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Princess Tea Party

Spring color breaks over Kalamazoo

Tom Small


Innovation + Job News

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Job Seekers: High school students have job fair at WMU, Glen Oaks workshop offers interview skills

High school job seekers have an event tailored for them at the this year’s Education for Employment Job Fair, April 17 at Bernhard Center on the Western Michigan University campus.

More than 60 local employers will meet with more than 450 high school juniors and seniors from Kalamazoo County Schools.

The annual Education for Employment Job Fair is presented by Kalamazoo RESA’s EFE program. The event gives employers the chance to meet with those seeking full-time, part-time or summer employment.

The job fairs is from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 17. Participating high school students also will have the opportunity to take the 30-minute online assessment, StrengthsQuest.

Using Clifton StrengthsFinder the assessment creates a customized report that lists the respondent’s top five talent themes, along with action items for development and suggestions on using one’s talents to achieve academic, career and personal success.

Upcoming in Centreville

A second event for job seekers takes place from 10 a.m. to noon, Monday, April 21, at the Dresser Business Development Auditorium on the campus of Glen Oaks Community College at 62249 Shimmel Rd., in Centreville.

The event takes place in advance of a job fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m Thursday, April 24 and it is intended to give job seekers tips on how to do their best at the job fair.

More than 45 businesses are registered to be at the job fair, typically the largest job fair in St. Joseph County.

"We have 46 employers registered for the event, with limited space for a few more," says Val Juergens, of  Glen Oaks Community College. "Businesses participating in the job fair either have current openings or anticipate openings. Employers may be planning on filling one position or 100 positions--these positions may be full-time or part-time, and they could be permanent, temporary or seasonal."

So job seekers are encouraged to ready themselves by attending the workshop on interview skills.

"Attendees of the workshop will receive targeted advice for developing a sales pitch, creating a game plan for the event, fine-tuning their soft skills, as well as following up with employers after the event," says Bronwyn Drost, manager of the Michigan WORKS! Service Center in Three Rivers. "This workshop was developed specifically for the Job Fair at Glen Oaks based upon local employer demand, and is designed to successfully take participants from job fair to job offer."

More information regarding the pre-event workshop, the job fair and other events in the area can be found online.

Source: KRESA, Michigan Works!

New health care providers join Bronson

Bronson welcomes four new health care providers.

Ahed Zayzafoon, MD, has joined Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists. He now is part of a team of internal medicine hospital specialists who provide around-the-clock prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases for hospitalized patients that do not require surgery. Dr. Zayzafoon received his medical degree from Damascus University School of Medicine in Syria. He can be reached at (269) 341-8481.

Haley Crites, PA-C, it a new team member at Bronson Internal Medicine – Oak Ridge. Crites received her master’s degree in the physician assistant studies program at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids. Crites is accepting new patients and can be reached at (269) 245-5440.

Bronson Pediatric Surgery has welcomed Cristy J. Burghardt, PA-C to its practice. Burghardt received her master’s degree in the physician assistant studies program and bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Burghardt is accepting new patients and can be reached at (269) 341-6900.

Jessica Kinnell, physician assistant, has joined  the practice of Bronson HealthCare Midwest Vascular & Endovascular Surgery. Kinnell received her master’s degree in the physician assistant program and her bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences with a minor in chemistry from WMU. Kinnell can be reached at (269) 349-7696.

Source: Erin Smith, Bronson

Tiny, new cardiac monitor measures heart rhythms

Dizziness, palpitations, fainting, and chest pain all may be signs of an abnormal heart rhythm. Kalamazoo resident and former WMU professor Carol Payne Smith, experienced none of them before she went unconscious.

"One day I woke up on the floor with a black eye. I’d passed out at the kitchen counter without any warning," says Smith, an otherwise healthy and active retiree.

She discovered that her episode resulted from a condition called cardiac arrhythmia, a malfunction in the heart’s electrical impulses that coordinate how it beats.  

She was a perfect candidate for a new procedure to monitor abnormal heart rhythms and didn’t hesitate. Smith became one of the first in Southwest Michigan to receive a newly approved device that uses cellular technology.

The Medtronic Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor is one-third the size of a AAA battery. That makes it the smallest on the market and 80 percent smaller than similar devices. As a result, physicians need only a one-centimeter incision to implant the monitor.

The implant process takes less than a minute and patients are in and out of the hospital the same day.

