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Downtown GR Inc. Appoints 60+ Citizens to Leadership Network, Announces New Chief Outcomes Officer

Downtown GR Inc. Appoints 60+ Citizens to Leadership Network, Announces New Chief Outcomes Officer

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The Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) Board of Advisors yesterday appointed 64 citizens to serve on its three Alliances, which effectively function as community-driven steering committees helping to guide the organization’s overall body of work.

DGRI also announced that Andy Guy will serve as the organization’s Chief Outcomes Officer. The new role will direct the implementation of strategic policy, communications, and project initiatives on behalf of DGRI and the downtown neighborhoods.

“We’re working to position Grand Rapids at the vanguard of America’s city building movement,” said DGRI Board of Advisors Chair Ray Kisor. “The Alliances and new staff leadership help ensure we’re bringing the creative ideas, expertise and experience, strategic ability, and collaborative spirit required to pursue that mission.”

My Town: Aquinas College ranks near the top of all institutes seating students for CPA exam

My Town: Aquinas College ranks near the top of all institutes seating students for CPA exam

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) recently released its annual candidate performance book, which features comprehensive statistical data from all four testing windows of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination. Aquinas College is ranked in the top 3 percent of all accounting programs in the country based on the 2014 CPA Exam pass rate.

Aquinas was ranked 5th out of 257 institutions with small programs and 20th out of 776 institutions in the nation. Aquinas was also one of only two schools in the state ranked in the top 20 schools, the other being the University of Michigan.  

“We are very excited and very proud of our graduates,” said Accounting Department Chair Cindy VanGelderen. “We have worked hard to make the accounting program at Aquinas strong and rigorous for our students; it is great to see that we have made significant strides toward that goal.”

My Town: Local military family honored by Eckrich and country music star Randy Houser

My Town: Local military family honored by Eckrich and country music star Randy Houser

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Thanks to Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, James Jackson and his family were honored by chart-topping, platinum-selling country music star Randy Houser Tuesday night at his performance at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. as part of Luke Bryan's That's My Kind of Night Tour. 

Meijer generates nearly $6 Million for Midwest food pantries in 2014

Meijer generates nearly $6 Million for Midwest food pantries in 2014

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The Meijer Simply Give program – held three times a year – generated nearly $6 million in 2014 for food pantries throughout the Midwest, bringing the program’s overall donation total to nearly $14 million since it began in November 2008.

The retailer’s most recent campaign, which ended in January, was the most successful holiday campaign in the program’s history, resulting in a total of more than $1.8 million for hungry families.

My Town: Specialty crop grant opportunity

My Town: Specialty crop grant opportunity

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Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Jamie Clover Adams today announced new opportunities for Michigan businesses thanks to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Ag Marketing Services. The program is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan’s specialty crops. Grant proposals must be received by MDARD no later than 3 p.m. on March 26, 2015 by submitting them to MDA-grants@Michigan.gov.

My Town: Battle of the Buildings energy reduction competition expands for second year

My Town: Battle of the Buildings energy reduction competition expands for second year

Registration is officially open for Michigan commercial and industrial buildings of all sizes interested in joining the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan's (USGBCWM) second annual Battle of the Buildings competition. The statewide competition is an expansion of the Battle of the Buildings that started in West Michigan last year.

Battle of the Buildings is an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction. The competition is a way to encourage energy-efficient practices in buildings across the state of Michigan and to instill a spirit of friendly competition among the area’s building owners and operators. Steelcase, Western Michigan University and Nichols have already committed for the 2015 competition totaling over 3,000,000 sq. feet.

My Town: Business with French ties mourns following terrorist attacks

My Town: Business with French ties mourns following terrorist attacks

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Grand Rapids business with ties to France is in mourning, following last week’s terror attacks.

Flags were flying at half-staff Friday at Hutchinson, located at 460 Fuller Ave. NW.   The company is a leading world manufacturer in rubber, thermoplastic elastomer and polymer products.  Its founder moved from the United States to France in 1853 to begin manufacturing rubber. 

Monday, France ordered 10,000 troops into its streets to protect sensitive sites after the series of terror attacks, which killed 17 civilians. Three of the suspected terrorists were killed following two separate stand-offs Friday.  However, the search is on for a fourth accomplice—the common-law wife of one of the attackers.  Authorities believe she fled to Syria.