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Posted on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 5:15 a.m.

People & achievements in the greater Ann Arbor area, including A2 Fitness Professionals and Real Estate One

By Staff


Hosea Walker

From new hires and promotions to industry awards, here’s a roundup of achievements by businesses and individuals in the greater Ann Arbor area:

• A2 Fitness Professionals, based in Ann Arbor, recently welcomed Hosea Walker in the role of personal trainer. Walker is also a certified massage therapist.

• Real Estate One held its annual Washtenaw County Awards event Feb. 19 in Ann Arbor. Among this year's honorees were Matt Dejanovich as County Wide Sales Leader, Raymond Hoot as the Rookie of the Year, Beth Vermett as Most Improved, James McCarthy as the Team Player of the Year and Wayne Esch, receiving the Tenacity Award. Real Estate One is a brokerage with offices in Ann Arbor, Dexter and Saline.

• Michigan State Police Capt. Thomas Sands was promoted to lieutenant colonel and commander of the Field Services Bureau, effective Feb. 3. In his new position, Sands will serve as one of the department’s four deputy directors and as a member of the department’s Executive Council. As deputy director of the FSB, Sands will provide executive direction and leadership to enlisted and civilian employees assigned to the department’s seven districts.

Jeffrey Mirel, the David L. Angus Collegiate Chair at the University of Michigan School of Education and a professor of history, has been elected to the National Academy of Education. Mirel, who also is a faculty associate in the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and in the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, is one of 12 education leaders nationwide to receive honors from the academy for contributions to educational research and policy development.

Terrence J. McDonald, dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, will assume the post of director of the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library. He succeeds Francis Blouin, who has served as director since 1981. Blouin will return to his duties as professor in the Department of History and School of Information, and McDonald will take over the post in September. The library's holdings include manuscripts, published works, photographs and maps related to the history of the state and official archives of the university. The U-M Board of Regents approved McDonald’s appointment Feb. 21.

• The Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors Jan. 17 announced the winners of its 2013 Environmental Awareness Awards. They were Matt and Rene Greff of the Arbor Brewing Co. and The Betty Brigade. The Greffs and Arbor Brewing were honored for installation of a sustainable solar energy system, as well as making other changes to reduce use of gas and electricity in the brewery. The Betty Brigade was honored for their reuse and recycling efforts in their coordinating and organizing services. They make an effort to donate, recycle or otherwise find a home for the thousands of their clients' unwanted items.

Altarum Institute, a nonprofit health systems research and consulting organization based in Ann Arbor, recently announced Mary K. Ousley as the new chair of the board of trustees. Dr. Maxine Hayes has been elected vice-chair. Ousley is president of Ousley & Associates, which assists health care providers with issues such as strategic planning and implementation of quality management programs. Hayes is the state health officer for the Washington State Department of Health.

• The trustees of the micro-philanthropic group A2Awesome Feb. 19 announced the award of two $1,000 grants for projects in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. The first of the two cash awards was given to local entrepreneurs Jean Henry (formerly of the Jefferson Market), Lisa Waud (Pot and Box) and Helen Harding (EAT) to help support the continued growth of their collaborative support group for entrepreneurs, Small & Mighty. The second was given to Lois DeMott, the co-founder of Citizens for Prison Reform, to assist with the Washtenaw County rollout of their resource guide for individuals entering the Michigan prison system.

• A total of 24 Michigan Political Leadership Program Fellows will be honored at MPLP’s 18th annual Fundraising Dinner the evening of Thursday, Feb. 28. Among the fellows are three from Washtenaw County. Jelani McGadney of Ypsilanti is chief of staff to State Sen. Bert Johnson Nolan Moody of Ann Arbor is a third-year law student at MSU. Ryan Stevens of Ann Arbor is a vendor work force analyst/coordinator for GenPact LLC.

Nayiri Mullinix, a head co-teacher in the grades 3-4A classroom at Daycroft Montessori School of Ann Arbor, was selected for a “Scholars of Excellence” award by the faculty of the College of Education at Eastern Michigan University. Mullinix will complete her master’s degree in early childhood education at EMU this spring. The award recognizes her academic excellence, strong commitment to her field of study and outstanding skills.

• Miedema Asset Management Group, parent company of seven asset management companies including Miedema Auctioneering and, recently announced four staff appointments in Michigan. Gerrid Mouw was appointed account executive for the Eastern and Western Michigan divisions of, while Jameson Van Dam was appointed account executive for the Western Michigan division of Charlie Bristol and Tim Lambiris were appointed account executives for the Eastern Michigan division of

• In mid-February, five Ann Arbor community members were installed as honorary members of the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor, in honor of their charitable efforts in the greater Ann Arbor area. The new honorary members are Bonita Neighbors, Grace Shackman, Matthew LaFontaine, Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig. Neighbors, the director of the Community Dental Clinic on North Ashley, was honored for the clinic's effort to serve more than 2,000 low-income patients each year. Shackman, a historian, teacher, author and former Washtenaw County Commissioner, is active with the Ann Arbor Street Exhibit Project and Avalon Housing. LaFontaine, executive of the LaFontaine Group, parent company of 19 automotive franchises, allowed La Fontaine Chevrolet to serve as the bases for coordinating disaster relief in the Dexter area after a tornado devastated the town's commercial area in the spring of 2012. To help those impacted by the tornado, LaFontaine also started the Dexter Relief Fund, which raised $300,000 for disaster relief. Saginaw and Weinzweig, co-founders of Zingermans in Ann Arbor, contribute 10 percent of net profits to local nonprofits and 5 percent of its net profits to a fund to assist staff members in need. In addition, Saginaw and Weinzweig founded the Washtenaw County food bank and food relief nonprofit Food Gatherers.

• Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Feb, 26 recognized 39 hospitals for the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program in the areas of spine surgery and knee and hip replacement. Among Washtenaw County-area hospitals, Chelsea Community Hospital received the "Blue" distinction in the hip and knee category, while the University of Michigan Health System received a "Blue-plus" distinction in the same category. St. Joseph Mercy Hospital - Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan Health System both received a "Blue-plus" designation for the spine surgery category. The list designates health systems and hospitals that demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and re-admissions than their peers.

• In related news, an independent analysis by Truven Health Analytics of the quality, safety and efficiency of care provided by more than 3,000 hospitals across the country rates the University of Michigan Health System in the top 100. UMHS is one of only 15 major teaching hospitals to earn a place on the 100 Top Hospitals list.

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