Grand Rapids Business Journal 04.04.22

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Search for parking goes high tech.


APRIL 4, 2022 VOL. 40, NO. 7

The Business Newspaper of Metro Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon & West Michigan


GRAAMA executive director is excited to spotlight African American art and history. Page 6

workforce desires

New Steelcase report reveals employees value choice, control, belonging in postpandemic workplace. Rachel Watson

Second chances The Job Post is working with at least 10 employers to hire ex-offenders. PAGE 3

Make your move McCahill Group launches wellness corporate challenge for emotional, physical health. PAGE 4

FACE TIME Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services receives $400K grant for telehealth program. Page 5


The area’s top hospitals. Page 4

Steelcase recently released a new global research report that shows employees’ values have shifted to greater control, comfort and privacy in the workplace since the onset of COVID-19. The Steelcase report “The New Era of Hybrid Work” surveyed nearly 5,000 workers in 11 countries in late 2021. Many of those surveyed have returned to the office after working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings reveal 87% of

One of the appealing attributes of home for 70% of employees is they have a dedicated space for work, but in the office, over 50% have desks in open areas, with less access to privacy. Courtesy iStock

people will spend at least some of their time working from the office but 45% prefer working from home. One of the appealing attributes of home for 70% of employees is they have a dedicated space for work, but in the office, over

50% have desks in open areas, with less access to privacy. As employers encourage people to work in the office, the office must work harder to meet these new needs, researchers concluded. The study also found people

who like working from the office are more engaged, productive, connected to their organization’s culture and less likely to leave their jobs. CONTINUED ON PAGE 9

Organization addresses need for affordable housing Housing Next is working with nonprofits, builders and municipalities to replenish residential stock. Danielle Nelson

A West Michigan organization has formed a new partnership with the Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation (GGRCF) to address the housing needs in Kent County. Ryan Kilpatrick, executive director for Housing Next, an organization that works with local government, developers and nonprofits to make housing affordable, said the partnership with

GGRCF is an effort to increase the production of housing at all price points to meet the demand for housing and housing needs in the county. Housing Next originated in Ottawa County with the funding and support of the Community Foundation of the Holland /Zeeland Area and the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation with the same goal of meeting the housing needs of individuals. West Michigan, Kilpatrick said, needs more than 37,000 additional housing units over the next five years due to population growth. He said Ottawa and Kent counties are the two fastest growing counties in the state over the past 15 years, and both counties have underproduced in terms of housing production by less than

half of what they were producing each decade prior to the recession in the late 2000s. The growth in population stems from many things, including the economic opportunities that are now available. “We have had very strong job growth,” Kilpatrick said. “We’ve got a very diverse economy in West Michigan that still includes a fair amount of manufacturing, but also includes the medical sector and service industry. We have a bunch of outstanding educational institutions, and all of those things are drawing talent into the region from across Michigan and frankly across the country.” Along with the job opportunities in West Michigan, the region also provides affordable housing compared to

GRBJ.COM Vol. 40, No. 7 $3.00 a copy. $59 a year © Entire contents copyright 2022 by Gemini Media. All rights reserved.

Inside Track ....... 6 Guest Columns.. 10 Michigan vs. Ohio Change-Ups ...... 12

Wealth managers address inflation impacts.

Calendar ........... 12 Public Record .... 13 Street Talk ...... 14


other cities throughout the country. “West Michigan, relative to a lot of communities, provides a very high standard of quality of life and is still relatively affordable compared to most major metropolitan areas across the country,” he said. “So, as we think about what happened during the pandemic, we saw a lot of households where one or maybe both income earners in a household suddenly had the opportunity to work remotely and where they used to be based in Denver or San Francisco or Seattle or Boston or Chicago in a very strong housing market where they were spending maybe as much as double on housing as CONTINUED ON PAGE 9

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Search for parking goes high tech High school junior Vishnu Mano creating a startup out of his parking app, Spotter.

Vishnu Mano is only 16 years old but already has deployed his six years of programming experience to create an app that’s causing a stir. A junior at City High/Middle School in Grand Rapids, Mano is founder and developer of Spotter, an app he created that helps drivers find the nearest open parking spot when paired with hardware he also designed and tested. Mano won $5,000 at Start Garden’s Feb. 22 5x5 Night, besting the other founder finalists Sandy Jonick, U-Plant Landscape Designs, which provides digital landscape designs homeowners can plant themselves; Lisa McAree, NeedHours Network, an online network that connects students with employers in need of affordable home health care and volunteer services; Hanna Varner, Cohnect, an app that pairs likeminded travelers to promote cross-cultural understanding; and Matt Baker, Bambo, a social media and music streaming plat-

Paul R. Kopenkoskey

Special to the Business Journal

Vishnu Mano’s frustration over missing the start of a hockey game in downtown Grand Rapids eventually led to the creation of his parking app, Spotter. Courtesy Vishnu Mano

form. A go-getter who started coding in fourth grade, Mano said he “really got serious about it in fifth grade.” He was inspired to con-

tinue his passion by an elementary school teacher, Matthew Meyer, at Knapp Forest Elementary. “(He) encouraged all of his CONTINUED ON PAGE 11

Wealth managers address inflation impacts Experts advise on investing as the Fed tightens monetary policy amid rising prices. Rachel Watson

As the Federal Reserve raised its policy interest rate in mid-March and signaled plans to hike it six more times in 2022, a pair of local wealth managers shared what investors can expect from the market. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the target for the federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point from 0.25% to 0.5% during its March 16 meeting for the first time in three years and signaled six more rate increases in 2022 in the interest of curbing inflation, which reached a 40-year high of 6.1% over the past year, by dampening demand. Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve board, said the Fed is tightening its monetary policy because “inflation remains well above our longer-range goal of 2%” while GPD growth, employment and the economy remain strong enough to weather rising interest rates. “Although the invasion of Ukraine and related events represent a downside risk to the outlook for economic activity, FOMC participants continue to foresee solid growth as shown in our summary of economic projections,” Powell said in a March 16 press conference. “The median projection for real GDP growth stands at 2.8% this year, 2.2% next year and 2%

in 2024. The labor market has continued to strengthen and is extremely tight over the first two months of the year. Employment rose by more than 1 million jobs in February, and the unemployment rate hit a post-pandemic low of 3.8%, a bit below the median of committee participants’ estimates of its longer-run normal level.” He said demand remains strong while supply chain bottlenecks continue to limit how quickly production can respond. “These supply disruptions have been larger and longer-lasting than anticipated, exacerbated by waves of the virus here and abroad, and price pressures have spread to a broader range of goods and services,” he said. “Additionally, higher energy prices are driving up overall inflation. The surge in prices of crude oil and other commodities that resulted from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will Doorn put additional upward pressure on near-term inflation here at home.” Powell said the Fed is looking to corral prices now, as high inflation most certainly will impose hardships on households in lower-income brackets. “We know that the best thing we can do to support a strong labor market is to promote a long expansion, and that is only possible in an environment of price stability,” he said. “… With appropriate firming in the stance of monetary policy,

we expect inflation to return to 2% while the labor market remains strong.” The Fed does not expect its rate hikes to have quick impacts, but projects inflation will fall to 4.3% this year, to 2.7% next year and to 2.3% in 2024, Powell said. He added the Russia-Ukraine conflict could change the situation, but the FOMC is monitoring the situation closely. Steve Doorn, senior vice president and Juhle director of portfolio management at Legacy Trust in Grand Rapids, said “a little bit of inflation isn’t a bad thing,” and the Fed tightening monetary policy usually is a sign of economic strength. “It means that things have gotten better to the point where the Fed can begin to reduce some of its accommodative policy. It is strong enough to stand on its own two feet and doesn’t need the same level of support that it did in the early stages of the pandemic,” he said. Doorn said during the historically long economic expansion that started after the Great Recession and continued until the pandemic hit, people who don’t remember the high inflation of the 1970s and ’80s became conditioned to low inflation and thus might be feeling more nervous than necessary as prices rise. “Some inflation allows companies to increase wages, which CONTINUED ON PAGE 9


Nonprofits’ pilot helps reentering citizens The Job Post is working with at least 10 employers to hire ex-offenders.

Rachel Watson

APRIL 4, 2022

Guiding Light’s talent placement firm, The Job Post, and Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids launched a pilot program intended to help ex-offenders look beyond a jail or prison record through successful employment. While Goodwill has provided offender reentry programs for more than 25 years, this is the first dedicated pilot with a staffing agency like The Job Post because, like Goodwill, it’s mission-based. Both organizations provide complementary services that provide the support needed to find a job, stay employed and reduce the rate of incarceration recidivism. The jobs are primarily in manufacturing, with a smattering in construction, with wages starting at $15 per hour. The Job Post finds jobs with companies that not only pay a living wage but also are willing to provide the extra support needed so those with criminal convictions find workplace success. Guiding Light also provides help with personal protective equipment, such as steel-toed boots, and transportation, which can be barriers to finding and keeping a good job. Additional support also can include bus passes or other transportation vouchers and other personal protective equipment and related items that might prevent someone from hiring on. “We keep track of all the employees,” said April Harrell, director of organizational leadership and development for The Job Post. “We offer career coaching. A lot of retention programs will get them the job, but are they checking in on them, making sure they aren’t going off the grind? A lot of times offenders get a job and just quit. Between Goodwill and The Job Post, we continue to motivate and keep the offender on track more. It’s more relationship building rather than, ‘Oh, I’m a felon and I need a job.’” Goodwill’s holistic approach in its employment methods includes pairing ex-offenders — the nonprofit refers to them as participants — with a career coach who provides a variety of vocation support services including assessments to determine skills, interests and job readiness. Additional help includes interview practice, resume design, job search assistance and retention support, as well as wrap-around services to address the emotional, psychological, social and other needs for participants. Once a Goodwill career coach refers participants to The Job

Post, Harrell and her team begin to identify employment opportunities with manufacturing companies that are a good match for participants. “We do address the whole person to ensure a satisfying life,” said Joyce Fenske, Goodwill’s workforce development manager. “For those who’ve been in prison a long time, it’s a lot to take in, especially when your life has been structured (in prison). They’re not used to that day-to-day routine (of work) and it’s quite stressful to start getting used to that.” Fenske said she would gauge if the reentry program moves beyond the pilot stage when she

“We do address the whole person to ensure a satisfying life. For those who’ve been in prison a long time, it’s a lot to take in, especially when your life has been structured (in prison). They’re not used to that day-to-day routine (of work) and it’s quite stressful to start getting used to that.” Joyce Fenske sees how successful the placed participants are with their jobs. “We have a year of follow-up from that first year of employment,” she said. ‘Ideally that will be a good fit, but if it isn’t, we’ll help that person find a better fit. But in order for that to happen, our career coaches have to have a really good relationship with that employer and that employer is welcoming our participant so they can maintain that job, which helps them with their turnover rate. Hopefully, this will help with retention.” High-pressure die casting manufacturer Auto Cast Inc. in Grandville is one of about 10 employers working with The Job Post and offender reentry programs. Human resources manager Ralph Peterson has three participants who’ve recently hired-on with Auto Cast. He’s impressed with the program so far and is interested in hiring other participants in the months ahead. “I’ve had different people around me who had been in prison and paid their debt to society, and they always had that stigma,” said Peterson. “I wanted to reach out and help as many people as possible because they have paid their debt to society. “We have a nice family atmosphere (at Auto Cast). I feel like people who have been through the system and are trying to turn their life around, and if they are more than willing to work with me, I’m more than willing to work with them because I feel like that bond and connection would help our company.”



