Change Ups

Change Ups: Rooks named Outstanding Entrepreneur

June 12, 2015
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Jon Rooks

Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce has named Jon Rooks, owner of Parkland Properties of Michigan, Muskegon’s Outstanding Entrepreneur. Rooks has purchased and invested in nine businesses in downtown Muskegon, including Highpoint Flats Apartments, The Shoreline Inn and Conference Center, Lakehouse Waterfront Grill, Lake Effect Bistro, Downtown Muskegon Holiday Inn and Conference Center, Firehouse Professional Office Building, the Masonic Temple and Terrace Point Landing on Muskegon Lake. Parkland Properties has nearly 350 employees, up from 175 employees two years ago.


Grand Rapids Civic Theatre and School of Theatre Arts announced the appointment of Allyson Paris as associate director and the retirement of Penelope Notter. Paris begins her career with the Civic Theatre July 1 as Notter completes her tenure June 30.


The National Small Business Association has honored Gary Kushner, president and CEO of Kushner & Co. in Portage, as the 2015 Lewis Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year.


First National Bank of Michigan in Kalamazoo has been recognized as a superior 5-Star-rated bank by Bauer Financial Inc.

Lake Michigan Credit Union announced the promotions of Glen Goen, vice president – creative director, and Matt Cook, assistant vice president – community relations.

Macatawa Bank welcomed Jason Coney, branch manager in the downtown Holland office at 141 E. 8th St.


Brittany Bowers has joined Custer as an interior designer.

GVSU/Van Andel Global Trade Center has launched a new website to register for events, purchase how-to guidebooks and utilize all its resources:

Bradley Comment has joined The Right Place Inc. as vice president of fund development. 


CSM Group in Kalamazoo honored top-performing foremen and on-site leaders for their dedication to safety, coordination and schedule: Ken Atwater, Will Bushouse, Jake Dragecevich, Bob Gaskins, Al Gonz, Butch Grave, Scott Harville, Scott Houk, Jonathon Howes, Lee Jolly, Mike Lounsbury, Gerald May, Troy McCarty, Brent Peters, Jerry Seymore, Kevin Siegel, Jordan Stoddard, Tom Sulka,Brad Swanson, Eric Tasker, Bobby Turner, Jason Vincent, Tom Wagner and Dan Walde. The company also announced the promotion of Katrina Reed to content strategist.

Wolverine Building Group announced the additions of Bill DiCocco, information technology, and Brianna Furlong, marketing coordinator.


A house at 1561 Rathbone St. SW, revamped for Habitat for Humanity of Kent County by Grand Rapids Community College students enrolled in its Green Construction Remodeling job-training program, has earned Gold LEED certification.

Grand Valley State University has promoted Lynn McNamara Blue to the newly created position of vice president for enrollment development. Blue has been with the university for 47 years and currently serves as vice provost and dean for academic services and information technology.

Grand Valley State University’s Speech Lab has been nationally certified by the National Association of Communication Centers.

The National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security have designated Ferris State University in Big Rapids a National Center of Academic Excellence in cyber defense education.


Comprenew has received official notification from NSF International of its new e-Stewards V.2 certification (upgrade from 2009) and re-certifications in R2, ISO-14001 and OHSAS 18001. Comprenew continues to hold the highest levels of certifications in the United States for electronics recycling and data security.


Greenleaf Trust in Kalamazoo has been named to the list of Best Places to Work for Millennials in America.


Covenant Village of the Great Lakes’ parent company, Covenant Retirement Communities,has named Terri Cunliffe its chief executive officer. Cunliffe, who has served as COO since 2010 and has been part of the organization for more than 25 years, succeeds CEO Rick Fisk.


Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, with input from Lansing Economic Area Partnership, has created a Legal Basics for Business video series. Eight initial videos cover the key concepts new businesses need to consider as they launch. See

Miller Johnson welcomes Kevin D. Battle Jr., associate, to its Grand Rapids office. His legal practice is in the areas of employment and labor and litigation.

Smith Haughey has elected attorneys Stacy M. Kramer and Michele M. Giordano co-chairs for the Women’s Business Initiative. Attorneys Thomas W. Aycock and Charissa C. Huang were elected co-chairs of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


Restaurant Week Grand Rapids 2015 announced 60 restaurants will create three-course special menus for the event, which runs Aug. 12-23. See


Hadley in Grandville announced the appointment of Thomas J. Bronz, president and chief executive officer, effective June 1, following the retirement of Robert F. Dubsky.

Tubelite Inc.’s facilities in Walker and Reed City have met ICC Evaluation Services Acceptance Criteria for Quality Documentation (AC10). This third-party inspection by Architectural Testing Inc. Intertek verifies Tubelite’s quality control process.

Wolverine Worldwide in Rockford announced the appointment of Michael D. Stornant to senior vice president, CFO and treasurer. He succeeds Donald T. Grimes, who has resigned his position to become executive vice president, COO and CFO for the Neiman Marcus Group.

Armstrong International in Three Rivers has launched a new website that is more intuitive, easier to use and helpful for visitors:


Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointment of Joel Hondorp of Byron Center to the Fire Fighters Training Council; and the reappointments of Patricia Smeelink of Ada to the Michigan Board of Pharmacy, Patrick Munley of Kalamazoo to the Board of Counseling, Mark Youngquist of Kent City to the Apple Committee and Amna Seibold of East Grand Rapids to the Board of Accountancy.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack has appointed Christopher Bendekgey, Kent County Health Department director of community clinical services, to serve with the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition.


Colliers International | West Michigan announced the appointment of John Kuiper, president. He will also continue in his role as advisor in the industrial group. Duke Suwyn will step back from the presidency role and remain CEO in addition to his new role of chairman.


Fox Motors announced the newest member of the Fox Motors family, Fox Chevrolet, formerly Seif Chevrolet, located at 632 E. Main St. SE, Caledonia. The company plans to add positions to the dealership and invest in upgrades to the campus.

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