Change Ups

Change Ups: Allen recognized with MACP award

November 22, 2019
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Mark Allen
Mark Allen. Courtesy Grand Rapids Chamber

Mark Allen, director of business services for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, was recognized with the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals’ 2019 Michigan Chamber Professional Award. The Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals is the industry association for almost 300 chambers in Michigan representing over 500 chamber professionals. Allen is a dedicated volunteer leader for MACP. He currently is in his third year in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Institute for Organization Management, which is a nonprofit professional development program for association, chamber and nonprofit professionals fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities. He will graduate with his IOM designation in 2021.


Ottawa County announced its nine libraries within Ottawa’s borders were awarded a $81,450 grant from the Library of Michigan Library Services and Technology Act to launch a pilot program called the Mobile Hotspot Device Lending Initiative. Mobile hotspots are small, portable devices that provide wireless internet access for any device that can connect to a wireless signal, such as a laptop, smartphone, tablet or gaming device, to fill a void in internet accessibility and affordability. Starting in October 2019, 100 T-Mobile hotspots were acquired and distributed, making the devices available for loan to the county’s more than 283,000 residents through all local libraries.

The Lakeshore Museum Center launched a digital database. The new system allows the museum to not only securely store object records but also share archival material, photographs and three-dimensional artifacts with the public. To access the database, go to and click on Search our Collection Database.


The Best Western of Harbor Springs was recognized with the brand’s highest honor, the M.K. Guertin Award, at Best Western Hotels and Resorts’ 2019 North American Convention held recently in National Harbor, Maryland.

The Grand Valley State University Public Relations Student Society of America chapter earned four awards at the Public Relations Student Society of America international conference: University College Service and Outstanding PRSA/PRSSA Chapter Relationship with West Michigan Public Relations Society of America. Faculty adviser Adrienne Wallace was awarded Outstanding Faculty Adviser of the Year; and the organization also was awarded the Star Chapter Award for the seventh year in a row.

The Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals recognized the entire leadership team of Holland-based Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce with the 2019 Michigan Chamber Professional Award. Over the past two years, the leadership team has defined the organization’s vision using the principles of the Entrepreneurial Operating System.


Hudsonville-based West Michigan Community Bank announced Greg Rios joined the bank as Jenison branch manager and community engagement officer.


Alex Johnson joined the JetCo Solutions team as a research specialist.


Battle Creek-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced a new group of 32 grantees as part of its Catalyzing Community Giving (CCG) initiative. Local grantees are the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region. Launched in 2014, Catalyzing Community Giving supports communities of color in using philanthropy to become agents of their own change and to positively impact the lives of children and families in their communities. The total investment in this cohort of grantees is $9.5 million over the next three years (2019-2022).


Life EMS Ambulance will expand its primary 911 emergency response area in West Michigan to include Byron Township in Kent County, effective Dec. 2.

Lansing-based Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services will integrate with Grand Rapids-based Great Lakes Health Connect. MiHIN and GLHC have signed an agreement for the proposed integration with the goal of combining operations by the end of 2019.

Priority Health launched its Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) that will go into effect Jan. 1. Named PriorityMedicare D-SNP, it will serve those who are 21 years of age and older who are Full Benefit Dual Eligible beneficiaries in the 68 counties in which Priority Health currently operates its Medicare Advantage plan. The D-SNP is meant for those with high rates of multiple chronic conditions and disabilities, including medical conditions, behavioral health diagnoses, physical disabilities, intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as functional and/or cognitive limitations.


Dégagé Ministries hosted its annual Veterans Day Luncheon, where the organization honored approximately 200 homeless and marginalized veterans.

Hire for Hope moved to 49 Monroe Center NW, Suite 200, Grand Rapids. 49503. An open house is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. Dec. 3.


Litigation attorney Stephen Ragatzki rejoined Miller Canfield in its Grand Rapids office.

Miller Johnson welcomed Joseph Anderson as the director of information technology. Anderson will lead the strategy, planning, development and execution of information management and technology infrastructure projects within the firm.

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi announced the recent swearing in of Justin D. Derhammer as the new tribal prosecutor for NHBP. Prior to his appointment, Derhammer worked as a staff attorney for NHBP, where he was part of a team that worked to amend Michigan’s Child Protection Law. Derhammer also previously served as tribal prosecutor for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians from 2012-16. Currently, Derhammer works as an associate at James, Dark & Brill. He brings nearly a decade of experience working within Native American communities on matters concerning criminal law, criminal jurisdiction, child welfare, the Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act and the Indian Child Welfare Act.


Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s annual “Metro Health Christmas & Holiday Traditions” exhibition will be on display from Nov. 26 through Jan. 5. Guests from all over the world will experience 46 trees and displays representing countries and cultures from across the globe. The Railway Garden complements the trolleys, trains and handcrafted buildings replicating 37 Grand Rapids landmarks.


Holland driver Dan Runice drove over 3 million consecutive miles without a preventable accident. This is the equivalent to driving across the United States, from coast to coast, more than 1,000 consecutive times — all without a single preventable accident.


Ropes Courses Incorporated in Allegan recently rebranded and now is officially doing business as RCI Adventure Products.


Colliers International West Michigan announced the addition of Kathryn Teklinski as its director of operations.


The Donut Conspiracy’s new location is at 6783 Cascade Road, Grand Rapids.


Cirius Therapeutics announced the data from its recently completed 12-month Phase 2b EMMINENCE clinical trial of MSDC-0602K for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The data showed MSDC-0602K to be well-tolerated and demonstrated improvements in liver enzyme levels and markers of glycemic control, as well as dose-dependent trends for improvement in liver histology in NASH patients with or without Type 2 diabetes. 

NxGen MDx announced the launch of its Urogenital Pathogens Tests, a group of women's health tests. The Urogenital Pathogens Tests includes tests for vaginosis (disease of the vagina), urinary tract infection and group B streptococcus. The test screens for the 17 organisms responsible for 99% of community-acquired urinary tract infections with a sensitivity of >99%, as well as nine classes of antibiotic resistance to inform treatment decisions, and for a total of 34 organisms involved in vaginosis.


EarthTronics in Muskegon now offers a high energy-efficient Direct Illumination LED Panel Series delivering 4,200 and 5,250 lumens using only 40 or 50 watts to replace troffer and panel fixtures in existing and new construction ceiling applications.

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