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2 Resolving Conflicts with Operating Agreements


By Matthew R. Newburg and Eric W. Misterovich Family-owned businesses come with certain advantages that are hard to appraise. A price cannot be put on working with your loved ones, building up a family name, or passing down a successful business that will provide for future generations. But, the business end of a family business can lead to conflicts that could damage family relationships. Because there is always more than just business on the line, family-owned companies and corporations need to be prepared to resolve conflict. While instituting measures to reduce conflict is beneficial, you should focus on guidelines that resolve the inevitable conflicts that will arise. Family-owned businesses can resolve conflicts and prevent family stress by agreeing upon clear rules for how the business is to operate. This article will focus on the importance of an Operating Agreement for a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and summarize a few important provisions that should be included. Operating Agreement: An LLCs Operating Agreement creates rules to govern the company. Among other items, an Operating Agreement should provide for the rights and responsibilities of members and managers, indemnification provisions, and voting rights, as well as explain the membership process. The agreement sets forth the rules that will take effect under a number of different scenarios, and attempts to plan for the unexpected. It serves as an independent, impartial voice in the time of conflict and can significantly reduce the personal stress associated with making business decisions with those same people who sit next to you at Thanksgiving dinner. Family-owned businesses should review their Operating Agreements and understand their provisions. During this review, we recommend making sure your Operating Agreement addresses three critical areas that are ripe for disagreement: Buy/Sell Provision: This addresses the transferability of a members interest upon any number of triggering events. For example, the company must know what will happen to someones interest if a member dies, divorces, becomes disabled, retires, is terminated or simply wants to sell. When that event happens, the buy/sell provision is triggered and governs everything from who can or must purchase the interest to how the interest is valued. Often, a company is granted a Right of First Refusal from any third-party offers to purchase. This gives the company a level of control over the ownership of the business. Valuation of Interest: Just as the Operating Agreement should provide the rules for transferring interests, it should also provide for how the interest will be valued. The Operating Agreement should express the value of an interest in some kind of defined, measurable unit that is clearly ascertainable. Typically, companies either use a book value (according to financial reports) or the companys fair market value (which could be left to an independent appraiser) to determine an interests value. You may wish to provide for a higher valuation method for events outside someones control (death or disability), so as not to punish family members during these unfortunate events. On the other hand, you may want lower valuation methods for events where persons have more control of the situation (bankruptcy or criminal convictions). This provision should also address how the purchase price is to be paid (lump sum or periodic payments). Arbitration Provision: Like any other business, family-owned businesses will experience deadlocks and strong disagreements that simply cant be resolved without a lawsuit. In general, arbitration is faster and less expensive than litigation. Channeling disputes away from the court system may save headaches during an already ugly situation. A thorough and detailed Operating Agreement can help family-owned businesses resolve problems without emotion. As the holidays come around this year, take some time to review your policies and procedures regarding conflict resolution. Ask yourself if your company has addressed the points above, and whether you are satisfied with the result. The first step to creating a sustainable method of resolving conflict is to understand the rules of your business and to be able to effectively communicate those rules to your family. This will create a culture of open, honest communication and affirm the importance of what your goal has been all along: to build something that will live on and provide for future generations. Newburg Law, PLLC, with offices in St. Joseph and Lansing, guides Michigan businesses with innovative methods for delivering legal services. Visit newburglaw.com or inventemployment.com, or call 269.281.3908.

Modestly Positive and Still Improving


Grand Rapids - The greater Grand Rapids industrial economy is experiencing modestly positive growth, according to the results of a monthly survey compiled by Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. The survey results are based on data collected during the last two weeks of November. The surveys index of business improvement, called new orders, advanced to +13 from +9. The production index remained virtually unchanged but retreated to +7 from +8. The employment index posted a gain, rising to +24 from +15. Long said Michigan still has the automotive parts producers to thank for the positive numbers. He said second strongest group for November was industrial distributors, many of whom appear to be having a good year. He said the office furniture firms appear to be plateaing at the current level. The auto industry continues to strengthen, said Long. Since much of Michigans recession recovery can be attributed to the auto parts suppliers and assemblers, it is especially gratifying to see industry sales for November rise by 14 percent, up from Octobers increase of 8 percent. Long said the other big economic news for November was the drop in the national unemployment rate to 8.6 percent from 9 percent.

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3 How Private Equity Helps Preserve Legacy of Family-Owned Businesses


By Greg Myers Approximately 90 percent of U.S. businesses are family-owned firms, ranging in size from small mom-n-pop companies to larger corporations, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Unfortunately, only 40 percent of family businesses survive into the second generation, 12 percent into the third generation, and a mere three percent into the fourth. For many, the main reason for failure is lack of planning. With 40 percent of U.S. businesses facing a transfer of ownership at any given time, founders must make careful decisions when selecting future leadership, in order to preserve a companys vision and values. Succession planning plays a critical role in ensuring a business success. Rather than develop plans alone, which can be overwhelming for individual owner-operators, business owners can turn to private equity firms for help. Many private equity firms offer expertise in succession planning, providing direction on options such as a transition to an existing management team or interested family members, or the recruitment of new leadership. Private equity also provides liquidity as a way of cashing out or diversifying assets. Owners can achieve partial or full liquidity on their equity ownership, diversifying net worth for estate planning purposes. A private equity partner also can help provide the capital and resources essential for entering new markets and stimulating innovation, leading to the creation of new products, new revenues and a new competitive edge. As strategic allies in the business, private equity partners work closely with a companys management team to analyze its business strategies and practices, concentrating on those next steps which will best ensure growth and success, by focusing the business on its core competencies. In addition, private equity investors help establish timelines for growth, maintain focus on development, and provide insights on potential improvements to existing business strategies. Overall, the fundamental goal in any private equity investment is to increase the intrinsic value of each company by taking a long-term approach towards creating sustainable, profitable growth. This goal is achieved through margin improvement and better capital management, in turn, driving earnings growth and debt reduction. By partnering with the right private equity firm, business owners gain opportunities for their company to grow, as well as the capital necessary to incorporate new products or services required to meet customer demand. Private equity partners act as advisors and confidants to senior management on strategic matters, helping to advance long-term progress in ways that other options dont support. Under the public microscope, companies are held to short-term growth goals measured quarter-by-quarter. Conversely, private equity offers flexibility to make strategic decisions that can be more beneficial longterm, allowing businesses to flourish far into the future. With the right plans in place, business owners can ensure their company remains stable and profitable, while safeguarding a successful transfer of their business to build on its existing legacy. Greg Myers is a managing director of Mason Wells, a Midwest-based private equity firm. He has 20 years of experience in private equity transactions and has sat on the board of directors for many mid-market manufacturers in the firms former and current portfolios. Greg can be reached via e-mail at gmyers@masonwells.com.

Muskegon Community College


By Peter D. Koryzno Muskegon Community Colleges Tom Martin knows the importance of higher education to West Michigan industries reliant upon a trained and skilled workforce to compete in world markets. If were not there for them as partners, neither of us will survive and thrive, says Martin, an MCC industrial technology graduate and now department chair who earned his engineering degree at Western Michigan. Martin, who also teaches CAD classes, points out that 20 of his students were hired regionally in the past six months alone. The demand for proficient operators of 3-D CAD, something that MCC has taught since 1996, has come on like gangbusters in the last five years, says Martin, who learned the craft using drawing boards as an MCC student in the late 1970s. Now, were

Eagle CNC owner Bill Seyfeth (left) describes to MCC President Dale Nesbary (right) and Eagle CNC employee and MCC student Eric Fazakerley the need for skilled workers to operate his firms complex machinery. Seyferth reimburses his employees MCC tuition costs if they receive above average grades.

