Change Ups

Change Ups: Welding instructor earns $500 award

February 8, 2019
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Visionary Award
From left: Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage president; Rich Currie, welding instructor, Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center; and Scott Lubbers, lakeshore community president, Fifth Third Bank.

Rich Currie, welding instructor for Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center, received the 2019 Lakeshore Advantage Visionary Award at the recent Lakeshore Advantage annual meeting. Currie received $500 and his school received $1,000 for connecting students to in-demand careers. Fifth Third Bank sponsors the award. Currie’s recruitment of students into the welding program and creating connections with local welding and fabrication shop owners to hire students were cited as reasons for the economic impact Currie has had throughout his 30-year career as a welding teacher.

ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING

Wightman hired Marianne Groth to assist the engineering and architecture teams in its Benton Harbor office; Michelle Rush as an administrative support professional, also in its Benton Harbor office: Derk Walkotten who joined the company’s architecture team in the Benton Harbor and Allegan offices; and Michael Wicker as an environmental specialist based in the company’s Benton Harbor office.

ASSOCIATIONS

The Association for Corporate Growth Western Michigan announced it has renewed contracts with Professional Association Resources and Clark Communications to provide management and communications services respectively. Professional Association Resources was retained to manage the merger and acquisition organization’s management, special event and marketing functions for 2019. Clark Communications begins its second year of serving as the official communications partner for ACG by providing the firm with public relations and marketing strategy for all the organization’s events and initiatives. Clark Communications owner Craig Clark was recently elected to ACG’s board of directors.

The Association for Corporate Growth Western Michigan announced its 2019 officers: president, Jon Siebers, Rhoades McKee; vice president, Jason Brinks, Oxford Financial; treasurer/secretary, Heather Hoezee, Crowe LLP; and immediate past president, Dan Lynn, Beene Garter. New board members: Elisa Berger, Charter Capital Partners; Craig Clark, Clark Communications; Dustin Daniels, Miller Johnson; Matt Hylant, Hylant; Greg McCormick, Ranir; and Jimmy TenBrink, Wasayabek Development Company LLC.

AWARDS

FormulaFolio Investments LLC was recognized as one of 2018’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation by the National Association for Business Resources.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Alissa Wilson joined Zeeland-based HR Solutions Group of West Michigan as an HR specialist.

Brandy Henderson Miller, previously vice president of the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce, was promoted to president/CEO, and will continue her role as executive director of the Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Former president/CEO Kathy Maclean will assist the chamber as a consultant to support select programs and events.

FASTSIGNS of Grand Rapids is the recipient of the Sales Achievement Award by the FASTSIGNS network, which recognizes the top five centers that achieved the highest sales volume in the U.S. and Canada between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2018. FASTSIGNS of Grand Rapids also received the Mentor Recognition Award; Public E-commerce Task Force service recognition; and the Franchise Advisory Council service recognition.

DESIGN

Peopledesign recently made Jake Himmelspach partner.

EDUCATION

The Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter, in partnership with its member companies and Grand Rapids Community College, announced the winners of the 2019 GRCC Electrical Apprenticeship Program Craft Championship: first place: Kurtis Bolt, Buist Electric; second place: Kevan Chapman, HighPoint Electric; and third place: Craig Eby, Parkway Electric & Communications.

ENERGY

Eaton announced it launched its aftermarket portal and e-commerce platform for its heavy-duty truck aftermarket product portfolio. The new platform improves the ease of doing business with Eaton, consolidating information from multiple locations and introducing a variety of product-related research tools. Customers can quickly find the latest product information and literature, request additional support, sign up for training and more.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Blueway Financial Partners of Raymond James was named a top Advisor Team by the National Association of Plan Advisors. The list, which focuses on firms with at least $100 million in retirement assets under advisement, represents more than $640 billion in defined contribution assets.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks recently hosted its second annual Weddings & Whiskey event, providing the public with an opportunity to browse its public event spaces and connect with Michigan’s top event professionals.

LEGAL

Joscelyn Cekola Boucher was named executive partner for Warner Norcross + Judd’s Kalamazoo office.

Richard A. Roane, partner at Warner Norcross + Judd, was invited to return to the Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Family Law Institute Planning Committee, and Peter M. Kulas-Dominguez, senior counsel at the Warner firm, joined the Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Family Law Advisory Board. The committee develops the agenda, sets the topics and invites speakers to the annual ICLE Family Law Institute, a multitrack conference that provides attendees with critical updates to family law matters in Michigan, and the ICLE Family Law Advisory Board reviews and assesses continuing education needs in family law in an effort to create programs for the upcoming year.

LOGISTICS

Holland professional driver Richard Dain recently logged his 3 millionth consecutive mile without a single preventable accident, making Dain one of 35 active Holland drivers to have reached this safety milestone.

MANUFACTURING

Clarion Technologies Inc. purchased selected assets of CNI Plastics LLC and Affiliates that are used in connection with its injection molding business. The transaction provides Clarion with new customers and products that will be produced at each of its three manufacturing plants.

Landscape Forms in Kalamazoo appointed Kirt Martin as chief creative officer. Martin is a multiple award-winning industrial designer who, prior to joining Landscape Forms, served as an executive for 17 years at Steelcase Inc.

Gentex Corp. in Zeeland was the presenting sponsor of the Michigan International Auto Show that ran from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3 at DeVos Place. The show is hosted annually by the Grand Rapids New Car Dealers Association and produced by ShowSpan Inc.

Stanco Metal Products Inc., with locations in Grand Haven; Williamston, South Carolina; and Santa Teresa, New Mexico, announced the company has been certified by the Great Lakes Business Council and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a woman-owned, operated and controlled business. Stanco is solely owned and operated by CEO Linda Slagel, a third-generation owner and the granddaughter of Stanco founder, Warren Stansberry Sr.

NONPROFITS

Wedgwood Christian Services appointed Cathy Atsma, CEO/owner of Harvest Health Foods, and Jeff Vander Weele, managing partner and financial adviser for Blueway Financial Partners of Raymond James, to its executive board of directors.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Truscott Rossman opened its fourth office in Washington D.C. at 1200 G St., NW, Suite 800. It’s the company’s first location outside of Michigan.

REAL ESTATE

Holland-based Beacon Sotheby’s International Realty announced Andrea Crossman joined the brokerage. Crossman represents clientele along Lake Michigan and around the world.

Sable Development LLC announced the addition of realtor Wendy A. Harp as a new home consultant for Sable Homes.

RETAIL

Pet Supplies Plus opened a new store at 5729 S. Harvey St. in Norton Shores.

SpartanNash was named among the Top 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the nation, according to the National Association for Business Resources.

TECHNOLOGY

Singularity University, a global community with a mission to educate leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity's grand challenges, established a new chapter in Grand Rapids. SingularityU Chapters are created in partnership with local program participants and SU alumni and are located in some of the most upcoming global technology centers in the world. To date, there are 107 SingularityU Chapters in 57 countries.

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