APRIL 4, 2022


McCahill Group launches corporate ‘Make Your Move’ Wellness challenge tackles emotional and physical health through incentives. Rachel Watson

A local health consulting practice is launching a corporate challenge to help participants “live their best lives.” Citing the fact that during the pandemic, employers have realized the need to address employees’ physical, mental and emotional wellness more holistically, The McCahill Group in May is launching a new challenge called Make Your Move. The Make Your Move Challenge, $300 for four weeks, will strive to inspire positive change and help participants “learn, grow and elevate” themselves to be the best version of themselves. The challenge has three pillars: daily movement, weekly well-being and social engagement. Beginning May 2, participants on Make Your Move company teams will receive weekly challenge content on a web platform or mobile app supporting their move toward better physical and emotional health.

Social engagement is one of the three pillars of the monthlong program. Courtesy iStock

After participants join, they can use the platforms to log movement minutes and well-being tasks and to engage socially by posting photos and sharing comments. Logging the various

aspects of the challenge will earn users points that then will be applied toward team and individual totals, giving participants the opportunity to qualify for the individual weekly and grand prize

drawings. “What we’re seeing in the industry and in the world right now is people need to connect together socially and then community-wise, and making a move

is different today than it used to be,” said Peaches McCahill, owner and president of The McCahill Group. “Your move might be, ‘I’m McCahill just going be more positive.’ Your move might be, ‘I’m going to do something for the community.’ Your move might be, ‘I’m going to connect with friends.’ It’s not just about diet and exercise. It’s more holistically where we are and what we can do in a positive way to take better care of ourselves.” McCahill said the challenge is geared toward helping companies and their workers shift from the survival mode of the early pandemic to a place of thriving. “We’re just coming out of this fog, I guess I would call it, right now. (It was) two years of a changing period for all of us,” she said. She noted the pandemic had a few “upsides” when it comes to individual wellness. “It made us step back and look at our life — you’ll see people who made some changes, like they reCONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Top Area Hospitals (RANKED BY 2021 NET PATIENT REVENUE) Top administrator

2021 2020 net patient revenue

2021 2021 Licensed bed occupancy of total revenue capacity beds

No. of No. of employees (fullinpatient time days equivalent) Specialties and services


*Spectrum Health System 100 Michigan St. NE Grand Rapids 49503 p (616) 391-1382 f 391-3822

Tina Freese Decker

$3.46B $3.17B






Level 1 trauma center, cancer services, continuing care, digestive disease, heart and vascular, neurosciences, orthopedics, outpatient services, children's hospital, rehabilitation, transplant, women's health, North Flight Aero Med


Mercy Health Saint Mary's 200 Jefferson Ave. SE Grand Rapids 49503 p (616) 685-5000

Matthew Biersack

$657.1M $540.7M






Heart and vascular, oncology, women's health, orthopedic, bariatric, imaging, primary care network, emergency, rehabilitation, nephrology, urology, teaching hospital


Mercy Health Muskegon 1500 E. Sherman Blvd. Muskegon 49444 p (231) 672-2000

Gary Allore

$650.72M $558.93M






Heart and vascular, oncology, women's health, orthopedic, bariatric, imaging, primary care network, emergency, rehabilitation, nephrology, urology, teaching hospital


University of Michigan Health-West Dr. Peter Hahn 5900 Byron Center Ave. SW Wyoming 49519 p (616) 252-7200

$492.84M $439.19M






General acute care, intensive care, surgery, emergent angioplasty-stent, cardiology, cancer services, emergency department, childbirth, assisted breathing center, neurosciences, MRI, CT scan, rehabilitation, radiology, primary and specialty care physician offices


Holland Hospital 602 Michigan Ave. Holland 49423 p (616) 392-5141

Patti VanDort

$223.27M $233.23M






Serving the West Michigan lakeshore with a full range of inpatient and outpatient services, advanced technology and convenient access to expert primary and specialty care.


Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services 300 68th St. SE Grand Rapids 49548 p (616) 455-5000 f 222-4546

Mark Eastburg Bob Nykamp Bill Sanders Paul Karsten

$157.49M $141.67M






Behavioral health services in inpatient and partial hospitalization, psychiatric urgent care, residential and outpatient services, addiction residential treatment and recovery, extensive child and adolescent programs, senior care services, specialized assessment and treatment clinics, perinatal mood and anxiety disorder services with unique partial hospitalization program for mothers and babies


Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital 235 Wealthy St. SE Grand Rapids 49503 p (616) 840-8000 f 840-9767

Kent Riddle

$121.2M $104.14M






Exclusive focus on rehabilitation including acute, sub-acute and outpatient, for adults and children with brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple trauma, amputation, cancer and other diagnoses; orthotics, prosthetics and bionics, aquatic therapy, motion analysis, assistive technology, wheelchair and adaptive sports on-site

The Grand Rapids Business Journal's list of top area hospitals, ranked by 2021 net patient revenue, is the most comprehensive available. The Business Journal surveyed 25 hospitals; 7 returned surveys and 7 are listed. To be considered for future lists, email DND = did not disclose. *Fiscal year 2021.

Hospital investment Spectrum Health is investing $151 million into a new ambulatory care and medical center at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, expansion of the Lakeview Rural Health Clinic and a new building that will house the Big Rapids Family Medicine Clinic.

Leadership change Mercy Health Saint Mary’s named Dr. Brandon Francis its new chief medical officer. He will begin his role in mid-May. He will succeed Dr. Matt Biersack.



Download this list now at in Excel or PDF format. The Book of Lists and other lists are also available.


APRIL 4, 2022

UNCONSCIOUS BIAS TRAINING for Health care workers

Per the newly released State of Michigan mandate for health care professionals requiring annual implicit bias training, the Grand Rapids Chamber is your source! In 2019, Pine Rest had 3,076 telehealth visits across all its outpatient clinics. By 2021, that number reached more than 290,000 telehealth visits. Courtesy iStock

Mental health organization receives telehealth funds FCC grant provides almost $400K for hardware, software and more training. Danielle Nelson

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services is upgrading its telehealth communication services. That ongoing effort was bolstered financially when it received $398,825 from the Federal Communications Commission’s second round of COVID-19 Telehealth Program funding. The psychiatric hospital and behavioral health provider offers a variety of services, programs and health care facilities for inpatient and outpatient services. The organization will use the funds to purchase more telehealth equipment, including tablets and software, to complement the equipment it is using to support teletherapy and other behavioral health services. Jean Holthaus, telehealth clinic manager, said Pine Rest wants to ensure everyone within the organization has the same equipment so clinicians can see the entire group and the person joining virtually can see the entire group. Pine Rest began offering telehealth services three years before the start of the pandemic. The organization had established a telehealth clinic with up to six trained clinicians whose focus was to provide virtual services. “We could see a growing trend in the nation, actually, as a whole, that people were wanting that as an option for how they receive their services,” Holthaus

said. “We felt like it was important to meet people where they wanted to receive help instead of requiring them to receive help on our terms.” When the pandemic began, Pine Rest started offering most of its services online, including some hospital-based services for individuals with behavioral health symptoms who cannot be adequately treated in a traditional outpatient setting but are not severe enough to require 24/7 monitoring for safety. Holthaus said that program would traditionally require clients to stay on campus six hours per day and then go home and stay overnight. During the heart of the pandemic, however, that program shifted to virtual. “When the stay-at-home order came through in March (2020), Pine Rest already had the telehealth infrastructure in place with nearly 150 clinicians trained on the technology,” she said. “Our staff really stepped up and within three days an additional 150 clinicians were trained. Because of the increased ability to do virtual visits, our providers were able to help even more people. Before March 2020, Pine Rest clinicians were conducting approximately 100 telehealth appointments per week. By May, they were performing nearly 6,000 appointments per week.” In 2019, Pine Rest had 3,076 telehealth visits across all its outpatient clinics. In 2020 and 2021, Pine Rest had 241,093 and 290,431 telehealth visits, respectively, across all its outpatient clinics. From January to mid-March of this year, telehealth visits numbered 53,242. CONTINUED ON PAGE 9

• • • •

Learn the definition of Unconscious Bias (UB) Discover examples of how Unconscious Bias occurs in health care Examine ways to understand your Unconscious Bias Review strategies to address Unconscious Bias as healthcare providers


For This

Exact Moment

Enhanced Psychiatric Urgent Care for Adults. When life is overwhelming, same-day assessments are available at our Psychiatric Urgent Care Center. Call 616.455.9200 for more info and virtual appointments. • 616.455.9200



APRIL 4, 2022


Bayard carries on historical legacy


His grandmother’s home filled with memorabilia inspired George Bayard to eventually open a museum. Courtesy George Bayard

