Change Ups

Change Ups: Competition tests students’ business mettle

January 25, 2013
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Change Ups Blurb
Students gathered in classrooms on Davenport University's W.A. Lettinga Campus to prepare for the BPA competitions. Photo by Michael Croff

Some 400 students representing 20 West Michigan high schools put their entrepreneurial skills to the test Jan. 12 at the Davenport University-hosted Business Professionals of America’s regional competition, held at Davenport’s W.A. Lettinga campus. Events included individual and team competitions in accounting, business skills, technology, public speaking and presentation skills. Top qualifiers will advance to the BPA state competition in March.

ARTS

Elly Barnette-Dawson has joined Grand Rapids Art Museum as director of advancement. Barnette-Dawson previously was director of development at Acton Institute and is a native of Pittsburgh who moved to Grand Rapids in 1994 to pursue a degree at Calvin College.

BENEFITS

Lighthouse Group announced it has merged with Mills Benefit Group, primarily due to the changing landscape of employee benefits. The merger elevates Lighthouse Group to 220 employees throughout the state.

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

CSM Group announced the promotions of Jim Feltch and Brandon Duprey to associate partners.

Dan Vos Construction Co. has hired Jeremy Roon, CAD drafter, and Meg Sznaza, marketing coordinator.

Elzinga & Volkers announced the return of Earl Eddy, senior project manager. Eddy has more than 40 years of construction industry experience, spending more than 11 of them with Elzinga & Volkers. He is responsible for maintaining and developing relationships with clients and managing projects in the health care and senior living markets.

BUSINESS SERVICES

The Right Place announced new board members for 2013: Chris Thelen, CMS Energy; Mitchell Joppich, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; Dennis Eidson, Spartan Stores; Paul Hillegonds, DTE Energy; and Don Hilton, Gaines Township. Executive appointments are: Terry Frewen, Coldwell Banker Frewen Realty; Fred Shell, DTE Energy; Milt Rohwer, Frey Foundation; and Brian Donovan, East Grand Rapids.

EDUCATION

Grand Valley State University economics professor John Reifel will serve as interim dean of the Seidman College of Business at GVSU.

ENERGY

Crystal Flash Energy announced the acquisition of Hart-based Heartland Propane LLC, its fourth over the past year, enabling the energy distribution company to better serve residential and commercial customers in the Newaygo-Muskegon-Hesperia areas, including Hart, Shelby, Fremont, Pentwater and other locations.

HEALTH

The Center for Physical Rehabilitation announced it is adding 1,300 square feet to its southeast location, which will incorporate increased gym space for functional exercise and state-of-the art video gait and throwing analysis programs. It also will add three more treatment rooms and administration and billing office areas. In addition, Nate Rosel has been named clinic manager at the northeast location, 6290 Jupiter Ave. NE, Belmont.

Ronald Rozema has been named development director for Catherine’s Health Center.

Roxanne Cornelium has joined Bengtson Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery as a certified physician assistant specializing in all aspects of cosmetic medicine.

HOSPITALITY

Amway Hotel Corp. announced the appointment of Michael Cavanagh, chief information officer. He is responsible for IT and telecommunications in support of Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, JW Marriott Grand Rapids and Downtown Courtyard by Marriott. He also is a member of the executive committee responsible for developing the corporation’s overall vision and strategic roadmap.

INSURANCE

Arms Insurance Agency has merged with The Campbell Group, a division of Acrisure. AIA staff will relocate to The Campbell Group office in Caledonia on March 1.

James Rhoad has joined Ottawa Kent as an outsource risk manager specializing in business insurance.

LEGAL

Dickinson Wright PLLC announced the election of new member attorneys to the firm: Robert C. Bigelow, Jason B. Castle, Jill S. Ingber, Axel Kindbom, Christopher W. Kramer, Charles H. Oldham and Jodi Munn Schebel.

Martin Axelrod has joined Dykema’s Grand Rapids office. Axelrod is a transactional attorney whose practice focuses on real estate and business transactions with emphasis on real estate and corporate finance matters and business succession planning.

Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge announced the addition of Nicole L. Huston, marketing specialist, as well as new equity shareholders and 2013 board members. Shareholders: Janis L. Adams, employment law attorney, Traverse City office; Cheryl L. Chandler, medical malpractice defense attorney, Ann Arbor office; and Jonathan J. Siebers, mergers and acquisitions and commercial real estate, Grand Rapids office. Board members: Cindy C. Boer, Peter J. Boyles, Cheryl L. Chandler, William J. Hondorp, Robert W. Parker, Ronald A. Schuknecht and Matthew L. Wikander.

Varnum has elected the following attorneys to partnership: Bradley Defoe, Michael Romaya, April Sawhill and Nina Thekdi. Defoe is a member of the litigation and trial service group; Romaya is a member of the regulatory law practice group; Sawhill focuses her practice primarily on commercial litigation and personal injury cases; and Thekdi is a member of the employment practice group.

LOGISTICS

The American Trucking Association has elected Holland professional driver Herschel Evans to serve as America’s Road Team captain, the first Holland driver to be so selected. America’s Road Team is a national public outreach program of the ATA.

Columbian Logistics Network announced the addition of Anne Schelling, director of business development.

NONPROFITS

Fair Food Matters, a Kalamazoo nonprofit, has named Erica Barajas interim executive director. Her duties include fund development, financial management, employee supervision, community outreach and communication, and accountability to the board of directors, which will begin a search for a permanent executive director in the next three to six months.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Lambert, Edwards & Associates has promoted Jeff Tryka to senior director and Karen Keller to director within the financial communications practice.

REAL ESTATE

Elizabeth A. Slane has joined Hinman Co.’s property management department. She will manage a portfolio of nearly 1 million square feet of office space in Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

RESTAURANTS

One Trick Pony Grill & Taproom has hired Drew Turnipseed as executive chef. He previously was executive chef at Brewery Vivant.

RETAIL

Fox Motors of Grand Rapids announced the opening of Fox Shine Car Wash at 3120 Boradmoor Ave. SE. Its state-of-the-art equipment will provide car washes for $1 to Fox Motors customers with a fox head and Fox Motors license plate frame. Vehicles without Fox ID pay $6. A school will be selected once a month to use the car wash for fundraising.

TECHNOLOGY

C/D/H announced the addition of consultant Michael Balatzis, who will help manage the Microsoft System Center, Lync and Exchange projects for the company’s infrastructure practice.

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