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2 Muskegon women receive 2015 Lakeshore ATHENA Awards

athena recipients
SPRING LAKE, MI – Two Muskegon women were honored at the annual Lakeshore ATHENA Award luncheon held at Trillium Events in Spring Lake on Oct. 6.

Nichols Vice President of Sustainability Renae Hesselink received the Lakeshore ATHENA Award and Executive Director of Community enCompass Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga received the Lakeshore ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award.

The Lakeshore ATHENA award is presented annually to recognize individuals who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession, provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and actively assist women in realizing their full leadership potential.

The luncheon is presented by the region's three chambers of commerce: The Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg; the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce.

Hesselink was chosen by a selection committee composed of representatives from participating chambers as the most outstanding among the 10 other nominees. She has assisted with more than 40 LEED buildings in Michigan and serves on the United States Green Building Council of West Michigan.

She also established the Power of Produce Club at the Muskegon Farmers Market and is active in the United Way of the Lakeshore, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore, Girl Scouts, Goodwill of West Michigan and TEDx Muskegon.

Rinsema-Sybenga was chosen the most outstanding among the 11 other nominees in the Lakeshore ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award, which was introduced in 2014.

As Executive Director of Community enCompass, Rinsema-Sybenga is a leader in the non-profit community and advocate for people living in poverty providing programs in youth employment, housing rehab and development, after school tutoring, urban farming and homeless family services.

Rinsema-Sybenga has received awards for Influential Women, 40 under 40, Future 15, Outstanding Young Woman, Woman of Accomplishment, Muskegon Agent of Change, and is a Graduate of Leadership Muskegon.

Other nominees included:

2015 ATHENA Nominees

Kristen Brown, MD ~ Mercy Health Physician Partners

Tina Butler ~ Comfort Keepers

Stacy Henkel ~ ADAC Automotive

Maggie Jensen ~ Senior Resources of West Michigan

Holly Johnson ~ Grand Haven Area Community Foundation

Holly Lookabaugh-Deur ~ Generation Care

Donna Lowry MD ~ Ready for School

Anne Sailers ~ Holland Board of Public Works

Judy Whipps ~ Grand Valley State University

Tracy Wilson ~ Grand Haven High School

2015 ATHENA Young Professional Nominees

Katie Appold ~ Love, INC of the Tri-Cities

Jennifer Becksvoort ~ Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital

Jenna Blamer ~ Muskegon County Public Health

Jessica Chandler ~ Merrill Lynch

Sara Julius ~ Edify North

Elizabeth Kidd ~ Holland/Zeeland Area Community Foundation

Brittany Lenertz ~ Michigan Works! Muskegon-Oceana

Sarah Lilly ~ Five Star Real Estate Lakeshore

Nicole Paquette ~ Holland/Zeeland Area Community Foundation

Lindsey Thorsen ~ ServiceMaster

Jennifer Vanderstelt ~ Service 1 Federal Credit Union

Read the article on MLive HERE


Muskegon looking for its next STAR to promote area

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Watch Muskegon image campaign is entering a new phase.

The campaign's logo appears all across the county and on billboards internationally. Now, community leaders behind the campaign are looking for residents who want to become a Muskegon STAR.

The Muskegon STAR component of the campaign will train individuals to communicate all the positive progress in Muskegon.

Participants in the program will receive training from the staff at Michigan Works in an effort to grow Muskegon's economy.

To continue reading this story, visit WZZM13...


$174K in federal grants given for Port of Muskegon development

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than $174,000 in federal grants for Muskegon County economic development were announced Tuesday, Sept. 29.

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters announced two Economic Development Administration grants focused on the Port of Muskegon.

A $62,500 grant will pay for studies on how to increase the flow of locally manufactured goods through the Port of Muskegon. The grant would be received by the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission and matched with local money for a total budget of $125,000.

To continue reading this story, visit MLIVE...


