Change Ups

Change Ups: Agency’s top administrator announces retirement

September 12, 2014
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D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s President and CEO Sharon Loughridge plans to retire in February 2015. For the past 13 years, she has served the mission of D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, the last 11 of those as president/CEO. Loughridge joined D.A. Blodgett for Children in 2001 after 21 years with the Kent County Department of Human Services. Under her leadership, D.A. Blodgett for Children and St. John’s Home merged in 2010.


Extra Credit Projects has added Justin Escher, senior strategist and account manager.


Collin DePrekel has joined Driesenga & Associates Inc. as a staff engineer in its civil engineering group in the Holland office.


Oceana County fruit grower Michael DeRuiter has been elected to the board of directors of the Michigan Farm Bureau. The Hart-area native represents the organization’s seventh district: Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana and Osceola counties.


Lifestyle Kitchen Studio designer Elizabeth Wesley was named to the 2015 class of National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 30 Under 30.

The Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame announced it has posthumously named Stan R. Tyler Jr., of Muskegon, as its 2014 member in the field of philanthropy. Norman R. Byrne, of Ada,was named in the category of business and industry. announced technology consultant Ashima Saigal of Database Sherpa has been named an international Salesforce MVP. The program recognizes exceptional individuals within the community and social channels for their leadership, knowledge and ongoing contributions.


Lake Michigan Credit Union announced the hiring of Patrick Conway as a mortgage loan originator who will work from LMCU’s new Livonia branch office.


Custer announced it has hired Micah Dingman as a sales trainee and Natalia Connellyas a brand specialist in its marketing department.


CSM Group announced the addition of project manager James Grossaand the promotion ofAmanda Masonto project director,specializing in the food and beverage market segment.

Preferred Construction Group LLC announced its new location at 1945 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids.


Washington Monthly ranked Grand Valley State University 30th in the nation in the Best Master’s Universities category for its contribution to the public good, up two spots from last year. Grand Valley ranked first in the nation in the community service subcategory and 11th in the financial aid support, courses and service staff subcategory.


Kevin Ricco has been selected director of GVSU’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon. He succeeds T. Arnold Boezaart, who will retire at the end of October after serving as director since 2009. Ricco assumes his role Sept. 22. 


Dr. Sarah Estelle of the Hope College economics faculty has received a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation to expand the Markets and Morality student organization. The one-year grant will provide more opportunities to student members such as conference attendance and travel during the school year, as well as expansions of the guest-speaker and film programs.


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has recognized several Metro Health practices and neighborhood outpatient centers as patient-centered medical homes. The following have earned recognition: Alger Heights; Allendale; Caledonia; Cedar Springs; Comstock Park; Hudsonville; Internal Medicine; Jenison; Lowell; Rockford; Southwest – East, West and Pediatrics;and Wayland.Also family practice physicians at these PHO-affiliated practices:Edmondson, Rouse and Schmid PCand Lowell Family Medical Center.

The Center for Physical Rehabilitation is marking its 20th anniversary by hosting charitable events, including a blood drive sponsored by Michigan Blood, a food drive to benefit God’s Kitchen, and a Patient Appreciation Day 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 16, at all four Center for Physical Rehabilitation locations. Details:

Metro Health Hospital earned 2014 Priority Health Quality Awards for its neighborhood outpatient centers and practices:Alger Heights; Cedar Springs; Comstock Park; Hudsonville; Internal Medicine; Jenison; Southwest – West, internal medicine and pediatrics; and Wayland. The following PHO-affiliated practices also received the awards:Dr. Gary Gulish; Grand Valley Medical Specialists; Lowell Family Medical Center; Dr. Phillip J. Gaca; Edmondson, Rouse and Schmid; and Standale Family Physicians.


D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s has opened a sixth residential home, Elenbaas Home, for abused or neglected middle-school- age teens.


Miller Johnson attorney Raj A. Malviya was selected to serve a two-year term in the Fellows Program instituted by the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law.

Eight Varnum attorneys have been recognized as Lawyer of the Year in their areas of practice in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America: David E. Khorey: Employment Law – Management; Harvey Koning: Financial Services Regulation Law; Jeffrey A. DeVree: Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Jon M. Bylsma: Litigation – Banking and Finance; Kaplin S. Jones: Tax Law; Matthew D. Zimmerman: Municipal Law; Randall W. Kraker: Litigation – Real Estate; and Timothy J. Lundgren: Water Law.

Willis Law announced attorney Liisa Speaker was named to Michigan Lawyer Weekly’s Women in the Law for 2014 for high-achievement based on her commitment to excellence in the practice of law.


Stow Co. Inc. in Holland announced the appointment of Sharon Swendner, vice president of marketing and communications. Swendner will oversee all marketing strategy and execution and lead efforts to strengthen consumer branding and channel marketing in support of the company’s goals.


Grand Rapids Community Media Center announced A.J. Paschka is the new station manager for community radio station WYCE. Paschka currently works as the exhibitions curator at UICA and will move to his new position in October. 


Gov. Rick Snyder announced the reappointment of Sally Laukitis, of Holland, to the Michigan Travel Commission.


Sun Title has been recognized on Inc. Magazine’s 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country, based on its 123 percent growth rate over the past three years. This is the first time Sun Title has been named to the list.


Schuler Book sannounced the acquisition of Ann Arbor-based Nicola’s Books located in the Westgate Shopping Center. It will continue to operate as a standalone business, retaining its brand and current relationships with area schools, libraries and organizations.


Randy Cross, owner of the local Fish Window Cleaning, was recognized for top sales at the annual Fish Window Cleaning Convention in St. Louis, Mo., for adding over 500 accounts to his customer base in 2013.


Newmind Group of Kalamazoo announced it has been ranked No. 216 on the Inc. 500 list. It is the only company in the West Michigan area to make the 2014 list.

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