Change Ups

Change Ups: Foundation elects chair, vice chair, trustee

January 15, 2016
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Grand Rapids Community Foundation is starting 2016 with a new board chair and vice chair and a new trustee. Laurie Finney Beard, region president of Old National Bank, was elected to the position of board chair for a one-year term. Carlos Sanchez, director of the Latino Business and Economic Development Center at Ferris State University, will serve as vice chair. Varnum partner Thomas Kyros will serve a two-year term as a trustee. GRCF supports local nonprofits, leads significant social change and helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals.


TowerPinkster has tapped the firm’s senior principal and planner, Bjorn Green, to be the  next president and CEO. Green will succeed Arnie Mikon, who has held the position for the last 10 years and plans to retire at the end of 2016.


Porous Pave Inc. in Grant was named a Gold-level winner for product design in the 2015 IIDEXCanada Innovation Awardscompetition for its eco-friendly product Porous Pave, a highly porous, durable and flexible surfacing material consisting of recycled rubber, aggregate and a binding agent.


Downtown Muskegon Now’s board of directors has hired longtime retired Muskegon Chronicle journalist Dave Alexander as its new executive director. Alexander will direct the nonprofit agency that is focused on downtown Muskegon economic development, promotion and events.

Kentwood Office Furniture announced Zak Young has joined the company as general manager in its Novi office. Young previously worked atBioFit as the eastern regional sales manager.


Wolverine Building Group recently announced the additions of Mike Beuschel and Troy Redman, project managers.


New Holland Brewing Co. in Holland announced the first Reserve release for 2016 of its top-selling, bourbon-barrel stout, Dragon’s Milk. It is infused with flavors of vanilla chai and will be shipped to markets around the country by the end of January, hitting stores and local watering holes soon after.


Jonathan Seyferth has been hired as the new assistant city manager of Coopersville.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to appoint District 11 Commissioner Jim Saalfeld chair of the board. He has been vice-chair since 2013, was chair of the Legislative & Human Resources Committee in 2013, and chair of the Finance and Physical Resources Committee since 2014. He represents Ada Township, East Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Township.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners voted to appoint 43 residents and several commissioners to 20 boards, commissions and committees. The residents were chosen from more than 100 people who applied to fill vacant citizen advisory positions.

Kent County’s Cultural Insight Council marked its 15th anniversary. CIC is a self-directed, interdepartmental workgroup sponsored by the County Administrator/Controller’s Office to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The council is comprised of employees from diverse backgrounds, representing all levels of the organization.


Grand Rapids Community College has received a $45,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to develop certification programs in the high-growth fields of logistics and industrial sewing and add equipment so the sewing program can serve more students. GRCC will work with the Makers Coalition, Industrial Fabrics Association International and Detroit Garment Group to align its curriculum with industry standards.


Quota International announced Sharan Sturdavant of Cedar Springs is the first recipient of hearing aids from Kaczmarski Hearing Center at no cost to her from the Hear For Good program, a Quota program initiated in 2014 that receives donations of hearing aids for those who have limited resources to purchase them.

St. Ann’s has named Sandra Gabrielse its new director of human resources. Gabrielse worked as HR manager at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services for seven years and as a compensation specialist for several years before becoming HR manager. She also worked in human resources at Bissell Inc. and Office Max.


Dickinson Wright PLLC announced the election of Christina McDonald and Ryan Mitchell as new member attorneys in the firm’s Grand Rapids office.

The 62A District Court in Wyoming received high marks in the annual satisfaction survey of court users who were pleased with the accessible, timely and fair service they received from staff. The Michigan Supreme Court and the State Court Administrative Office administer the survey.


Plunkett Cooney has named attorney Sandra Denshama shareholder. Densham focuses her practice in the area of general defense litigation, including product, premises and motor vehicle liability, as well as marine and recreational boating law. She also represents clients in Fair Labor Standards Act and wrongful discharge claims.

Varnum announced Laura Radle has been elected to the partnership.Radle joined the firm as an associate in 2009 after graduating summa cum laudefrom Michigan State University College of Law. A native of Jenison, she attended the University of Michigan for her undergraduate degree, and later received an MBA from Grand Valley State University.


Donna Randall has joined Byron Center-based Bay Logistics as director of business development, bringing with her 21 years of experience in the industry.


The West Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America announced its new board members and officers for 2016. Officers: president, Rick Jensen, Spectrum Health; president elect, Adam Russo, COM616; secretary, Adam Russo, COM616; and treasurer, Bradley Gordon, Holland Hospital. Board members: Karen Hogan Kirchenbauer, SeyferthPR; Kim Skeltis, Blue Blaze PR; Sarah Pazdziora, SeyferthPR; and Andrea Wolschleger, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.


City Manager Greg Sundstrom announced Grand Rapids Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Margaret Felix will serve as interim fire chief during the city’s national recruitment process for a new fire chief. The city is seeking a fire chief to lead the department following the retirement of Chief Laura Knapp.


NAI Wisinski of West Michigan has welcomed broker Joshua Jacobs to its Kalamazoo office. Jacobs was with brokerage firm Goldschmidt and Associates in Scarsdale, New York, since 2003.  


BarFly Ventures LLC announced it will close its Irish-themed bar McFadden’s Jan. 30, and will open a new concept in its place Feb. 13: The Waldron Public House, named for The Waldron Building in which it’s located at 58 Ionia Ave. SW in downtown Grand Rapids.


American RV, 201 76th St. SW, announced the additions of Rebecca Blanchard, director of marketing, and Dan Lane, sales consultant. The dealership has been family-owned and operated for more than 25 years.


Quantum Leap Communications, a full-service telecom company, announced it has hired Courtney Morton, marketing coordinator.

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