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Publisher: Gary Kralapp Business Development Senior Vice President: Diane LaPreze Senior Vice President: Jim Lroy Circulation: David Caulkins Contributing Writers: Matthew R. Newburg, Eric W. Misterovich, Greg Myers, Peter D. Koryzno,Larry E Roslund, David M.Barrons, Eric Mills, Jeremy Martin, Sondra Phillips, Edward Youdell

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going from just creating 3-D models to testing their fit, form and function on the computers. The model becomes a real-life computer prototype. MCC prides itself on being ready for industrys next wave while continuing to address todays employment needs. The college has been partnering with local business since offering its first tech classes 52 years ago. Adaptability in education, as in business, remains the key. Unfortunately, if you listen to the media, manufacturing is dead in the United States, explains Bill Seyferth, the 27-year owner of North Muskegons Eagle CNC, which makes castings for American and global firms. Its not dead. Its just changed. Its become more demanding from a technical standpoint. Its difficult now to walk out of high school, find a job, work hard and be able to move up. Youve got to have a skill set. Seyferth encourages continuing education among his employees. He reimburses their tuition costs for above average grades. Eric Fazakerley, an Eagle CNC employee, has witnessed tangible benefits to studying part-time at MCC the past five years. I started on the floor and worked my way into engineering, says the Muskegon resident. I know a little bit

about how it all works. Thats one of the nice things about having instructors who worked out in the field. Ive taken basic machining, welding, and technical math. Its definitely helped me accelerate up the chain faster. It shows them that I am pushing myself to excel. Martin compares MCCs generalist approach to getting a liberal arts education in technology. More than 700 students are enrolled in MCCs technology programs, where they pursue certificates and degrees in electronics, graphics, automotive, machining computer-aided drafting, quality assurance, grounds maintenance and production supervision. Recently, MCC added cutting-edge technology courses in applied alternative/renewable energy, biofuels and wind and solar energy. The European firm fortu Powercell is partnering with MCC to have the college screen its employees to ensure that they have taken the necessary MCC courses, or their equivalents, so that the alternative battery manufacturer can hit the ground running when it builds its plant and begins operations in North Muskegon. As more foreign companies return industrial operations to the U.S. where natural resources are more abundant and the quality of the finished product much

better, America must respond with greater technological training, says Martin. When charting its academic path, MCC listens to its advisory boards, one for each tech program on campus, filled with experienced individuals in the respective fields. I try to insure that our faculty and our students are connected with the business community directly, adds MCC President Dale Nesbary, who frequently meets face-to-face with area business leaders and serves on many related committees to encourage a rapport. He sits on the Talent 2025 Presidents Council, which offers a two-way flow of information regarding internships and workforce challenges across a 13-county region. The synergy between the MCC campus and industry portends exciting days ahead. With the comeback of the auto industry over the last year, not only metal forming industries have been busy, but Muskegons plastics companies have been growing and new players are coming on board, says Dan RinsemaSybenga, director of business and training at MCC. Mainstay ADAC Automotive, maker of door handles and other components for the auto industry, and Fleet Engineers, transportation parts producer entering the plastics field with a $2 million expansion, are working with MCC to improve the Colleges capabilities to meet their needs for employees in this expanding regional sector. Martin and his fellow instructors, who are nearly all MCC alumni, take a special pride in the Industrial Technology Department. They relate to their students because they once sat in their seats. They fully understand their ultimate goal. If your students are going to get jobs, its because you are teaching them the right things, concludes Martin.

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5 Have You Done Any "Estate Planning" Lately?


By Larry E Roslund Do you know how your assets will be distributed upon your death? Generally, assets are dispersed to one, or more, of the following entities: family, friends, charities, and/or the Internal Revenue Service. Good estate planning attempts to maximize those assets which beneficiaries will receive. Keep in mind that this is not a task you can "complete" in a day, or even a month or two. Estate planning is a life-long process, and one that every adult, regardless of age and net worth, should think about and actively work on. Estate planning encompasses more than simply deciding who will inherit your assets after you pass away. While still living, you should earnestly weigh all the options available to you, since the decisions you make and the options you choose ultimately impact your assets. When working on your estate plan, consider the following areas: Wills and Trusts - These documents help you outline your desires. Lawyers need to draft the documents, but first, you need to establish your intentions. Income Tax Returns - Do you wait until April of each year to think about your income tax return? If you take the time to look ahead, then you may minimize taxes by taking advantage of current tax deductions/credit and by planning for when you will recognize certain items of income and loss. This will create more assets. Gifts - Giving gifts of cash or other assets is a great way to transfer wealth. With proper planning, you may be able to gift a significant amounttax free (yearly $13,000/lifetime $5,000,000). Retirement Plans These fund your retirement plan to the maximum in order to defer paying taxes. Do you know who inherits these funds if you die? You were asked to name a beneficiary when you started the plan; is this still your entity or person of choice? And lastly, know where your records are stored. Investments - Take a look at the investments you currently own (i.e.: stocks/bonds, real estate, etc.). What do you hope to accomplish with these investments? Are they growing or shrinking? Changes may be needed. Funding Child Education - Your children may be far from their college years, but time will sneak up on you before you know it. Do you have a plan for how you will fund your children's college education? Will you help with your grandchildren's education? Even though you may not know what institution they will attend, different tax advantage investment vehicles are available that can help you begin saving today, such as a 529 plan. Funding Parent Care - Are you the one responsible for overseeing your parents care? Consider seeking advice on how to maximize government help. Business - Do you own a business? What plans exist to develop and grow your business? When would you like to retire? Do you have an exit strategy in place, which will allow the business to operate when you leave? Life Insurance - Evaluate what life insurance policies, including long-term care insurance, you may need. Also determine who the beneficiaries should be. Would a life insurance trust make sense? Debt Analysis - Do you have a plan to get debt paid off? Will most of your assets go toward paying off such debt? Some of the above-mentioned aspects may have struck a cord with you, prompting the question: Where do I start? Our firm recommends finding an estate planning advisor who, first and foremost, is independent. In other words, select an advisor who can provide objective estate planning advice and who is not trying to sell you additional products or services. An advisor should be wellversed in the topics mentioned above, so that you acquire a full understanding of the various options available to you; no singular plan is right for everyone. Continued on page 8

6 Michigan Tax Changes to Pension and Retirement Benefits in 2012


By David M.Barrons Over the next couple of months, Michigan taxpayers receiving pension and retirement benefits may be surprised to receive a request to complete Withholding Certificate Form MI W-4P from the pension or retirement administrator of their plan. This is a direct result of the significant changes to Michigans Individual Income Tax that take effect January 1, 2012 and includes the taxation of certain pension and retirement benefits. Under the new law, entities that disburse pension or annuity payments may be required to collect state withholding on those payments that are expected to be included in taxable income of the recipient at a rate of 4.35%, unless the taxpayer is exempted under one of the provisions on Form MI W-4P. If Michigan does not have jurisdiction over the entity disbursing the payments there will be no requirement to withhold. However, this does not relieve the taxpayer from making Michigan estimated tax payments if there is an expected tax liability. In part, the Michigan taxability of pension and retirement benefits will be based on the year of birth of the taxpayer. For those taxpayers that were born before 1946, there is no change in 2012 regarding the tax treatment of pension and retirement benefits. For those taxpayers born after 1945, the Michigan tax treatment of pension and retirement benefits will be determined by age group; taxpayers born between 1946 and 1952 subjected to one section of the law; and, taxpayers born after 1952 subjected to different section of the law. So depending on their date of birth, three individuals receiving the same income could be taxed three different ways. This significant change to Michigan tax law was intended to address a growing reality in Michigan; we are an aging state. Individuals that have retired or those that receive retirement or pension payments make up an ever increasing proportion of the population. This is not a result of our sunny and warm winters but is due to the loss of over 1 million jobs in the last decade and the flight of individuals seeking jobs in other states. Individual income tax revenues would continue to decline unless some action was taken. The change was also a direct result in the elimination of a significant portion of the business tax burden through the elimination of the MBT in the hopes of eventually attracting more jobs to Michigan. One would think that tax treatment based on the year of birth would be subject to some legal challenge as possibly unequal treatment before the law. In fact, the Snyder Administration wanted to resolve this issue prior to the Law taking effect. It petitioned the Michigan Supreme Court to rule as to whether the new law regarding the tax treatment of pensions and retirement payments was fair in the eyes of the Court. To date, the Michigan Supreme Court has not issued its decision on whether the law as written passes Federal and Michigan Constitutional questions, including equal protection concerns as well as a violation of the graduated income tax prohibition. Several groups have lined up challenging and supporting the law as currently enacted. If the issue is not resolved before year end, the Law will take effect in its current form on January 1, 2012. No matter what age bracket a taxpayer falls in, it is a good time to evaluate tax planning for 2012 and beyond. There are other significant changes to the Michigan Individual Income Tax that effect all taxpayers. These changes could impact withholding or the need for estimated tax payments in 2012. David M.Barrons is a Partner, MultiState Tax Group of Beene Garter LLP located at 56 Grandville Ave SW, Suite 100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Barrons can be reached at dbarrons@beenegarter.com.

