now report to her. Hufnagel was named global president of Merrell; he will continue in that role, and CAT Footwear, Chaco and Hush Puppies also will now report to him. Kennedy was named global president of the Wolverine brand. Kennedy will continue in that role, and Bates, HYTEST and Harley-Davidson Footwear also will now report to him.


Sabo PR has promoted Lisa Taylor and Hunter Zuk to senior associates.


The Kent County Health Department announced it is extending the deadline for the annual food service licensing fees due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline for the fees, originally April 30, 2020, has been extended to Aug. 31, 2020. Late fees will be assessed on or after Sept. 1, 2020. While the fee deadline is being extended, all restaurants were required to submit a renewal application by April 30, 2020. The application will ensure establishments remain licensed during the 2020-2021 operating period. If an establishment does not intend to renew its license, the application still should be returned but include a signed note requesting its license be cancelled.


Grand Rapids-based electrical solutions and industrial technology firm Feyen Zylstra is working behind the scenes in some local hospitals upgrading their wireless technology, remodeling networks and working in other infrastructure areas to help accommodate the hospitals in setting up testing areas and turning non-clinical areas into health delivery areas.

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