Change Ups

Change Ups: Puplava, Walburn selected for 2016 Women in the Law

August 12, 2016
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Jennifer Puplava
Jennifer Puplava practices primarily in intellectual property law and technology law.

Michigan Lawyers Weekly selected Mika Meyers PLC attorney Jennifer A. Puplava and Secrest Wardle executive partner Sarah L. Walburn as members of the  Class of 2016 Women in the Law. The WIN awards program recognizes high-achieving female lawyers in Michigan for their accomplishments. The Class of 2016 will be honored at a special luncheon Sept. 15 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy. The class will choose the 2016 “Woman of the Year” in a secret ballot.


The Music Center in Battle Creek announced the hiring of Loretta Gulley, education manager.


The Michigan Community Service Commission announced the recipients of the 2016 Governor’s Service Awards: Volunteer of the Year Award: Mike McFarlen of Battle Creek; Senior Volunteer of the Year Award, James Polet of Holland; Youth Volunteer of the Year Award: Aubrey Cohoon of Spring Lake; and Outstanding National Service Program Award: Cherry Health Community HealthCorps of Grand Rapids.

Miedema Asset Management Group owners Sid and Scott Miedema were presented with a Special Tribute Award from 34th District Rep. Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint, for their years of charitable support and giving back to the community.


First National Bank of Michigan in Kalamazoo announced the promotions of Martha Betke to senior vice president and branch administrator, Shaunna Padgett to officer, Kathy Sportel to assistant branch manager and Jerry Hinga to personal banker.


Elzinga & Volkers in Holland announced this year through June 30 it broke ground on $80 million in construction projects, was awarded 10 additional new projects totaling $33 million, hired 10 new staff and extended its safety track record to more than 3,300 consecutive days with no lost time.

First Companies announced it has completed a more than 10,000-square-foot retail building at 5811 Byron Center Ave. occupied by Subway and ChowHound and with Verizon Wireless opening later in August.

Terry Rostic has been hired by Rockford Construction in the new role of project manager on the human resources team. In this position, Rostic will be responsible for talent acquisition, performance management, training, culture and diversity/inclusion.


James Peterson, head of school at South Christian High School, has been selected by the Van Lunen Center for Executive Management in Christian Schools at Calvin College for a 2016-17 fellowship.

Jill Annable has joined Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids as assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and technology integration.

Lisa Orlando has joined Western Michigan University’s Grand Rapids regional location as a student services specialist.


The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-West Michigan Chapter announced the election of its officers: President Scott Embree, MassMutual Financial; President-elect Norman Woltjer, Heritage Senior and Financial Services; Executive Secretary Carol Dodge; and Immediate Past President Matthew Lehman, Discovery Financial. Directors Kay Goodemoot, Dave Zylstra Agency; Michael Michalak, New York Life Insurance; Sarah Porter, AFLAC; Rick Rolf, Thrivent Financial; and Harvey Nuttall, New York Life Insurance.

Tami Sytsma, principal and owner of Sytsma Wealth Strategies, has become a Certified Private Wealth Advisor Professional.


Ottawa County treasurer Bradley Slagh announced he is sending out $820,767 in checks to nine local libraries from fines collected by Ottawa County courts. This year’s total fines collected and disbursed are down almost $200,000 from last year’s high of $1,020,000.


Network180 is the recipient of a $1-million grant that will run through July 2018 from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support replication of the Behavioral Health Home service delivery model. Network180 has seen great results for those age 25-59, and now it will determine if the same results are possible with adults age 18-25, the elderly and those with complex substance-use disorders.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek awarded Philadelphia-based Children’s Literacy Initiative a $250,000 grant to improve teacher instructional practice by providing an evidence-based early literacy professional development program to teachers and high-need students in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and Texas.


Gold Coast Doulas has moved to 4804 Cascade Rd. SE, Cascade. An open house is scheduled from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and 6-7 p.m., Sept. 8. Details.


Betsy Standish has been appointed executive director of Life Care Services senior living community in Kalamazoo.

Mno-Bmadsen, economic development enterprise of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, announced the appointment of Heather Farver as tribal pathways administrator, a new position within Mno-Bmadsen. Farver will assist tribal citizens in exploring vocational opportunities that provide satisfaction and fulfillment.


Justin R. Wheeler has joined Kreis, Enderle, Hudgins & Borsos PC as an associate attorney. Primary practice areas include business and corporate law, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and estate planning.

Mika Meyers PLC attorney Neil L. Kimball has been included in the Chambers High Net Worth guide to professionals who service high-net-worth individuals. 

Secrest Wardle has been selected to appear on the list published in Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s annual supplemental magazine, Michigan’s Largest Law Firms for 2016. Secrest Wardle is ranked as the 19th-largest firm in Michigan, moving up from 21st in the publication’s 2015 survey.

Secrest Wardle announced Zachary Wells Hartkop has joined the firm as an associate in its Troy office.

Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge announced attorney Katherine E. Wendt has joined the firm’s appellate and litigation practice group.

Varnum’s estate planning practice was ranked in the first band of legal providers in the inaugural edition of the Chambers High Net Worth guide.


Mill Steel Co. announced the additions of sales account managers Jeff Goode and Mike Polansky to the company’s building products division commercial team. 


Terry Walsh announced he has resigned as president/CEO of Catholic Charities West Michigan to become president/CEO of Catholic Charities Hawai’i.


Burch Partners has been named the public relations agency of record for the Association for Corporate Growth Western Michigan, a business trade association focused on growing middle-market companies. 


Bri Rodriguez has joined the Grand Rapids Business Journal as an advertising consultant.


Doug Todd of Berkshire Hathaway is a director of the Commercial Board of Realtors-Michigan.


Fountain Street Church announced the addition of Jack Woller III as executive director. Woller spent the past 10 years as The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum’s associate director.


Corporate Sound has changed its name to Corporate Live and has launched a rebranding to emphasize its toolbox of audio, video, lighting and rigging resources. Details.

Dematic announced it has introduced Modular Sort System, a scan-and-sort system for production and distribution applications, which provides sorting performance to many applications: sort-to-pallet build, shipping doors, shipping containers or workstations.


Almost Heaven Saunas in Holland launched a new website.

Ottawa County’s website,, has ranked seventh in the nation compared to counties of similar size by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties for best technology practices among U.S. counties.

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