GRAAMA executive director is excited to spotlight African American art and history. Danielle Nelson


eorge Bayard is safeguarding African American history. He is the executive director of the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (GRAAMA). Bayard is tasked with showcasing and preserving African American art history and has spent his life as an artist doing so, whether it is photos, paintings, drawings, sculptures, memorabilia or artifacts. The Delaware native inherited a love for art and history from his father and grandmother. Although his dad worked many jobs, Bayard said he was an artist because he would draw cartoons and pictures and do upholstery. “My dad’s outlet was doing upholstery, doing furniture,” he said. “People would bring chairs that needed to be repaired and he'd take them all down and put new fabric on them. They would look like they just came out of the store.” Bayard said his grandmother’s home was filled with historical items. “She saved things and it was that that got me into the history part of it because I saw all kinds of things that I know now were quite valuable,” he said. “She had revolvers, all kinds of hats and outfits, and thousands of photographs and old books. I mean just all kinds of stuff and the basement was full. There was a Civil War uniform in there, old toys. She just saved everything.” Although Bayard loved drawing and painting, he was conscious of the notion of a “starving artist,” so when his high school began offering a commercial art course, he was the first to sign up. “At one point I realized that painting pictures was not going to be enough to earn a living because they’re always talking about the starving artists,” he said. “I didn’t want to be a starving artist. I wanted to be an artist who made money, so I always tried to figure out a commercial way to sell art. I knew I always wanted to learn picture framing and all the side things that

go with the art field in case my artwork didn’t sell.” He learned photography, design for album covers, printmaking, picture framing, silk screen printing and other printing methods. Bayard later went on to the University of Delaware where he learned much more. “It gave me a path and to say, ‘Oh, wow, you don't have to sit in front of an easel or paper?’” he said. “There are always other ways that you can create artwork. And that's what I did when I went to college, is to really concentrate on more printmaking and other ways to do artwork that would allow me to make money at it. “I learned different ways of how to take my artwork and use it for things other than just a picture on a wall. It could be for T-shirts. It could be for albums. It could be for greeting cards and things like that. That was the kind of application that I learned. We did some book-cover illustrations and I learned ways to make my artwork tell a story as opposed to just one image. Those were the things that I really gravitated to, and I really liked to do.” He also took some art education classes and after graduating he went on to become an art teacher within the Wilmington Public Schools system. Bayard said he didn’t like it, however, so he took some graduate classes at Temple University Tyler School of Art and Architecture in Philadelphia. He found another job in Delaware where he learned the art materials trade, then went on to become the regional manager at one of Philadelphia’s largest art and picture frame franchises. In 1988, Bayard moved to Michigan with his wife, but even before then he was interested in the idea of opening an art gallery. He looked in East Grand Rapids but the price was prohibitive. After searching throughout the city, he found a location on Michigan Street NE in Grand Rapids. He opened the Bayard Gallery of Fine African American Art not knowing whether people would buy African American art like they were doing in Philadelphia. His gallery

GEORGE BAYARD Organization: Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives Position: Executive director Age: 43 Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware Residence: Kentwood Family: Wife, Deborah; children, Ciena, Joshua and Kamarah Community/business involvement: Member of the Grand Rapids Historic Commission, Association of African American Museums and Grand Rapids Symphony Celebration of Soul Committee Biggest career break: “When we first opened the art gallery and won the award from the state of Michigan. I think that really set us off because we were really a small little place. We had our vision, but it was just a small little place. We’d only been open less than a year and the other companies that were honored were bigger Black-owned businesses.”

included works he collected over the years. “I started collecting things that not only my grandmother had, but I had started collecting art,” he said. “I always was an art collector. I did that because I was an artist and an artist once told me that a lot of artists would just trade artwork. That's how you would get a lot of famous artists to give a piece of their work. That's what I did, I started trading my work for their work and I had a master collection.” Bayard’s offerings included prints, paintings and items he collected while he was in the Philadelphia area. He found there was a market in Michigan for African American art. “The artwork started selling on the first day we opened the doors, and we knew we had something special,’ he said. “We had art that was mainly by African American artists, and these were famous artists like Ernie Barnes, Romero Bearden and Jacob Lawrence. “When I was trying to buy the gallery in East Grand Rapids, I learned about all the local artists like Paul Collins, John MacDonald and Herschell Turner. I knew who they were, I just didn't have a space to show their work. When I got my own space that was the very first thing we did. We had a group show and people came from all over.” Bayard Gallery of Fine African American Art became an award-winning gallery. After 10 years on Michigan Street, Bayard moved his gallery to a newly renovated building on the corner of Wealthy Street and Fuller Avenue SE in Grand Rapids because it was able to accommodate

the growing collection. He renamed the gallery Bayard Gallery of Fine African American Art & Books after receiving donated books. On average, Bayard said about 50 people would visit daily unless there was an artist opening or holiday event, which would draw more than 100 people. Bayard also traveled to festivals throughout the state to publicize his business. After spending 10 years at the Wealthy Street location, Bayard moved his gallery to a smaller space on Kalamazoo Avenue SE and renamed it Bayard Consulting. While there, he also earned his art appraisal license and continued to do framing. A burst pipe sent Bayard searching for new space again. “We didn’t have a lot of stuff damaged, but it was a mess, so we just put everything in storage. That was the point where we decided if we open up again, we’re going to open up more as a museum than as an art gallery. We had the same amount of collections and we had started to get people to bring in things to us all the time when we were on Wealthy Street and until we moved to Kalamazoo Avenue.” Bayard stored some of his collection at Life Quest Church in Grand Rapids, but in the spirit of making people more aware of African American art and history, he revamped the way he was going to showcase some of those pieces. Bayard started the Underground Railroad Show, a traveling exhibit of African American history. It included photographs of Grand Rapids boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., Negro League baseball teams in Grand Rapids and the

1967 riots in Grand Rapids. The exhibit also included documentaries, African artifacts, books and items from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia on the campus of Ferris State University. In 2015, Bayard opened GRAAMA at 87 Monroe Center NW in downtown Grand Rapids. He said the name is an ode to his grandmother. GRAAMA immediately reaped the benefits of ArtPrize because people were able to see Bayard’s collection during its first year of opening, and in subsequent years Bayard participated in ArtPrize as GRAAMA became a location to display artwork for the competition. GRAAMA won the Most Outstanding Venue award during ArtPrize 10. “We are the last top venue to win the award,” Bayard said. “The smallest venue to ever win the top venue award. It's still something we brag about.” Now, Bayard and his team are in the process of purchasing and moving into a three-story building with a parking lot at 245 State St. SE in Grand Rapids later this year or early next year. “Hopefully, it'll be a place where people would like to come and come more than one time,” he said. “We found in our research that a lot of the African American museums in the country are onetime visits. People come one time and that’s it. ‘I’ve seen everything they have. I don't need to go back.’ We want to keep a fresh agenda of things that we’re showing and hopefully have people want to come back to see different things or meet different people.”


Staffing firm shares job market insights Express Pros reports hiring rebound, soft skills in demand, continued supply chain woes. Rachel Watson

A recent survey report revealed optimism about the U.S. labor market alongside a few ongoing challenges that cut across industries. Express Employment Professionals recently published a report, U.S. Job Insights for the First Half of 2022, designed as a semiannual forecast for business leaders to track employment and hiring trends across a range of industries. The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Nov. 10 and Dec. 2, 2021, among 1,009 U.S. hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18 and older who are employed full time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee, and have full or significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). The survey showed optimism regarding the labor market is rising, employers are placing an increased emphasis on soft skills and reskilling, and companies are continuing to be affected by supply chain bottlenecks.

Hiring rebounds As the economy moves past challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. hiring decision-makers are becoming more positive about the future of the workforce, with the most common feelings attributed to hiring in 2022 being optimistic (44%), hopeful (43%) and confident (43%), the survey report said. According to hiring decision-makers, in the first half of 2022: • 60% plan to increase the number of employees at their company, up from 50% in the second half of 2021. • 33% expect no change to the number of employees. • 4% anticipate a decrease in employee count, down from 13% in the second half of last year. “Everything (regarding hiring) was very o p t i m i s t i c ,” said David Robb, co-owner and managing partner of Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids. “Almost no companies Robb were saying they’re going to decrease their workforce. The outlook on hiring demand continues to look very strong, which is something we feel in the local market as well.”

Robb said the exception was the beginning of January, when the omicron wave prevented companies from hiring and onboarding at the rate they planned for. “Now, we’re seeing things have settled down and people are charging ahead and we’re seeing some really strong hiring demand,” he said. “The survey said that 60% of people are looking to increase their workforce, but even those other 40% that might not be looking to increase their workforce, they’re still hiring just from turnover.”

Soft skills, reskilling With a hiring push expected in 2022, hiring managers have turned their focus toward looking for candidates with specific soft skills. When asked which soft skills were essential or very important for employees, more than eight in 10 U.S. hiring decision-makers look for a willingness to learn as the top trait (86%), while dependability (85%) was ranked the second-most important skill. Other sought-after soft skills: • Communication skills (84%) • Problem-solving abilities (82%) • Adaptability (81%) • Initiative (79%) • Critical thinking (78%) Another growing trend among organizations is the preference of reskilling current workforces for new challenges. Three-quarters of survey respondents said they would prefer to reskill current employees for new roles rather than hire brand new talent. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. hiring decision-makers (65%) said their company plans to reskill employees (i.e., train a current employee for a new position or teach them new skills for their current role) in 2022. Companies planning on reskilling in 2022 will do so through a range of options: • Offering company-led training sessions or programs (68%) • Providing on-the-job training by other employees (54%) • Partnering with a third party that offers trainings or courses (46%) “The information about training and soft skills (in the survey) aligned with what we see, too,” Robb said. “We help companies on the recruiting side, but we also have our training business. … The past couple years for companies, it has been hard to really focus on that training because they have just been trying to manage all the chaos, but we’re really seeing a lot of companies turn to that focus on training and development this year.” Supply chain woes While organizations were forced to adapt to navigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they also faced global supply chain issues causing a bottlenecking of goods CONTINUED ON PAGE 13

APRIL 4, 2022

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McCahill Group launches corporate ‘Make Your Move’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4

tired early, or somebody decided to stay home with the kids and not both work, or they changed professions; they didn’t like what they were doing and decided that life is short. There were some positive changes that occurred.” On the other hand, everyone knows the pandemic has had serious negative impacts, she said. “It impacted our total well-being, and obviously, one of those is mental health, because of the isolation that occurred with people and the inability for us to really pivot when this was so challenging. If you look at alcohol consumption — oh my gosh, our alcohol consumption initially went through the roof. … The inability for us to cope brought out some really unhealthy habits for us.” She added the weight gain phenomenon people initial-

ly were dubbing “the COVID 15” turned out to be more like a gain of 30 pounds after one year of pandemic life, citing a survey published March 11, 2021, by the American Psychological Association. An infographic published with the survey showed men gained 37 pounds on average, and women gained 22. “It’s such a sensitive subject to talk about obesity,” McCahill said. “Nobody’s trying to ‘fat shame’ anybody; it’s more the fact that it relates to a lot of health risks. It means our type 2 diabetes risk is increased, we have more high blood pressure, high cholesterol — all these things that are related to diet. We’re seeing a big movement right now in culinary medicine and the impact of food … whole foods, immunity foods, that kind of thing. We are beginning to understand that food

is a drug that will make us feel a certain way. I could put you on a very strict exercise routine, but if we don’t change your diet, we’re not going to see an impact.” On the other hand, exercise — or the lack thereof — impacts mental health, she said, noting studies have shown reduced levels of movement linked to increased levels of depression. “I think we’re moving slowly out of (the pandemic fog),” she said. “But the question now is, ‘Here we are. What do we do?’” McCahill said it’s usually best to pick one habit at a time that you want to eliminate and replace, like sitting too much, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much, or not drinking enough water. “Small habits move into larger changes,” she said. “(Targeting one habit) is the first thing I


always recommend,” McCahill said. She recommends people looking to make lasting change read the books, “Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results,” by James Clear, and “Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything,” by B.J. Fogg. The Make Your Move Challenge also will provide motivation, tips and supporting resources for helping to change those habits. McCahill said she also recommends reconnecting with people in person as a step to reducing the feelings of isolation — and staying away from “energy vampires” such as overindulgence in social media or bingeing TV shows. She recommended breathing and meditation practices for better mental and emotional well-being, as well as changing up your routine by adding fun, “childlike” activities like going to an acting class, learning to juggle, or taking up a creative hobby to

