Change Ups

Change Ups: Director receives Rising PR Star award

January 27, 2017
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Lambert, Edwards & Associates director Amanda Passage is a winner of the 2016 PR News’ Rising PR Stars 30 & Under Awards. The annual competition showcases top talent and budding PR leaders who make communications matter in the marketplace. Passage joined LE&A in 2008 and has since become one of its youngest directors in the firm’s 18-year history. Her clients range from global brands and health care management companies to private equity, sustainable manufacturing, accounting, software and professional services.

ARTS

The Grand Rapids Children's Museum is the first location in West Michigan and the second in Michigan to receive the Autism Alliance of Michigan Seal of Approval for its work in creating a safe and welcoming space for those on the autism spectrum.

ASSOCIATIONS

Lansing-based The Michigan Agri-Business Association elected Brian Brink of Brink Farms in Hamilton as board chairman; and Jim Doyle with King Milling in Lowell as 2nd vice chair. Patrick Bolling with Caledonia Farmers Elevator Co. in Caledonia also was elected to the board.

AUTOMOTIVE

Betten-Baker Automotive Group acquired Grand Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram from Harvey Koning, owner of the Grand Auto Family.

Rich LaLonde, owner of the Summit Place Kia dealerships in the greater Detroit areas of Clinton Township and Waterford, announced the acquisition of the former Kia of North Grand Rapids, 4575 Plainfield Ave. NE, which has been rebranded Summit Place Kia West.

AWARDS

Superior Business Solutions in Kalamazoo is the recipient of the 2017 Best of Print & Digital Award from Butler Street, in conjunction with NAPCO Media, Printing Impressions and Print+Promo.

BANKING

Consumers Credit Union in Kalamazoo was named the Best Mid-sized Company to Work For in the nation by the National Association of Business Resources.

Doug Kohlbeck joined Level One Bank as senior vice president, West Michigan commercial banking.

Tracey Hornbeck joined Legacy Trust as chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

BUSINESS SERVICES

The BBB Serving Western Michigan announced Steve McCarthy, West Michigan Whitecaps, as its 2017 board chair and board members Cathy Cooper, Meijer; John Gonda, Spectrum Health; Zachary Meyer, Varnum; Eric Mills, Huntington Bank; Isaac Oswalt, 21 Handshake; Mark Tomasik, DP Fox; and Dante Villereal, MISBDC.

Great Lakes Drone Co. LLC opened satellite offices in Lansing and Grand Rapids.

CONSTRUCTION

Miller-Davis Co. in Kalamazoo announced the additions of Matthew Schneider, senior project manager, who will be based in the company’s South Bend office; Jack Osborn, estimator; and Daniel Predl, project engineer, both of whom will be based in Kalamazoo.

DESIGN

AIGA West Michigan named Barbara Loveland and Linda Powell as the 2017 recipients of its Fellow Award, the chapter’s highest accolade recognizing excellence in design and dedication to the design community.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Jonathan Wendt of Discovery Financial LLC in Ada was authorized by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to use the Certified Financial Planner and CFP certification marks in accordance with CFP Board certification and renewal requirements.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

The city of Holland announced Sara Cozolino was hired as its new market master to oversee all market operations for the Holland Farmers Market beginning with the 2017 season. 

GRANTS

The Great Lakes Energy People Fund awarded a $978.44 grant for computers to Allegan County Legal Assistance Center; $3,500 to Project Hope of NE in Dorr for personal care and cleaning supplies for the pantry; and $2,800 to Sylvia’s Place in Allegan for new appliances and HVAC duct cleaning.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek awarded Washington D.C.-based Equal Justice Works an $800,000 grant to launch the New Mexico Immigration Corps.

HEALTH

Holland Hospital announced it has planned a series of observances and events under the theme “A New Century of Caring” beginning this month and running throughout the year to mark its 100th anniversary.

Mercy Health named Nelson Jacobson, of JSJ Corp. in Grand Haven; and Sister Linda Thiel, of the University of Detroit Mercy at Aquinas College to Trinity Health’s Mercy Health regional board.

Mercy Health Saint Mary's named Cynthia Schuler, a Mercy Health family practice physician, to its board.

Mercy Health Muskegon named Mishelle Comstock, of Shelby State Bank; and Jonathan Pittman, of The Lakes Mall, to its board.

HUMAN SERVICES

Michigan was awarded $1.3 million through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program to support a coordinated response to youth homelessness. The Plymouth Arms Apartments also received HUD funding.

LEGAL

Attorney Richard C. Vershave joined Fraser Trebilcock’s intellectual property law practice.

LEISURE & RECREATION

Ottawa County Parks closed on an 80-acre parcel expanding North Ottawa Dunes in Spring Lake, increasing the total acreage of the park to 593 acres. The additional land is located on the eastern edge of the park and surrounded on three sides by park property.

MANUFACTURING

Dynamic Conveyor in Muskegon recently re-designed its narrow DynaCon radius turn conveyors for conveyance of product around tight corners, allowing small parts or packages to be conveyed in a reduced footprint on 4-inch to 10-inch wide conveyors with lateral turns. DynaCon radius turn conveyors can be designed with one or numerous opposing turns that run the gamut from 5 degrees to 180 degrees, saving money by using one drive motor on long-running conveyors with or without several opposing lateral turns.

Tubelite Inc. in Walker welcomed Jim Leadbetter as director of operations in Reed City.

PUBLIC SERVICE

Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointment of Christopher Becker, of Ada, and the reappointment of George Strander, of Albion, to the Mental Health Diversion Council.

REAL ESTATE

Colliers International West Michigan opened a new office in the Lansing market, at 246 E. Saginaw St. in East Lansing, and hired Jerome Abood as its first advisor.

RELIGION

Words of Hope appointed the Rev. Jonathan Opgenorth as its president. 

SPORTS

The Whitecaps Community Foundation’s recent 23rd annual Winter Baseball Banquet featured members of the Detroit Tigers as part of its Winter Caravan. More than 20 Tigers players and coaches traveled to Grand Rapids on the west leg of the Caravan and appeared at the banquet held at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, and former Whitecaps catcher Alex Avila, who recently re-signed with the Tigers after a one-year stint with the Chicago White Sox, was inducted into the Whitecaps Hall of Fame.

TECHNOLOGY

EarthTronics in Muskegon appointed Leroy Herring, Jr. as Midwest regional sales manager.

The Right Place Inc., in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, announced Caledonia-based NVINT Services LLC will add at least 26 jobs and invest $364,000 to support its expansion. The MEDC is supporting the development with the approval of a $175,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, intended to help offset costs related to the expansion, recruiting and training of high-skilled and high-demand computer engineers and programmers.

Workpack Solutions in Marne updated its version of WIP Tracker (Work In Progress), including an updated hardware kit that allows for easier connections to production equipment, hands-free calibration options and faster data speeds through server connections via different ports than users.

TRANSPORTATION

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport announced it set a new all-time passenger record for 2016, marking the fourth straight year the airport has seen record-setting growth. In 2016, 2,653,630 passengers flew in and out of GFIA, an increase of 4.06 percent from 2015.

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