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Kalamazoo Community Foundation names new manager of Community Investment

David Feaster has joined Kalamazoo Community Foundation as a manager in the Community Investment area. 

In his new role, he will help direct the foundation's Community Investment team, which collaborates with local nonprofits on grant-making and partnering on initiatives.

Feaster previously served as executive director of Community AIDS Resource and Education Center (CARES), which serves Southwest Michigan. He began with CARES in 2001 as a medical case manager, later served as director of client services, and assumed the executive director role in 2011.

He graduated from Rutgers University with bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and English.

In other Kalamazoo Community Foundation news, the foundation recently received the Exemplary Foundation Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals West Michigan Chapter.

The AFP recognized the Kalamazoo Community Foundation saying that it provides a “unique and thoughtful assessment of each grant proposal and serving our community through leadership and stewardship of resources that last forever.”

Senior Services of Southwest Michigan nominated the KZCF. In its  letter of support Senior Services thanked KZCF for being “service oriented and so closely connected to the community.”

Marc and Jeanne Schupan, who have an Advised Fund at the Community Foundation, also were recognized with the Distinguished Philanthropist Award. They were honored for “their enthusiasm and desire to make life better for all, combined with their special ability to inspire and motivate others…the Schupans are able to drive successful initiatives focused on compassion, companionship and advocacy.”

As part of the award the Kalamazoo Community Foundation's anniversary also was noted. “Since that first $1,000 gift from W.E. Upjohn in 1925, KZCF continues to envision a better community where every person reaches their full potential, focusing their efforts on ensuring people in the community are loved, cared for, encouraged and empowered.”

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Kalamazoo Community Foundation

First public input session on BTR park expansion set for Dec. 17

The first in a series of opportunities for the public to offer ideas regarding the expansion of Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park at the Colony Farm Orchard will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17 at Oshtemo Township Hall, 7275 W. Main St.

The meeting has been scheduled by the architectural engineering and landscape architecture firms chosen to develop a design plan for the expanded business park -- Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber and O’Boyle, Cowell, Blalock, & Associates.

Members of the community will have a chance to learn more about Phase 2 of the BTR Park development and share their ideas for making the addition as successful as the first phase, say principals with the firms.

WMU also has named a nine-member project advisory committee to work with the design team as it develops plans to turn the 44-acre site adjacent to the original park into a home for private sector partners. The committee is made up of community members as well as WMU faculty, staff and student representatives. 

There will be three public forums, including the Dec. 17 session. 

WMU's BTR Park opened in 2000 and is now full, with more than 40 private-sector firms that focus on the life sciences, advanced engineering and information technology. The Colony Farm Orchard property is located within the boundaries of Oshtemo Township and will be developed as a partnership between the township and the university. 

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Western Michigan University

Physicians create Borgess Vascular Institute to care for those with vascular diseases

At Southwest Michigan's first and only vascular center doctors have experience replacing an entire aorta. 

Advanced Vascular Surgery, The Surgical Group of Southwest Michigan, Borgess Cardiology Group, Borgess Heart Center for Excellence, and Premier Radiology are now part of Borgess Vascular Institute

Borgess Vascular Institute offers preventive care, coronary angioplasty, open surgery and rehabilitation. It uses a multidisciplinary approach to managing peripheral vascular disease.

Borgess Vascular Institute provides care for the following common vascular diseases and more: Care of Lower Extremities and Limb Preservation; Stroke Prevention; Aneurysm and Dissection; Ischemic Bowel; Hypertension Management; Venous (leg ulcers, edema in legs, skin discoloration of the legs, deep venous thrombosis); Intestinal Ischemia; Thoracic Outlet Syndrome; Raynaud’s Disease.

Two of the doctors now affiliated with the Borgess Vascular Institute performed a total aortic arch debranching and Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair (TEVAR) in March 2014. 

Borgess reports that Lonnie Bragg first noticed the pains in his chest in 2009 while at home. His wife, Sue, called an ambulance, and Bragg was brought to Borgess Medical Center, where two aneurysms were discovered, including one in the groin area.