Finance/Insurance Briefs
Grand Rapids Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge attorneys have been selected to be listed in the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America as "Lawyer of the Year." Those from Smith Haughey Grand Rapids are as follows: William W. Jack, Jr. - Legal Malpractice Law Defendants; John C. OLoughlin - Medical Malpractice Law Defendants; L. R. "Bud" Roegge - Bet-the-Company Litigation; Edward R. Stein (Ann Arbor office) Personal Injury Litigation Defendants. Lansing - Attorney Brittany Campbell has joined the Gallagher Law Firm with offices in Lansing, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Mt. Pleasant. Ms. Campbell will focus her practice on representing lenders and corporate clients in litigation and regulatory matters. Grand Rapids - Law Weathers announced that Brian Fleetham was recently selected as Grand Rapids Health Care Law Lawyer of 2012 by Best Lawyers. Grand Rapids - Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones partners named Lawyers of the Year by Best Lawyers: Douglas A. Donnell named by Best Lawyers as Grand Rapids' Environmental Litigation Lawyer of the Year; Michael C. Haines named by Best Lawyers as Grand Rapids' Oil & Gas Lawyer of the Year. Grand Rapids - The CFA West Michigan Society, a member society of the CFA Institute, announced the selection of Zeeland, Mich.-based Herman Miller, Inc. as the focus company for the 2012 CFA Institute Research Challenge. Sparta ChoiceOne Bank donated $560 to the Sparta Education Foundation. Sparta Area School employees were given the challenge for every Health Savings Account they opened at ChoiceOne Bank within a certain time frame, the Bank would donate $10 to the Sparta Education Foundation. Grand Rapids - Plante Moran announced that a Plante Moran app is now available for the Android, iPhone or iPad and can be downloaded from the app store. The Plante Moran app allows users to: Read the latest edition or archives of the Universal Advisor; Read and comment on Managing Partner Gordon Kraters blog; Peruse the latest Plante Moran events and webinars; View the Plante Moran Twitter feed. Ionia - Hank Risley has taken the role of senior vice president of retail lending at Independent Bank. Risley will lead the retail lending team statewide. Additionally, Brian Talbot, senior vice president of retail banking at Independent Bank, has an expanded role as the leader of retail administration throughout West Michigan. Grand Rapids - John W. Inhulsen, an attorney at Foster Swift Collins & Smith P.C., has been appointed to the State Bar of Michigan Practice Management Resource Center Advisory Committee. The primary responsibility of the Practice Management Resource Center Advisory Committee is to provide guidance in the development, maintenance, evaluation of resources, and programs. Sparta, MI ChoiceOne Bank announced the addition of Kent G. Gagnon as Business Development Officer. Gagnon is responsible for creating new opportunities and developing long-term relationships with the local business leaders in the communities the Bank serves. Grand Rapids - A. Christopher Engle, partner of Argus Financial Consultants, is newly certified as an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. Chris specializes in working with his clients to help them create a financial plan and then implement strategies to pursue their financial goals.

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7 Bankers & Borrowers: Building Stronger Relationships


By Eric Mills After almost three years of lower activity in lending circles, loan demand is starting to experience a slight increase. Market observers say there are early indications that lenders are more prepared to lend, and borrowers are more ready to borrow. In fact, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet L. Yellen recently told a meeting of financial managers that financial market functioning is much better than in the depths of the crisis; the quantity and quality of capital, and the size of liquidity buffers in the banking system, have improved significantly. Borrowing in the Current Economy While the economy still tries to find its direction in the coming months, small business owners might want to take this time to reposition themselves for a possible upturn in the economy. Its an admonition most business owners havent heard for a number of years: You might want to prepare your business for expansion. Small business expansion often means re-entering the lending market to finance new manufacturing equipment or operating expenses. But over the past few years, some bankers and borrowers have not always been on a first name basis. Time has lapsed, new businesses have emerged, and older companies have changed hands. Many owners were afraid to approach lenders, while others simply didnt want to borrow money during a downturn in the economy. A few banks, such as Huntington National Bank, continued to lend money to small businesses precisely because Huntingtons Business Bankers maintained open lines of communication. This allowed the bank to see beyond the aggregate economic statistics, which painted a bleak picture, and instead, to provide real-condition information that helped to identify financially sound businesses. Huntington continues to loan to business customers and, as a result of its continued, strong commitment to helping businesses prosper and grow, remains the highest ranked Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lender in Michigan, and third overall in the nation. Communication is Important during a Downturn Ideally, a strong relationship between borrowers and lenders should exist, with the goal of both to stay one step ahead of economic change. The time for conversation should happen before a need or problem arisesbefore the need to expand and add equipment arises, or before the problem of a decline in revenues and profits arises. A sincere banking relationship fills in the gaps left by most financial ledgers. A good spreadsheet will document the past, while regular meetings between the lender and the business owner will help identify those trends and business conditions which cannot be so easily documented in the columns and rows of a spreadsheet. My advice to business owners is to be proactive and to not wait until a need presents itself, or theres some sort of problem. Keep us informed. Tell us when orders slow down. Tell us when a customer is not paying bills on time. We cant help if we dont know a problem exists. Bankers Have an Equal Responsibility to Communicate Some bankers have been critical of what they say are relatively tight lending policies as a result of the recent economic downturn. And they sometimes cite what they derisively describe as the computer says no syndromewhen a bank turns down a loan application because all the numbers dont equate with a passing grade. I dont agree with that conclusion, but I do agree that bankers have a responsibility to communicate with their potential borrowers. As an industry overall, we need to do a better job of explaining the new normal in the lending environment. Where the economy is headed over the next few months and the next few years will be difficult to predict. Continued on page 8

8 Finance/Insurance Briefs
Grand Rapids - Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge announced that Charissa C. Huang and Michael D. Shelton have joined the firms Grand Rapids office. Charissa Huang practices general litigation and transactional law. Michael Shelton practices in the areas of general litigation and transactional law. Grand Rapids - Kristen E. Ray, an associate with the law firm of Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, has been selected as a 2011 Up & Coming Lawyer by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Chicago, IL BDO USA, LLP announced that Matt Becker, Steve Ferrara, Kathy Kopczick and Chris Smith have each been elected to the firms board of directors. Becker, Kopczick and Smith were elected to full three-year terms, while Ferrara will serve a one-year term as he completes the term of a departing board member. Matthew K. Becker, 36, is a partner and Tax Business Line Leader for BDOs West Michigan offices. Kentwood - Regal Financial Group, LLC welcomes Ed Moore to their team. Moore made the transition to Regulus Advisors and has over 12 years of experience in the industry. Grand Rapids The Right Place announced the additions of: Therese Thill, Vice President, Business Development and Jill Day, Director, Fund Development. Thill will help lead the business development teams business retention, expansion and attraction efforts. May will be responsible for developing and deploying a fund raising plan. Sparta ChoiceOne Bank announced the addition of Gary Hall as Mortgage Sales Manager and the addition of John Harpst as Mortgage Operations Supervisor. Lansing - Anthony Jenkins, immediate past president of the State Bar of Michigan has been elected to the board of directors of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He is the third former State Bar of Michigan president to serve on the schools current board. Grand Rapids Mark Allard and Joseph B. Levan have been named to Varnum's Policy Committee, the governing committee of the law firm. Mark Allard is a partner in the firm's Litigation Practice Group. Joe Levan is a partner in the Corporate Practice Group focusing on general corporate and securities matters. Grand Rapids Warner Norcross & Judd LLP welcomed five new attorneys to the law firm. The new attorneys have all been admitted to the State Bar of Michigan. They are: Kenneth A. Coleman, Matthew M. Crowe, Kaitlyn N. Day, Roquia K. Draper, Ryan Grondzik. Grand Rapids - Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge announced that the firm has been ranked among the top law firms in the United States in the publication, Best Law Firms, published by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers. Smith Haughey received First-Tier rankings in Grand Rapids 10 categories. The following Grand Rapids attorneys from Smith Haughey have also been included in the 2012 issues of Best Lawyers in America, also published by Best Lawyers: Charles F. Behler; Carol D. Carlson; Joseph A. Engel; William W. Jack, Jr.; Brian J. Kilbane; John M. Kruis; E. Thomas McCarthy, Jr.; Craig S. Neckers; John C. OLoughlin; John R. Oostema; Bud Roegge. Grand Rapids Warner Norcross & Judd LLP has been ranked one of the Best Law Firms by Best Lawyers and U.S. News & World Report. In its second year, the awards recognized Warner Norcross for excellence in 37 practice areas. Criteria for inclusion included firm practice areas, expertise, responsiveness, integrity, litigation and major legal matters, cost-effectiveness, pro-bono commitment, diversity and others. Grand Rapids The Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC) announced that entrepreneur Jason Pliml has joined the Michigan SBTDC network as a part of the Technology Commercialization Team. Jason is an entrepreneur and business advisor with extensive software, financial and marketing expertise.

