Change Ups

Change Ups: Foundation awards GED program $7,500 grant

September 23, 2016
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Heartside Ministry received $7,500 to spur its General Education Development program from Old National Bank’s philanthropic arm, the Old National Bank Foundation, which has awarded more than $10 million in grants to nonprofits the past 10 years. HM’s GED classes allow neighbors to get their high school equivalence degree, so more job opportunities are available to them. HM conducts more than 150 sessions each month and maintains a 90-percent success rate.


The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra board of directors announced the transition of Raymond Harvey to Music Director Emeritus at the conclusion of the 2016-17 concert season. Harvey led the orchestra as its music director for the past 18 years. 

MI Arts: All Michigan All Media Visual Arts Competition jurors selected the top three winners and three honorable mentions. First place, Adam Dahlstrom; second place, Chuck Cusak; and third place, Christy DeHoog Johnson. Honorable Mentions: Carol Spaulding, Mary Porter and Colleen O’Rourke. Eight other pieces were selected for memorial awards.


The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners approved a Brownfield Plan that paves the way for Best Financial Credit Union to construct its first Ottawa County branch office in the Village of Spring Lake. The Brownfield Plan allows Best FCU to utilize Tax Increment Financing to help offset the cost of cleaning up the contaminated site at the corner of Savidge and School Streets, just north of Millpoint Park along the Grand River.


DK Security announced the appointment of retired Grand Rapids Chief of Police Kevin Belk as senior vice president. Belk will be responsible for overseeing DK Security’s armed division, investigations and special operations.

Encore Business Group is relocating to 5801 Weller Court SW, Suite B, in Wyoming. An open house is planned for 11 a.m. Oct. 11. EBG specializes in packaging, assembly, inspection, re-work, sorting and kitting.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women announced its 2016 Seeds of Growth Award Winners: Business of the Year: Michele Venegas, owner, Joyful Sounds Music Studio; Leadership Award: Jessica Ann Tyson, president, JA PR Group; and Lee Ann Moss Award Volunteer of the Year: Kay Staszel, principal, KMS Group. The awards luncheon is Oct. 4.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women has received its designation as a Community Financial Development Institution, enabling GROW to access additional federal and private-sector funding intended to benefit business owners in underserved areas in West Michigan and allowing it to lend up to $250,000 per applicant.


Thompson Remodeling received a 2016 Design Award in the annual national competition presented by Professional Remodeler magazine. TR won the Gold award in the Kitchen Under $50,000 category.


Aquinas College announced Dr. Stephen Barrows was appointed executive vice president, provost and dean of faculty.

Dr. Susan Gunn, Davenport University’s dean of the College of Urban Education received the 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

Grand Rapids Community College became part of a historic articulation agreement signing in which community colleges agreed to align transfer credits via the Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing, a first in the state’s history. The four program areas covered by the agreement are CNC/machining, multi-skill technician/mechatronics, production operations and welding. The agreement gives students the ability to apply credits earned through an M-CAM program at any one of the coalition colleges. Coalition colleges include Bay College, GRCC, Kellogg Community College, Lake Michigan College, Lansing Community College, Macomb Community College, Mott Community College and Schoolcraft College.


Grand Rapids Downtown Market’s Incubator Kitchen is the newest referral organization for Varnum Law’s MiSpringboard program. Food entrepreneurs working out of the commercial kitchen space are eligible to receive free legal assistance from Varnum as part of the program started in 2011. Varnum pledged an additional $1 million to the innovative entrepreneurs creating a vibrant startup community in Michigan.


The Manistee County Community Foundation announced it boosted its unrestricted endowment by $1 million after matching a $500,000 challenge gift from an anonymous donor — the single largest gift in its history. The donor offered to continue matching gifts up to an additional $500,000 through the end of the year. If the additional match is secured, the endowment would generate approximately $80,000 annually in new unrestricted grant monies available to support area needs.


GR Forward, the community plan and investment strategy to guide the next generation of growth in Downtown Grand Rapids, will receive the Daniel Burnham Award, the highest honor bestowed by American Planning Association – Michigan Chapter.

The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe) announced Scott Sprague was sworn in as chairman of the Tribal Council and the election of Tribal Council members Jeff Martin and Jodie Palmer.

Ottawa County announced the completion of Phase I of the Spoonville Trail, which stretches 1.8 miles from N. Cedar drive to Leonard Road, incorporating the Sgt. Henry E. Plant Pathway located on M-231 over the Grand River.


Great Lakes Health Connect announced the addition of Katrina Khouri to its implementation consultants team.

Spectrum Health’s Programa Puente, a free health-screening program for Kent County’s Latino population, has found a permanent home in Grand Rapids’ Roosevelt Park neighborhood at 1357 Grandville Ave. SW. The program aims to reduce diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Latino adults.


The Michigan Community Service Commission announced the following organizations are grant recipients to fund September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance projects: $500, Kent Education Center for military care packages; $500, Mercy Health Muskegon for disaster preparedness; and $250, Barry County United Way & Volunteer Center in Hastings for family emergency plans.


Kara T. Rozin joined Clark Hill as senior counsel with the firm’s education and municipal practice group.

The Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys awarded the Distinguished Municipal Attorney of the Year award to long-time Grandville city attorney Randall W. Kraker, who has been that municipality’s lawyer since 1977.


The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration awarded the following companies for achieving outstanding safety and health records and implementing effective safety and health management systems: Shape Corp., Comstock Facility of Grand Haven, gold award; LightCorp, Grand Haven, gold award; and Kerkstra Precast, Grandville, bronze award.


Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services announced its plans for an Oct. 21 open house from 3:30-6 p.m. at its new location, 3680 44th St. SE, Suite 201, Kentwood. Details:


Chief Judge of the Kent County Probate Court David M. Murkowski was elected president of the Michigan Probate Judges Association by his peers at the association’s annual conference. Murkowski will take office Oct. 1.


Randy Cross, owner of the local Fish Window Cleaning, was recognized for top sales at the annual Fish Window Cleaning Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. Cross opened his business in 2003.


Former professional boxer Buster Mathis Jr. announced he will launch Bokssport, a new boxing fitness gym that will be located within Family Fitness at 1040 4 Mile Road NW. Bokssport has been a year in the making, as Mathis developed a group-boxing program that is suited for beginners, yet challenging for those who are more experienced. 


The C2 Group announced the launch of the award-winning KentuckianaWorks Career Calculator application.

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