He was treated and went home a week later, but returned to Borgess a few years later, where he received a new and unique vascular procedure. Bragg’s entire aorta was replaced during the TEVAR procedure. 

Dr. Syed Alam and Dr. Jerry Pratt  along with numerous other Borgess Health physicians, are now combining their talents to create the region’s first and only vascular center.

“In the past, patients like Lonnie might have been forced to seek their care elsewhere in Michigan or in other parts of the country,” says Dr. Jain. “Borgess Vascular Institute now gives them the most exclusive and latest medical care they need right here in Kalamazoo.”

Source: Borgess

Cary Goldman becomes national sales director at Easy on Hold

Easy On Hold has a new national sales director. Cary Goldman has joined the company and will responsible for the company's expansion into strategic markets and growing the size and expertise of its sales operation.

Goldman is  from Chicago and has more than 30 years of sales leadership in IT sales. He has led sales efforts for Dell, ASAP Software, and VS Networks. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and his MBA from the Keller School of Management.

Easy On Hold President and CEO Julie Cook says Goldman is joining the company as it is experiencing strong growth. “We have enjoyed nearly 30 percent growth the last three year in a row," Cook says."We have created the industry’s first customized streaming on hold service, and our own overhead music service called Brandi Music. We know that he will help lead us into a new level of visibility in the on hold and in store music and messaging space.”

Goldman says he is looking forward to being part of the growth of Easy On Hold. “The company has enjoyed incredible success as a small startup and is poised to become a major player in the on hold messaging and overhead music space," Goldman says. "The founders have a passion for this market and an innovative spirit. Those are important assets, and they blend well with my experience in leading hyper-growth sales organizations. I predict great things to come for Easy On Hold, our customers, and our employees.”

Easy On Hold was formed in 1997. It provides both streaming and traditional delivery of professional telephone recordings, music and on hold message productions. Services include auto attendant, voicemail greetings, web audio and overhead/in store music and announcements to companies around the world.

Source: Easy On Hold

Leslie Price joins Borgess Internal Medicine

Physician Assistant Leslie Price has joined Borgess Internal Medicine in the Borgess Medical Commons Building at the Woodbridge Hills location, 7775 Angling Road, Portage.

Price comes to Borgess from San Antonio, Texas, where she was a physician assistant in private practice.

She was a physician assistant at Columbus Sleep Consultants in Columbus, Ohio, and at Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio.

Price is licensed with the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Kettering College of Medical Arts in Kettering, Ohio.

Leslie is now accepting patients.

Source: Borgess

Vicksburg pursues crowdfunding campaign for matching grant

Over the next 17 days the Vicksburg Downtown Development Authority is hoping to raise $32,000 that will in turn bring in a matching $32,000 for a new trailhead to the Vicksburg Nature Trail.

The .47 acre trailhead will be the entrance into the Vicksburg downtown district and part of  an extensive 2.6 mile non-motorized nature trail in the village. The Vicksburg Vision Capital campaign has committed $61,000 toward the $126,000 project.

The trailhead is the first part of a larger placemaking project to redevelop the Vicksburg downtown district to enhance its economic development efforts.

The crowdfunding project is offered in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) on the crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

"The MEDC/MSHDA Crowdfunding program is a huge boost to our fundraising efforts and focuses on projects everyone can participate in making happen in the immediate future," says Kathleen Hoyle, Vicksburg DDA Director.

The Patronicity page for the project says the community said in public meetings that it wanted a trail that would connect its downtown district and recreational assets with other communities. It also encourages people to "donate today for the Vicksburg of tomorrow."

Funds will be used for property acquisition, site restoration, planting of trees, the building of a parking lot, bike rack, and benches, installation of historic light poles, signage, and interpretive sign about the history of Vicksburg.

With the money raised through the crowdfunding process, the project could begin in early 2016. With 17 days to go in the process, $4,295 from seven donors had been pledged to the project.