Labor shortages continue to weigh down economy Business Leaders for Michigan survey shows continued talent concerns for next six to 12 months. Rachel Watson

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stimulate imagination and artistry. “It’s finding things that are fun and create energy in yourself versus the ‘same old, same old,’” she said. Some people may want to find a health coach to guide them through making such improvements, McCahill said, so they can become “mentally fit” for the next challenge life throws their way. Any one of the above changes can become part of the “well-being tasks” pillar of the Make Your Move Challenge, McCahill said. “We focus not just on diet and exercise but on other things you can get points for that help reenergize you for life,” she said. “We’re really trying to get traction to create well-being in our community. … Hopefully people will contemplate doing something to really focus on self-care, which is really self-love — loving yourself enough to take care of yourself.” More information on the Make Your Move Challenge and how it works is at

Concerns about labor shortages and inflation are weighing on the minds of Michigan’s business leaders, according to the most recent quarterly economic survey by Business Leaders for Michigan. The survey published March 3 revealed labor shortages are being felt across all job categories, including in manufacturing, office and front-line positions, with 85% of survey respondents expecting to have trouble filling positions over the next six to 12 months. “We must take significant steps to address the labor shortage across our state,” said Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “Our recent benchmarking study shows Michigan’s labor force participation rate is ranked 41st in the nation, and companies are feeling the effects. The historic state budget surplus gives Michigan a unique chance to increase the number of people with degrees and credentials and remove barriers to work, helping solve these talent gaps.” About 49% of survey respondents expect inflation to continue at its current rate, and 34% expect it to increase over the next six to 12 months, while 16% said inflation likely will come down. The biggest impacts of inflation are in materials and wages, they said. Despite the challenges, 70% of executives say their business is doing better than before the pandemic. In addition, 55% of executives say the Michigan economy

will stay the same, 22% say it will improve, and 24% say it will get worse in the next six to 12 months. Forty-three percent said the U.S. economy will stay the same, 28% say it will improve, and 28%

“Our recent benchmarking study shows Michigan’s labor force participation rate is ranked 41st in the nation, and companies are feeling the effects. The historic state budget surplus gives Michigan a unique chance to increase the number of people with degrees and credentials and remove barriers to work, helping solve these talent gaps.” Jeff Donofrio expect it to get worse. Other significant findings from the quarterly survey include: • 94% of executives expect their company’s employment and capital investment in Michigan to stay the same or grow over the next six to 12 months • 75% expect their company’s real estate footprint to remain the same, while 4% expect it to increase, and 21% expect it to decline over the next six to 12 months. The business roundtable conducted the internal member survey from Feb. 1-15. Business Leaders for Michigan is composed of the executive leaders of Michigan’s largest companies and universities. Its members drive nearly 40% of the state’s economy, generate over $1 trillion in annual revenue and serve nearly half of all Michigan public university students.


Wealth managers examine inflation impacts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

generally lifts the standard of living for everybody,” he said. “Where you get into some difficulties is when you get persistent inflation in the 5%, 6%, 7% range. Then, that starts to eat into people’s ability to spend, and one of the things we have to keep an eye on right now is the difference between the level of inflation and the level of wage growth.” When it comes to portfolio management, Doorn said investors should expect lower returns for bonds and fixed-income investments, as bond prices move inversely with interest rates. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if the overall valuation of the stock market decreased, but earnings growth in the still-healthy economy likely will be strong enough to offset the reduction in valuation. “Despite the slow start to this year, (stocks) could still have positive returns by year-end,” he said. “… We’re coming off three great years for the stock market, and valuations coming into this year were above average. When you’re in a period of rising interest rates, you expect valuations to contract. We think that a good year this year

will be a return on stocks between 5% and 10%.” Nick Juhle, chief investment officer at Greenleaf Trust in Kalamazoo, said the Fed had long ago signaled this rate increase and the market was pricing for it. Indeed, stocks rose 2% after Powell’s announcement. He also said regardless of what the stock market is doing, inflation is the main reason people should invest. “You need to be able to outpace inflation over time, or the money that you’re earning and putting under the mattress today is not going to buy all the things you need it to in retirement,” he said. “Your options are you could keep all your money in cash with zero risk … but your purchasing power will decline over time, so the value of your dollars would actually go down, which is why it’s important to invest money in the first place, to have a portfolio that’s invested according to your ability and willingness to take risk and also aligns with your long-term financial goals.” Juhle said he looks at equities, or stocks, as the “first line of defense against inflation.” “If you look back historically,

they have consistently outpaced inflation over time,” he said, contrasted with the returns on commodities such as gold, which tend to track with the level of inflation instead of outpacing it. He said he tells clients it’s very hard to predict what the stock market will do in any given 12-month period, so it’s best to look at the long run and sit tight. “You may have a flat year this year … but over a three-year, fiveyear or 10-year period, the longer out you look, the higher are your odds that equities are worth more over that period than they were when you started,” he said. “(That) is a great reason to continue putting money away in alignment with your goals and to stay disciplined and not use events like geopolitical conflict and others as a reason to get out of the market as an emotional reaction.” He recommends investors talk to an adviser to ensure they have a diversified portfolio and the lowest fees and tax liability they can in order to get the best returns. Juhle said he is hopeful the Fed’s actions to curb inflation will mean people have more discretionary income to invest for their future.

Organization addresses need for affordable housing CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

they would have to spend in the Grand Rapids or West Michigan market, they recognize that they could do the same job that they’ve been doing in that larger metropolitan market but do it in a smaller market like Grand Rapids with half the living costs and, frankly, an improved quality of life. As a result, we have lots of these folks who are relatively higher earners who are moving into the region at a faster clip and frankly our housing production isn’t keeping up.” The increase in population, coupled with the slow production of housing, is forcing competition in the housing market for potential homeowners and renters. Higher income earners have been winning the battle as they have the resources to purchase homes above its asking price, said Kilpatrick, who will moderate a panel discussion on affordable housing on April 13 as part of the Business Journal’s Breakfast Series at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. “Many people are experiencing dozens of offers on a house, offers that are going $30,000 and $40,000 over asking price and often times all-cash offers,” he said. “So, for those of us who are trying to buy homes for the first time, we need an 80% or 90% mortgage and we can only afford so much. It’s very, very difficult to compete in that kind of a constrained market. That’s creating this cascading effect throughout the rest of the housing market. Folks who are able to compete for the scarce supply of housing are driving prices up, which is pushing out more and more middle-income households that otherwise would be homeowners who are forced to continue to rent. “Relatively speaking, those folks who would be homeowners except for the dramatic increase in price

are still relatively well off compared to other renters. So now that’s creating this extraordinary competition within the rental market. We have higher-income households who would like to own but can’t afford it, so they continue to rent,” he said. “And they’re competing for a scarcity of rental supply, and so once again it’s the lowest income renters in that group who are getting pushed out of the market where they’re forced to double up and share housing with another family or they’re getting pushed out of the region all together.” To address that issue, Kilpatrick and Housing Next are focused on helping others find affordable residences by working in partnership with nonprofits, for-profit developers, municipalities and employers to generate data that outline the specific needs of a community, which include rentals and/or homeownership. Depending on the data, the collaboration with the different entities can result in regulatory reforms, package incentives that local municipalities can offer, matching developers with other funding sources either from the state or federal government, or rethinking the methods that are being used to solve specific housing issues related to affordable housing such as homelessness, all with the end goal of providing affordable housing for low-income earners in the region. The top issues that have become barriers for providing affordable housing, Kilpatrick said, are zoning and the lack of trade labor. “When we plan and zone for residential neighborhoods, we’re mostly zoning for larger lots where primarily single-family homes can be built,” he said. “The cost of constructing a single-family home is pretty high. Typically, the cost to build a new single-family house is somewhere between $225 and $250

a square foot, and so when you have to spend that amount per square foot what we get typically is single-family homes that cost at least $350,000 to build,” he said. “There are only so many households in West Michigan that can afford the cost of a $350,000 house. If we’re not regulating to allow for smaller homes on smaller lots — sometimes attached homes like townhouses or condominiums — if we’re not allowing those kinds of housing, then builders and developers can’t build them. “Primarily what we get is one of two products: either large-lot, single-family homes or a big multiunit apartment complexes that are sort of isolated from the rest of the community. While those are both good choices for folks, they’re not the right choices for everybody.” Kilpatrick said a lot of the cost for new housing comes from the lot and the minimum home size that the municipality requires a person to build. “We’re requiring some people to build twice as much home as they actually need, which in effect roughly doubles the cost of the house,” he said. “Other things like the size of the lot, if it costs roughly $75,000 to $100,000 for an individual lot, that’s 10,000 square feet. If you’re only allowed to build on a lot that is 10,000 square feet or larger, then you have to pay that full $75,000 for the lot. “But if the municipality allows you to divide that lot into three, suddenly you can cut your land costs by two-thirds and so now you only have to spend $25,000 on your lot. And if you can also build a smaller home, suddenly you can save almost half of your construction costs. It’s really about working with local municipalities to recognize that not every household in West Michigan has the exact same needs and we have to be allowing for more choices in more places.”

APRIL 4, 2022


Mental health organization receives telehealth funds CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

Pine Rest’s inpatient programs, in-person hospital and residential services continued operating throughout the pandemic. Holthaus said she believes clients will continue to request telehealth services even when the pandemic ends. “There is absolutely no evidence it is going away,” she said of the virtual visits. “When we do surveys of our clients, the vast

majority would still prefer to receive their services via teletherapy. Obviously, there are always some that want to come in person. Over 75% of our visits are still virtual and there's no evidence that that's going to change. The demand for it seems to remain high and it doesn't appear to be COVID-related anymore. People have discovered they can do it. They've discovered it's more convenient and their preference would be to have that if it's a possibility for them.”

Study reveals changing workforce desires CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

“It’s not enough to simply reopen the office doors and offer a hybrid work policy,” said Chris Congdon, director of global research communications for Steelcase. “Today’s office needs to earn the commute of employees. We’ve learned from those who have returned that their wants and needs have fundamentally shifted. “The office needs to support the new ways people work while helping to create a sense of community where people belong and feel valued.”

