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COMSTOCK PARK — James Dean of Schoolcraft lost his wife, Diana, nearly four years ago. 

This year he decided to do something to keep her memory alive, and introduce her to people who would stumble across the gigantic 4,000-pound granite headstone he had custom-etched by Patten Monuments Co. of Comstock Park. Affixed to the tombstone is a postage-stamp-sized QR code that links to a web page where he can share stories and photos of his late wife.

GRAND RAPIDS — Some traditional business networking groups in West Michigan have been retooling to embrace a rapidly growing membership segment: technology professionals.

Certainly, the West Michigan Chapter of the American Marketing Association has expanded its traditional recruiting to include, for instance, experts in social media marketing, said outgoing chapter president Sheri Stetson-Compton, field sales senior marketing manager at Herman Miller.

GRAND RAPIDS — The increasing popularity of business courses at Grand Rapids Community College has helped the two-year academic institution increase online enrollment by 13 percent for the summer of 2012. Since 2009, online course enrollment has grown some 67 percent. 

Even more revealing is online courses now account for 30 percent of all classes at GRCC. The two-year college offers more than 130 classes online. 

Tuesday, 05 June 2012 20:09

Atomic Object makes move in Detroit

GRAND RAPIDS — In early June, Atomic Object LLC will open a satellite office in downtown Detroit, part of what co-founder Carl Erickson calls his "growth without growing" strategy. 

The 11-year-old mid-town Grand Rapids software development company, with some 34 employees and about $5 million in revenues, will open a small office in the Harmonie Park area of Detroit to serve a growing portfolio of clients in Southeast Michigan. The office has been dubbed AOD (Atomic Object Detroit).

GRAND RAPIDS — You've probably heard of the West Michigan business development groups he has helped create, which include Grand Angels and Grand Valley Research Corp., but you may have never heard of Craig T. Hall before. 

And that's the way Hall, president of Lee Shore Equities, likes to keep it.

Saturday, 21 July 2012 23:38

Deadlines near for doctors to go digital

GRAND RAPIDS — Lost in the buzz generated earlier this month by the Supreme Court upholding the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act was a related aspect of health care reform signed in 2009 that encourages hospitals and physicians getting reimbursed for Medicare and Medicaid to digitize their health records by 2015. 

Come 2015, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (Hitech) Act adds teeth to its requirements and begins to reduce Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for those hospitals and physicians that have not switched from paper to electronic records.

A West Michigan manufacturing startup has taken the international packaging industry by storm creating an eco-friendly divider that's generating as much buzz in the business as bubble wrap did a half century ago.

Chase Lee, a 21-year-old University of Michigan student from Grand Rapids, co-developed an ideas marketplace where entrepreneurs could buy and sell ideas. But he and his business partner Alex Schiff, 21, another U-M student, decided that their original concept wasn't working because everyone wanted to sell and no one wanted to buy. 

Monday, 21 May 2012 10:22

OST hits 100 employee milestone

Open Systems Technology Inc., a technology consulting and integration company, added its 100th direct employee in April, making it one of the larger tech firms in West Michigan.

The company posted 2011 sales of $68 million. It is hiring at its Grand Rapids headquarters, plus offices in Ann Arbor and Minneapolis.

Paul DeVries, who played college football for Western Michigan University two decades ago, has turned to an online “crowdfunding” campaign in hopes of raising $20,000 to underwrite the further development costs for his computer game.

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