“Creating community connections like the trailhead has an impact measured beyond dollars and cents, as health and quality of life benefits make villages like Vicksburg an attractive place to live. We are proud to partner in this effort,” says MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki.

Source: MEDC

WMU honored for being a top-performing green college

When it comes to saving energy and cutting greenhouse gases, Western Michigan University is one of the country's six top-performing colleges says the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

WMU took the top spot for being a large institution with the most carbon emissions saved to date.

The organization that manages the nation's Billion Dollar Green Challenge praised WMU for having the best performance in the Sustainable Endowment Institute's Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS).

The latest national recognition required the tracking and careful input of data on projects that date back some 20 years, says WMU Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Pete Strazdas. WMU used the GRITS software tool to measure its savings, which is available free to North American educational institutions, thanks to Strazdas' work.

WMU is home to the nation's oldest green revolving fund and it was previously recognized by the Sustainable Endowments Institute for that accomplishment. Such funds are tools that allow institutions to put money into sustainability projects and then invest the savings from those projects into new energy projects. WMU's semi-revolving fund was established in 1980 and has financed more than 100 campus projects with an average annual return on investment of 47 percent.

The honor in 2015 from the Sustainable Endowments Institute is an acknowledgement that "this is one university that is on the sustainability path for the long haul," says Harold Glasser, WMU executive director for campus sustainability and professor of environmental studies. "That's especially significant in an environment in which some see long-term commitment to sustainability as one of the shortcomings for many campus communities."

Source: Western Michigan University

Bronson Internal Medicine adds two physicians

Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists has welcomed Steven Shelden, D.O. and Manish Sharma, M.D., to its team. Both will be working as hospitalists at Bronson Methodist Hospital and Bronson Battle Creek.

Sharma completed his internal medicine residency at the Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor. He is board certified in internal medicine and received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.

Shelden completed his internal medicine residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He is board certified in internal medicine and received his medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing.

Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists–Kalamazoo is located at 601 John St. in Kalamazoo. Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists–Battle Creek is located at 300 North Ave. in Battle Creek.

Source: Bronson

AVB hires new commercial project engineer

Jenae Kuipers has been hired by AVB as a commercial project engineer. She will coordinate all necessary documents and communications for commercial projects for the company.

She has a background in construction and project management and since joining AVB she has demonstrated her skills in the communication process for project coordination.

Kuipers earned her Master's Degree of Business Administration and her Bachelor's Degree of Arts at Michigan State University.

AVB has been building in Southwest Michigan since 1981. AVB’s commercial division focuses on construction management in the healthcare, education, office, industrial, municipal, 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


Borgess Health adds two health care providers

Two new health care providers--Trisha Farrell and Jeffery Oney--have joined Borgess Health.

Trisha Farrell, MS, CNM, WHNP, RNC, is a nurse practitioner and is now working in the Medical Specialties Building office at Borgess Medical Center. Trisha has 25 years of experience and most recently was a school nurse at Antioch District 34, Hillcrest Elementary School, in Antioch, Ill.

She is a former Nurse Corps Officer in the United States Navy and has held women’s health nurse practitioner, RN, nurse midwife and department head positions in the Navy. She is a 2013 recipient of the Inspiration Award in Women’s Health from the Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health Organization, and a recipient of the 2010 Preceptor of the Year from the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Farrell earned a Master of Science degree from the University of California at San Francisco and her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the former Nazareth College in Kalamazoo.

Jeffery Oney, MSM, MS, PA-C, AT, has joined the staff of Borgess Orthopedics, part of the Borgess Bone & Joint Institute.

He previously has held clinical rotations at Borgess Women’s Health in Plainwell, Borgess Heart Center for Excellence, Borgess ProMed Family Practice, and Borgess Palliative Care. He also held clinical rotations in pediatrics, psychiatry, orthopedics, general surgery and family practice with health care providers in southwest Michigan and in Denver, Colo.