"Estate Planning"
Continued from page 7 But it appears that returning to the good old days of banking, when a lending officer and a business owner would meet to discuss the current state of the economy and the needs of their business, might be exactly what the economy needs for growth. Eric joined Huntington National Bank in 1994 and in 2002, Eric became the Business Banking Market Manager. Mills attended the University of Texas in Arlington, Texas as well as the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.

"Estate Planning"
Continued from page 5 Once you find an advisor, meet with them regularly to ensure proper adjustments are made, so that your goals are continually met. Is it costly? Much greater is the cost of not doing it. Not only should estate planning be a perpetual item on your to-do list, it should be at the top of your list. Current tax legislation provides some methods for transferring generous amounts of wealth with minimal tax liability. Some of these options are slated to disappear after 2012, so the time to act is now. Contact an estate planning advisor, make a list of your assets, and get started today! Larry E Roslund is Partner and Director of Taxes with Dolinka, VanNoord & Co. He can be reached at 616.459.2233.

In Holding Pattern But Poised for Growth


Lansing - The Small Business Association of Michigans (SBAM) latest Small Business Barometer survey of 600 small business owners finds that few entrepreneurs reported increases in economic activity over the past half year. But looking forward six months, most respondents are at least modestly optimistic about their prospects for future business growth. Michigan has been rapidly expanding its support for entrepreneurial growth and small business job creation, which is much welcomed by small business owners who continue to lean against the headwinds of a struggling national economy, says Michael Rogers, vice president communications for SBAM. On the positive side, 86 percent of small business owners says their business outlook for the next six months is good or somewhat good. They are anticipating the enactment of business tax reform on Jan. 1 and a fair percentage of them are already planning to hire more workers. Over the past six months: Thirty-five percent said sales had increased. Twenty-two percent said profits had increased. Eleven percent said they increased the number of employees Fifteen percent said they increased employee wages. Eighteen percent of respondents said their major investments in facilities and equipment had increased. Looking forward to the next six months: Thirty-nine percent said they expect sales to increase. Thirty percent said they expect profits to increase. Fifteen percent plan to hire more employees. Eighteen percent plan to increase wages.

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9 Recession Teaches: Always Room for More Education


By Jeremy Martin In Michigan, the states board of education is, among other tasks, charged with distributing continuing education units, or SB-CEUs, to adults participating in continued education programs across the state. These units, which can be accumulated and put toward earning certificates in a variety of fields and trades, are offered at a wide range of institutions both locally and state-wide. Courses offering SB-CEUs have been popular for years among those looking to advance in their current field, as well as among those who have found themselves out of work and needing a leg up in the job search. But since the onset of the national recession in 2008, institutions offering continuing education and lifetime learning certificates have seen a drastic rise in enrollment. According to the National Household Education Surveys Program, over 41 percent of adults between the ages of 31 and 50 reported that they are continuing their educations at universities or colleges for work-related or personal reasons. Because so many people nationwide, and especially in Michigan, are seeking to further their education, Karen Holcomb-Merrill, policy director for the Michigan League, said the state must continue to invest in these programs or risk seeing a continued rise in citizens who are out of work and under-educated. New technologies will require new skills, even on the part of non-specialized assembly and service workers, so it is important that there is a concerted effort to raise the basic skills of Michigans low-skilled workers, Merrill said. In this way, job providers will have a labor pool that can readily learn the occupational skills that existing and emerging industries will require. However, low-skilled workers are not the only ones finding it necessary to continue their classroom studies. The SB-CEUs are just as influential with white collar workers. Certification and re-certification can be gained by those working in the nursing, psychology, administrative and other fields. West Michigan offers several options for those seeking SB-CEUs. Universities such as Grand Valley State and Western Michigan University offer night and online courses to help students work toward certification. The Department of Lifelong Learning and Education at WMU offers the largest and most rigorous board of education-approved curricula for adults whose careers need an education-based jumpstart. Many of the courses offered at WMU, as well as other institutions, meet the recertification requirements set aside by the State Board of Education. According to WMU, SB-CEUs are an inexpensive way for Michigan teachers, administrators and school psychologists to acquire the credits necessary for recertification. With courses currently running from $75-$149, and certification being completed in as little as two months, continuing education is often a relatively inexpensive, quick way to acquire needed industry training, especially when compared against the average four year schooling, which puts some students in debt nearly $30,000. For those adults seeking help in more basic areas of study, the Grand Rapids Adult Education Center, an institution in the Grand Rapids Public School system as well as in the Kalamazoo Public School System, offers courses in English, mathematics and other topics to help under-educated workers get up to speed. Although part-time and minimumwage jobs have, as of late, been on the rise, Merrill said these positions are not satisfactory to meet the states labor demand, or to support the growing number of families who have been adversely affected by the recession. "It's not enough to just tell people to go out and get a job at McDonald's. There's been an increase in low-wage jobs that one can get without a credential or a degree, but these won't allow workers to support their families," Merrill said. Jeremy Martin is a freelance journalist based out of Kalamazoo. He can be contacted at 1982jeremy@gmail.com.

Education Briefs
Kalamazoo - A state survey with data that can enhance economic development and job creation in Michigan has been transferred to Western Michigan University. The move will make WMU Michigan's designated geoscience agency and put responsibility for mapping the state's geological resources-such as minerals, soils and groundwater--in the hands of a department that already is a storehouse of information concerning the state's groundwater and oil and gas resources. Grand Rapids Ferris State Universitys Board of Trustees approved an administration recommendation of a zero-percent increase in room and board for students for the 2012-13 academic year. University officials recommended no increase in room and board as students and families begin to make college decisions about the Fall 2012 Semester. Grand Rapids - Applications are now being accepted for the W.K. Kellogg Foundations Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellows Program at Grand Valley State University. The Fellowship Program, aimed at increasing the number of science and mathematics teachers. Each Fellow selected by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and Grand Valley State will receive a $30,000 Fellowship in exchange for a three-year commitment to teach in a high-need secondary school. Fifteen Fellows will be selected for admission to each of the June 2012 and 2013 Grand Valley State cohorts. Midland - Northwood University will honor Bloomfield Hills, Michigan fashion designer Patricia Rhodes Prowse as part of its Distinguished Womens Award Gala. Rhodes Prowse will be recognized for her leadership, determination, compassion, and ethics in business.

