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Owens appointed as Lakeshore Advantage’s next president

By By Brian VanOchten | @HollandSentinel.com

HOLLAND, MI --- Jennifer Owens has been appointed as Lakeshore Advantage’s next president.

She replaces Randy Thelen at the helm of the local nonprofit organization that’s responsible for helping propel economic development throughout Ottawa County, its board of directors announced this morning.

“I’m honored to become part of a collaborative community that supports and fosters business growth and look forward to working with area leaders to help maximize this positive momentum,” Owens said.

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Census 2010: Ottawa County No. 1 in population growth in Michigan

By Andrea.Goodell | @HollandSentinel.com

HOLLAND, MI --- Ottawa County is the fastest growing county in the state, according to U.S. Census data released this week.

It might not seem like much, but Ottawa County's 1.25 percent growth between 2012 and 2013 exemplifies a positive shift, experts said. It's the highest percentage growth of any Michigan county. Those 3,372 new people in 2012 account for almost half the growth since the 2010 Census (8,646 people).

Ottawa County's population is now estimated at 272,701, 3.4 percent more than in 2010.

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Ottawa County healthiest in the state

By Sue Thomas | MLive

Ottawa County is the healthiest county in the state, and Kent County ranks 16th, according to a national report released Wednesday, March 26.

For Ottawa, the top spot is an improvement over last year, when it ranked No. 2. This is the second year Kent County has come in at No. 16. In 2012, it was ranked 19th.

The 2014 County Health Rankings report was released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

It ranks Michigan’s 83 counties on health outcomes, which measure how long people live, how healthy people feel and their mental well-being. It also measures various health factors and compares them to national benchmarks.

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Lakeshore market ranks No. 1 in U.S. for ‘well-being’

By Rachel Weick | Grand Rapids Business Journal

A lakeshore market leads the nation in several well-being categories measured by Gallup.

The Holland-Grand Haven market enjoys the best physical health and basic access to necessities, according to the sixth annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released yesterday.

The Holland-Grand Haven market also ranks first for feeling safe walking at night, according to the USA Today.

Methodology

The report is based on a survey by Gallup, a national research-based consulting firm, and Healthways, a well-being-improvement company.

The companies surveyed a random sample of adults 18 or older living in U.S. metropolitan areas, including the District of Columbia.

The index is designed to measure the American population’s perception of their well-being, by capturing a nuanced picture across factors impacting daily lives.

Holland-Grand Haven

Holland-Grand Haven is the only market with a top ranking in more than one sub-category: the market has a score of 80.9 for physical health and a score of 89.7 for access to basic necessities.

The scores reflect residents' perception of the well-being categories.

The physical health sub-category encompasses body mass index, disease burden, sick days, physical pain, daily energy, history of disease and daily health experiences.

The basic access sub-category measures 13 elements, such as availability to food, shelter and health care.

The two sub-categories are combined with four other measures for a score for overall well-being: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment and health behaviors.

In the overall well-being breakdown, Holland-Grand Haven also scores near the top with a score of 69.1.

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Twisthink turns to crowdfunding to launch new product

By Joe Boomgaard | MiBiz

HOLLAND, MI --- Holland-based technology design firm Twisthink LLC is experimenting with an unconventional strategy to bring a new lighting product to market.

Rather than design and engineer a product to hand off to a client, the firm decided to take a crack at commercializing a new idea on its own — sort of. While Twisthink’s team has designed and developed a working prototype of an LED lantern that can be controlled by a smartphone app, it’s turning to the social power of crowdfunding to fund the remainder of the development costs.

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