"I was ready for a big deal but it didn’t take long at all. It was just a matter of scrubbing off that area of my chest and getting a local anesthetic," Smith says. "I experienced no pain at the time, or afterward, and there is no scar whatsoever. It’s just under the skin, but I barely know it’s there."

The implanted monitor transmits data wirelessly, constantly checking her heart beat. A small bedside base unit transmits the data to her physician’s office in real time. The monitor is water- and MRI proof, and works from nearly any location in the world. It sends an alert if she experiences another cardiac event.

Physicians at Bronson Advanced Cardiac Healthcare are the first in Southwest Michigan to offer the device.

Brett J. Eliuk, DO, FACC, FACOI and Christopher Rogers, DO, FACC, FACAI, of  Bronson Advanced Cardiac Healthcare, are the two physicians trained to implant this device. For more information on Bronson’s heart and vascular program, visit bronsonhealth.com/heart.

Source: Candice Elders, Bronson

FDA gives approval for use of device by Ablative Solutions

Sympathetic nerves, lymphatic vessels, and a rich diversity of cells that can influence blood vessel function, repair and disease are found in the layer that surrounds blood vessels.

And it has recently been shown that overactive sympathetic nerves residing in the perivascular space are associated with hypertension, metabolic syndrome, congestive heart failure and obesity.

Hypertension affects an estimated 1 billion people worldwide, and an estimated 65 million adults in the United States. Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, metabolic syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea and kidney disease.  

One out of every six adult deaths is attributable to hypertension, and the economic burden in the US exceeds $76.6 Billion. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that worldwide, more than 17 million deaths each year are attributable to cardiovascular disease, with hypertension being a substantial contributor to these deaths.

A device that delivers diagnostic and therapeutic agents directly to this perivascular layer, developed by Ablative Solutions, Inc., has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

"Ablative Solutions is pleased to make the Peregrine System available to clinicians to deliver therapies targeted to the perivascular zone," says Vartan Ghazarossian, PhD, President of ASI.

Ablative Solutions, a privately-held clinical stage company, was founded in 2011 by Tim Fischell, MD, FACC, and David Fischell, PhD, and is headquartered in Kalamazoo and offices in Menlo Park, Cal.  

Source: Ablative Solutions

Greenleaf Trust announces three new hires

Greenleaf Trust has hired a new Controller, a new Trust Relationship Officer, a Team Service Coordinator and a Chief Financial Officer.

Christine M. Hansen has been named Controller. She is responsible for accounting, tax and financial reporting functions. Hansen has more than eight years experience in the accounting field, most recently as finance manager within the Global Product Organization at Whirlpool Corporation.

Prior to that, Hansen spent two years as an auditor with Plante & Moran. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

As a Trust Relationship Officer Christopher J. Tarkowski will be responsible for providing trust services to individual clients and nonprofit organizations. Tarkowski has over eight years experience in the financial industry. He has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Davenport University and received an M.B.A. with distinction from Western Michigan University.

Katherine M. Genther, J.D., has been named a Greenleaf Trust as a Team Service Coordinator. She will be responsible for providing comprehensive support and administrative assistance within the personal trust area. 

Genther earned her bachelor’s degree from Aquinas College and her juris doctor degree from Valparaiso University School of Law. While at Valparaiso, she was recognized by the National Association of Women Lawyers as an outstanding law student.

Michael Ruchti has joined the firm as Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for Greenleaf Trust’s financial operations including all accounting, tax, financial planning and reporting, and business case development activities. 

Ruchti has over 15 years of experience in the global manufacturing industry, most recently at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters as the Director of Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis. Prior to that, he spent seven years with Whirlpool Corporation where he held positions in finance and marketing. 

Ruchti earned his BBA from Idaho State University and his MBA from Michigan State University. 

Greenleaf Trust is an independent Michigan-chartered trust-only bank, exclusively focused on wealth management, trust and estate administration, and administration of company-sponsored retirement plans. Through our unique, client-centric team approach, we provide highly personal and customized client service. It has offices in Kalamazoo, Birmingham, Traverse City and Petoskey.

Source: Greenleaf Trust

Battle Creek job fair features more than 3 dozen employers

Kellogg Arena, 36 W. Hamblin Ave., Battle Creek, soon will be the site of a regional job fair where job seekers can be introduced to more than 36 employers.

The job fair, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 17.

Interviews for some job candidates may be scheduled onsite from 1 to 3 p.m. All candidates should dress professionally and bring resumes to distribute to employers.

