Features

Feature Story Ottawa County's humanoid robot, dubbed Francesca, helps visitors to the Fillmore Complex find their way through the building to the correct department.

Wayfinding robot 'Francesca' returns to Ottawa County

Francesca, who helps visitors find their way around Ottawa County’s Fillmore Administrative Building, is back in service. The wayfinding robot was idle after COVID-19 hit because her touch screen risked spreading germs. Her interface has been updated to be touchless with voice activation and facial recognition.

Feature Story The Joe Marcinek Band and Benzing Graves Collective recently played Holland's Park Theatre.

Park Theatre bursts back on the scene with new vigor post-pandemic

Downtown Holland's Park Theatre hit the ground running when it reopened its doors post-pandemic. The nonprofit venue is expanding its tastes to include comedy and art events, including some top-bill acts from around the country.

Feature Story Luciano Hernandez V and his dad, Luciano Hernandez IV, display their product, Spirit Fire Lights, at the SURGE Celebration.

Father and son entrepreneurs team up to launch solar lighting company

Luciano Hernandez says attending the SURGE Boostcamp, a Lakeshore Advantage business boot camp, with his son was “exactly what we needed” to make their solar lighting concept a reality. He says it gave him the motivation to launch his new company, Spirit Fire Aftermarket Products, and its first product, solar-powered marker lights for trucks.

Feature Story Ebony Roach

Promise Scholar headed to U-M shares her lifelong love of learning

It won’t be in a box with her other belongings, but Promise Scholar Ebony Roach will take a lifelong love of learning with her when she heads to the University of Michigan in the fall. She’s also carrying a tremendous sense of gratitude to her family, teachers, and friends who’ve helped her succeed.

Feature Story Entrepreneurs Luciano Hernandez V and his dad, Luciano Hernandez IV, show off their product at the Surge Celebration.

Entrepreneurs invited to launch business ideas at SURGE Boostcamp

The 16-week program is now accepting high-tech startup and product idea applications for its fall cohort. Lakeshore Advantage’s virtual business launch program is designed to give startups the boost they need to achieve their next growth milestones.

Feature Story GRCC students in their Metallica Scholars shirts

GRCC receives third Metallica foundation grant to provide skilled trades training

Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation recently awarded $25,000 to Grand Rapids Community College, marking the third time GRCC has received funding from the legendary band. The grant will help GRCC Workforce Training to continue a program that provides technical education and hands-on welding experience.  

Feature Story Janee’ Beville

A look back at the YPCC and a presenter’s advice to help improve mental, emotional health

With the continued impacts of COVID-19 being seen at all levels, it is more important than ever to make personal health and well-being a priority. For people of color, overcoming barriers to access as well as potential stigmas pose additional challenges. At the recent Young Professionals of Color Conference (YPCC), local counselor Janee’ Beville shared insights on the importance of mental and emotional care.

Feature Story The Lakeshore offers myraid opportunities for outdoor yoga and pilates.

Making the most of summer with outdoor yoga and Pilates on the Lakeshore

While social activities ramping up as COVID-19 restrictions ease, there are still places to slow down and enjoy nature while getting in a great workout. If you’re ready to give yoga or Pilates a try, check out these classes that are offered in a park, on the beach, or aboard a ship.

Feature Story Cheri Honderd is the founder and executive director of Hand2Hand.

CFHZ grants to boost services for seniors, patients and youth

The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area has awarded its first round of competitive grants for 2021. CFHZ disbursed $100,000 among five organizations, with the aim of enhancing their ability to meet the needs of area seniors, students, patients, and youth. 

Feature Story The newest Biggby Coffee is in the newly renovated Haworth Hotel.

Hope grad opens coffee bar in Haworth Hotel after $7.5M makeover

Hope grad Mark Dykema found the perfect location for his latest Biggby Coffee in the Haworth Hotel after a $7.5 million facelift by an international designer gave the interior a modern European look. Dykema sees the location, on the Hope College campus — a beautiful, “good vibes only” coffee shop — as a great fit. 

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