Research highlights Key finding No. 1: When people like their office, they are more engaged, productive and connected to the organization’s culture and likely to stay. Steelcase researchers analyzed a wide range of factors that influence positive employee sentiments such as engagement, productivity, connection to culture and retention. They looked at considerations like commute time, income and tenure with the company. The factor that most impacted engagement, productivity and feeling connected to the culture is when people like working from the office. (Employee retention is most impacted by tenure with the organization.) Satisfaction with the office leads workers to feel 33% more engaged, 30% more connected to culture, 9% more productive and 20% less likely to leave. Key finding 2: People are willing to trade remote workdays for their own workspace at the office. Research suggests more people want a home at the office. At home, 70% of surveyed workers have dedicated spaces — either a private office or dedicated work zone. Employees spend more than half their time doing focused work (51%) compared to less than a third of leaders’ time (31%). Yet most workers sit in an open plan workspace (51%) while their senior leaders have private offices (49%). Given this traditional hierarchy in many offices, researchers said it’s not surprising people say they prefer to work from home where – even if they have to work on the sofa — they are more likely to have a greater sense of control over their work experience and more privacy. People surveyed voiced a willingness to trade re-

mote workdays for more privacy, comfort and control within the office. When asked to choose, more people said they would prefer to have an assigned desk in the office and work fewer days from home. Key finding 3: Access to private spaces increasingly is important, as more work happens on video. When asked what they value

“It’s not enough to simply reopen the office doors and offer a hybrid work policy. Today’s office needs to earn the commute of employees. We’ve learned from those who have returned that their wants and needs have fundamentally shifted.” Chris Congdon most in the office, 64% of those surveyed reported spaces for collaborating with in-person and remote employees, 62% said single-person enclaves for video call, and 61% said access to private spaces. People want the office to help them collaborate and focus and take a video call without disrupting others. Because weeks are not neatly divided into collaboration days and focus days, it’s unlikely many organizations would suggest workers stay home to focus on their work and come into the office for collaboration only, Steelcase said, noting it believes highly effective collaboration requires an ebb and flow of working together and alone. “Some have suggested the office should become a ‘clubhouse’ and, while opportunities to collaborate and see colleagues might draw people to the office, if they can’t do individual focus work there as well, they will struggle to feel productive after they’ve made the commute,” Congdon said. “The data in this report reveal what people really want in their workplaces: a place that supports different types of work and helps them feel purpose and a sense of belonging to the organization.” The complete report is available to download at steelcase. com/globalreport2022.


APRIL 4, 2022




What does Ohio have that Michigan doesn’t?


ntel recently announced it is going to invest an initial $20 billion in a new chip fabrication plant in metro Columbus, Ohio. It’s “initial,” because Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger indicated Columbus could become “the largest semiconductor manufacturing location on the planet” with a total investment of $100 billion in eight fabrication plants. The first plant will employ 3,000 at an average annual salary of $125,000. This clearly is an economic development home run for Ohio and more specifically for metro Columbus. Which raises the question, “Why did Intel choose Columbus?” In a must-read Market Watch column, Michael J. Hicks, professor of economics and the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University, provides an answer to the Columbus question. The column is entitled, “Intel’s choice of Ohio for its $20 billion factory shows what matters at least as much as low taxes — and it costs money.” Hicks compares Columbus to Indianapolis. What he writes about Indianapolis is equally applicable to metro Grand Rapids. Hicks writes: “This factory is a 25-minute drive from the College of Engineering at Ohio State University and close to the fastest-growing parts of the Columbus metropolitan area. The entire metro area has absorbed some 130% of the state’s population growth since 2000. “The salary levels also suggest that the workforce at this plant will be primarily comprised of

college graduates. Ohio workers in the semiconductor industry earned $65,490 per year in the last 12 months before the COVID downturn. To be profitable, this factory will be much more than the clean-room production facilities of a traditional semiconductor factory. I suspect this site will involve considerable product development and testing. “This evidence points to the need for a large number of college graduates as a driving factor in Intel’s decision. ... The only other Midwest location that could boast the same geographic concentration would be Indianapolis. The fact that Indiana was not chosen in this case offers a harsh lesson for states that rely on incentives rather than an educated workforce as an economic development strategy. It is the same lesson the Amazon HQ deal provided state policymakers around the nation. “... So why is Intel going to Ohio and not Indiana? The short story is the abundance of educated workers in Ohio. The Columbus metro area is already rich with college graduates, but it also has the local environment that can attract more.” Exactly! This is the core lesson Michigan Future has learned from decades of research on what defines the nation’s most prosperous states and regions. Talent, particularly the proportion of adults with a four-year degree or more, and not “tax breaks, tax rates and regulatory environment” is what matters most to prosperity. Talent attracts capital, because talent is the asset

that matters most to and is in the shortest supply for high-wage employers. As Hicks writes, that is the lesson from Amazon HQ2 choosing New York City and Northern Virginia and from Intel choosing Columbus. The places with the most prosperous economies are those that combine high quality education systems and high quality of place that retains and attracts mobile talent. Both education and placemaking require public in-

vestments. These types of public investments, paid for by our taxes, are the state policy playbook most likely to return Michigan to CONTINUED ON PAGE 13



Ehren Wynder:

Correction: In the March 21 story “Initiative assists young men of color,” a pair of quotes regarding financial education were incorrectly attributed to Cole Williams. Dondrea Brown of Young Money Finances was the speaker in both instances.

MI VIEW WEST Garth Kriewall



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GUEST COLUMN David Van Andel

Improving human health requires big thinking


iseases like cancer and Parkinson’s can only be defeated by big, bold thinking. Grand Rapids — today a thriving hub of medical and biomedical ingenuity and education — is up to the task. Some of the world’s top doctors and scientists work right here, on the Medical Mile, where they are pursuing a healthier future for all of humanity. It’s the embodiment of the spirit that has long made Grand Rapids stand out: The few, coming together for the benefit of the many. It is, after all, the small parts that assemble to create the whole. A painting is created by countless brushstrokes. Individuals join together to form communities. Our bodies themselves are made up of trillions of molecules, each coming together with its own purpose and function to

make us who we are. Yet, for all we know about those miniscule components, there still is much to learn about how they impact the bigger picture. Thanks to remarkable advancements in technology, we at Van Andel Institute wield a powerful tool that is transforming our understanding of the microscopic elements that underpin human biology and, by extension, health and disease. Five years ago, VAI welcomed a remarkable machine: a Titan Krios cryo-electron microscope. This isn’t the microscope of your middle school science class. It is a towering piece of equipment, with cameras capable of capturing stunningly detailed images of molecules 1/10,000th the width of a human hair. It’s like having eyes powerful enough that you could sit on the moon and watch a football game on Earth. Cryo-EM’s arrival at the Institute burnished Grand Rapids’ global reputation as a major hub of innovation in the life and health sciences. Our scientists have used it to great effect, bringing to our city rapid advancements in our understanding of the most fundamental aspects of health and disease. The microscope is so powerful, so sought after, and so few in number that it places VAI in rare company. This technology’s ability to move the needle on scientific

knowledge cannot be overstated. Cryo-EM’s fingerprints can be found throughout VAI’s research, and our structural biologists have used it to fundamentally change our understanding of some of life’s most basic questions. It has helped us reveal potential drug targets for treating cancer, tuberculosis and a host of other diseases. We have used it to visualize molecular components responsible for vital biological functions, including how our cells copy our genetic code and how we perceive taste. Cryo-EM also has helped VAI scientists visualize pathways in the body that are instrumental in functions like blood pressure regulation, inflammation and even cell death. We’ve used it to show the structure of a protein that, among other things, regulates body temperature. These findings help us understand key biological functions, and also could someday help target treatments for diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and bipolar disorder. Recently, our scientists leveraged cryo-EM to capture

high-resolution images of a taste-sensing molecule that is concentrated in our taste buds. This molecule, in addition to its role in how we taste our favorite foods, also has a hand in blood sugar regulation. By visualizing its structure, VAI scientists revealed areas that may hold promise for targeting treatments for diabetes and other metabolic and immune diseases. The findings even have implications for the future of food science. Further research into the molecule could one day lead to the creation of new, low-calorie sweeteners. Though the subjects of these findings are indeed small, these are not small findings. They are foundational to life. They help scientists pinpoint possible new treatments for diseases. They answer questions of science and biology that have loomed for decades. In many ways, cryo-EM’s abilities to make big the small is an apt symbol for the Institute’s own story. Our beginnings were humble, CONTINUED ON PAGE 13



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Search for parking goes high tech CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

students to start learning how to code at a young age,” Mano said. “… He always told me that coding is going to become like reading and writing in the future. When you’re in the workforce, it’s going to become a required skill, and the faster you can learn it, the (better) off you’ll be. “After fifth grade, I continued working on some of the lessons he taught me and started branching out on other courses on YouTube and Coursera.” Spotter began as a class project last year when Mano was a sophomore. “We had to do a project called the personal project — it’s something that all sophomores at City have to do,” he said. “It’s a schoolyear-long project that students have to complete and write a report about, and the rules for it are very generic. Our school just wants us to find some sort of problem in our community and try to solve it or do something that would help us grow as a person or learn new skills.” While brainstorming ideas, Mano remembered a moment from when he was in elementary school. He and his family missed the opening face-off of a Grand Rapids Griffins hockey game because they couldn’t immediately find a parking spot near Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids. “I was pretty upset and hoped that there was some sort of solution, but with my short attention span in elementary school, I quickly forgot about the issue,” he said. “Then, during sophomore year while I was brainstorming ideas, this problem came up. I didn’t know initially what a solution would look like, but I knew that it wouldn’t be too difficult to try and solve.” Mano’s first rough prototype consisted of a bulky, box-like sensor attached to his iPhone that cost $50 and wasn’t very practical. “When I started this project, I had a lot of software experience, but no hardware experience. I didn’t know what a microcontroller was or how to manipulate a sensor using code. I was programming purely software apps and websites at that point,” he said. “When I began this project, one of my main goals to develop my own skills was to learn how these ultrasonic sensors and hardware components work.” YouTube became his primary teacher, and testing was his refiner’s fire — quite literally. “We had a couple prototypes catch fire,” Mano said, laughing. “I definitely learned my lesson there.” After wrapping his class project, Mano couldn’t seem to shake the idea for Spotter, and he soon reached out to the city of Grand Rapids’ Mobile GR parking authority to see if the department would let him pitch his idea. Justin Kimura, assistant Mobile GR director, eagerly agreed. “I was just curious to see the feasibility of implementing a similar solution in Grand Rapids, and I was just expecting feedback or more ideas coming out of it, but … Mr. Justin Kimura gave me an internship with the city of Grand Rapids that summer to continue

working on my project,” Mano said. During the internship, Mano and the city devised a way to attach more streamlined ultrasonic sensors containing microcontrollers to a dozen parking spaces in the Ottawa Fulton ramp across from Van Andel. The sensors check, in real time, whether a parking space is open or occupied, then relay that data via microcontroller to the parking garage Wi-Fi, which then transmits the information to the app from the cloud. After testing those prototypes, he realized 3D printing the sen-

sors could reduce the cost of each unit to around $2, making them much more affordable for parking companies and municipal governments to install. But because a parking garage would need to place a sensor in each space — a big project — Mano now is developing Spotter 2.0, which uses cameras that monitor 12 to 15 parking spots at a time to relay the same data to the app using machine learning. “The biggest thing with cameras is that apart from parking ramps themselves, we can also implement them on on-street parking

