Change Ups: Wolverine earns historic preservation award

June 2, 2017
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Wolverine

For the second year in a row, Grand Rapids-based Wolverine Building Group earned the Michigan Governor’s Historic Preservation Award for rehabilitating a historic structure in downtown Jackson, originally built in 1865. The building was renovated into apartments in 1929, keeping the People’s National Bank on the first floor. Wolverine restored the 34,400-square-foot building’s historical detail, while modernizing the structure to provide affordable senior apartment housing, named Elaine Apartments.

ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING

Fleis & VandenBrink hired Rob Behnke as a marketing project manager and Steve Mitchell as its IT manager.

ARTS

Luis Avila; David Dams; Rhonda Huismann; Harold J. Voorhees; and Kaitlyn Disselkoen were elected to the Grand Rapids Symphony Society’s board of directors for the 2017-18 season. The Board of Directors elected the following officers for the 2017-18 season: Charles Frayer, chairperson; Mary Tuuk, chairperson elect; Kate Pew Wolters, immediate past chairperson; Anette W. Estrada, treasurer; Karen Henry Stokes, secretary; and Michael Ellis, Tim Liang, Tim O’Donovan and Larry J. Robson, vice chairpersons.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum will again participate in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

AWARDS

Grand Rapids-based Michigan Office Solutions announced the winners of its Make My Nonprofit Run Better contest: Grand Prize ($20,000) Downtown River Actors Guild; first runner-up ($15,000) The Empowerment Plan; and second runner-up ($10,000) Ennis Center for Children.

BANKING

Michigan First Credit Union announced it hired David Morgan as its chief lending officer.

Ken Danhof joined Chemical Bank as vice president, commercial lender.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Green Giftz, creator and distributor of eco-friendly promotional products, was named one of the promotional products industry’s 2017 Greatest Companies to Work For by “Promotional Products Business” magazine. 

SignComp LL announced Jason Lamberts was promoted to president.

CONSTRUCTION

CPM Construction Group celebrates its 10th anniversary in June.

Wolverine Building Group began building a 36,000-square foot addition onto the Craig’s Cruisers, 5730 Clyde Park Ave. SW, Wyoming. The $2.4-million expansion will include a trampoline park, laser tag arena and an indoor roller coaster. The project is expected to be completed February 2018. Wolverine also is constructing two large apartment complexes for Georgia-based Rise Real Estate. Both the Brix at Midtown project (downtown Grand Rapids) and the Skyvue Apartment project (downtown Lansing) began construction in 2016 and will be finalized this year. The two projects combined equal 718,000 square feet and 668 new residential homes.

Ottawa County joined home remodeling and design platform Houzz, which connects governments with residents and local home professionals throughout the residential construction process. Details: houzz.com/city/ottawa-county.

EDUCATION

Grand Rapids Christian High School debate coach Brian Karsten is a recipient of his first Diamond Coach Award from Des Moines, Iowa-based National Speech Debate Association.

The following Grand Rapids Community College teams were winners at the recent MWest Challenge student venture competition: Shelby Rose received $1,500 as the second-place winner of the Innovation Showcase People's Choice Award; Mark Saint Amour and Andrew Johnson won a $750 Impact Award; and Rebecca Peterman won the $500 Impact Award for Wholesome Eats.

Western Michigan University's College of Aviation in Kalamazoo was chosen by Delta Air Lines to be part of its network of schools around the nation to train aircraft maintenance technicians to fill a high demand the airline is expected to face for the next several years.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Rehmann announced John Pridnia is the firm-wide director of tax and Chris Morse is now regional managing principal of Rehmann’s Greater Michigan region, which covers Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and other Rehmann locations.

GOVERNMENT

Ferrysburg Mayor Pro Term Rebecca Hop is the recipient of The Ambassador Award from the Michigan Municipal League.

HOSPITALITY

Residence Inn Grand Rapids West hotel is the recipient of the Residence Inn Community Service Hotel of the Year Award. 

INSURANCE

A.M. Best rated Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan’s Property and Casualty Companies as A- (Excellent) with a stable outlook. 

LEGAL

Willey & Chamberlain announced Britt M. Cobb became a partner in the firm.

LEISURE & RECREATION

Baxter Community Center has a new early childhood playground.  Members of the Commercial Alliance of REALTORS board of directors contributed more than $26,000 toward the project.

Electric Bike Place in Grand Haven announced it is the only retailer in Michigan to sell electric skateboards, Evolve skateboards. They feature classic longboard-styled skateboards and all-terrain models, and can travel between 9 to 21 miles and have a top speed between 22 to 25 miles per hour.

The McCahill Group President Peaches McCahill was reappointed as chair for the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports while serving her fourth term as a member of the board.

Seawalls and Docks by Dean and Newaygo Marine both of Newaygo recently merged and both are now known as Newaygo Marine.

LOGISTICS

TW Logistics Group introduced its fully automated, deep freeze storage solutions for the U.S. cold-chain market.

MANUFACTURING

Coastal Automotive in Holland promoted Shaun Sikora to vice president of engineering and technology and hired Sean Dwyer as chief people officer.

NONPROFITS

North Kent Community Services renamed itself North Kent Connect. It will open the North Kent Connect Store at 10075 Northland Drive NE in Rockford on Aug. 4. Purchases help local families improve their lives through North Kent’s empowerment programs. The public can shop Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Clients only can shop Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

RESTAURANTS

Grand Rapids-based Essence Restaurant group opened The Green Well in the former Reds on the River location in the Rockford Promenade Building at 8 E. Bridge St. in downtown Rockford. The Green Well has indoor seating for 120 and capacity for 60 in its outdoor patio.

Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. announced the acquisition of 57 Wendy’s restaurants located in Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.

RETAIL

Mosley School of Cosmetology acquired the International Cosmetology Academy.

Watson’s secured nearly 25,000 square feet of space at 6695 S. Westnedge Ave. in Portage — its first location in the Kalamazoo area. Renovations were made to the former ABC Warehouse space, with 10 jobs created.

SERVICES

SightLine Display announced the launch of SightLineDisplay.com, a new e-commerce platform developed in partnership with Elevator Up. 

TECHNOLOGY

Blue Medora regional sales director Jacqueline Esch was named to CRN’s 2017 Women of the Channel list.

The Switch Grand Rapids campus selected Everstream as its network service provider. The campus is expected to be the largest data center in the eastern United States and serve as the east coast hub for Switch’s cloud and data center services.

SCIENCE & RESEARCH

Van Andel Research Institute Director’s Scholar and professor in the Center of Epigenetics Stephen Baylin was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, an independent and nonpartisan advisor to the federal government on matters related to science and technology.

WEBSITES

Outdoor Essentials launched a new website to provide resources and inspiration to homeowners who want to transform outdoor spaces into functional, beautiful places. The website features expanded product pages and an entire section focused on projects and inspiration. For more information, visit outdooressentialproducts.com.

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