The job fair takes place twice a year. The Battle Creek Regional Job Fair held last fall drew more than 40 organizations, which offered candidates more than 170 jobs at the fair and more than 290 job interviews, says Patrick Casey, director of Career and Employment Services at Kellogg Community College and an organizer of the event.

Job seekers are encouraged to pre-register for the event onlineThere they can view available jobs, receive job-seeking tips and information on Michigan Works! Employment Workshops and receive future Battle Creek Regional Job Fair updates.

Employers interested in participating in the job fair – which drew more than 600 job seekers last fall – may also register on the site.

Sponsors of the Battle Creek Regional Job Fair include Battle Creek Unlimited, Davenport University, Goodwill Industries of Central Michigan’s Heartland, Kellogg Community College, Michigan Works! and WBCK-AM (95.3).

Source: Kellogg Community College

Ten events for job seekers scheduled though April

Michigan Works! wants job seekers to know there are events throughout the month of April that can help them find work.

The events start out Monday, April 7 when IMKI Workforce Solutions is the employer of the day. That's from 10 a.m. to noon at Three Rivers Michigan Works!, 16587 Enterprise Drive.

There are immediate openings available for temporary works who may then be hired as material handlers and production workers for Corrugated Paper/Printing Company. You must fill out an application online at
www.snelling.com/kalamazoo and apply in person for the job fair. Job fairs will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. April 9, April 16, and April 23 at at Arvco Container Corp., 845 Gibson Street, Kalamazoo.

In Three Rivers, there will be a hiring event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 9 for Certified Nursing Assistants and Home Health Aides. There are immediate openings for those with flexible schedules, including the ability to work weekends, reliable transportation and an insured vehicle, a minimum one year experience in Home Care and a CNA license in Michigan. The event will be at Three Rivers Michigan Works!, 16587 Enterprise Drive, Three Rivers.

Employers with jobs in many field including manufacturing, finance, engineering, management and IT will be at the Southwest Michigan Job Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 10 at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 2900 Lake Street, Kalamazoo. 

Evergreen Packaging will have an information and orientation from 10 a.m. till noon, Tuesday, April 15 and Tuesday, April 29 at Michigan Works! Kalamazoo Service Center, 1601 S Burdick St. Those interested should bring a resume, pen and plan on attending the full two hours. Evergreen is seeking people for entry level positions.

There will be a Battle Creek Regional Job Fair with Kellogg Community College from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 17 at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek. For questions, call 269-660-1438.

And there will be a Michigan Works! and Department of Human Services Career Fair at Glen Oaks Community College from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at Glen Oaks Community College Gymnasium 62249 Shimmel Road, Centreville. 

Source: Michigan Works!

United Federal Credit Union hires two

United Federal Credit Union has named a new director of compensation and benefits and a director of collections and loss prevention in St. Joseph.

Jeff Blake has been appointed to the position of director of compensation and benefits. Blake will oversee national compensation and benefits programs and payroll operations, including development and maintenance of all related compliance procedures and documentation.

He previously was manager of compensation and benefits with the credit union’s human resources division where he was responsible for management of salary administration, employee benefits, and federal and multi-state compliance programs.  

His prior experience includes human resources management positions with Lifestyle Family Fitness Corporation in St. Petersburg, Fla., Wright-Patt Credit Union in Dayton, Ohio, and other organizations in southwestern Ohio.

A native of Dayton, Blake earned a Bachelor of Science degree in human resource management from Wright State University in Dayton, is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) with the Human Resource Certification Institute, a World at Work-Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Southwest Michigan Society for Human Resource Management. He lives in Stevensville.

Meg Johnson is now director of collections and loss prevention. As director she will provide vision, leadership and coaching to teams in the areas of asset liquidation, asset management, delinquency, fraud management, loan loss management, and risk management. Johnson was previously Collections Manager with the UFCU’s Risk and Compliance department where she was responsible for overseeing the Collections, Fraud, Loss Mitigation, and Member Assistance teams.  

A native of South Bend, Ind., Johnson is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind. She lives in Granger, Ind.

Source: United Federal Credit Union

Amber Nash joins Borgess Women's Health

Obstetrician, gynecologist and DO Amber Nash has joined Borgess Women's Health.

Dr. Nash earned her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. She completed her OB/GYN residency at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla. She also was recognized for academic achievement at the health system in 2012.

She is a junior fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and is a member of the American Osteopathic Association.

