Change Ups

Change Ups: Blakeney tapped as COO of veterans home

December 25, 2015
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Scott Blakeney

Scott Blakeney is Grand Rapids Home for Veterans’ new chief operating officer.He will work closely with Michigan Veteran Health System CEO Leslie Shanlian and D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans COO Brad Slagle to ensure both state veterans homes continue to offer modern, quality care to residents. Blakeney joined the Michigan Veterans Affairs Association with nearly 25 years of leadership experience overseeing operations for public and private organizations and growing employee engagement to improve retention.


Superior Asphalt Inc. received the 2015 Award of Excellence for Commercial Projects from the Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan and MDOT for the reconstruction of the Caledonia Community Schools transportation center parking lot.


Blackford Capital announced its investment in Hudsonville-based Grand Equipment, a family owned and operated distributor of construction equipment providing new and used sales, rental, service and parts. The transaction is the sixth by Blackford’s Michigan Prosperity Fund, which invests exclusively inMichigan companies.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women announced the additions of Kathy DeVries, COO, and Shelly LeMahieu Dunn, volunteer manager.

Management Business Solutions Inc. announced shares of the company have been offered to managing partner Latoya Person after five years with the company. The 5-Year Employee Ownership Plan at is available to all employees who demonstrate the commitment and dedication necessary to be a part-owner. 

Michigan Office Solutions will ship its products using FunPak Packaging, a biodegradable loose fill packaging provided by RNS Packaging, instead of traditional packing peanuts and brown craft paper.


GDK Construction of Holland announces four new hires and a promotion. Dustin Hemmes has been added as project manager; Rick Brouwer, Jeff Vroon and Beau Byerly are new superintendents; and former superintendent, Ross Kruithof, has been promoted to project manager.


Carl Jandernoa, vice president of 42 North Partners, has joined the board of directors for Legacy Trust and Legacy Trust Holding Co.


Geoffrey C. Sadek, client services associate at Argus Financial Consultants in Ada, has been authorized by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to use the CFP certification mark. 


Kent County Board of Commissioners approved an additional 17th Circuit Court judgeship starting in 2017. Voters will determine the new judge in the November 2016 general election, as well as the vacant judgeship in the Civil/Criminal Division created by the retirement of Judge George Buth.

A signing ceremony recently was held at Grand Rapids Art Museum to officially designate a 2030 District in Grand Rapids, making it the 11th city in the nation to establish a district to reduce energy use in its downtown area.


Grand Rapids Community Foundation awarded its first grant of $20,000 to a collaborative project between Arbor Circle and the Lesbian Gay Community Network of Western Michigan for its Safe and Supported program that will work to prevent health and mental health risks for LGBT youth.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $2.5 million to housing agencies in Michigan through the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. West Michigan recipients were: $262,000, Grand Rapids Housing Commission; $137,680, Wyoming Housing Commission; and $117,082, Kent County Inc.


Mel Trotter Ministries gave Christmas food boxes to 650 families as part of its Holiday Food Box program. Of that number, 450 boxes were distributed through the downtown food pantry, and 50 boxes were given at each of its Thrift Stores in Jenison, Sparta, Grand Rapids and Goodwill in Belding.


Miller Johnson welcomed Catherine J. Rische as a member in the firm’s Grand Rapids office. Rische is an experienced transactional employee benefits attorney specializing in health care issues and general plan administration.


The David D. Hunting YMCA has unveiled its new After School Advantage computer lab, made possible by a $20,000 donation aspart of a worldwide program implemented by IGT in 1999 to serve at-risk youth in communities where the company does business.

Watermark Properties and RedWater Restaurant Group announced Thousand Oaks Golf Club will begin its expansion and remodel Jan. 1. The Acorn Grille and bar will be closed temporarily and will reopen in spring 2016 with a new name, interior design, expanded outdoor space/seating and revised food concept; the main dining room will expand from 121 to 157 seats. The expansion also will include a new pro shop, locker rooms, and A/V improvements in the banquet facility.


Jeni Lindhout has joined Irwin Seating Co. as project coordinator.


Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointment of Steve Massie, of Grand Rapids, to the Grape and Wine Industry Council. He will serve the remainder of a three-year term expiring Feb. 1, 2016.

West Michigan Works! announced the appointment of Dave Smith, president and CEO of The Employers’ Association, and Jim Fisher, director of Padnos, as chair and vice chair of its workforce development board. The newly formed West Michigan Works! workforce development board includes 34 members from seven West Michigan counties: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Muskegon, Montcalm and Ottawa.


The Grand Rapids Griffins announced the hiring of Jason Pearson, public relations manager.


Blue Medora announced the global launch of its new True Visibility Partner Program to help resellers significantly grow their VMware vSphere and vRealize Operations business.

Owl Computing Inc. has relocated to expanded space at 2886 3 Mile Road NW in Walker to accommodate 12 new hires expected in 2016-2017. The company provides custom software development and managed IT services locally and nationwide across a variety of industries including business, manufacturing and health care.

X-Rite Inc. and its subsidiary Pantone LLC announced Think Patented, one of Ohio’s leading commercial printers and a Marketing Execution Company, is now a Pantone Certified Printer. 


The Michigan Department of Transportation has named Erick Kind Grand Region engineer. Kind will be responsible for more than 1,400 miles of state trunkline in 13 West Michigan counties, 187 employees, a capital program of approximately $80 million, and an annual maintenance budget of $36 million.He succeeds Roger Safford, who is retiring Dec. 31 after 28 years.


Dolphin Vacations recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. It was founded by Marva Donovan, teamed up with Professional Travel Inc. in 2005, and has grown to two locations with a staff of 35 travel professionals.

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