Change Ups

Change Ups: Sinas honored with Prevention Award

May 20, 2016
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Tom Sinas

Attorney Thomas G. Sinas was honored with the Prevention Award, presented annually by the Brain Injury Association of Michigan for making the greatest single impact on promoting brain injury prevention programs or activities. The award recognizes Sinas’ commitment to educating the public on preventing brain injuries, particularly in children, as well as for his service on the BIAMI board of directors. Sinas is a partner at Sinas Dramis Law Firm and practices in the firm’s Grand Rapids office.


Driesenga & Associates in Holland announced the additions of engineering technicians Jerad Derks in the Grand Rapids office, and Andrew Nelson and Tim Schaapman in the Holland office. Summer intern Kirsten Deprekel will work in the Holland office; Ryan Anderson and Noah Ream will work in the Kalamazoo office.

Soils & Structures in Muskegon announced the additions of: Jeff Alkire, senior checker, structural detailing department; Alexander Depoy, engineer, geotechnical engineering department; Michael Duffield, EIT, structural engineering department; and Zach Toth, Matthew Smale, Jack Randal, Karl Heindlemeyer and Matt Bell, summer engineering technicians.


John Ball Zoo for the third consecutive year has earned a 4-star rating for its sound fiscal management practices and commitment to account ability and transparency from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator.

Michigan Cares for Tourism announced its public restoration site for 2016 is the Felt Estate. $40,000 in materials and $30,000 in labor has been dedicated to the carriage house renovation.


Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss received the Communicator of the Year Award from the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America for making outstanding contributions to West Michigan and exemplifying good communication practices.

Junior Achievement West Michigan announced at its Business Hall of Fame ceremony that Dick Haworth, chairman emeritus of Haworth, is its 2016 West Michigan Business Hall of Fame inductee, and Mike Jandernoa, former CEO and chairman of the board of Perrigo Co., is the recipient of the Edward J. Frey Distinguished Achievement Award for 2016.


First Community Bank announced the additions of Mark Brant, president; Joe VanBrocklin, vice president of commercial lending; and Scott Seifferlein, commercial business development.


Nick Davidson has joined Aquinas College as its new athletic director. 

Ferris State University’s board of trustees approved construction of a new north-campus residence hall, and also approved three new academic programs: Doctorate of Nursing Practice, in the College of Health Professions; an Associate of Applied Science in Professional Brew Management, in the College of Business; and an Associate of Arts in Psychology, in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Merrill Lynch wealth management advisers James Veldheer, Timothy Long and Scott Bernecker were named to the 2016 Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors list and made the 2016 Barron’s America’s Top 1,200 Advisors list. All three are managing directors at Veldheer, Long, Mackay & Bernecker Group in Grand Rapids. Jeffrey Towner, senior vice president with the Towner Lund Group in Grand Rapids, was named to the 2016 Financial Times Top 400 Advisors list.


Empty The Shelters, a free adoption event made possible by Bissell Pet Foundation, helped 605 pets from 24 shelters in Michigan find adopted homes. The foundation covered 100 percent of the cost for adopters.


MDOT, Grand Haven VFW and Ottawa County Planning and Performance Improvement Department collaborated to install the Sgt. Henry E. Plant memorial plaque on the M-231 Grand River Bridge commemorating Sgt. Henry E. Plant.


SiTE:LAB received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant program for its 2016 ArtPrize exhibition, Rumsey Street Project.

The Wege Foundation has awarded a $61,000 grant to teach transcendental meditation to veterans in West Michigan to help them overcome elevated stress and PTSD. For more information, contact Tom Karson at or (616) 328-4001, or see


Former Grand Rapids District Court Judge Michael Christensen has joined Bloom Sluggett Morgan, specializing in municipal ordinance prosecution. Alexandra Santos has been promoted to paralegal and will work with municipal and private sector clients.


Greg Buckner has joined Pro-Vision as a communications coordinator in the marketing department.


Serendipity Media LLC publisher/president Kasie Smith was honored in the Entrepreneur category among a select group of women who were hand-picked by the Folio. Honorees will be recognized June 9 at the Yale Club in New York City.


MOKA in Muskegon announced the opening of its new residence, Forest Trail Home, 3088 S. Hilton Park Road, Fruitport, for four men with developmental disabilities moving from an existing home.

Quota International of Grand Rapids announced the election of its board of directors for 2016-17: president, Pam Howland; vice president, Sue Scharf; treasurer, Rachael Owsinski; and directors, Barbara Griffin and Kathleen Slagal.


Lambert, Edwards & Associates won three PRoof Awards from the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America for its work on the following campaigns: Moose Tracks Ice Cream (Gold); Rainbow Child Care Center (Silver); and the North American International Auto Show (Gold).


Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointment of David DeGraw of Grand Rapids to the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission; and the appointment of Keith Turpel of Kalamazoo and the reappointment of William DeBoer of Byron Center to the Community Corrections Board.


Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. has hired Trevor Thompson as New Testament project editor. He recently was an instructor at Abilene Christian University and a lecturer at the University of Chicago Divinity School.


Sun Title co-founders Tom Cronkright and Lawrence Duthler have been named finalists for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 Award in the Michigan and Northwest Ohio Region. Award winners will be announced June 23 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. 

John Rice, Realtor and principal agent with John Rice Real Estate Team of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate, has been awarded the Chairman’s Gold Circle Award for 2015, placing Rice in the top 2 percent of Berkshire Hathaway agents nationwide.


Gull Lake Marine announced the opening of its new location at 15704 48th Coopersville on a 17-acre complex. The company plans to hire up to 35 employees over the next year to support the projected business volume.


Andy Tabisz of Work Smart Database Masters has been named a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional.

X-Rite Pantone announced Japanese ink manufacturer Toyo Ink is an Accredited PantoneLIVE Partner.

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