Dr. Nash is accepting new patients at the Borgess Women’s Health location in the Borgess Medical Commons, 7895 Currier Drive, Portage. To make an appointment or for more information, contact Borgess Women’s Health at (269) 226.5927 or visit here

Source: Michael Smith, Borgess

Vandall, Book hired, Kambol promoted at UFCU

United Federal Credit Union has announced a number of new hires and a recent promotion.

Michael Vandall has been appointed Mortgage Loan Underwriting Manager. He will have oversight of fulfillment operations for UFCU’s First and Second Mortgage and Home Equity Lines of Credit lending programs. He also will be responsible for loan quality of the credit union’s real estate portfolio.

Vandall previously served as Experience Underwriting Manager with First Ohio Home Finance Company of Columbus. His 15 years of underwriting experience includes positions with Benchmark Bank, Residential Finance Corporation, JP Morgan/Chase, Accredited Home Lenders, New Century Mortgage Corporation, and National City Bank.

He studied Business at the University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, Ohio, and completed a three-year certification in mortgage and commercial lending at the Ohio School of Banking at Kent State University. He and his family will be relocating to the St. Joseph area.

Zach Book has been appointed to the position of Branch Manager in Berrien Springs. Book will be responsible for providing operational leadership to the branch, including staff development, retention, and growth of branch sales performance.

He previously served as a Member Service Advisor and Assistance Branch Manager at UFCU’s Niles locations. There he provided leadership, supervision, and coaching to branch staff to ensure efficient and effective sales and service interactions with credit union Members.

A native of Niles, Book holds an Associate of Arts degree from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind.  He now lives with his family in Berrien Springs.

Mike Kambol has been appointed Vice President of Risk Management at United Federal Credit Union (UFCU) in St. Joseph. He will lead the UFCU Risk Management and Compliance organization.

Kambol was previously Director of Risk and Compliance with UFCU, where he was responsible for ensuring maintenance of adequate credit, market, and operational risk, as well as full compliance with all banking laws, regulations, and internal policies and procedures.

He also served as Chief Financial Officer of Notre Dame Federal Credit Union, and in various accounting positions with Teachers Credit Union in South Bend, Ind.

A native of South Bend, Kambol earmed Bachelor degrees in Accounting and Business Administration and Management, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Indiana University at South Bend. He also holds the Credit Union Enterprise Risk Management Expert (CUERME) designation from the Credit Union National Association. He lives in South Bend.

Source: United Federal Credit Union

Spring camp for young robot makers set by Kellogg Community College

For parents still looking for a way to keep youngsters' minds occupied during the upcoming Spring Break from school, Kellogg Community College has an answer.
KCC will host two Spring Break robotics camps for youth in grades six through nine next month, including one for girls only.  
The Spring Break camps are one part of an expanding youth robotics initiative at KCC that includes Bruin Bots robotics team competitions each fall and offerings of engineering and robotics camps each summer.
Lego Destination: Mars! -- offered from 8 a.m.-noon April 7-10 -- is a hands-on camp in which students will use Lego Mindstorms kits to design and build robots that can explore a modeled Mars landscape. 
Students will navigate their robot through a variety of challenges, and explore an environment typical to that on Mars. They wil compete to see which teams are successful in completing their mission. 
Robotic designs useful for exploration, engineering for extreme environments, sensors for exploring new terrain and gear appropriate for assigned tasks all will be part of the camp. 
In the Introduction to Lego Robotics, Girls' Spring Break camp -- offered 12:30-4:30 p.m. April 7-10 -- students will learn the basic design concepts required to create functioning robots, in this girls-only camp. They will also learn about different types of robots and where they are used in the real world. 
During the last part of camp, students will be introduced to Lego Mindstorms sets. They will design and build robots that can perform certain tasks to complete challenges.  
Both camps will take place at KCC’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center, 405 Hill Brady Road, Battle Creek. The cost for each camp is $125; space is limited and will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis.
To register, call 269-965-4137 or send email here
Source: Simon A. Thalmann, Kellogg Community College

AVB hires CAD draftsman, two interns for various jobs

A draftsman and two interns have joined AVB, builders of custom residential properties, property developers and providers of construction management in a number of markets.

Austin McCollum has been hired as a CAD Draftsman, Taylor Brown as a marketing intern, and David Innes as a construction intern.  

McCollum graduated from Ferris State University with a degree in Architectural Technology. After graduating, he spent time working for companies such as Onstaff USA and Aerotek. McCollum uses AutoCAD and Revit programs at AVB to develop construction documents for residential projects.

Brown is currently a junior at Kalamazoo College. She plans to graduate as an English and business double major in June of 2015. Currently, she handles social media and marketing projects for AVB.

