Change Ups

Change Ups: Allen named Catholic Charities CEO

May 12, 2017
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Kathleen M. Allen, an attorney with a long history of working with the disadvantaged and in family law, was named chief executive officer of Catholic Charities West Michigan. Allen previously served as vice chair of the nonprofit human service agency’s board of directors and formerly was a staff attorney for Legal Aid of Western Michigan in Grand Rapids. CCWM feeds the hungry and counsels people struggling to build strong families through a broad spectrum of social service programs.


Hope College in Holland is among seven founding consortium members of the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers. Director of Jazz Studies and a professor of music Brian Coyle is one of the organization’s co-founders and serves as one of the society’s vice presidents.


Longtime Calvin College professor and alum Alvin Plantinga is the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate. The Templeton Prize, valued at $1.4 million, is one of the world’s largest annual awards given to an individual and honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.

The West Michigan World Trade Association recognized Founders Brewing Co. as its 2017 World Trader of the Year.


The Grandville Jenison Chamber of Commerce and Lakeshore Advantage are now members of the West Michigan Chamber Coalition. The additions bolster the organization to six regional business organizations advocating with a single voice on local, regional, state and federal legislative and policy issues impacting the business community.

The Job Post announced it hired Bruce Goins as its chief operating officer.

Mixed Staffing & Recruiting joined the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and recently hosted its five-year anniversary celebration at their office in the Oldtown Riverfront Building, 85 Campau Ave., Suite R304.


Rockford Construction was awarded a $6.3-million loan and $13 million in Tax Increment Financing through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Michigan Strategic Fund for a planned mixed-use development on Grand Rapids’ West Side at the corner of Bridge St. and Seward Ave. The project includes a Meijer grocery store, 116 market-rate apartments Rockford will manage, a 275-space parking deck, and an office and retail building. The West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology will occupy 20,000 square feet of the available 56,000. The development also includes an affordable housing development by Inner City Christian Federation; the first floor of ICCF’s building will feature retail space.


Cornerstone University announced one of its division chairs, Dr. Michael Pasquale, was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to Lima, Peru. Pasquale will work with the National University of Santiago Atunez de Mayolo to provide teacher training workshops and assess its English program.

Grand Rapids Community College automotive technology students Bentley Streling and Adam VanPortfliet placed second and third, respectively, in the recent SkillsUSA state championship.

Grand Valley State University associate professor of nursing Sylivia Mupepi earned a fellowship from the Carnegie African Diaspora program to travel to Ghana to mentor nursing faculty at the University of Cape Coast.


Long Road Distillers was named USA Aquavit Distillery of the Year at the Berlin International Spirits Competition. The distillery’s limited-release spirit Long Road Old Aquavit received a Gold Medal, besting a range of other spirits entered from around the world.

Travelocity and the American Distilling Institute identified Grand Rapids as one of the Top 10 Craft Spirits Tourism Destinations in America. The city is home to several award-winning distilleries and tasting rooms.


Kent County, for the 19th consecutive year from S&P Global and Moody’s Investors Service, received Triple-A credit ratings. Of the approximately 3,140 counties in the United States, Kent County ranks in the top 3 percent of counties in the nation for holding a Triple-A rating for long-term debt.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners announced assistant county administrator Wayman Britt will take over as interim county administrator/controller on July 1.

Wyoming City clerk Kelli Vandenberg received her Certified Michigan Municipal Clerk designation.


The FitKids360 program was awarded a $401,124 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund that enables it to expand its program to two additional Michigan communities and increase capacity of current programming in Kent and Wayne Counties for more than 500 English and Spanish-speaking children and families.


The Brian O’Neil Insurance Agency earned Meemic Insurance Co.’s top sales award, the 2016 President’s Circle of Honor Designation.


Drew Cooper & Anding attorney Ann Cooper is the recipient of the Western Michigan University Cooley and Grand Rapids Bar Association’s Marion Hilligan Public Service Award.

Kalamazoo-based Levine & Levine legal assistant Cathy Zackery recently earned her Certified Legal Professional designation and was re-elected president of NALS of Greater Kalamazoo.

McShane & Bowi PLC announced the addition of Brian Kersey as a partner. Kerse is a legal expert in commercial finance and aviation law matters who will provide extensive support to the business and corporate law practices.

Miller Johnson welcomed Erik R. Daly, Dustin J. Jackson and Anne Marie Carson to its mergers and acquisitions group, which is part of the firm’s broader corporate section. They will practice out of the firm’s Grand Rapids office.

Varnum attorney and Indiana University Maurer School of Law alum Carl Ver Beek was inducted into his alma mater’s Academy of Law Alumni Fellows.


Haworth was honored by the Lakeshore Clubhouse in Holland for supporting its Transitional Employment services, one of several programs conducted under the umbrella of Community Mental Health of Ottawa County.

SpartanNash announced Tom Lee was named senior vice president, supply chain.


WOOD TV8 launched two downtown studio locations: The first is in downtown Grand Rapids overlooking Rosa Parks Circle in partnership with Grand Rapids Art Museum to form the GRAM WOOD TV Media Arts Center; the second is in downtown Kalamazoo in the Comerica Building, 151 S. Rose St. The expansion is part of a comprehensive plan to grow in-depth local news coverage and community engagement.


834 Design & Marketing added full-time staff members Kayden Grinwis, web director; Emma Thibault, public relations coordinator; and Mari Behovitz, digital coordinator


Colliers International West Michigan hired Kristen Moore as a retail associate. 

Keller Williams North recently held a grand opening at its location, 3237 Platinum St. SE.


Honest Eyes Optical opened a new store in East Hills with a comfortable coffee shop feel and features an eyeglass bar and frame library with over 800 frames in stock.


MyWay Mobile Storage was the recent corporate sponsor of the Gazelle Girl 5K/10K/Half Marathon and the donor of more than six storage containers used as water and safety stations along the racecourse.


Blue Medora expanded its SelectStar SaaS database performance solution to support Microsoft Azure and Azure SQL databases.

Custer Inc. recently hosted its sixth-annual Technology Showcase, where 15 technology companies from across Michigan and beyond demonstrated the latest in workplace technology products and solutions. 

The Saugatuck Douglas Map App is available on Apple and Android devices to help find businesses, historical landmarks, public art, local events and Google maps of local businesses.

X-Rite Inc.’s Pantone LLC was selected as one of West Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. The award recognizes companies that display a commitment to excellence in their human resource practices and employee enrichment programs.

X-Rite Inc. Pantone LLC president Ron Voigt recently showcased at the FEI 2017 in Boston the company’s award-winning Total Appearance Capture ecosystem, an appearance solution that captures ultra-specific physical material appearance for use in virtual design applications.

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