Oney was a graduate assistant athletic trainer from August 2008 to August 2010 at Western Michigan University. He is a former head athletic trainer at Benton Harbor High School in Benton Harbor. He has provided athletic training for other high schools in Michigan and Indiana. Jeffery’s athletic training experience includes providing medical coverage in 2008 and 2009 for the United States Tennis Association Junior National Championship Tournament, which takes place annually in Kalamazoo. He also served as an athletic training summer intern in 2007 with the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Mass.

Oney earned a Master of Science in Medicine-Physician Assistant Program, as well as a Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Medicine-Athletic Training, from Western Michigan University. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training, Magna Cum Laude, from WMU.

Source: Borgess

Bronson hires a handful of health care providers

Five new health care providers have joined Bronson, serving in many different areas. Kimberly Hybels, Steven Khalil, Steven Ross, Gayle Waldenmaier, and Travis Walker are all now part of the Bronson team.

Nurse Pactitioner Kimberly Hybels, now works with Bronson Rapid Response Team. Hybels received her Master of Science in Nursing from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor. She has a special interest in adult gerontology. Bronson Rapid Response Team is located at 601 John St. Suite 510 in Kalamazoo.

Bronson Trauma Surgery Services adds Steven Khalil, M.D. Khalil to its team of specially-trained critical care surgeons and southwest Michigan’s only Level I Trauma Center. He completed his surgical trauma and critical care fellowship at Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook, N.Y. and his general surgery residency at Staten Island University College of Medicine in Staten Island, N.Y. Khalil is board eligible in surgical critical care and received his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio State University College of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio. Bronson Trauma Surgery Services is located at 601 John St. in Kalamazoo.

Bronson Neuroscience Center – Kalamazoo welcomes Steven Ross, certified pediatric nurse practitioner, to its team. Ross earned his Master of Science in Pediatric Nursing from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He has two years of experience as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Southside Pediatrics PC. Bronson Neuroscience Center – Kalamazoo is located at 601 John St., Suite M-124, in Kalamazoo.

Nurse practitioner Gayle Waldenmaier,  joins Bronson Advanced Illness Management.  Waldenmaier will be working with the Advanced Illness Management team at Bronson Methodist Hospital. This team provides specialized medical care for people with a serious illness in both the hospital and home setting. Waldenmaier earned her Master of Science in Nursing from Rush University in Chicago. Waldermaier has six years of experience as a nurse practitioner and was most recently employed with Reid Hospital in Richmond, Ind. The Bronson Advanced Illness Management team at Bronson Methodist Hospital is located at 601 John St. in Kalamazoo.

Bronson Pediatric Referral Service adds Travis Walker, M.D., to its team. Walker will be working on the newborn hospitalist team. He has a special interest in newborns. Walker completed his pediatric residency at Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies (MSU/KCMS) in Kalamazoo. He is board certified in pediatrics and received his medical degree from Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland.  Bronson Pediatric Referral Service is located at 601 John St. in Kalamazoo.

Source: Bronson

Borgess ProMed Family Practice welcomes certified physician assistant

Megan O'Brien, MS, PA-C, has joined Borgess ProMed Family Practice at the Woodbridge Hills location, 7901 Angling Road, Portage, and at 8450 North 32nd St., Richland.

She is a certified physician assistant who comes to to ProMed Family Practice from Sinai-Grace Hospital at Detroit Medical Center. She previously was a certified nursing assistant at Masonic Pathways Senior Living Services in Alma and a former pharmacy assistant at Select Specialty Hospital in Saginaw.

She earned a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Wayne State University, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Fitness in Preventative and Rehabilitative Programs from Central Michigan University.

She is board certified in Fundamentals of Critical Care Support, Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Source: Borgess

Cornerstone Alliance chooses next Chief Executive Officer

Cornerstone Alliance, the economic development organization for the southwest corner of the state, has a new chief executive officer.

Robert Cleveland, formerly of Hartford City, Ind., has been selected after a national search.

"Rob is a leader focused on results, and we look forward to having him continue to work to attract investments, create jobs and expand our existing businesses," says John Janick, Chairman of the Cornerstone Alliance Board of Directors.

