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Change Ups: Locally produced 90-proof spirit earns Gold Medal

March 10, 2017
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Long Road Aquavit

Long Road Distillers was awarded the highest honors at the recent American Craft Spirits Association 2017 Craft Spirits Awards. The distiller took Best of Show, Best of Class and a Gold Medal for its Long Road Aquavit. The 90-proof spirit is made from 100 percent locally grown red winter wheat, milled, mashed, fermented and distilled on-site at the Westside distillery, then redistilled with a dozen different botanicals to impart the traditional Scandinavian-inspired flavors of caraway, dill, fennel and more.


Rehmann promoted the following associates: Matt Barczak to accounting, consulting and tax manager; Eric Doezema to assurance manager; Angela Koeller to tax manager; and Kristina Waskiewicz to assurance manager.


The Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator in West Olive announced its new name and visual identity. The incubator now is known as ACRE AgTech.

The Ottawa County Agricultural Preservation Board announced results from its recently released Farms-Food-Forever fundraising campaign, which raised $26,125 to date in donations to support farmland preservation in Ottawa County.


Williams & Works is the recipient of the Structural Award of Excellence from the Michigan Concrete Association for its work on the replacement of Middleville’s Main Street Bridge over the Thornapple River.


Ottawa County employees Tom Camburn, Facilities Maintenance Department, and Jessica Voglewede, Department of Public Health, are recipients of the Outstanding Customer Service Award for fourth quarter 2016.

Prein & Newhof earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the Washington D.C.-based American Council of Engineering Companies’ 50th annual Engineering Excellence Awards for designing drainage and treatment system improvements at Gerald R. Ford International Airport.


Macatawa Bank hired Brian Allen as branch manager of its Zeeland office.


Wayland-based Windemuller achieved Network of Preferred Installer status from Corning Optical Communications LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Corning Inc.

Zeeland-based HR Solutions Group of West Michigan hired Kimberly Peters, talent acquisition specialist, and Allison VanderPloeg, consulting services coordinator.


The Associated General Contractors of Michigan recently presented the 2016 Michigan Outstanding Safety Performance Awards during its annual meeting. Local recipients include: 2016 Michigan Outstanding Safety Performance Award General Contractor Division II Gold Award, Miller-Davis Co. in Kalamazoo and Schweitzer Inc. in Battle Creek; Division III Gold Award, Grand River Construction Inc., Hudsonville; Division V Gold Award, Rockford Construction Co. Inc.; 2016 Michigan Outstanding Safety Performance Award Specialty Contractor Division I – Gold Award, Industrial Firebrick Corp., Wyoming; and Division V – Silver Award, Newkirk Electric Associates Inc., Muskegon.

Chad Stahl joined Kalamazoo-based Miller-Davis Co. as a project manager.


Davenport University was recognized as having the No. 1 online medical billing coding program, Health Information Technology, in the nation by HIT is an associate degree program that has graduated the fourth-most students (86 graduates) out of 262 accredited HIT programs in the nation. In addition, Davenport’s Health Information Management bachelor program graduated the fifth-most students (40 graduates) out of 62 HIM programs in the nation.


The Amway Grand Plaza welcomed Chris Madsen as executive chef. In addition to the promotion, 2017 marks Madsen’s 20th anniversary with AHC+Hospitality, owner-operator of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and three other hotel properties.

Bier Distillery in Comstock Park announced the release of the first absinthe: Henry’s Absent Absinthe Verte is available for tasting and in 375 milliliter bottles for purchase in Bier Distillery’s tasting room, 5295 West River Drive in Comstock Park.


Exalta Health received $1,000 from the Delta Dental Foundation to provide preventative dental care to residents of the Burton Heights area of Grand Rapids.


Grand Rapids Ophthalmology joined Great Lakes Management Services Organization, a practice management services organization formed by Sterling Partners, to support GRO’s local expansion and larger-scale growth through Great Lakes’ resources, management team and capital. Cascade Partners LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor to GRO.

Grand Rapids Surgical Suites opened its doors at 2505 E. Paris Ave. SE, Suite 105 following completion of all requirements from the Michigan Department of Health, earning the center a license in the state of Michigan as an ambulatory surgery center. The 6,600-square-foot center features one operating room, two minor procedure rooms, state-of-the-art equipment and a trained team that includes 11 local surgeons who specialize in orthopedic, ENT and oculoplastic surgery.  

Spectrum Health Medical Group Internal Medicine announced it is expanding with the integration of internal medicine physicians Daniel A. Farrell and Erlund Larson into the SHMG Internal Medicine practice at 427 Seminole Road in Norton Shores.


Home Care Assistance of West Michigan received the 2017 Best of Home Care—Provider of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse, an independent satisfaction research firm for home care. 

Williamson Employment Services in St. Joseph marked its 25th anniversary.


Gov. Rick Snyder announced the reappointment of Richard Bandstra, of Grand Rapids, to the State Board of Ethics, and the initial appointments of David Bulkowski, of Grand Rapids, and Eric DeLong, of Grand Rapids, to the Michigan Council on Future Mobility.


Bruce Arnsman and Loren Souers joined Signature Associates’ Kalamazoo office as sales associates.

NAI Wisinski of West Michigan brokers Mary Anne Wisinski-Rosely and Jason Makowski facilitated the lease of more than 2,300 square feet of space for Downers Grove, Illinois-based American Dream Home Improvement’s first West Michigan location at 3940 Broadmoor Ave. SE.


Lindberg/MPH in Riverside announced the shipment of two 18-tube gas fired immersion tube lead melting and holding furnaces to a supplier of the battery industry. The immersion tube furnaces will be used in the production of lead plates for automotive batteries.

ORG Home in Holland launched 12 new fashionable colors that align with evolving home design and décor trends while addressing a wide range of consumer preferences.


Peak Training Academy in downtown Muskegon launched its cornerstone program, the PEAK Elite Program, designed for student-athletes grades 9-12 with aspirations of using athletics as a vehicle for higher education, life experience and personal growth.  Heading up the program as executive director is Terrance Taylor, an All-American at U-M who was drafted in the fourth round by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 NFL draft. Taylor also spent time with the Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers and the AFL.


Michigan's Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum in St. Joseph completed a merger with West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum to create the largest regional organization for sustainable business practitioners in the Midwest. The combined organization is headquartered in Grand Rapids and will serve 220 member organizations and the general community in a 10-county territory that stretches from Muskegon County to the Indiana border.


Roberto Muller is a new member of Varsity News Network’s advisory board.

Vista IT Group announced it was selected by Cisco to join a group of resellers in the Cisco Excess program, making Vista IT Group one of a handful of value added resellers in North America that is approved to provide refurbished and excess Cisco products that are guaranteed by Cisco to be SMARTnet eligible.

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