Innes is now in his senior year at Western Michigan University. He is a construction engineering major and a minor in general business and mathematics. Innes plans to finish his Bachelor's of Science Degree in Construction Engineering in the spring of 2014.

AVB’s commercial division focuses on construction management in the healthcare, education, office and retail markets. AVB’s custom residential building division specializes in single-family homes, condominiums and neighborhoods. AVB’s development group focuses on property development for commercial, residential, and mixed uses.

Source: AVB

Student entrepreneurs invited to make a pitch

Western Michigan University stundents have an opportunity to move their idea for a business a step closer to reality with a business pitch competition Friday, April 4.

Budding entrepreneurs will prepare a three-minute pitch that explains the idea behind their business.

The competition is open to all students and cash prizes totaling $2,500 will go to the winners. Top prize takes home $1,200. Other awards are $700 for second place; $400 for third place; and $200 for most entertaining pitch.

Students who successfully state a problem in three minutes, how it will be solved by their busines, and what is needed, will have opportunities to advance their business ideas.

No more than 32 teams can participate. One person from each team will have a chance to make the pitch to a panel of judges that includes panels of judges comprised of faculty, entrepreneurs, and members of the business community.

Students interested in participating are encouraged to come to information session from  3 to 5 p.m. March 19 or noon to 2 p.m. March 21. The first round of competition has been set for 3 to 5:30 p.m in Schneider Hall. The final round will be 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Starting Gate business accelerator, 161 E. Michigan Ave., Suite 400B, Kalamazoo.

"I see the pitch competition as the first step towards helping WMU students create the business of their dreams," says Dr. Robert Landeros, chair of the Department of Management.

For more information, contact Landeros here or call (269) 387-5802. Visit here for more details and to apply.

Funding for the competition comes from Educational Community Credit Union.

Source: Ashlie Harper Perry, Western Michigan University

Four health care providers join Bronson

Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Pediatric Nephrology of Bronson all are welcoming new health care workers.

Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists is proud to welcome Jennifer Kool, NP. She joins a team of internal medicine hospital specialists who provide around-the-clock prevention, diagnosis and treatment of non-surgical diseases for hospitalized patients. Kool received her master’s degree in nursing from University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, and her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Calvin College in Grand Rapids. She can be reached at (269) 341-8481.

Jamie Chiles, MSN, ANP-BC,  joins the Bronson LakeView Family Care – Internal Medicine team of internists. They provide primary care to adult patients. Chiles earned a master of science in nursing from Michigan State University in 2011. She received her board adult nurse practitioner board certification in 2011. She can be reached at (269) 655-3080.

Bronson Pediatric Gastroenterology has hired Joanna Boyd, PA-C. She joins a team who focuses on the care and treatment of children from birth until 18 years of age who are having stomach problems. Boyd received her master’s degree in the physician assistant program and bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Boyd can be reached at (269) 341-7784.

David Kershaw, MD, and Kera Luckritz, DO, have joined the Bronson Pediatric Nephrology team. Dr. Kershaw earned his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Luckritz earned her medical degree from University of New England In Biddeford, Maine. Drs. Kershaw and Luckritz can be reached at (269) 341-6900.

Source: Candice Elders, Bronson 

Perrigo hires two to work in Allegan

A new production engineer and reporting analyst have been hired by Perrigo Co.

Christine Reilly has been hired as Senior Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Reporting Analyst for the Accounting/Finance team. She is responsible for creating the company’s external financial statements and will work at Perrigo’s Allegan offices.

Reilly spent three years as an auditor at an accounting firm and three years in financial reporting for a home building company, both in southeast Michigan, before joining Perrigo.  

She earned a bachelor’s from Albion College in 2006. She earned her master’s in accounting from Grand Valley State University, summa cum laude, in 2007. Reilly is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), licensed by the State of Michigan. She lives in Byron Center.

Alex Mason has been hired by Perrigo Co. to work on the as a Production Engineer for the Liquids Engineering team in Allegan.

Mason will provide production engineering support for day-to-day operations for Plant 5 liquids packaging.

He also will initiate and drive continuous improvement efforts in the liquids packaging area to promote safety, quality, and efficiency.

Mason previously worked for two years as a process engineer at a sterile vial filling facility for a pharmaceutical manufacturer.   

He earned a bachelor’s in chemical engineering, summa cum laude, from Kettering University. He is from Kent City,  and currently lives in Allegan.   

Source: Rebecca Herrington, Perrigo Co.
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