APRIL 4, 2022

or even open lots, just because you don’t need infrastructure, you don’t need actual walls in order to set up a camera; all you would need is a light post or some tall building nearby to set up your camera,” Mano said. Using the grant he won from Start Garden, Mano now is working with Ellis Parking and Mobile GR to test both solutions at the Midtown ramp at 130 Lyon St. NW and at the Ottawa Fulton ramp at 50 Ottawa Ave. NW. He also is using part of the funding to hire a lawyer and a consultant to help him turn Spotter into a business. “I’m just a high schooler who loves messing around with technology, and I don’t know the first

thing about running an actual business,” he said. “A lot of the things, like copyrights, trademarks and intellectual property, I still need to learn about before I start doing this. “I’ve been 100% committed to Spotter for a while now … but in order to turn it into the business I’m hoping to turn it into, there is still a ways to go from an understanding perspective.” Mano said once he has a better grasp of the parking industry, he hopes to expand Spotter into other areas, such as tapping into the sharing economy to allow homeowners to offer their driveway spaces for parking. More information on Spotter is at





IMAGINE TECHNOLOGY SO advanced it can accelerate a beam of stable atomic nuclei to half the speed of light, attracting scientists from all over the world to study the building blocks of the universe. That technology, the world’s most powerful p owerful heavy-ion accelerator, will be ffully ully operational in spring 2022. Hosted at Michigan M ichigan State University, it sets the stage for scientific discovery and applications in fields such as material science, environmental studies and medicine. The accelerator is the centerpiece of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, a user facility for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, or DOE-SC, supporting the mission of the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics. MSU is the only university in the nation to operate this type of user facility in the heart of a research university campus. The DOE-SC selected MSU to establish and operate FRIB, entrusting MSU with creating priority research opportunities for the nation. FRIB is capable of producing 80% of the isotopes thought to exist in the universe. It’s a monumental leap forward from current technology that also uses powerful accelerators to create collisions of elements and their neutrons to produce isotopes. The difference is the power of the beam. As FRIB Laboratory Director, Thomas Glasmacher, explains, “One of the metrics of discovery potential is the intensity of the primary beam, and FRIB will have the most intense primary beam in the world.” FRIB is another shining example of MSU’s continued national and international leadership in not only nuclear physics but medicine, education, plant science, agriculture and other fields that continue to have a positive impact on the world. In 1958, the university set a course for excellence in nuclear science that materialized into the Cyclotron Laboratory, which became the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. Since 2010, MSU has been home to the No. 1 ranked nuclear physics graduate program in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report. While no one can predict which area of science will generate the next breakthrough, the research that will be conducted at FRIB is a priority for the nation’s nuclear science community. What discoveries will FRIB’s unique technology make possible? With

access to more than 1,000 isotopes scientists will have insight into the physics that formed the universe and the way heavy elements came into existence on our planet. Research with the rare isotopes will accelerate innovation in everything from medicine to environmental science to nuclear security. One of the most immediate areas of potential impact is medicine. Finding new ways to treat challenging cancers is a prime example. The emerging field of theranostics — diagnostics and therapy combined — uses radioactive isotopes in hunting down malignant cells. With the discovery of new isotopes, FRIB will take the technology deeper, helping doctors find and destroy cells that had previously eluded detection. With all its potential, FRIB will attract nuclear scientists from across the nation and around the world, while inspiring Michigan-based students to pursue science


careers. Artemis Spyrou, professor of physics at FRIB and in the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy, knows the source of that inspiration well. “The motivation always comes from the stars,” she says. “From understanding these big questions about the universe, where the elements were created, how stars evolve.” Ultimately, the impact of FRIB on scientific discovery will be felt worldwide, but also notably in Michigan and the nation. It holds the power to be a great source of economic development, with new investment from complementary industries and ancillary businesses. The answers we seek and the advancement we pursue are suddenly closer because of MSU’s — and FRIB’s — unwavering commitment to excellence, discovery and innovation, and the investment in science made by the DOE-SC, MSU and the state of Michigan.



APRIL 4, 2022



Baker Holtz announced the promotions of Seth Hanenburg and Phil Church to accounting managers; Michael Stodulski and Lauren S. Kurtz to tax managers; and Melissa Seguin to partner.

EHTC announced the promotion of Mike Young to partner.


Progressive AE announced Miracle Park in Rock Hill, South Carolina, has become the first park in the world to receive Universal Design Gold certification from the Global Universal Design Commission. The park is designed with playground equipment, fields and amenities that are accessible to people of all ages and abilities, so that all can participate.


Kent District Library is one of three libraries in Michigan recognized as one of America’s Star Libraries as rated by the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. The Grand Rapids Public Museum launched the Sturgeon Excursion digital game to connect learners of all ages with museum content. GRPM, in partnership with YETi CGI, supported by the Wege Foundation, developed a state-of-the-art digital learning platform for users to interact with smartphones or tablets equipped with an internet connection and camera. Sturgeon Excursion is the first digital gaming interaction available on the new platform and users can access GRPM exhibits, allowing them to explore and interact with the history, culture and science of their environment.


Ottawa County's Department of Strategic Impact is the recipient of the American Public Works Association Michigan-Midwest Branch’s Public Works Project of the Year Award for its work on the 4.2-mile Spoonville Trail built on behalf of the Ottawa County Parks And Recreation Department for

APR 8-10 Grand Rapids Comic-Con Event. April 8, noon-7 p.m.; April 9, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; April 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., DeltaPlex Arena and Conference Center. Registration/information: APR 11 Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Breakfast With Legislators. An opportunity to establish relationships with key decision-makers and voice opinions on issues moving forward in Lansing. 7:30-9 a.m. Cost: $25/members, $40/nonmembers. Registration/ information: APR 11 Wyoming-Kentwood Area Chamber of Commerce Government Matters Zoom Meeting with Elected Officials. 8-9 a.m. Registration/information: (616) 531-5900 or APR 12 Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce Wake Up West Coast. Learn about best practices from business leaders and network. 8-9 a.m., Haworth Hotel, 225 College Ave.,

Kent County receives refugee resettlement grants Kent County received a $333,000 Refugee Resettlement Food Assistance Grant from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services and a $180,000 Refugee Screening Grant from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to provide critical services to Afghan refugees. Kent County Community Action and the Kent County Health Department will manage the grants, respectively. KCCA has prepared more than 1,000 meals, which are packaged in boxes containing 20 culturally appropriate meals. KCHD is screening newly arriving refugees for contagious diseases, reviewing and documenting medical history, administering vaccinations and providing referrals for primary care physicians. inclusion into the county's existing trail infrastructure.

level of service and more comprehensive outcomes to its clients.


Angela Champagne joined Independent Bank Corp. as senior vice president, chief human resources officer.


Supply Chain Solutions LLC announced key organizational changes: Kendra Townsend has assumed the position of vice president of integrated logistics solutions; Kirk Papke is vice president of domestic operations; Melissa Hermenitt was promoted to vice president of international operations; and Liz Yeiter was promoted to vice president of finance.


EV Construction announced Brett Lesiewicz is now vice president of project management; Tony Roussey, chief operating officer, is stepping back from his role as safety director; and Joe Novakoski, vice president of operations, will now fill the safety role. Kalamazoo-based Miller-Davis Co. announced Rex Bell, who led the company as president from 1996-2021, will serve as the company’s CEO and board chairman. Jack Abate, a 19-year Miller-Davis employee and the company’s previous construction operations director, has transitioned to vice president-construction operations. Rockford Construction announced its president of construction Shane Napper has assumed the new role of chief operating officer. As COO, Napper is tasked with driving collaboration, innovation and integration of all Rockford services to provide a higher

Holland. Cost: $35/members, $50/ nonmembers, $10/members livestream, $20/nonmembers livestream. Registration/information: (616) 9289103 or hannah@westcoastchamber. org. APR 13 Calvin University Executive Breakfast Series. Topic is The Future of Movies, by J.D. Loeks, president, Celebration! Cinema. 7-9 a.m. Calvin University Prince Conference Center. Cost: $25/ person, $12/faculty and staff, $10/ Calvin students. Registration/information: calvin.universitytickets. com/w/event.aspx?id=1689. APR 13 GR Savvy Seniors Learning Series. Topic is Real Facts on Alzheimer’s Disease: Separating Fact from Fiction. All ages welcome. 1-2:30 p.m., Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE. Cost: free. Registration/information: RealFactsAlzheimersDisease. APR 13, 20, 27 West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology Exploring Intersecting Visions For The Future. A three-week,


Kalamazoo-based Amerifirst Financial Corp. hired mortgage industry veterans Dan Manginelli and Bob Boehnlein will lead a major expansion in California, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon as co-managing directors of the Ameritrust division.


Grand Rapids Community Foundation is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Since 1922, GRCF has granted more than $244 million in grants and $21 million in scholarships to benefit Kent County residents.


Mary (Kate) Berens, deputy city manager of Bellevue, Washington, has been selected to serve as the city of Grand Rapids’ next deputy city manager. State Sen. Mark Huizenga, R-28th District, hired former Rep. Rob VerHeulen as a part-time district director and Stacey Gomoll as constituent relations director. The city of Grand Rapids has achieved the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its FY2022 Fiscal Plan, marking the 34th consecutive year the city has received this award. The Kent County Board of Commissioners unanimously selected Stan Stek (District 6) as chair and

virtual series for leaders, doers, thinkers and stakeholders focused on the foundations of community prosperity. Noon-1:30 p.m., with a featured keynote speaker, local artist highlight, live Q+A and opportunities for discussion. Cost: $175. Registration/information:


Emily Brieve (District 10) as vicechair during an organizational meeting. Brieve will chair the Legislative and Human Services Committee. Commissioner Diane Jones (District 4) will continue as chair of the Finance and Physical Resources Committee.


