Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: August 31, 2020

BY MIBIZ STAFF Monday, August 31, 2020 11:22am

Here is the MiBiz growth report for August 31, 2020.


  • Grand Rapids-based SpendMend LLC, which provides spending visibility and audit recovery services to the health care industry, acquired two related companies, TurnKey Pharmacy Solutions and Elevate340B, both based in Draper, Utah. The company plans to rebrand the firms as SpendMend Pharmacy, which will focus on compliance, optimization and growth services for 340B programs in the health care industry. The 340B program requires drug makers to provide discounted medication to hospitals and clinics providing care to uninsured or vulnerable patient populations. TurnKey offers 340B audit and compliance services and established Elevate340B to consult with hospitals to grow their use of 340B programs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Grand Rapids-based law firm Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey PLC is acquiring Detroit-based law firm Lusk Albertson PLC in a deal expected to close Aug. 31. Lusk Albertson focuses its practice on the education sector. The combined firm will have 105 attorneys practicing at three offices statewide, and “represents an opportunity for Miller Johnson to establish an even stronger foothold in the greater Detroit market,” according to an announcement of the deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lusk Albertson partner Kevin Sutton will lead the Detroit office as managing member.
  • Grand Rapids-based Waséyabek Development Co., the non-gaming economic development arm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, closed on a deal on Aug. 20 to acquire Re-source Industries Inc., a family-owned manufacturer based in Muskegon. Previous owners Paul and Randi Kuyt plan to remain with the company, which will be renamed RSI of West Michigan. The company is a high-volume manufacturer of parts for a range of products, including ATVs, autos, snowmobiles and archery bows, and employs 44 people. RSI offers CNC machining and rapid prototyping and operates from a more than 40,000-square-foot facility on South Getty Street in Muskegon. Grand Rapids-based Calder Capital LLC sourced the deal for Waséyabek. 
  • Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Blackford Capital has closed on the sale of Ellison Bakery, a maker of cookies and other baked goods that’s headquartered in Fort Wayne, Ind. Blackford Capital sold Ellison Bakery to Tilia Holdings, a Chicago private investment firm founded in 2017 that invests in the food supply chain and recently reported to federal securities regulators that it raised $99.7 million for a second fund. Blackford Capital acquired Ellison Bakery in 2017. Terms of the sale to Tilia Holdings were undisclosed.
  • Traverse City-based investment firm Boomerang Catapult LLC has sold Taste the Local Difference, a food marketing agency, to individual investor Jody Trietch, according to a report in the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Trietch serves as CFO of Boomerang Catapult, which bought the organization from Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities in 2018. Under Trietch’s leadership, the company looks to expand its services beyond Michigan, according to the report. 


  • Hudsonville Ice Cream has broken ground on a $35 million project that will add a new cold storage hub to its Holland headquarters. The family-owned creamery, which has been in business since 1926, is adding 156,466 square feet of freezer space to its 48th Street campus in a project slated to wrap up in the spring of 2021. Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Tippmann Construction is building the facility, which will feature a refrigerated dock and nine dock doors as Hudsonville Ice Cream works to accommodate the logistics that come with expanding its products into new stores and states with each passing year.
  • Wyoming-based Grand Valley Wood Products and Surfaces of Michigan will soon relocate and consolidate operations of the commercial millwork and countertop companies in southeast Grand Rapids. S. Hager Properties LLC purchased a 52,980-square-foot building at 4030 Eastern Ave. SE on Aug. 7 for $1.7 million, according to property records. The company is registered to Shawn Hager, owner and president of Grand Valley Wood Products and Surfaces of Michigan. Construction and renovations are scheduled primarily for October with operations to start at the new location by the end of the year, Hager said. The companies currently operate in leased facilities. 

Health care 

  • Ascension Borgess in Kalamazoo this month opened an expanded surgical unit. The newly constructed surgical floor has about 38,000 square feet of space with 10 operating rooms, 18 post-anesthesia care stations and a new sterile processing department. Ascension Borgess also expanded its labor and delivery surgical services with the addition of two ORs and four antepartum rooms, allowing doctors to perform C-sections on the floor, rather than traveling to the hospital’s main operating unit.

  • Tasha Blackmon, president and CEO of Cherry Health, was named the recipient of the 2020 Athena Leadership Award from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber presents the award at the 31st Annual Athena Awards Celebration held virtually at 4 p.m. on Sept. 24. The Athena Awards program began in Grand Rapids in 1989 to honor women and men for professional excellence and community service and to offer active assistance to women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

  • Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids named Ingrid Cheslek as chief operating officer. Cheslek has more than 30 years of experience in health care. She joined Mary Free Bed in 2015 as chief nursing officer and in 2016 was also named chief clinical operations officer. As COO, Cheslek oversees all aspects of the hospital’s operations.

  • Spectrum Health named Dr. Hossain Marandi as president of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. Currently the president of Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, Marandi has 18 years of experience at two children’s hospitals. His appointment follows what Spectrum Health in a statement described as “a rigorous national search and interview process with a cross section of community members and hospital leaders.” A pediatrician, Marandi succeeds Dr. Bob Connor, who retired in January after 15 years of leading DeVos Children’s Hospital.


  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan intends to give more than 180,000 individual policyholders a 30-percent credit on their health premiums this fall. The health insurer will apply $21 million in premium credits to November invoices for individual health and dental policies. The credit stems from lower medical claims during the COVID-19 pandemic, which for several weeks in the spring left care providers unable to perform nonessential procedures and surgeries. The premium credits — which are pending regulatory approval — include Blue Care Network, Blue Cross Blue Shield’s HMO subsidiary.


  • Independent Bank Corp. named Gavin Mohr as chief financial officer. Mohr starts Sept. 14, succeeding Robert Shuster, who since June has been interim executive vice president and CFO. Shuster will remain with the bank as a senior financial executive until about Oct. 31 to assist Mohr with his transition. Mohr previously served as the CFO of STAR Financial Bank in Fort Wayne, Ind.


  • The Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s LGBTQ+ Fund has awarded $60,000 to Grand Rapids-based West Michigan Partnership for Children (WMPC) for its new Foster Care Affirming and Listening to our LGBTQ+ Youth (A.L.L.Y.) Project. WMPC’s goal with the A.L.L.Y. Project is to improve the experience in the Kent County child welfare system for persons identifying as LGBTQ+, create a gay/straight alliance for youths in foster care, and increase the foster care workforce’s understanding about the needs of youths who identify as LGBTQ+. The organization is launching the project in collaboration with Grand Rapids-based JF Consulting Services LLC
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