Change Ups

Change Ups: Forrester earns Conservation Member of Year Award

November 30, 2018
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Allmon Forrester

Allmon Forrester, John Ball Zoo’s director of facilities, planning and sustainability, recently received the Conservation Member of the Year Award from the Aquarium & Zoo Facilities Association. Forrester’s peers nominated him because of the strides he’s made in water consumption reductions, implementing green roofs and green walls, and installing geothermal technology. Forrester’s notable highlights include a 72 percent decrease in water usage since 2002, saving 731 million gallons. Also, the zoo’s compost and recycling efforts divert 80 percent of its waste stream from landfills or incinerators.

ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

Washington, D.C.-based American Society of Landscape Architects recently installed landscape architect SuLin Kotowicz as vice president of finance. Kotowicz is a licensed landscape architect in Michigan.

ARTS

The Grand Rapids Public Museum announced it has on display the Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train through Jan. 18 with the museums holiday décor and displays. The monorail train originally was set high above the toy department at Herpolsheimer’s Department Store, located at the corner of Fulton and Division streets in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Grand Rapids Symphony appointed Mary Tuuk as its president and CEO.

AWARDS

Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Hospitality Association announced the 2018 winners of the 11th annual WAVE (Way Above Visitor Expectations) Awards: Restaurants & Breweries: Monica Moore, Sundance Grill & Bar Downtown; Lodging 150+ Rooms: Jacob Cohen, Country Inn & Suites East Beltline; Lodging Less than 150 Rooms: Prentis Hearn, Homewood Suites Grand Rapids Downtown; Retail & Service: Gordon Rivera, Delta Airlines; Attractions & Events: Mandy Sikkema, 20 Monroe Live; and Volunteer in Hospitality and CTA Star of the Year: Joni VanderTill, Experience Grand Rapids. These winners also will be nominated in their respective categories for the Stars of the Industry Awards.

Gerhard Schmied, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel’s vice president of food and beverage, is the recipient of the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority’s 2018 Chairman’s Award.

CONSTRUCTION

New Urban Home Builders LLC is the recipient of the 2018 Best In American Living Award by the National Association of Home Builders for excellence in residential craftsmanship and design in the Single-Family Custom, Category 13: One-of-a-Kind Custom or Spec Home 3,001-4,000-square-foot category and honors a recently completed home in Cascade Township.

EDUCATION

Ferris State University College of Pharmacy announced it has received the largest gift in the university’s 134-year history: A $6.59-million bequest from the estate of the late Dewaine V. and Jana B. Robinson, of Flint. The gift will establish the Dewaine V. and Jana B. Robinson Scholarship Endowment, the income from which will provide financial aid in perpetuity for students enrolled in Ferris’ Doctor of Pharmacy four-year degree program.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Laina Mills, senior vice president and chief investment officer with Legacy Trust, become a chartered financial analyst.

Laura Corbiani joined Midwest Capital Advisors. She will assist with retirement plan servicing, as well as build an individual wealth management clientele.

Merrill Lynch West Michigan wealth management advisers Kimberly Hammond, Brett Howell and Craig Sharp were named to the 2018 Financial Times annual Top 401 Financial Advisors list.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Bellaire-based Short’s Brewing Co. will introduce next year its new flagship beer, Juicy Brut, an ale with hop juiciness and brut dryness. This beer will be distributed in bottles, cans and kegs beginning in February throughout the entire Short’s distribution footprint.

GOVERNMENT

Ottawa County’s Grand Haven courthouses are testing the first court robot greeter in the country in the 20th Circuit and the 58th District Courts with CORA (Court-Operated Robotic Assistant). CORA directs visitors around the courthouse, allows customers to search the court dockets, answers frequently asked questions and provides information about the judges and referees in both English and Spanish.

Martha Burkett joined the Kent County Veterans Services as manager. Burkett previously worked as a counseling psychologist with Army veterans in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and as the substance use section head for the U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, and, most recently, director of comprehensive treatment and recovery services for Amarillo Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs.

GRANTS

A Grand Rapids Community College program that combines English as a Second Language classes with workforce training received a $100,000 grant from the Fifth Third Bank Foundation. It will help residents learn English while training for careers in one of three high-demand occupations in manufacturing: welding, machining and certified production technician.

HEALTH

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health announced Dr. James Birmingham is leading the new adult and pediatric rheumatology service line at the hospital.

Priority Health’s HMO-POS Medicare Advantage plans were the only plans in Michigan that earned 4.5 stars (out of 5) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and also are the only plans in Michigan to earn a rating of 4.5 (out of 5) from the National Committee of Quality Assurance.

LEISURE & RECREATION

The West Michigan Tourist Association announced its new executive committee: president: Brian Behler, Embassy Suites, Grand Rapids; 1st vice president: Dave Serino, TwoSix Digital, Brighton; 2nd vice president: Linda Freybler, Battle Creek/Calhoun County CVB, Battle Creek; and treasurer: Maia Turek, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, statewide.

MANUFACTURING

Stiles Machinery launched the Emerging Leader Program, designed to raise the next generation of leaders in the manufacturing industry. The program focuses on equipping recent college graduates with the knowledge and experience necessary to jumpstart their career. It will consist of one year of hands-on training and development both nationally and internationally.

NONPROFITS

Covenant House Michigan, Grand Rapids recently opened a new three-story 17,000-square-foot residential program at 26 Antoine St. SW that will provide a sanctuary and a support system for homeless and trafficked youth ages 18-24. The building’s interior was intentionally designed to support the dignity, respect and safety for all residents, with particular attention to the LGBTQ community.

RETAIL

K&R Truck Sales announced it acquired the operating assets of West Michigan Mobile Mechanic in Wyoming. The name, West Michigan Mobile Mechanic, and the management and personnel team have been retained.

SPORTS

Ottawa Hills High School announced the hiring of Derrick King as the boys varsity basketball coach.

TRAVEL & TOURISM

Las Vegas-based Allegiant announced it will provide service from Grand Rapids to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport beginning April 5, 2019. The new year-round flights will operate twice weekly. With the addition of this new route, Allegiant will now serve seven cities from Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found at Allegiant.com.

TRANSPORATION

Hoekstra Transportation Inc. acquired Mobility Transportation Services of Canton. Hoekstra Transportation’s footprint will grow on the east side of Michigan, expanding the company’s current product offerings and initiating its strategic expansion plans in the Great Lakes Region.

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