10 Education Briefs
Battle Creek Kellogg Community College won four Gold Medallion awards at the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) District 3 Conference on October 25, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. KCC took first in the Outdoor Advertising, Single Print Advertisement, Radio Advertisement, and Nifty and Thrifty categories. Ypsilanti Eastern Michigan University has named Kim Schatzel as its new provost and vice president, pending approval by the Board of Regents. The appointment will be effective Jan. 3, 2012. She currently serves as dean of the College of Business at University of Michigan-Dearborn. Lansing Heather Spielmaker, director of Thomas M. Cooley Law Schools Center for Ethics, Service and Professionalism, will receive the Ingham County Bar Associations (ICBA) Liberty Bell Award for her work helping members of the military receive legal assistance through Cooley Law Schools Service to Soldiers: Legal Assistance Referral Program. The Liberty Bell Award is the bars highest honor awarded to a non-lawyer. Grand Rapids The Davenport University Alumni Association recognized extraordinary alumni: Distinguished Alumni Award, David Slikkers, graduated in 1970, is currently the CEO of S2 Yachts, Inc., Chairman of Energetx Composites, LLC and Chairman of the Holland Area Chamber of Commerce; Hy Berkowitz Professional Excellence Award, Randall Goodyke graduated in 1990 founded DeBoer, Goodyke, Kahler & Tuttle P.C; Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Ryan Lougheed, graduated in 2004 is in Banking Operations for Retail and Investment Development at PNC Bank. Grand Rapids - The School of Engineering at Grand Valley State University is introducing a new, unique graduate assistantship program that allows students receiving a masters degree in engineering (MSE) to perform work outside of the university with West Michigan companies. Compared to an internship, where a company employs a student for a specific block of time, graduate students will be part of a company for a full year or more. Allendale - Grand Valley State University will install seven electric vehicle charging stations on the Pew Grand Rapids and Allendale campuses throughout the month of November. Five dual and two single charging stations will be installed for a total of 12 possible charging locations. Grand Rapids The Davenport University-sponsored West Michigan Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Collegiate Partnership has been awarded a $53,000 grant from the Internal Revenue Service to expand its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Kalamazoo - A team of Western Michigan University engineering students has won first place in the second Stryker Engineering Challenge. It marked the second straight year WMU students have won the competition. Members of WMU's team and their majors are Jolica Dias; Ria Periera; Avin Castelino; and Benjamin VanDyken. Each student received an Apple iPad2 and an internship interview with Stryker. Grand Rapids Davenport University announced that Michael R. Hubbel has been appointed the Adjunct Risk Management and Insurance Scholar through the Robert P. Ashlock Adjunct Professorship grant from the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation. The universitys Institute for Professional Excellence (IPEx) program will begin delivery of online and in-seat insurance education courses at locations throughout the state including campus locations in Grand Rapids, Livonia, Kalamazoo and Lansing. Grand Rapids Grand Rapids Community Colleges head softball coach, Paula Maloley, has been chosen to receive the Easton Victory Club Award from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association which recognizes her 600th victory. Grand Rapids - The College of Education at Grand Valley State University honored two outstanding educators during its convocation ceremony Wednesday, December 7. Char Firlik and Patronella Koster will receive the Outstanding Alumni Educator Award.

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11 Adapting Senior Living to the Boomer Influx


By Jeremy Martin According to experts in the field of home health and senior living, preparing for the potential influx of retirees from the Baby Boom Generation will mean more than just building new retirement communities or creating extra space. It will mean redefining what retirement care means and how it will be provided. We all know that the incoming [Baby Boom] Generation will bring the largest population of seniors that has been seen in decades, and we need to be prepared for that, said Jay Prince, the executive director of Maple Creek, a senior living community in Grand Rapids. The question the industry is asking: What exactly should the industry be preparing for? Statistically speaking, the two generations preceding the Boomers, the GI Generation and the Silent Generation, were easy groups to care for; many of these people were war survivors, had lived through the Great Depression, and were seeking little more than a stable, comfortable place to live. The Boomers, on the other hand, suggest a bit more complicatedness. Born into the relative affluence of a Post-World War II America, this Generation, unlike its forbearers, had money to burn and, in many cases, did. By and large, the Boomers are active, upwardly mobile, and demand choices with their living arrangements. The Boomers are such a different kind of personality type from the Silent Generation. Theyre very active, very involved in the community, and very passionate about what they do, said Matt Shankle, director of sales and marketing for Heritage Community of Kalamazoo. Many lived a much, much more active lifestyle and traveled quite a bit, but unfortunately, in many cases, just didnt save a whole lot of money, to speak of. Which brings up a quandary: How do those in the home health and retirement industries provide premium care while still moving forward in a profitable manner? I wouldnt say that its a problem, maybe a small challenge. In any business, you want to be able to offer services and make it as easy as possible for people to pick and choose what services they want, and make it easy to pay, Shankle said. Shankle sees the industry moving away from the resort mentality, where all food, living expenses, and enrichment opportunities are included in a single monthly payment. Moving forward, I think well see a lot of people taking an a la carte approach; maybe not all of their dining choices will be included, or they may not wish to partake in some of the activities, he said. Setting the availability of more flexible payment methods aside, the issues of housing and what to offer the Boomer Generation still remain. Their expectations are health and wellness. Many of the Baby Boomers have been very active at home; theyre walkers, theyre bikers. We see people who are still jumping out of airplanes, who are living wonderful and creative lives, and who have been all over the world. The last thing they want to do is slow down in retirement, Prince said. Allowing seniors to continue living the same active lives they lead prior to joining a community is forcing the industry to make wide-scale changes to preempt the potential influx of new residents. For example, Maple Creek recently finished a $32 million expansion and renovation project called The Cottages. This neighborhood-style living arrangement allows residents access to at-home health care, a variety of dining options, a 24-hour library, and many other amenities, all on a sliding price scale. I think that youre going to see an influx of more at-home health programs. Home health has been one of the leading growth industries in healthcare for quite a few years now, and I think youre going to continue to see that, Prince said. Though much of that home health demand may stem from the Boomers desire to remain as independent as possible, Shanklementions that any figures on home health cares rising market presence could be skewed by the fact that many retirement communities lack the funds or, more importantly, the space to expand. Unfortunately most communities are kind of landlocked, in the sense that they have buildings and a set capacity, he said. Shankle also said this could be a factor in limiting the industrys ability to hire new workers. However, he and Prince both agree that the future looks bright for young people pursuing degrees in the home health care and housing administration fields. The different universities and the people coming through and getting these degrees really need to put the word out that this is an excellent field to work in, Prince said, even though the potential responsibility of caring for and catering to an influx of retirees not seen in decades will be a major challenge for anyone choosing to enter the workforce in the coming years. I think we all understand that the product doesnt look the way it looked ten years ago, Prince said. Shankle affirms that the Boomers bring a decisive I want it now attitude to the industry. So one of the major challenges for professionals in the field will be to discover exactly what those it products are, and perhaps, more importantly, how to deliver those its at a reasonable price. Jeremy Martin is a freelance journalist based out of Kalamazoo. He can be contacted at 1982jeremy@gmail.com.

Gift Cards Help Michigan Employers Recognize Employees This Holiday


By David Jones For many businesses, the holiday season is not merely a reminder that the year is coming to an end, but it also serves as a time for reflection on the progress and productivity of previous months. This end-of-the-year reflection leads employers to recognize employees for their contributions. A new choice for employee recognition this holiday season is the use of Incentive CardLab eGift Cards. By simply choosing a retail gift certificate from Incentive CardLabs extensive database and designating an amount, an employer can send an eGift Card to an employee via email or text message. This trend is gaining popularity, as it allows employers to provide immediate recognition while giving employees immediate gratification. Companies in and around Michigan have recognized the convenience of eGift Cards, and the positive feedback from their employees has prompted widespread orders as the holiday season emerges. Incentive CardLab boasts numerous clients from Grand Rapids, Franklin, Troy, and Ann Arbor areas. Incentive CardLab is tailored toward offering solutions to businesses in the form of rewards, incentives, appreciation, holiday and end-of-year gifts. Offering eGift Cards naturally became the next step. Gift cards have continued to be one of the most welcomed gifts by employees, since they allow employees the freedom to spend money on personally desired items. The advantage gift cards offer to companies is the prevention of wastefulness on unused gifts. Even though some companies strive to recognize their employees with quality gifts, physical objects that represent the companys gratitude often disappoint. With online gift cards so easily accessible, the gift-giving process is simplified. Employers can give tasteful gifts that still allow freedom of choice. Employees are more appreciative when they receive something practical that also matches their style. In addition, gift cards help employers present gifts equally to their employees, when necessary, even though the denominations may be different. Over the years, stuck between staplers and tape dispensers and sitting on cubicles, desks and bookshelves, trinkets have become dusty reminders of what employers once thought represented a job well done. In the past, these pieces were useless items that were easily forgotten. Now employers are rethinking these gifts, opting for something that reflects their gratitude. In the end, employers are more effective at gaining future positive outcomes from their employees. David S. Jones currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of Card Lab. His background has been primarily in the payments and electronic commerce industries in which he has over fifteen years of experience.

