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After 12 years leading economic development in the city of Grand Rapids, Kara Wood will join Western Michigan University as an associate vice president for community partnerships on Oct. 7. Wood, a WMU alumna who currently serves as the managing director of economic development services for the city of Grand Rapids, will work with university leadership to advance corporate engagement in areas including research, economic development and talent development.

KALAMAZOO — Bronson Healthcare’s development of seven new medical office buildings throughout the Kalamazoo area accommodates the planned move next year of a medical group from a rival health system and deepens the organization’s presence across the market.

GRAND RAPIDS — As it continues to make its way through the list of applications for medical marijuana facilities, the city of Grand Rapids will next consider how to handle recreational marijuana companies. 

MUSKEGON — After decades of site remediation and restoration projects to clean up Muskegon Lake, the south shoreline is ripe for redevelopment and various stakeholders are watching and waiting to see how it unfolds.

PORTAGE — Kenneth Leonard and Ryan Reffitt originally set out to provide small banks and credit unions across Michigan with underwriting and other support services for writing business loans.

SAWYER — A Southwest Michigan brewery is expanding with a new location in Indiana in partnership with a SpartanNash Co.-owned grocery store. 

Backed by a key small business advocate in Lansing, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed a legislative package to boost state support for companies operating in the space between small startups and larger corporations.

Operating a family-owned business comes with unique circumstances and considerations that other companies and corporations don’t face. 

GRAND RAPIDS — When John Van Tongeren became the owner of Ferris Coffee & Nut Co. in 1985, he did not imagine eventually passing it down within his family. 

Two years before Craig Wassenaar stepped into the role as president and CFO of Skytron LLC, a Cascade Township-based medical device company owned by the Mehney family, the plan for his next role with the business was already well underway. 

SPARTA — ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. remains open to further acquisitions after the $89 million deal with Lapeer-based County Bank Corp. is completed next year.

The purchase of Ottawa Kent Insurance Agency Inc. comes as a Traverse City-based agency platform backed by private equity investors pursues a Midwest acquisition strategy.

CALEDONIA — Acrisure LLC has launched a joint venture to sell insurance coverage directly to consumers through a digital platform backed by artificial intelligence.

GRAND RAPIDS — The inequities women face in daily life are often much worse for women who are incarcerated. 

Sarah Chartier has served as senior sustainability project manager at Spectrum Health for eight years. In her role, she assesses ways to improve Spectrum’s practices that will lead to reducing its environmental footprint. She also engages employees and the community to get involved in the sustainability conversation and think about how they have an effect on the environment and ways to lessen that impact. Chartier, who also serves as a board member of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, spoke to MiBiz about the future of the sustainable business movement. 

Growth report for Sept. 28, 2019.

LANSING — Medical marijuana provider Green Peak Innovations LLC closed on $10 million in mezzanine financing to support expansion in Michigan and elsewhere.

SOUTH HAVEN — Bronson Healthcare began construction on a new $22 million hospital in South Haven.

ROTHBURY — Barber Steel Foundry Corp., a metal casting plant in Oceana County, will close its doors by the end of the year and eliminate 61 jobs, according to documents filed with the state.

KALAMAZOO — Graphic Packaging International LLC plans to invest $600 million to install a new paperboard machine in Southwest Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — Insurance giant Acrisure LLC’s plan to move 400 jobs from Caledonia to downtown Grand Rapids has garnered $7 million in state economic development incentives.

GRAND RAPIDS — After five years in operation tucked away in a nondescript office building along U.S. 131, mead maker Arktos LLC plans to move to a new location along Grand Rapids’ bustling Bridge Street corridor. 

A subsidiary of RDV Corp., the family office for the DeVos family, has acquired a stake in Swedish-based private equity firm Nordic Capital.

KALAMAZOO — In the four years since Kalamazoo Valley Community College launched its sustainable brewing program, it could use student-made beers for tastings and instructional purposes, but not offer it for sale in its on-campus full-service restaurant. 

CASCADE CHARTER TOWNSHIP — The operators of Crowne Plaza Grand Rapids, a 320-room hotel near the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, MiBiz has learned. 

KALAMAZOO — Bronson Healthcare recently began work on a series of new medical office buildings that will house care providers moving to the Kalamazoo health system next year.

GRAND RAPIDS — Tetra Therapeutics says it is enrolling patients faster than expected for a clinical trial on a potential new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

Steelcase Inc. and Herman Miller Inc. each recorded strong sales results for their most recent quarters.

GRAND RAPIDS — Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Michigan has announced the winners of its 33rd annual Excellence in Construction awards.

BENTON HARBOR — Home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. is selling off a manufacturing facility in Italy.

HOLLAND — ITB Packaging LLC plans to expand locally with a $3.5 million capital investment and the expected creation of at least 65 new jobs over the next five years.

GRAND RAPIDS — An affiliate of Universal Forest Products Inc. (NASDAQ: UFPI) has acquired Hartford, Wis.-based Pallet USA LLC, expanding Universal’s industrial product-capacity and services in the Midwest.

SPARTA — ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc.’s merger with Lapeer-based County Bank Corp. easily earned shareholder approvals this morning and now heads to a close next spring.

ADA — Global direct-selling giant Amway Corp. has eliminated 47 information technology positions in another round of cuts to its workforce, the company confirmed to MiBiz. 

ZEELAND — Plascore Inc., a manufacturer of lightweight composite products, is investing nearly $6 million to expand its footprint in Zeeland.

HOLLAND TWP. — Trustees at Grand Rapids Community College have voted to purchase a former JCPenney store in Holland Township to convert it into a consolidated Lakeshore campus.

After intense debate in recent years, Holland’s short-term rental pilot program has proven to be less eventful than some city leaders had feared.

KALAMAZOO — Kara Wood, the managing director of economic development services for the city of Grand Rapids, will join Western Michigan University as an associate vice president for community partnerships on Oct. 7.

State officials in Grand Rapids on Wednesday touted the economic benefits of outdoor recreation, a sprawling statewide sector encompassing major industries like manufacturing and tourism.

Here is the growth report for September 14, 2019.

BENTON HARBOR — A new campaign aims to stanch Berrien County’s population losses and attract thousands of new residents over the next decade. 

Michigan is the most attractive state in the Midwest for new aerospace manufacturing businesses.

GRAND RAPIDS — A deepening partnership with a Spain-based minority shareholder provided Founders Brewing Co. Executive Chairman John Green the perfect timing to jump back into an early-stage growth company.

HOLLAND — A financing program in Holland that helps residents pay for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades remains one of the only such programs in Michigan, and could be a model for more to come. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Securing patent protection boosts the chances of a startup company to land the financing needed to commercialize a physical therapy medical device that was developed at Spectrum Health.

GRAND RAPIDS — Strong growth in patient volumes over the last several years led Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital to take on an expansion project much sooner than expected.

Legislation coming up for consideration in Lansing aims to alleviate so-called “surprise billing” in health care.

GRAND RAPIDS — Officials expect to begin the $45 million project to restore the rapids in the Grand River by July 2021, later than they had originally projected.