Spectrum Health welcomed Dr. Angel W. Hernandez, division chief, neurosciences at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, as a board member to Spectrum Health System.

McKee’s business and corporate services team as an associate. Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge announced Thomas Vitale has been named a shareholder of the firm. Attorney Julianna (Julie) HyattWierzbicki joined the firm’s Muskegon office. Varnum announced Lauren Parker, Gage Selvius, Matt Shina and Justin Wolber joined the firm. All four previously served as summer associates at Varnum.


Spectrum Health West Michigan hired Kimberlee Sherbrooke as senior vice president of medical group operations.

Parker partners.

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP announced attorneys Monique Field-Foster, Sara Nicholson, Emily Rucker and Allyson Terpsma have been named



Hastings Mutual Insurance Co. President and CEO Joseph Babiak has retired. Renee Beauford, senior vice president of operations, has been selected to succeed Babiak.

Byron Center-based Flow-Rite hired Alfred Estrada as vice president of sales.


Dickinson Wright PLLC announced the election of Gregory Guest as a new member attorney in the firm’s Grand Rapids office. Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC attorneys Mark DeLuca, Taylor Gast, Rachel Olney and Tyler Olney have been elected as shareholders of the firm, which also hired attorneys Benjamin Dilley and Daniel Zick in its litigation practice group. Mark Wassink has been elected managing partner of Warner Norcross + Judd LLP. He will chair Warner’s management committee and guide the firm’s strategic direction and growth. Mika Meyers PLC elected the following lawyers to its management committee for calendar year 2022: Scott Dwyer (chair), Mark Nettleton and Joshua Beard. Peter Veldkamp



Cost: $45-$50. Registration/information: (616) 459-2224 or scmc-online. org.

APR 14 Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Business Exchange Luncheon. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Kent Country Club, 1600 College Ave. NE. Cost: $35/ members, $50/nonmembers. Registration/information:

APR 18 Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce Advocacy In Action. Know about current issues that affect your business with updates from state legislators. 8-9 a.m., Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant, 216 Van Raalte Ave., Holland. Cost: $35/members, $50/nonmembers, $10/members livestream, $20/nonmembers livestream. Registration/information: (616) 928-9103 or

APRIL 14 Johnson Center for Philanthropy Virtual Workshop. Topic: Introduction To Board Service. 1-5 p.m. Cost: $99/person, $84/group registration. Registration/information:

APR 21 Grand Rapids Public Library/Mercy Health program for people 65-plus. Topic is Life: Short History of Living Longer. 11 a.m., Main Library, 111 Library St. NE. Registration/information:

APR 14 St. Cecilia Music Center Concert. Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra performing a night of big band favorites.7:30 p.m., St. Cecilia Music Center Royce Auditorium.

APR 21 The Acton Institute Lecture Series. Topic is Abraham Kuyper's Principles for Christian Liberalism, by Matthew Tuininga, associate professor of moral theology, Calvin Theological

Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan announced Todd Olson as its finance and operations director.


Byron Center-based SpartanNash announced the promotion of Amy McClellan to senior vice president and chief marketing officer.


The West Michigan Sports Commission announced the addition of Conner Hicks as national sales manager and the promotion of Melissa Brink to marketing manager. CHANGE-UPS POLICY: The Business Journal welcomes submissions to the Change-Ups section. Send announcements concerning personnel changes, new businesses, changes of address etc. to Change-Ups Editor, Grand Rapids Business Journal, 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or email

Seminary. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Acton Institute, 98 E. Fulton. Cost: $15/ general, $10/students. Registration/ information: april-als-tuininga. APR 21 Van Andel Institute The Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Dinner and Award Presentation. An invitation-only event. 6-9 p.m., Van Andel Institute, 333 Bostwick Ave. NE. Registration/information: (616) 2345000 or CALENDAR POLICY: The Business Journal welcomes submissions to the calendar section. Send items to Calendar Editor, Grand Rapids Business Journal, 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or email bjcal Submissions must be received at least three weeks prior to the event. The Business Journal calendar posted on the publication’s website ( includes listings for events extended beyond those printed in the weekly publication that are limited by space restrictions.



What does Ohio have that Michigan doesn’t? CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

high prosperity, creating an economy with lots of good-paying jobs. Imagine if we had spent the last two decades not cutting taxes but instead investing in education from birth through college and creating places where young talent wants to live. It is far more likely that metro Grand Rapids would have been a strong contender for Amazon HQ2, the Intel fabrication plant and all the other high-wage job creation that comes from being an attractive place to locate a knowledge-based enterprise. We will know that metro Grand Rapids is serious about working on investing in education from birth through college

and creating places where young talent wants to live when West Michigan economic development officials and entities push to pay for increased public investments. Saying you want education and infrastructure is easy; paying for it is hard. Economic developers and policymakers in West Michigan and across the state for decades have been part of the push for lower taxes and big incentives as the key to economic development. Amazon and Intel make clear that it is time for a fundamental change. Only time will tell if those in charge of economic policy and programming are ready to take the lead to make that change happen. Lou Glazer is president of Michigan Future Inc.

Staffing firm shares job market insights CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7

as demand rebounded. This continued battle is now affecting the hiring process, the Express Pros survey found. Around three in five U.S. hiring decision-makers (61%) said their company has had to alter their hiring practices because of the national supply chain issue and report it will negatively impact their company’s growth. To counteract the new hurdle for hiring, more than half (56%) report they have had to relax their hiring requirements due to the supply chain issue. Around a third (32%) said they have hired specifically for logistics/supply chain positions this year. Although this issue cuts across industries, the manufacturing industry has been hardest hit by continued supply chain woes, as 74% of hiring managers said their company has had to alter their hiring practices because of the national supply chain issue. The service industry was a close second, with 71% reporting similar issues. Both industries also are having to relax their hiring requirements during the ongoing supply chain crisis, with 68% in manufacturing and 64% in the services industries. “In general, (the supply chain problem) is going to be a prolonged thing that might take a year more to get back to where we want it to be,” Robb said. “But we're seeing a hot topic, too, is

“In general, (the supply chain problem) is going to be a prolonged thing that might take a year more to get back to where we want it to be. But we’re seeing a hot topic, too, is reshoring. The trend was to offshore, but now people are like, ‘OK, we’ve got to rethink our supply chain and bring stuff closer to home because of these issues.’ But (it) isn’t a quick fix; that’s more of a long-term solution.” David Robb reshoring. The trend was to offshore, but now people are like, ‘OK, we’ve got to rethink our supply chain and bring stuff closer to home because of these issues.’ But (it) isn’t a quick fix; that’s more of a long-term solution.” Regarding the effect of the war between Russia and Ukraine on the supply chain, Robb said employers locally are “hardly even starting to feel the impact of that,” but it’s expected to worsen over time. The full Job Insights report is at

Improving human health requires big thinking CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

our staff few. We didn’t yet have our state-of-the-art facilities; we worked from temporary offices in the nearby hospital. The task before us was monumental, and the journey long, but our ambitions were limitless. Our vision was grand. And we knew then, as we know now, that the breakthroughs that

positively impact human health arrive because of the many smaller steps we took along the way. Our journey continues, and our pace is hastened by the power of collaboration and cutting-edge technologies that will bring us to an ever-healthier, brighter future. David Van Andel is chairman and CEO of Van Andel Institute.


Selected mortgages filed with Kent County Register of Deeds JL EQUITY GROUP LLC, West Michigan Community Bank, Parcel: 411324315016, $500,000 SEANLU LLC, Customers Bank, Wyoming, $3,625,000 GRAND RIDGE INVESTMENTS LLC, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Gaines Twp., $862,500 ENGLISH HILLS LLC, Mercantile Bank, Walker, $3,352,500 5 MINUTES ALONE LLC, Old National Bank, 25 S. Division, $1,755,000 SAIL LLC, First Community Bank, Wyoming, $1,200,000 44TH STREET DEVELOPMENT LLC, Klotz Trust, Kentwood, $891,250 RIDGECROFT PROPERTIES LLC, PNC Bank, Cascade Twp., $1,020,000 FSM PROPERTY VENTURES LLC, Provident Trust Group LLC et al, Lowell, $900,000 ECH LAND LLC, Macatawa Bank, Cannon Twp., $508,242 JV SBAM SB LLC, Red Oak Income Opportunity Fund LLC, Parcel: 411336205001, $11,175,000 HULL PROPERTY HOLDINGS LLC, T Bank, Alpine Twp., $670,000 150 LOWELL LLC et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Parcel: 411429277003, $643,500 38900 EAST PARIS VENTURES LLC, ChoiceOne Bank, Kentwood, $1,700,000 89 BROADWAY AVE REAL ESTATE LLC, Arbor Financial Credit Union, Parcel: 411324181006, $1,908,750 RICKSTAL LLC, Stearns Bank, Walker, $930,000 EASTBROOK APARTMENTS LP, Arbor Commercial Funding, Grand Rapids City, $2,100,000 SWEET HOLDINGS III LLC, Independent Bank, Parcel: Twp., $475,000 3445 EAST PARIS AVENUE PROPERTIES LLC, Macatawa Bank, Kentwood, $5,000,000 CHUCKY LLC, Farmers & Merchants State Bank, Walker, $1,000,000 BORRE-OLSON, Elisabeth A., Northpointe Bank, Byron Twp., $423,190 DUSO, Martin, Guaranteed Rate, Cascade Twp., $510,000 ROY, Samidh et al, Inlanta Mortgage, Walker, $445,000 TRIVEDI, Kaushika et al, Allen Edwin Home Builders, Caledonia, $425,736 GURUNG, Nir et al, Hometown Lenders,