Cleveland previously worked as executive director for Blackford County Economic Development in Hartford City, in public relations for an Indianapolis-based motorsports team, and in economic development and community affairs for the utility company Indiana Michigan Power.

He earned his B.A. in Sport Administration from Ball State University and is a certified economic development professional (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council.

Cleveland steps into his new role Oct. 31. He will lead economic development efforts in attracting businesses, job creation, retaining existing businesses and fundraising.

"Cornerstone Alliance has a long history of excellence in improving the lives of Berrien County’s residents and employers," Cleveland says. "I believe Berrien County is one of the finest places to live and work in the country.  My family and I are looking forward to integrating ourselves into the community.  And, I can’t wait to join the Cornerstone Alliance staff as we continue to work to bring new opportunities to Michigan’s Great Southwest."

Source: Cornerstone Alliance

The Kelsey Block in downtown Three Rivers to undergo renovation

Bruce Monroe, owner of the Kelsey Block at 39-43 N. Main Street in downtown Three Rivers, will receive design assistance services through the Michigan Main Street Center.

Michigan Main Street Design Specialist Debra Johnson met with Monroe for an on-site consultation and prepared a written report that included paint samples, historic photos, a maintenance schedule and further resources to assist in making improvements to the building.

"While we had a good overview of what our building required in terms of repair, refreshing and otherwise updating in concert with historical rehab guidelines and preferred practices, the Michigan Main Street Center provided insight and direction in very specific detail to guide our restoration process," Monroe says. He adds that he has had experience working on historic buildings in the past, but "the availability of expertise beyond our own experiences was helpful and appreciated.”

The Kelsey Block was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The building was built in 1854 and is described as a three-story, nine-bay wide, Victorian Italianate block.

Monroe applied for the Design Services this past summer. His application was unanimously approved by the Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Design Committee. It received highest marks on significance, implementation, visibility, appropriateness, and simplicity.

Monroe will be able to apply for funding through the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and the National Park Service.

Monroe says they will use the remainder of the year to finalize renovation plans, and hope to begin work on the building in the spring of 2016. Preliminary plans include re-pointing and masonry work, painting, awning treatments, and interior remodeling.

Monroe is the third and final recipient of the design assistance for the 2015 fiscal year.

Source: Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Writer on social issues, politics, culture to speak Nov. 3

Many people and organizations in Kalamazoo County have been working on racial disparities for decades, says Community Foundation President and CEO Carrie Pickett-Erway. A Nov. 3 appearance by Ta-Nehisi Coates is intended to add momentum to the conversations and work that is ongoing.

“Mr. Coates delivers a powerful historical perspective of the impact that systemic racial discrimination has had on our country,” says Pickett-Erway.

He is the author of the current best-seller "Between the World and Me," a finalist for the National Book Award. He is a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. In 2014 he authored the cover story for The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” and the October 2015 issue of the magazine features his cover story, “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.”

He is also Journalist-in-Residence at the School of Journalism at City University of New York. His 2008 memoir, "The Beautiful Struggle," described his childhood in Baltimore, and his recently released "Between the World and Me" takes the form of a letter to his 15-year-old son about growing up as a black man in America. 

According to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which named him a 2015 recipient of one of its "genius' grant says Coates “is emerging as a leading interpreter of American concerns to a new generation of media-savvy audiences and having a profound impact on the discussion of race and racism in this country.” (See a video of him here.)

"It is the Community Foundation’s hope that, upon hearing his message, people will reflect, and join in these important conversations," says Pickett-Erway. "We cannot be the community we believe we are until discrimination no longer exists and every person has the opportunity to reach full potential."

Sponsored by PNC Bank, his talk also is a part of WMU University Center for the Humanities’ 2015-2016 speaker series, "Reimagining Communities."

Coates will appear at 8 p.m. Nov. 3 at Miller Auditorium on Western Michigan University’s campus. The event is free and open to the public; however, registrations are required at or by calling 269-381-4416. Parking also will be free at the Miller Auditorium ramp.

Source: Kalamazoo Community Foundation
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