Change Ups

Change Ups: Willi selected for Blackboard MVP program

July 21, 2017
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Grand Rapids Community College instructional technologist and designer Meegan Willi was selected to participate in the Blackboard MVP program. She will receive access to professional development and share her insights and expertise. Blackboard is the course-management system GRCC faculty uses. To be selected for the MVP program, applicants must prove themselves to be not only leaders in the education technology community but also experts in Blackboard itself and skilled in helping others use it.


Rich Evenhouse and Tim Hackney launched a Holland-based advertising and marketing agency called Next Marketing + Design.


Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph recently held a grand opening of its new and improved Art Market, which included poetry reading, wool weaving, jewelry making and watercolor techniques.

Grand Rapids Ballet announced it is in the beginning phase of forming a search committee to select a new artistic director following Artistic Director Patricia Barker’s decision to become artistic director of Royal New Zealand Ballet. Attila Mosolygo’s role has been expanded to director of Grand Rapids Ballet School, a role formerly filled by Barker. Mosolygo, who retired from dancing at GRB in 2013, will oversee the administration, curriculum, and creative vision of GRBS and continue as director of GRBS’s Junior Company and as a GRB ballet master.

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport announced it will, for the first time in its history, become a venue for ArtPrize. Seven artists will have indoor and outdoor art displayed at the airport.


Gov. Rick Snyder recognized Griffin Properties LLC for its commitment to volunteerism as a winner of the 2017 Governor’s Service Awards in the Corporate Community Leader category.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women announced Julie Burrell, creator of The Pumpndo, as the local InnovateHER winner. The Pumpndo is a hands-free pumping accessory that converts any nursing bra into a hands-free pumping bra.


Bonnie Potter joined Independent Bank’s residential lending team and will work from the bank’s Grand Rapids East Beltline office. As a senior residential loan officer, Potter will originate both first and second mortgages and be responsible for residential lending in Allegan, Barry, Kent, Mecosta and Ottawa counties.

Greenleaf Trust welcomed the following team members: Brian Farrell, trust operations specialist; Kelly Jorgensen, team service coordinator; Tonia Kennedy, vice president, trust officer; Nancy Schmidt, team service coordinator; Rob Taylor, senior business intelligence engineer; and Bruce Vandermeulen, senior family wealth planner. The following promotions also were announced: Peggy Anderson, vice president, director of operations; Jessica Ball, family office coordinator; Gabrielle Contesti, business information analyst, projects; Wendy Cox, vice president, director of personal trust; Oliver Krings, chief information officer; Catie Matzka, senior team service coordinator; Julie Mentzer, senior client service representative; Rachel Mortensen, team service coordinator II; Chris Sharp, senior relationship specialist; Brian Smolinski, senior business information analyst; Andrea Stidmon, senior trust operations specialist; Adam Suwyn, senior wealth management associate; Denise Tate, client service administrator; Kristen Tidd, team service coordinator II; Kimberly VanDuine, senior project manager; and John Welch, senior vice president, managing director.

Macatawa Bank announced Virginia Kiss joined its retail team as senior relationship manager and infinex representative at the bank’s Zeeland office, and Jessica Smith has joined the mortgage team as mortgage loan officer in the Holland market.


National Nail’s STINGER brand celebrates its 10th anniversary this year as a leading brand of fastening tools for roofing underlayment and house wraps. The company also introduced the newly upgraded CH38-2 Cap Hammer, an economical, non-pneumatic cap fastener that eliminates the hassle of hoses and compressors, improving safety.


Erhardt Construction announced superintendent Don Van Beek is a finalist for the Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter Craft Professional of the Year Award, given to an individual who sets a high standard for professionals in their craft by exhibiting outstanding skills and leadership. The Craft Professional of the Year will be announced at the 31st annual Excellence in Construction Awards on Sept. 12.

Wolverine Building Group began construction at Craig’s Cruisers, 5730 Clyde Park Ave. SW, Wyoming for a 36,000-square-foot addition. The expansion will be home to a trampoline park, laser tag arena and an indoor roller coaster. The $2.4-million project is scheduled to be completed in February 2018.


Kuyper College will launch its Ministry Leadership Program this fall as the first step in a multiyear strategic curriculum redesign process that was announced earlier this year. The plan’s intent is to successfully meet the present and future demands of the changing educational environment of the mid-21st century. Ministry Leadership Program includes such courses as Foundations of Ministry, Leadership and Administration, Relational Ministry, Issues in Ministry, Introduction to Missions and Islamics.


Geotechnical and environmental consulting firm GZA and Rose & Westra, a division of GZA, have relocated to a shared office space at 601 Fifth St. NW, Suite 102, in the historic Widdicomb Building. The 3,100-square-foot office houses a staff of 12.


A recent two-person scramble event at the historic and refreshed 87-year-old Indian Trails Golf Course, 2776 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, generated $21,374 for the Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Scholarship Fund, so underprivileged youth in the community can have significantly more access to city recreation programs. Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Director David Marquardt presented the city commission with a check to fund the scholarships.


Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women helped female chalet retailers Gems Near the Lakeshore in Muskegon and Morat’s Bakery-Pub in New Era with a $4,000 investment that was divided between the two and made possible with a Consumers Energy grant.


Van Andel Research Institute researcher Patrick Grohar was awarded an Innovation Grant worth $250,000 over two years from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for the Development of Mithramycin Analogs for Ewing’s Sarcoma.


Degage Ministries, 200 S. Division Ave., recently hosted a picnic to celebrate 50 years of service to the marginalized in the Heartside community. Founders of the organization were in attendance, as well as patrons, board members and staff. Entertainment was provided by the same musicians who performed the first night Degage opened its doors.

Nearly 1,000 participating TCC and Wireless Zone stores donated up to 172,000 backpacks full of school supplies to children through TCC’s annual School Rocks Backpack Giveaway to students in Grand Rapids, Jenison, Lowell and Muskegon.


Ottawa and Allegan Parks and Recreation and Department of Public Health have teamed up to bring the community another Step it Up! Walking Challenge this fall. The Ottawa County GIS Department designed a map so participants can virtually walk 210 miles along regional trails in Michigan. Registration opens July 14 and the challenge begins Aug. 14. Details:


Kristin Revere joined Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women as volunteer + events marketing coordinator; Jessica Hertenstein was promoted to program manager; and Keasha Jones was hired as an administrative assistant.

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