Change Ups

Change Ups: JR Automation plans $4-million investment

August 3, 2018
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JR Automation

JR Automation, a manufacturer of custom automation technologies, is renovating its facilities at multiple locations in the Holland area. The expansion also includes new investments in computers and IT. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $4 million and create 100 high-tech jobs, resulting in an $800,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The Holland Board of Public Works has offered support with an economic development incentive rider that will result in savings of electrical demand charges for three years.


Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors hired Katrina Baylis as an administrative professional.


The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra announced Jun-Ching Lin as concertmaster.


Josh Geoghan joined Independent Bank as vice president, community banker, leading the West Michigan market.


A Summer Science and Leadership 10-day pilot program organized by Grand Rapids Whitewater, the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds and the Grand Rapids Public Museum provided students with hands-on opportunities to learn about the many aspects of the Grand River Restoration project. Students met a handful of community leaders, environmental educators and project stakeholders as they explored their own connection to the Grand River. Students also got in the river and studied the ecosystem learning, for example, what types of fish call the Grand River home.

Holland-based Hope College’s teacher-education program ranks second in the 2018 Educator Preparation Institution Performance Score report of Michigan’s Department of Education. The college’s program prepares students to teach in elementary and secondary schools, with content emphases in a wide range of departments in the arts, humanities, natural and applied sciences, and social sciences, in addition to providing training in special education and early childhood education.


The Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts on Grand Valley State University's Allendale campus received LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.


Cedar Springs Brewing Company announced a new partnership with West Side Beer Distributing. The brewery’s historical and traditional Küsterer Bier brand lagers and ales are now available on tap at bars and restaurants in Kent County. Cedar Springs Brewing Company’s Küsterer Bier line is named for Christoph Kusterer, a German immigrant who arrived in West Michigan around 1844.


Elena Mireles-Hill, community investment officer at Kalamazoo Community Foundation, became a member of the 2018 Hispanics in Philanthropy NGen Líderes Program, joining 28 other professionals nationwide in the six-month leadership program.


The city of Grand Rapids’ Economic Development Corporation recently approved agreements with Local First and Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses by committing $50,000 to support Local First’s Good For Grand Rapids campaign, doubling the amount it provided last year for the initiative. The funding will create higher-quality and equitable jobs — particularly in challenged neighborhoods — and by building stronger communities, creating inclusive and diverse workforces where livable wages for everyone are standard and preserving a healthier environment.

Ottawa County announced a portion of fines paid to courts from criminal violations to civil infractions netted nine public libraries $749,943. The amount paid to each public library is determined by the percentage of the county population living in the area, which each library has an agreement to serve.


Peter Gonthier of the Holland-based Hope College physics faculty received a $222,730, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop tools to better understand celestial objects trillions of miles away. Gonthier and Hope students will collaborate with researchers at Rice University to create a computer simulation to aid scientists who are studying magnetars — a subset of neutron stars — which are the remains of supernovae, massive stars that exploded.


Carol Health, a mobile app-based, on-demand home health service that helps anyone see a nurse when they want, has joined Great Lakes Health Connect, a health information exchange network. Through this connection, Carol Health nurses have access to the GLHC Virtual Integrated Patient Record, a cloud-based system that stores and organizes the health information of over 9 million patients.


Nicholas Remes was promoted to general manager of the JW Marriott Grand Rapids.

Suburban Inns named Brian Behler general manager of its new Embassy Suites by Hilton, 710 Monroe Ave. NW, in downtown Grand Rapids. Behler was previously the general manager at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids. The seven-story hotel will have 250 rooms and 488 parking spaces, and will feature a Big E’s Sports Grill on the first floor as well as a banquet and event space for up to 250 people. The hotel is slated to open in early 2019.


Mel Trotter Ministries recently celebrated the life transformation of 41 former homeless men and women who graduated from several different programs at its downtown location: housing readiness, job readiness, step-up recovery, youth and pilgrimage programs.


Miller Johnson attorney Dustin Daniels was selected as a winner of The M&A Advisor ninth annual Emerging Leaders Awards for M&A Legal Advisor. Daniels is a member in Miller Johnson’s Grand Rapids office and chairs the mergers and acquisitions practice group.

Rhoades McKee commercial litigation attorney Steve Hulst was named to the 2018 Benchmark Litigation 40 & Under Hot List. Hulst is among only eight other Michigan litigators under the age of 40 to be included in this year’s publication.

Parmenter Law in Muskegon hired Hilary Rohlman, legal assistant; Lauren Eisenbarth, elder law paralegal; Jillian Neagos, legal assistant; Breann Fagan, business and real estate paralegal; Jacob Barnard, summer law clerk; Jeremy Orenstein, summer law clerk; Andre Oravitan, summer law clerk; and Sarah Karafa, summer intern.


The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians announced Matthew Wesaw was elected as its Tribal Council chairman. Also, Kelly Curran was elected secretary, Colin Wesaw as elders representative and Gary Morseau, Sr. as member-at-large. As chairman, Matthew Wesaw also serves as chairman and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority Board, which oversees the band’s casino properties, including Four Winds New Buffalo, Four Winds Hartford, Four Winds Dowagiac and Four Winds South Bend.


Juan Olivarez joined the Dorothy A. Johnson Center as its first Distinguished Scholar in Residence for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Olivarez's work will focus on advancing the center's work on building capacity in the nonprofit sector while incorporating principles of equity, including exploring ways to advance inclusive practices and develop more diverse talent pipelines both in West Michigan as well as nationally and internationally.

Pioneer Resources’ newest group home is located on Mill Iron Road in Muskegon. The home was built due to the increased demand for specialized housing as well as to continue Pioneer's efforts to provide affordable housing and individualized supports for individuals with disabilities and seniors in the community.

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