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Change Ups: O-A-K marks 125th anniversary

June 10, 2016
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Construction firm Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. recently marked its 125th anniversary in West Michigan. The company was founded in Grand Rapids in 1891, when the city limits included less than 10 square miles and the majority of streets were dirt. Today, O-A-K employs 160 people and operates full-service offices in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Fort Myers, Florida. Its most recognizable projects in Grand Rapids include the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids Public Museumand Grand Rapids Civic Theatre.


JohnsonRauhoff of St. Joseph announced the promotion of Mason Johnson to president of the internationally recognized agency. Jackie Huie transitions from president to CEO.


Byce & Associates Inc. of Kalamazoo has been honored with a 2016 When Work Works Award administered by the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management for its use of effective workplace strategies to increase business and employee success.


The Grand Rapids Symphony announced it successfully negotiated a five-year collective bargaining agreement with its musicians and recently completed a $40-million Legacy of Excellence Campaign to build its endowment. GRS also announced Marcelo Lehninger as its new music director, succeeding David Lockington.

The Grand Rapids Symphony’s board of directors selected Kate Pew Wolters to continue as its chairperson, Charles Frayer as chairperson elect, Anette W. Estrada as treasurer and Karen Henry Stokes as secretary. Immediate past chairperson is Peter M. Perez.

The Grand Rapids Symphony Society elected to its board of directors Barbara A. Gordon, Richard A. Roane and Tom Welch; elected trustee Kathleen Vogelsang to its endowment fund; and named Linn Maxwell Keller, founder of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, as an honorary board member.


The Grand Rapids Public Museum announced the launch of 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 including National Guard and Reserve through Labor Day 2016.


Fifteen of the Muskegon Lakeshore’s up-and-coming young professionals were recognized at a Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours for making a positive impact in their community: Dakota Crow, Morgan Witmer, Jessica Bodenberg, Bill Fohlbrook, Allen SerioJames Curtis, Sara Damm, Stephany Pawlowski, Deb WarrenJoshua A. Reece, Alana C. Matyas-Brower, Kelly Seyferth, Stevi B. Riel, Jana Routand Zaneta Adams.


Josiah Samy and Mark Reifsnyder have joined Mercantile Bank of Michigan as mortgage loan officers.


Elizabeth Burr has joined Kentwood Office Furniture as an interior designer in its Grand Rapids office. 


Bruce Heys Builders welcomed Nick Sytsma as a project management intern. He is currently studying construction management at Lawrence Technological University.


Baker College of Muskegon student Mike Kenat won first place in the “Practical and Contemporary Hot-Food Cooking” category at the recent Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Chapter’s American Culinary Federation competition event held at Dorsey Culinary Academy in Pontiac.

Gov. Rick Synder announced appointments to the 21st Century Education Commission: Dave Campbell of Kalamazoo,Thomas Haas of Allendale, Doug Luciani of Traverse City, Kevin Stotts of Grand Rapids and Teresa Weatherall Neal of Grand Rapids. Legislative appointee is Scott Hughes of Byron Center.


PRO-VISION Video Systems in Byron Center welcomed Evan Prout, graphic designer, to its marketing department and Oana Gitan, human resources assistant, to its human resources department.


FormulaFolios of Grand Rapids announce it has been named to the Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers.

Greenleaf Trust of Kalamazoo announced the additions of Ruthanne Vlasicak, project manager, and Jessica D. Ball, A. Roberts Mollie and Simbarashe M. Chirara, trust operations specialists.


Food For Thought in Honor has added Felicia Topp to its staff as a sales and marketing assistant, as well as project manager for various in-house tasks.


Suburban Inns has named Rachel Crowther general manager of its new Hilton Garden Inn under construction at 2321 East Beltline SE near Woodland Mall.


Advantage Benefits Group announced the addition of Jennifer Johnson Petterson as an employee benefits consultant.


Auto-Owners Insurance announced the Lake Michigan Insurance Agency of Grand Rapids has been named one of the Top 10 growth agencies for the company in the Western Michigan Region for 2015.


Chambers USA has named Clark Hill PLC labor & employment attorney William B. Dunn among “Leaders in their Field” in the 2016 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

The Michigan Supreme Court announced the appointment of Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Judge Alexander Lipsey to the Kalamazoo County Business Court.

The 20th Circuit Court in Ottawa County announced the Adult Drug Treatment Court (drug court) was selected from more than 2,000 drug courts in the United States to be featured in a nationally distributed webinar aired by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


Heart of West Michigan United Way has promoted Mike Kerkorian to vice president of resource development.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced chief deputy director Tim Becker is leaving the department and will work at Hope Network as its executive vice president. Becker’s last day with MDHHS is July 8. MDHHS will name a new chief deputy director.

Peckham Inc., with offices in Grand Rapids and Battle Creek, was named by Great Place to Work as one of the best workplaces for giving back in the United States. Peckham came in 38th on the list because of its commitment to helping others within the organization and the communities it serves.


Sun Title has expanded its commercial division by hiring Ed Foltice with a focus on commercial business development.


Jeff Joyce, Michigan Retailers Association board member and co-owner of Mieras Family Shoes, has been named one of America’s Retail Champions by the National Retail Federation for his advocacy on behalf of the retail industry. Joyce also was one of five finalists for the top award of America’s Retail Champion of the Year.


CD Barnes Construction hosted a recent ribbon cutting/grand opening for Grandville’s Herb & Fire Pizzeria, owned by Uccello’s Hospitality Group. The eatery occupies 2,100 square feet of a retail center at Ivanrest Avenue and 44th Street.


Worksighted in Holland has earned recognition as one of MSPmentor’s “MSP 501.” The company is listed 152nd out of the 501 Companies.


Jeffrey S. Tripp has joined the Muskegon County Airport as its airport manager. Tripp has been involved in airport management since 1996, performing the full range of business functions necessary to operate, develop, and maintain commercial service and general aviation airports. 


Jeremy Witt has joined the West Michigan Tourist Association as its marketing manager.

The Lake Express Ferry, the only high-speed ferry offering daily service between Milwaukee and Muskegon, announced it has received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the second consecutive year in recognition of great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year.

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