• McDonald’s owner/operator Jason Richards has taken ownership of McDonald’s restaurants in Manistee and Benzonia.
• Bobbi Jo Pyle was recently promoted to manage Schmidt-Rogers Management Vacation Rental Properties’ division. She brings hospitality expertise from her background at various hotel properties and served as vice president of the Grand Traverse Area Hospitality Association from 2009 through 2012.
• Flight Path Creative, a Traverse City-based marketing communications firm, recently hired two project managers. Jeff Zimmerman specializes in digital production, including mobile and tablet applications, microsites, social promotions, sweepstakes and web content. Art Bukowski brings knowledge of the media process that will help Flight Path’s clients connect with news outlets and the general public.
• Valerie Kirn-Duensing is the new major gifts specialist at the Michigan Land Use Institute. She will work one on one with individual donors and family foundations to foster relationships between the organization and those who wish to support its mission in a more meaningful way. Kirn-Duensing most recently served as director of development at the Women’s Resource Center in Traverse City.
• Cindy Rebman has joined the staff of the Michigan Land Use Institute as an accountant, responsible for financial reporting and grant management. Rebman previously audited and consulted with area nonprofits regarding financial matters, system set-ups and controls. She has more 20 years of accounting experience in both the public and private sectors.
• The Consumers Energy Foundation has awarded $1,300 in grants to two organizations in Grand Traverse County to recognize outstanding volunteerism by three employees. The Volunteer Investment Program grants recognize Kendall F. Bindschatel II and Bill Wadsworth, both at the Traverse City service center, who performed a combined 220 hours of volunteer service over the past 12 months with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan. Bindschatel served as a big brother and Wadsworth served on the board of directors. A $750 grant will be used to support one match for an entire year. Courtney Kazim, at the Traverse City service center, provided 100 hours of volunteer service over the past year with Girl Scout Troop 4108 in Traverse City. She served as a troop leader. A $550 grant will be used for troop activities.