Mercy Health gains approval from Trinity Health for $271 million medical tower, campus consolidation project

MUSKEGON, MI – Mercy Health Muskegon announced a major milestone that will allow leaders there to begin a $271 million medical center and consolidation project at the hospital system's Mercy Campus.

Greg Loomis, the healthcare system's president and CEO, said Thursday, Sept. 24 that Trinity Health has approved the local system's plan to build a nine-story tower at 1500 E. Sherman Blvd and renovate the existing building there.

The Livonia-based parent company is one of the largest Catholic healthcare systems in the United States and oversees facilities in seven states, including St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.

The medical center will allow the Mercy Health Muskegon to expand and relocate services at a single acute care facility, while reducing hospital beds from 408 to 267.

"We're going to 'right size' our hospitals and become more efficient," Loomis said on Thursday.

To continue reading this story, visit MLIVE...


Mercy Health Muskegon gets corporate OK for $271.2 million project

Mercy Health Muskegon has the green light from corporate parent Trinity Health to proceed with a $271.2 million expansion and renovation that would consolidate inpatient medical care at a single campus.

Livonia-based Trinity Health this week approved plans for the project, enabling Mercy Health Muskegon to begin seeking state certificate-of-need approval that CEO Greg Loomis expects to come early this fall.

Site work on could begin next spring with construction starting in September 2016. Occupancy in a new 480,361-square-foot patient tower and the renovated space is targeted for June 2019.

To continue reading this story, visit MiBiz...


Community foundation offering $500 for projects beneficial to Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, MI – The Community Foundation for Muskegon County wants to know what you can do to make Muskegon a little more lovable.

The foundation recently launched its popular "Love Your Community" mini-grant program which awards $500 to projects in the community that demonstrate a love for the Muskegon area. 

The program is inspired by author and urban consultant Peter Kageyama and his message which encourages citizens to show their love for their community. 

To continue reading this story, visit MLIVE...


Norton Shores company gets tax break for expansion, plans at least 15 new jobs

NORTON SHORES, MI – A local firm that aims to grow and become a major player in the laboratory equipment business received a tax break from the City of Norton Shores Tuesday, Sept. 15.

City officials voted unanimously with Councilwoman Cindy Jurkas excused Air Master Systems LLC, or AMS Real Estate Holdings LLC, from initially paying $2,738 in taxes.

The company, located in the Grand Haven School District section of Norton Shores at 6480 Norton Center Dr., is expected to pay $5,475 in first-year taxes for all jurisdictions.

The 12-year tax break means $27,018,200, or about 2.9 percent of the city's total SEV, will be exempted.

To continue reading this story, visit MLIVE...


Muskegon Rescue Mission expanding to help more families

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - The Muskegon Rescue Mission is in the midst of a renovation and building project to fill a need in its community.

The mission has started construction on a new women and family shelter. A capital campaign is underway to pay for the $1,250,000 project.

The shelter will fill a growing need to shelter family units around the country. At any time there are as many as 25 homeless families in Muskegon County. Mission leaders say this project will help them meet that urgent need, and it's just a better way to help families in turmoil.

To continue reading this story, visit WZZM 13...


Pearl Mist cruise ship docks in Muskegon for the day

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Muskegon Lake had some unexpected visitors Wednesday afternoon.

Passengers on the Pearl Mist cruise ship were supposed to dock in Holland on Lake Macatawa Wednesday morning during their trek from Chicago to Toronto. But, a Lake Michigan freighter was already docked at the site. The Pearl Mist was then rerouted to Muskegon Lake.

Busses were waiting to take the passengers to Holland for a tour of the city, including Wind Mill Island.

To continue reading this story, visit WZZM 13...


Se4sons Gastropub open to the public at Muskegon Country Club

A new dining venue inside the Muskegon Country Club is now open, and it's open to the public.

While the 107-year-old golf course will remain private, the facility's new ownership group, MCC Partners LLC, recently completed renovations to the club's restaurant and banquet facilities. It's all part of the 12-member ownership group's larger plan to improve the historic golf course.

To continue reading this story, visit MLIVE...


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