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West Michigan movies were not box office hits

West Michigan movies were not box office hits

How did movies shot in West Michigan do at the theatres in 2012?  Let's just say that none of them was a hit.

The movie “Touchback” grossed $204,232 domestically, according to Box Office Mojo.  The film was partially shot at Pal’s Dinner in Cascade and in the Coopersville area.   According to Box Office Mojo,  “Touchback” ranked 289th out of 655 films.  It opened in 69 theatres, including some in the Grand Rapids area.  “Touchback” starred Brian Presley and Kurt Russell.  The film goes back in time and was about a high school football player who got a second chance and along the way discovered what was really important in life.

Another movie made in West Michigan, “Playback” was the second lowest grossing movie in 2012.  It made just $264 during its box office debut and played in only one theatre.  "Pla

Tech Boom: Epic Innovator Dan Behm of OST

Tech Boom: Epic Innovator Dan Behm of OST

Matt Simpson Siegel

It’s fitting that Open Systems Technologies (OST) sits inside the former Drueke Toys building on Grand Rapids’ Westside.
 
Walking in, one feels incredibly welcome. One is tempted to linger at the posh kitchen counter, gazing at the exposed brick and woodwork. Above the fireplace to the left, a monitor broadcasts Santa’s reindeer at the North Pole via http://reindeercam.com. This certainly is not an ordinary office; names of games in tribute to Drueke adorn the various rooms while kitchenettes and club chairs appear peppered about.
 
 “Here’s my philosophy on company culture and it’s always been this way,” explains the jovial Dan Behm, OST co-founder and CEO. "If it ever fails to be fun then I’m going to change the culture back until it is fun.”
 

Grand Rapids at a Tipping Point

Grand Rapids at a Tipping Point

J. Bennett Rylah

Kristopher Larson, the relatively new executive director of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), comes to Grand Rapids from Long Beach, CA where he acted as VP of the Downtown Long Beach Association. Before that, Larson lived in Raleigh, NC. So, it's suffice to say, we're zeroing in on Larson's first Michigan winter.

Larson says he was born and raised in Raleigh and was there for a "very fun part" of the city's transformation. "When I was a kid," he says, "[Raleigh] had a population similar to Grand Rapids -- about 180,000. When I left, it was 400,000. We had all these tremendous opportunities, and helping to direct a lot of that was a fun time. But, eventually, I just wanted to stretch my legs."

Creating a Vibrant Place

Creating a Vibrant Place

By Jeff Hill

Placemaking: what is it?

The Project for Public Spaces defines it as:

"A multi-faceted approach to the planning, design, and management of public spaces. Put simply, it involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work, and play in a particular space, to discover their needs and aspirations. This information is then used to create a common vision for that place."
Rapid Growth's November speaker series event will focus on placemaking and things that are going on presently or planned for the near future to make Grand Rapids' downtown and urban neighborhoods vibrant, exciting places to live, work, and play.


You'll hear from:

Kris Larson, the new Downtown Development Authority (DDA) director for the City of Grand Rapids
Derek Coppess, 616Development and 616Lofts
Mark Miller, Architect/Designer at Nederveld Associates
Lynee Wells, Urban Planner for Williams and Works

Sara Sherry is Mixing It Up

Sara Sherry is Mixing It Up

By Jeff Hill

What does a 24-year-old white girl know about business? What does a 24-year-old white girl know about the struggles of being a minority in today's society?

These are just some of the questions that Sara Sherry deals with every day, both as the owner of a unique staffing company, and as a junior varsity volleyball coach at a Grand Rapids City High School. Her company, Mixed Staffing, provides staffing and recruiting services, motivational speaking, educational seminars, resume' building, personality testing, drug screening, and other employment related resources. Mixed also provides diversity training and education, which is one area in particular that Sherry feels passionate about.

Discrimination Takes Many Forms

Rowster pioneers coffee subscription service

Rowster pioneers coffee subscription service

by Brittany Beezhold in LOCAL LIFE

Rowster New American Coffee partners with Kickstarter to offer Regular Coffee, a locally roasted brew.

A warm cup of coffee between your hands, the smell of roasting coffee beans and the sound of the espresso machine steaming milk form the atmosphere of Rowster New American Coffee, located at 632 Wealthy Street. Rowster is committed to the purity and quality of its coffee as well as producing green, fairly sourced products.

And last month, something new happened at Rowster. Through Kickstarter, an online funding platform, Rowster was able to launch a new idea called Regular Coffee Co.- a separate brand of locally roasted, affordable coffee manufactured at Rowster.

Gnomes, Beards, Paninis

Gnomes, Beards, Paninis

Audria Larsen

Downtown Grand Rapids is about to get another layer of delectable delights sandwiched among the folks currently dwelling, working, and soon, dining, at 38 Commerce Ave. Two Beards Deli, scheduled to open this November, seeks to fill a culinary void and serve an ample dose of whimsy, while filling your gullet.