12 Health Care Briefs


Holland Holland Hospital welcomes clinical psychiatrist Jillian Lankford MD, to its Behavioral Health Services department. Grand Rapids Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is entering into a strategic affiliation with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, or RIC, which has been ranked the number one rehabilitation hospital in the nation for the past 21 years. Mary Free Bed will benefit from RICs expertise in developing systems to expand services, improve efficiencies and grow care networks so patients can access Mary Free Beds leading rehabilitation care. Kalamazoo - William Katz, MD, a specialist in Sleep Disorders and Pulmonary Medicine, has joined Borgess Health. Dr. Katz provides care to individuals with conditions of the lungs and respiratory system, as well as diagnoses and treats sleep disorders. Grand Rapids - Disability Advocates of Kent County (DAKC) celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Invest in Ability event and honoring Kate Pew Wolters with the Invest in Ability Award. The Invest in Ability Award is given to an organization or individual who has worked diligently to advance the lives of persons with disabilities in our community. Grand Rapids - Michigan Primary Care Partners has added Christopher VanRyn, PA-C, Physician Assistant to their Grand Rapids based practice. VanRyn has over 10 years of clinical experience in Internal Medicine and Family Practice. Kalamazoo Bronson Methodist Hospital has been recognized by American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program as one of 26 hospitals in the nation to deliver exemplary outcomes for surgical patients. Bronson excelled in the prevention of blood clots and heart complications following abdominal and vascular surgeries. Grand Rapids - A report released this month by HealthGrades named Spectrum Health Grand Rapids (SHGR) a recipient of Americas 100 Best Hospitals Specialty Excellence Award for Cardiac Surgery and Prostatectomy. Spectrum Health Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals and the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center received five HealthGrades Excellence Awards for 2012, ranking Spectrum Health in the top 10 percent or better in the nation for that specialty. Kalamazoo Mark Anthony is the new Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Borgess Health. He brings 29 years of proven experience to Borgess Health. Mark Anthony replaces Shahin Motakef who recently accepted a health system leadership opportunity in his native Texas. Grand Rapids Lincoln Developmental Center (LDC) announced that it has received a $1,500 CVS Caremark Community Grant. LDCs mission is closely aligned with CVS Caremark All Kids Can, the companys signature philanthropic program focused on supporting children with disabilities. The grant from CVS Caremark will help fund the Lincoln Campus Outdoor Learning Environment. Grand Rapids Pine Rest Foundation announced Suzanne Keep, Carri Kendall and Jan Winters as new board members to the Pine Rest Foundation Board of Governors. Suzanne Keep is an assistant professor of nursing for the University of Detroit Mercy at Aquinas College. Carri Kendall is community relations vice president at DK Security. Jan Winters, a former member of the Pine Rest Board of Directors from 1998 to 2008, is president and principal at AMBS Investment Counsel, LLC. Kalamazoo - Bronson Trauma Surgery Services welcomes trauma surgeon, James Kraatz, MD, FACS. Kraatz will treat seriously injured patients at the Level I Trauma Center at Bronson Methodist Hospital. Grand Rapids Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association has been named to the 2011 HomeCare Elite, a compilation of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. Now in its sixth year, the HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of agencies and further highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.

Specialty Hospital to be Built


Grand Rapids - Construction has begun on a hospital within a hospital as part of a joint project between Great Lakes Specialty Hospital and Saint Marys Health Care. It will include 20 new private rooms for patients who have a need for longer acute care in a hospital due to chronic illness, multiple injuries, trauma or medical complications. The new, highly specialized hospital will be housed on the fifth floor of Saint Marys main hospital and will employ approximately 90 people, including clinical and administrative staff. Designed for chronically critically ill patients who have been discharged from traditional hospital care, but are not ready to go home or to rehabilitation, Great Lakes Specialty Hospital will offer a highly specialized level of care for the patient with multiple injuries, pulmonary and/or multiple organ system complications and the patient with special medical needs. Fifteen or 20 years ago, these patients served in the long-term acute care typically would not have survived. Today, because of knowledge, medications and technological advances they survive their acute illness and still require acute care services. In many instances, the patients would have to be transported from the acute care setting to and from a long-term acute care facility multiple times, which could mean several ambulance rides during a 25 or 30 day stay. Having this new unit onsite will greatly help patients who need specialty long-term care, said Randy Wagner, Chief Operating Officer, Saint Marys Health Care. We are excited to bring the first unit of its kind to Grand Rapids. Brian Pangle, Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes Specialty Hospital, which is building the facility, said: Our patients are those whose stay in an ICU or traditional medical/surgical bed is no longer benefiting them, but they still need additional and highly individualized care in an acute care hospital setting because of their serious and complicated medical conditions. They are vulnerable and fragile, and our providers have been trained to deliver personalized care with specific treatment plans. Being within Saint Marys means that patients will not have to be transported at all but can be smoothly moved one floor to another in our hospital for all their services, said Pangle. Great Lakes Specialty Hospital is designed for high risk patients who require intensive therapy in addition to intensive nursing and respiratory care. Services include daily physician visits, 24-hour nursing and respiratory care, physical, occupational and speech therapy, and patient and family education. Patients are usually ready for discharge in 20 30 days after admission. The hospital will employ approximately 90 people, including nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and administrative staff. Recruitment and hiring will begin in December with a target date of March 2012 for the Grand Opening.