Caledonia, $402,681 LODDEN, Jonathan et al, Huntington National Bank, Cannon Twp., $470,000 DILLON, Killeen, Michael J. Hoesksema, Ada Twp, $2,140,000 WALIGORA, Matthew A. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Grattan Twp., $576,600 LUCAS, Dennis M. et al, Neighborhood Loans, Plainfield Twp., $420,000 CAYWOOD, Maxwell L., Fifth Third Bank, Parcel: 411405451017, $386,650 HOUDEK, Jeremy, James Houdek, Gaines Twp., $600,000 JOHN, Daniel et al, Neighborhood Loans, Caledonia, $371,246 NEEDLER, Alan J. et al, MSU Federal Credit Union, Cannon Twp., $479,920 SCOTT, Collin et al, Midfirst Bank, Courtland Twp., $350,000 VANDERWALL, Raymond, HUD, Algoma Twp., $465,000 SLABAUGH, Josh et al, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Gaines Twp., $890,000 BETHANY UNITED REFORMED CHURCH, ChoiceOne Bank, Wyoming, $1,000,000 KIRKLAND, Robert S. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Parcel: 411435309013, $840,000 ZIOLKOWSKI, Thomas C. et al, Northpointe Bank, Cannon Twp., $370,000 LENDERINK, Thomas et al, United Wholesale Mortgage, Plainfield Twp., $647,200 MCKELLAR, Austin R., Amerisave Mortgage Corp., Lowell, $407,400 HAMMERSLAG, Thomas et al, Macatawa Bank, Parcel: 411430452036, 455,000 SPECK, Kevin B. et al, Northern Mortgage Services, Plainfield Twp., $377,000 NORTHWAY, Thomas F. et al, Huntington National Bank, East Grand Rapids, $577,450 STEPHENS, Taylor C. et al, Amerisave Mortgage Corp., Cascade Twp., $355,000 CHASE, Michael G., Fifth Third Bank, Parcel: 411432237001, $363,750 FISHER, Jeff W. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Cascade Twp., $450,600 HERWEYER, Darrel et al, United Bank, Cannon Twp., $410,000 EVERHART, Eric J. et al, Crosscountry Mortgage, Parcel: 411115129039, $437,500 BOWMAN, Scott D. et al, Quicken Loans, Cascade Twp., $360,715 GONSER, Karl W. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Vergennes Twp., $603,158

APRIL 4, 2022


GARY, Ryan et al, Huntington National Bank, East Grand Rapids, $440,000 OVERTON, Scott et al, Consumers Credit Union, Byron Twp., $486,000 CLARK, John J. et al, Heartland Home Mortgage, $616,000 BAJEMA, Justin et al, Mercantile Bank, Cannon Twp., $1,280,000 SAYLES, Justin L. et al, Cason Home Loans, East Grand Rapids, $593,750 BERGER, Robert M. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, East Grand Rapids, $414,750 MASKILL, John D. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Cannon Twp., $500,000 ADAMS, Garrett et al, Consumers Credit Union, Gaines Twp., $968,750 STEPHENS, Joanna D. et al, Federal Housing Commissioner, Parcel: 411820229002, $390,000 KRHOVSKY, Mark et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, East Grand Rapids, $719,910 KROENING, Toby, Rocket Mortgage, Byron Twp., $360,500 SISON, Maria et al, Amerisave Mortgage Corp., Parcel: 411414327038, $396,500 LAWSON, Ronald E. et al, PNC Bank, Courtland Twp., $522,000 BAIJ, Tracy L. et al, Old National Bank, Ada Twp., $393,000 WOOD, Andrew T. et al, Federal Savings Bank, East Grand Rapids, $420,000 WALKER, Rodney et al, Grand River Bank, Ada Twp., $3,450,000 TOURISON, Steven R. et al, Private Mortgage Wholesale, East Grand Rapids, $535,000 PARLMER, Matthew et al, Macatawa Bank, Courtland Twp., $544,900 FOSTER, Nicholas et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Byron Twp., $875,000 SCHLIENTZ, Chad et al, Community Choice Credit Union, Parcel: 411418327004, $350,000 HASS, Christopher S. et al, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Cascade Twp., $621,600 VANSWEDEN, Jonathan, Hall Financial, East Grand Rapids, $506,850 CHATEL, Luther et al, BKCO Mortgage, Caledonia, $513,000 HAYES, Doyle A. Jr. et al, Inlanta Mortgage, Kentwood, $395,200 PELHANK, Scott M. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Cascade Twp., $360,000 WEST, Charles et al, Churchill Mortgage Corp., Lowell, $372,000 MEYERS, Andrew et al, Mercantile Bank, East Grand Rapids, $413,250



APRIL 4, 2022

Meijer, KFB join forces A fluid situation.


eijer announced it’s giving $1 million to Kids’ Food Basket to support the nonprofit’s efforts to expand the Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Meijer Weekend Meal Program. The program currently serves two GRPS elementary schools with an estimated 500 children taking food home over the weekend. The retailer’s contribution will expand the program during the 2022-23 school year. According to the Food Security Council, estimates show that during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity increased to approximately 1.9 million people in Michigan, including 552,000 children. “We understand that healthy students are better learners, but we also recognize that an increasing number of families are struggling to put food on their tables as the challenges around the pandemic continue,” said Cathy Cooper, senior director of community partnerships and giving for Meijer. “We believe the Meijer Weekend Meal Program made a tremendous impact over the past three years, and are glad to see it expand to help even more students get nutritious meals that will ultimately help them focus in the classroom.” Meijer provides food to the program. Participating students


bring fresh produce, healthy proteins and healthy snacks home every weekend in a brown paper bag. “For over 10 years, Kids’ Food Basket has had the honor to partner with Meijer to break down the barriers to food equity in our community,” said Bridget Clark Whitney, president and CEO of KFB. “The Meijer Weekend Meal Program allows us to scale our healthy, nourishing weekend meals to students at a time when rising costs are putting a strain on so many families. This is needed now more than ever. On behalf of the Kids’ Food Basket community, thank you for championing food equity in our community.” One way to understand the motivation behind the new Global Water Research Institute launched at Hope College on United Nations World Water Day (March 22) is to consider this statistic from the U.N.: An estimated 2.2 billion people worldwide are living without access to safe water. Faculty member Aaron Best, one of two professors at the college who led development of the new program, considers another figure. He zeroes in on how children under 5 are affected. “One child dies every 90 seconds,” said Best, biology department chair and co-leader of the

institute with colleague Brent Krueger. “That’s equivalent to two 747s full of children crashing every day.” Water quality also is an issue close to home, he said, ranging from the presence of E. coli and agricultural nutrients such as phosphorous in the Macatawa Watershed, to the contamination of drinking water in communities including Benton Harbor and Flint. “So, the problem is acute and needs to be addressed, and we believe that Hope can move into this area and have an impact,” he said. The GWRI is supporting research at Hope concerned with water locally, regionally and globally. “Our vision is to positively impact communities through improved understanding of water and equip them to make data-driven decisions about use of their water,” Best said. The institute is beginning with a share of a $2.5 million gift to Hope this past fall from Sawyer Products and the Sawyer Foundation. The funding also is supporting the global health program that began in August. “We’re grateful for Sawyer’s continued partnership,” Best said. “They’re enhancing our ability not only to provide meaningful learning opportunities for our students, including hands-on through research, but to make a lasting dif-

ference to the quality of life for people from as nearby as our hometown of Holland to the other side of the world.” It’s Hope’s success in consistently demonstrating that faculty at an undergraduate college can conduct research at a high level that convinced Kurt Avery, founder and president of Sawyer Products, to support the expansion of research focused on water and related issues. Avery makes that point because he’s an alumnus (a 1974 Hope graduate) and recognizes that it could be assumed that his personal connection guided the decision. Sawyer manufactures water filtration systems and other outdoor products, and he said the company will be among those relying on and benefiting from the work being conducted. “I didn’t do this because I’m an alum,” he said. “I’ve turned down research programs at universities because they weren’t up to speed.” Based on the sort of water research currently pursued at Hope, the GWRI is starting with three areas of emphasis: access to safe water; environmental health and sustainability (which overlap with water quality); and expanding on the wastewater testing that Hope has been conducting since August 2020 to detect the presence of COVID-19 on campus and in other communities. According to Best and Krueger, bringing the research together under the umbrella of the institute serves multiple goals, not the least of which is providing a structured way for those involved in the work to connect and brainstorm. “The GWRI will be a home for faculty with similar research interests so that we can get togeth-

STREET TALK er, talk about those interests, and look for areas where we might collaborate that we maybe wouldn’t have noticed before that will make each of our projects stronger,” said Krueger, a professor of chemistry and Schaap Research Fellow. Best and Krueger emphasize that the multi- and inter-disciplinary GWRI is specifically designed to engage faculty from beyond the natural and applied sciences. Academic departments currently represented by faculty members of the institute include biology, chemistry, geological and environmental science, mathematics, political science and religion — breadth that they hope to see grow. “It’s important to us that this be campuswide,” Krueger said. “So, for instance, Virginia Beard of the political science faculty worked with us recently on an international project, and when we think of water as a global issue, past, present and future, there’s an opportunity for other faculty in the social sciences and humanities — economics, political science, history…” Beard collaborated with Best and Krueger on a project focused at the household level in a community in Kenya. “I helped evaluate the data collection tool/surveys, examining research question wording, question order, human subjects protocols in survey research and other such aspects of survey research,” said Beard, an associate professor of political science. “I also helped the team think about cultural aspects of the work given my 22-plus years of experience working in Kenya and with Kenyan partners. The GWRI is exactly the sort of institute that academia needs in order to make real-world impact.”

We see you.

Thank y u To our incredible team of physicians. Our extraordinary physicians have led us through the COVID-19 pandemic by improving health, instilling humanity and inspiring hope. Thank you for providing exceptional care to our community every day. We are truly grateful. Happy Doctors’ Day. Submit a general message, say thank you to your physician or mention a doctor who has made an impact on your life by visiting To find your Spectrum Health provider, visit


APRIL 4, 2022


Affordable Housing


Grand Rapids Business Journal Breakfast Series

We are excited to be releasing a new series of events, Breakfast Series, brought to you by Grand Rapids Business Journal. Breakfast Series are quarterly panels, discussions, and award ceremonies with exceptional networking opportunities within West Michigan. These events bring you compelling business content with the intent to educate and inspire attendees.


MODERATOR: Ryan Kilpatrick


Executive Director


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John Bitely | Owner | Sable Homes Vera Beech | Executive Director | Community Rebuilders Ryan VerWys | CEO | ICCF Community Homes

When: April 13 | 7:30-9:30 a.m. MeijerGardens Gardens&&Sculpture SculpturePark P Where: Frederick Frederik Meijer




exceptional care

Dr. Robert Riekse is a board-certified internist, with subspecialties in palliative and hospice medicine, and geriatric medicine.

Aging is a privilege. Dr. Robert Riekse knows this to be true from years of experience. After watching his grandparents live well into their 90s, he realized aging was not only an honor, but also rare. Through years of medical training, he saw that aging didn’t have to — and he didn’t want it to be — a rarity. It was in that moment that he dedicated his career to geriatric medicine. Since 2014, Dr. Riekse has served as Medical Director of Beacon Hill at Eastgate, overseeing all clinical care and comforting residents with his compassionate approach. In addition

to his clinical responsibilities, he serves as the Program Director for the Grand Rapids Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program at Michigan State University. His passion lies in helping adults age gracefully and live a balanced life while doing it.

“We treat the residents like our family. Like our moms, our dads. We just want what’s best for them, and we work a little harder every day to make theirs a little better.”


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