Change Ups

Change Ups: Burpee new president-elect of Civic Theatre

September 6, 2013
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Warner Norcross & Judd partner Charles E. Burpee is the president-elect of Grand Rapids Civic Theatre & School of Theatre Arts. He will serve a two-year term before becoming president of Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, one of the largest community theaters in the country. Civic Theatre was founded in 1925 and currently produces nine mainstage productions each year with the help of more than 800 volunteers. Civic School of Theatre Arts provides training to more than 1,600 students annually.


Revel Expansion announced the addition of Drew Curi, project manager.


Bronson HealthCare Midwest doctors James B. Bour, urologist; Melissa Davidson, pediatrician and internist; Geoffrey R. Grambau, pulmonologist; Jeffrey C. King, orthopedic hand and elbow surgeon; and James R. Smith, orthopedic hand surgeon, have been named to the 2013 Best Doctors in America list. 


The Muskegon Museum of Art Foundation board announced it has reached its $7.5 million INSPIRE capital campaign, the largest ever conducted in Muskegon County.


CSM Group announced the promotion of Ryan Long to project director.


Aquinas College announced the additions of Amy Dunham Strand, director of the Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center; Kathy Kremer, dean of curriculum; and Leonard Kogut, CFO.

Kent Intermediate School District announced the addition of Rick Mushing and Ebiri Nkugba, science, technology, engineering and math consultants. They will work with the business community to help align and develop connections with K-12 educators to prepare students for college and careers.

Thirteen Ferris State University students enrolled in the Operation Excel Summer Bridge Program earned a 3.0 GPA or higher and have been awarded $1,000 scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year: Kaytlin Davidson, Kristin Kennedy, Jenny Ladd, Ciara Maddison, Robert Olkowski, Chelsey Porter, D’Vonte Relford, Hannah Rosenberger, Olivia Slaven, Quiyna Tolbert, Haelee Varner, Christopher Whitmore and Seth DuVall.


Gains Spohn and Lucas Wright have joined ASTI Environmental’s Western Great Lakes office in Grand Rapids. Spohn has experience in Phase I and II assessments and asbestos abatement projects. Wright has a background as a hydrogeologist and drilling assistant.


The Michigan Prosperity Fund advisory board announced it is being launched by former Michigan Gov. John Engler, Mark A. Murray, Mary Petrovich and David L. Porteous. Its plans are to invest in Michigan private equity.


Hyundai Hope On Wheels and Grand Rapids-area Hyundai dealers presented a $75,000 award to Dr. Jessica Foley, pediatric oncologistat Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, to acknowledge her research on osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bones. 

Metro Health Hospital physician Eric Walchak has been designated a specialist in clinical hypertension by the American Society of Hypertension.

Michigan Rehabilitation Specialists announced it has joined ATI Physical Therapy, a provider of outpatient rehabilitation services. The acquisition included MRS’ partners Excel Rehabilitation Services and Quantum Physical Therapy for a total of 32 clinics transitioning to the ATI name over the next nine months.


Law Weathers shareholders/attorneys William R. Hineline and Kurt Yost have been named 2014 Lawyers of the Year by The Best Lawyers in America.


Food Logistics announced the 2013 list of companies chosen for the Top 100 3PL & Cold Storage Providers, a directory of third-party logistics and cold storage providers whose products and services are critical for companies in the food and beverage supply chain. The list is online at


Grand Rapids radio personality Kevin Matthews was honored as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Radio Personalities of the last 25 years at the 2013 Talentmaster’s Annual Morning Show Boot Camp in Chicago.


Karen Karasinski has joined Ottawa County as fiscal services director.


Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies announced the appointment of relocation expert Cathy Jo Anderson to director of business development and corporate services. Anderson will focus on the West Michigan region of the company’s territory including Grand Rapids, Holland and the entire lakeshore region.

Signature Associates announced the additions of Tyler Johnson and Eric Holdorf, sales associates. Johnson will work from the Grand Rapids office and Holdorf from the Kalamazoo office.


Aperitivo, a collaborative between Amy Ruis, owner of Art of the Table on Wealthy Street, and cheesemonger and chef Kate Leeder, announced it is open for business in Grand Rapids’ new Downtown Market. Aperitivo is a retail cheese, wine and beer shop, and a wine and small bites tasting bar. Details:

Dressbarn, a division of Ascena Retail Group Inc.  announced the grand opening of its new location at Centerpointe Mall, 3535 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids.

Jo-Ann Fabrics and Craft Store announced it is opening a store at 3323 Century Center St. SW in Grandville on Sep 12. Craft products include sewing and quilting, knitting, jewelry-making, scrap booking and more.


World-renowned neurologist and researcher Dr. Alim Louis Benabid is the recipient of the Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease Research at Van Andel Institute’s Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease Symposium.


Pogoda Companies announced it has been chosen to receive the Best Customer Service Award by the readers of Inside Self-Storage Magazine.


Holland announced professional driver Bruce Renton has been named Rookie of the Year at the 2013 National Truck Driving Championships after competing in the Straight Truck division.


Open Systems Technologies is included in the Inc. 500/5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. OST was ranked number 2,859 for 2013. OST’s annual revenue has risen from $24.6 million in 2006 to $77.5 million in 2013. The company has seen a 120 percent growth in three years, sits at No. 63 in Top 100 Michigan companies and has added 72 new jobs in the past three years, totaling 120 employees.

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