13 Health Care Briefs


Kalamazoo Patients tested for vascular disease at Bronson Methodist Hospital receive a high level of patient care and quality diagnosis testing, according to the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories. The organization recognized the Bronson Methodist Hospitals noninvasive vascular laboratory with a threeyear accreditation for its noninvasive testing standards. Kalamazoo Bronson Methodist Hospital was re-verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level I Trauma Center. Bronson has successfully met the ACSs increasingly difficult re-verification standards every three years since it became the regions first Level I Trauma Center in 1989. Kalamazoo - Kibwe Weaver, MD is a new member of the medical staff at Bronson Methodist Hospital. Dr. Weaver is board eligible in surgery. Kalamazoo - A $2 million gift--the largest ever to a U.S. occupational therapy program--was announced Nov. 9 by Western Michigan University. The gift from Kalamazoo residents Frederic (Fred) W. Sammons and Dr. Barbara A. Rider to WMU's Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Health and Human Services will help shape the future of the nearly 90-year-old program. Grand Rapids Saint Marys Health Care announced the addition of Ronel Santos, MD, to the Hauenstein Neuroscience Center at Saint Marys as a neuro-opthalmologists. Grand Rapids Board-certified dermatologist Dara Spearman, MD, FAAD, has joined Advantage Healths Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology Center. William Granger, MD, MS, FAAFP has joined Advantage Health, where he will practice Family Medicine at its Northeast location, 5171 Plainfield Ave. NE. Paw Paw - Bronson LakeView Hospital earned four awards from the Michigan Center for Rural Health for successfully adopting evidence-based processes to improve the quality and safety of care provided by the hospital. Bronson LakeView received the following quality awards for 2011 from the Michigan Center for Rural Health: an Inpatient Clinical Performance Award for excellence in the treatment of heart failure and pneumonia; an Outpatient Clinical Performance Award for quality improvement efforts in the treatment of heart attack and chest pain; and an Emergency Department Transfer Performance Award for excellence in preparing emergency patients for transfer. Muskegon Mercy Health Partners has announced its mammography services will now offer MammoPlus at its Lakes, Hackley, Lakeshore and Mercy campuses. Grand Rapids Neurologist Kristina Karanec, DO, has joined the Hauenstein Neuroscience Center at Saint Marys where she will specialize in Adult Epilepsy. Grand Rapids Saint Marys Health Care has received a $1 million grant from The Wege Foundation for the new Guest House currently under construction on the Saint Marys campus. The gift, announced at the Saint Marys Foundation Distinguished Friends donor event on November 15, will move the fund raising campaign for the Guest House significantly closer to its $3.5 million goal. Big Rapids - Caryn Schonert is the new Marketing Representative for Hospice of Michigan in the Big Rapids area including Newaygo, Mecosta, Isabella, Osceola and Clare counties. Holland Holland Hospitals Joint Replacement Center has been deemed a Destination Center of Superior Performance by the health care firm Marshall | Steele and Associates. Grand Rapids - Having recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary, over 10,000 successful births, The Fertility Center is now teaming with cancer care specialists in Southwest Michigan to help preserve the future fertility of cancer patients who might want to start a family after successful treatment. Grand Rapids Alejandro Quiroga, MD, has joined the Spectrum Health Medical Group. Dr. Quiroga is a pediatric nephrologist and provides care to infants, children and adolescents with hypertension, urologic kidney disease, chronic or acute kidney failure, dialysis-dependent kidney failure and transplantation. Grand Rapids - The West Michigan regional office for In-Home Services by Lutheran Social Services of Michigan has moved a new office location in a small strip mall just north of 32nd Street at 3160 Breton Ave. SE, Suite A, in Kentwood. Holland Holland Hospital welcomes Kathleen Nania as the hospitals Director of Womens and Childrens Services. Nania succeeds Kathy Austin who served in that capacity until retiring earlier this year. Nania will be responsible for oversight of the clinical operations of the hospitals Pediatric and Obstetric areas, as well as setting strategic direction for womens and childrens programs at Holland Hospital.

High Frequency ED Users


Grand Rapids Spectrum Health announced the formation of a multi-specialty clinic to assess and treat high-frequency patients at area emergency departments (EDs). The Spectrum Health Medical Group Center for Integrative Medicine will begin seeing patients December 5, employing a novel approach to assess the issues facing chronic ED users. The Center will employ enhanced medical management, aggressive social services and intensive psychiatric evaluation and treatment. The Centers mission is to help these patients integrate into primary care and other traditional outpatient medical settings as opposed to seeking care in EDs. The Center is a response to an issue identified by emergency and addiction medicine specialist R. Corey Waller, MD, MS, in 2008. During that year approximately 950 patients were identified as visiting Butterworth and Blodgett hospital EDs greater than 10 times. These patients were responsible for more than 20,000 total visits and 40-50 million dollars in costs. These patients were mainly young, healthy people with hard to diagnose conditions, psychiatric illness, chronic pain and/or addiction as their major medical issues. A pilot study of 30 of these patients completed in 2008 showed an 85 percent decrease in ED visits and close to one million dollars in savings. The central goal of the Center is to identify, accurately diagnose, and develop a care plan for each patient. When treatment is stable and the patient has successfully followed up with a primary care physician, the patient will be transferred into a primary care office. This approach will result in better patient care, improved ED operations, and will help hospitals by reducing unreimbursed care in a higher-cost setting. It is estimated that the program could save commercial insurers plus Medicare and Medicaid more than $15 million in Spectrum Health ED reimbursements during the first year of operation. Waller says the benefits of this approach are not limited to Grand Rapids patients, hospitals and insurers. The Centers approach could easily be replicated in other communities throughout Michigan. The pilot program showed we can reduce ED visits among this population by up to 85 percent. I estimate that Medicare and Medicaid could expect a savings of $12-15 million in charges from Spectrum Health patients alone, which mean $8 million would be saved in one year through Michigans Medicaid program. This could mean an estimated one year savings of $150-250 million in actual state Medicaid expenditures for these patients if this clinical model was copied throughout the state. This estimation is based on the assumption that ED visits would decrease by 50 percent, like they did in our pilot program.

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14 Construction Briefs
Grand Rapids Integrated Architecture announced the addition of William (Bill) H. Swanson, PE, LEED AP, BD&C. Swanson comes to IA after working as lead electrical engineer at BETA Design Group. Additionally, Integrated Architectures newest interior designer, Andrea Nemes, spent the past six years working in Chicago for Ideation Studio. Grand Rapids Rockford Construction announced that Pride Builders Group is now fully owned by one of its founding partners, Terrell Daniels of MFSS Contracting. Pride Builders Group was created in 2008 as a joint venture between Daniels and Mike VanGessel of Rockford Construction. Daniels purchased VanGessels shares of the company and now stands as sole Owner. Kalamazoo - Walbridge, an award-winning global construction firm with headquarters in Detroit, has been named the construction management firm for the Western Michigan University School of Medicine. Walbridge will serve as theconstruction manager/constructor for a building project that will likely bring hundreds of jobs to Southwest Michigan. Grand Rapids - Advanced Green Architecture (AGA) is a green roof design and consulting company. AGA developed the Advanced Green Roof system through scientific, green roof research that resulted in the first and only system to integrate subsurface irrigation into a modular drainage layer. Kalamazoo - Amanda Mason joins CSM Group as a Project Manager. Carol Hubbard joins CSM Group as a Project Coordinator. Daniel Johnson has joined as a Construction Manager working on the Food and Beverage project delivery team. David Hiemstra joins as our new Construction Manager based out of Kansas City, Missouri. Todd Thomsen joins as a Construction Manager on our Food & Beverage project delivery team. Grand Rapids Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. wins the 2011 Contractor of the Year award given by the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan. The award banquet was held on Thursday evening at the Goei Center, located at 818 Butterworth St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. Kalamazoo - Kevin Frye joins CSM Group as a Construction Manager on our Food & Beverage project delivery team with over 20 years of experience in the Construction industry. Doug Vrba joins CSM Group as a Project Engineer. His first assignment will be on the Kalamazoo based NACD project. Grand Rapids Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. was hired to manage a 14-week construction project at Grandville High School next summer. The estimated $1.2 million project includes installation of artificial turf and resurfacing of the running track at the high school, 4700 Canal Ave SW. Grand Rapids Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. announces the hiring of Joe Rogalski as Project Engineer for their Grand Rapids office. He will be responsible for administering the management of various commercial construction projects. Holland - Tom Smolinski, West Michigan Realtor specializing in short sales, has hired Paula Darling as a short sale negotiator responsible for pre-negotiating short sales with clients lenders, lawyers, contractors and any other lien holders on the property. Grand Rapids - Colliers Internationals Industrial Property Specialist and CEO, Duke Suwyn CCIM, SIOR has been named to the prestigious Everest Club which recognizes Suwyn as a top seller in the USA. Suwyn has been with the West Michigan firm for 16 years. Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo - Signature Associates has: Negotiated the lease of 6,500 square feet of office/health club space located at 1581 142nd Avenue, Dorr to Fit/24. Negotiated the sublease of 1,112 square feet of office space located at 450 W. Centre Avenue, Portage to Buckham Farm Bureau Agency from the landlord, The Brook, LLC. Negotiated the sale of a 56,511 square foot industrial building located at 5633 52nd Street SE, Grand Rapids to SSBB, Inc. from the seller, Bank of America. Negotiated the lease of 7,600 square feet of industrial space located at 3404 Busch Drive, Grandville from the landlord, DJR Properties, LLC, to the tenant, Stick Associates. DJR Properties. Negotiated the lease of 25,000 square feet of industrial space located at 6677 Beatrice, Kalamazoo for the tenant, Hutt Logistics. Grand Rapids Colliers International in West Michigan announced the following transactions. Trillium Ventures, MSV, LLC completed the purchase of 40,375 investment square feet at 1500 & 1510 42nd Street SE. in Grand Rapids. Trillium Ventures, MSV, LLC completed the purchase of 39,112 investment square feet located at 4095 Norman Drive SE in Grand Rapids. Leonard Hills, LLC completed the purchase of 21,802 investment square feet at 1326 Leonard Street SW in Grand Rapids. Fisk Reeds Re, LLC completed the purchase of 12,080 industrial square feet located at 3403 Lousma Drive SE, Grand Rapids Brett Patterson complete the purchase of 3,898 retail square feet located at 423 W. Main Street in Ionia. ATEK Medical, LLC leased of 85,595 industrial square feet located at 5079 33rd Street. The. Elston Richards, Inc leased of 30,960 industrial square feet located at 5738 Eagle Drive SE in Grand Rapids. R.L. Adams Plastics, Inc leased of 94,900 industrial square feet located at 7377 Expressway Drive SW in Grand Rapids. Johnson Controls, Inc. leased of 165,000 industrial square feet located at 1451 Lincoln Avenue in Holland. CLM Pallett, Inc. leased of 75,000 industrial square feet located at 3366 Kraft Ave SE in Grand Rapids. Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc. leased of 3,128 office space located at 801 Broadway Ave NW in Grand Rapids.

