Back In The Game

April 27, 2008
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So what’s up with the Dunkers? The Coffee Dunkers of America, Grand Rapids Chapter, is re-emerging as it makes plans for its popular annual meeting, after scuttling it last year while the group re-grouped.

The show is set for Nov. 19 and the word is Marie Haviland has returned from

a DA (Dunkers Anonymous) 13-step process. She has reluctantly agreed to direct the festivities in the absence of Chief Harry (“I'm going back to Dixie”) Dolan, the esteemed Chief Dunker. It seems the former police chief could go south or offer State Rep. Mike Sak a ride home. He chose the former. The group wanted to hold its planning meetings at the Indian Trails Golf Course, but found out that the City Commission is looking at the possibility of establishing an Indian Tribe Casino and Car Wash, tentatively called "Laughing Heartwell."

Stay tuned.

  • When Michigan State University held a groundbreaking ceremony last week for construction of the Secchia Center medical education building, the future Grand Rapids home of the MSU College of Human Medicine, major project donor Peter Secchia may have inadvertently named a future building that might display his moniker. Standing at the groundbreaking podium, the ambassador asked his wife, Joan, if she might be inclined to define a building as the “Joan Secchia and Stud Puppy Center” in his honor once he’s gone. When MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon took the microphone, she joined others in sympathizing with Joan, suggesting the building name would be: Joan Secchia – She Endured.

Buzz at the reception for the MSU event, held down the road at DeVos Place, included mention that area physicians who will benefit from the Secchia Center are providing a healthy chunk of the private funding for the new facility. Organizations that make up the Physician Faculty and Founding Department members listed on the event program include most of the top treatment and care units in the area — with plenty of green represented by all.

  • When the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated last week the 10th year of work for its Institute for Healing Racism, the invite list for the get-together marking the occasion lacked one significant contributor. Former Chamber President Milt Rohwer was instrumental in the foundation and evolution of the chamber offshoot.

  • The Van Andel Institute Green Team sponsored an Earth Day celebration Tuesday afternoon featuring a Green Vendor Show and a sustainability seminar presented by Elissa Sangalli Hillary, executive director of Local First. Guests were treated to snacks made of locally grown and raised ingredients. The vendor show featured The Rapid, Fisher Scientific, SOS Office Supplies, Comprenew Environmental and Nichols.

The recently created VAI Green Team promotes and supports green initiatives such as sustainable practices, green products and services and recycling and reuse efforts at the institute and coordinates green activities and events. Green Team co-chairs are Amy Poplaski, senior buyer for VAI procurement services, and Betsy Haak, assistant research technician.

  • Bissell Homecare Inc. has become a partner in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment program. That distinction allows Bissell to put the DfE logo on all its full-size, deep-cleaning formulas. The DfE logo is an easily identifiable blue and green earth-shaped symbol that indicates to consumers that a DfE scientific review team has screened each ingredient in the formula for potential human health and environmental effects.

“Today, consumers are flooded with information about products and labeling, but they may not always understand what the different labels mean,” said Jim Krzeminski, Bissell’s executive vice president of product development, sales and marketing. “The EPA’s DfE logo recognizes products that are cleaner and greener and highlights our commitment to doing what is right for the environment.”

Bissell honored Earth Day by inviting residents of the community to drop off at its headquarters any brand of old vacuums, deep cleaners and sweepers, which will be recycled and used to make new Bissell products.

  • Winners of the Grand Rapids Bar Association’s Liberty Bell, Distinguished Service and President’s awards were announced late last week. They will be honored Thursday as part of the association’s annual Law Day Celebration on Thursday. The GRBA also will recognize three attorneys for their five decades of legal practice in the city, along with Bruce Neckers, the 2008 recipient of the Donald R. Worsfold Distinguished Service Award (see stories in Focus Section).

The 2008 Liberty Bell Award winner is the Prostitution Round Table, a collaboration of agencies and individuals who worked together to “promote understanding about the situation of prostituted women and to improve relationships with the police, courts and social service systems to more effectively reduce crime and create opportunity and equity for marginalized members of the community.”

Paul T. Sorensen, associate professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus and counsel at Warner Norcross and Judd, is the recipient of the 2008 President’s Award, given annually to honor a member who has made special contributions in service and support to the GRBA.

The GRBA also will announce its new officers and trustees who will take office July 1: Charles E. Chamberlin Jr., president-elect; Susan Wilson Keener, vice president; and trustees Barbara A. Kraft, Elizabeth Welch Lykins and Richard A. Stevens.

Matthew L. Vicari will assume leadership of the GRBA as president.

  • Sales forecasting is a vital ingredient in successful business operations, particularly in challenging economic times. Amway Corp. is helping the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration prepare for this rising demand.

The Alticor Inc. subsidiary has established a $50,000 Amway Endowed Scholarship in sales forecasting. The first award will be presented at the eighth annual Sales Forecasting Management Forum being held May 13-15 at UT.

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