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15 Office Design Trends


By Sondra Phillips The look and feel of ones business, set by the many design details working collectively throughout a space, affects everything from a clients first impression of the business to the physical and mental productivity of the employees who work in the spaces environment. From the brightness of a work area and an efficient floor plan to the incorporation of comfortable, mobile, green furniture, SKP Design has been bringing its design expertise to the office and the hospitality, medical and residential industries, since 1996. Now SKP Design, as it celebrates its 15th year anniversary, is sharing a little of that design insight with you: Lighting An exciting trend in lighting, especially with its now familiar application in most types of light fixtures, is energy-efficient LED lighting. It provides both traditional lighting effectsas experienced with the typical white light or colored lightas well as extraordinary wow factor effects, as with a visually interesting palette of changing colors where users can program specific lighting sequences. And even though the LED bulbs cost more initially, energy providers are relamping restaurants and other high-use consumers with them, since they use far less energy and have a higher optimum life expectancy. Clients Use of Technology Technology continues to affect design concepts for the workplace. The space planning and office designs that the SKP firm creates today are largely based around the clients use of technology, many of whom video conference regularly, need multiple monitors at their desks, and utilize wireless networks. More than ever, clients are asking for less filing cabinets at their desks and in their work environment. With clients storing documents on shared drives and servers, the paperless office is becoming a reality. And with professionals toting around tools like iPads, even lobby furniture must transcend its standard design element to serve a function, such as providing table arms on which to place such techie tablets. Mobile Furniture Business owners continue to look for value and flexibility. The mobile furniture that many manufacturers offer supports both, as well as presents a practical alternative (resulting from an increasingly mobile workforce) to traditional office furniture. In order to save space and make the most of an owners real estate, shared work areaslike hoteling and touchdown spaceshave become popular office design solutions that work well for sales people who are away from the office frequently, and for employees who job share or come to the office only occasionally. Consequently, the furniture for these spaces tends to feature casters and be modular in designfeatures which allow for more flexibility and are easy to reconfigure on an as needed basis. Regardless of whether a business embraces the use of mobile furniture or traditional furniture, comfort remains a core priority in the workplace. Although a seats luxuriousness and capability for adjustment have evolved over the years, clients should still ask to test drive sample chairs prior to purchasing them, since each individuals preferences and circumstances dictate how they view comfort. Green Spaces Creating a green environment is getting easier every day. Most products that come into the SKP Design office have green attributesa welcome testament to the many manufacturers who have stepped up to comply with green initiatives, and to the many contractors and manufacturers who regularly recycle products. Also, many carpet manufacturers will take back used carpet, employing it to produce new carpet. And even businesses can recycle carpet in their own way: When it comes to floor coverings, carpet tile can be re-used, or rather, relocated; SKP Design recently removed carpet tile from its old location and had it installed in its new office. The added benefit that the carpet tiles unique design solution delivers is one that allows individual carpet tiles to be swapped out if, suppose for example, someone were to drop copy machine toner on one of them. When deciding what eco-friendly furniture to place atop those carpet tiles, or whatever flooring is chosen, look for green designations. Our design professionals look for some of the following: Cradle to Cradle, Smart Certifications, Green-e verification, FSC certification, and products that add to LEED points as determined by the U.S. Green Building Council. Design Overview With its signature clean lines and simple designs, the modern design style continues to be hot. Trendy, bold accent colors, including magenta, green and aqua blue, are in vogue choices. The use of large-scale patterns, as seen in carpet, wallcoverings and fabric is also a popular, in-style trend. Innovations continue to yield everything from bleach-cleanable fabrics to the use of 3-D-rendering software that helps a client to visualize how their space will look upon completion. Be sure to take advantage of new products on the market, as they are likely to outperform their predecessors, while providing you with new features and benefits certain to drive the value of your investment. SKP Design is a full service interior design firm with NCIDQ and LEED certified designers who create customized solutions ranging from minor renovations to new facilities. SKP Design specializes in office, hospitality, medical and residential design. 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16 Study Tackles Work from Office vs. Work from Elsewhere


Grand Rapids - Even though technology and alternative work strategies are allowing people the freedom to work from anywhere, like from the beach or from home in their pajamas, a new study released by Steelcase in partnership with CoreNet Global cites that the majority of employees are still choosing to work in the office. The 2011 study found that 86 percent of companies now offer alternative work strategies, such as home offices, hoteling (shared workspaces that can be reserved), and mobile work (using multiple places to work virtually), for which this number is up 50 percent from 2009s tally. An additional 16 percent of respondents said they plan to implement an alternative work strategy this year. Organizations reported using alternative work strategies to save on real estate costs (31 percent) and to help employees improve work-life balance (49 percent). But despite the trend toward increasing mobility, nearly 50 percent of all organizations reported they have 10 percent or less of their employees working remotely on a regular basis. And just 3 percent reported half, or more, of their employees utilizing alternative workplace strategies. So what is it that attracts workers to the office when they can choose to work from a variety of settings? The answer: people and technology. Seventy-two percent of respondents said the office is the best place to interact with colleagues, and 40 percent said the office provides access to much needed tools and technology. "The world is more interconnected and interdependent than ever, which makes work more complex and fastpaced. Businesses are addressing competitive pressures by using new technologies and mobility strategies to support diverse ways of working. Yet, workers are coming to the workplace because they need spaces that enhance collaboration with teammates, who are often dispersed around the world. They also need to be supported physically and cognitively, and to feel a sense of belonging and connection to the organization's culture," said Jim Keane, president of Steelcase. One survey participant reported: "I need to maintain strong links with my staff, and the best way to do that is to see them face-to-face. It's in our culture to work collaboratively." Real Estate Optimization organizations continue to rethink their real estate strategies, in order to gain efficiencies and improve effectiveness. For most organizations, net usable space per employee ranges from 150 to 225 square-feet, and nearly 55 percent (up from 47 percent in 2009) of respondents plan to cut their current real estate portfolio by up to 10 percent this year alone. Businesses aren't just shrinking they're repurposing. Fifty-seven percent of respondents reported using their real estate savings to reconfigure team spaces, and 41 percent reported accommodating alternative work settings, such as cafes. "Everyone wants to do more with less space, and at the same time, employers are realizing the benefits of giving employees more choices and control over where they work. They want a range of spaces, depending on what kind of work they need to do. By revitalizing existing spaces or investing in new spaces, it's possible to achieve more real estate efficiency and create a variety of spaces, which will allow workers to be their most effective throughout the day," said Director of Knowledge and Research, CoreNet Global, Melissa Securda. The Steelcase/CoreNet survey was launched in March 2011, and included respondents from a range of industries throughout North America and Europe. The surveys data is courtesy of CoreNet Global and Steelcase 2011: "How Emerging Work Strategies are Changing the Workplace."

Construction Briefs
Holland - GMB Architecture + Engineering has received a Publisher's Commendation Award in the newly pUblished Fall 2011 edition of Learning by Design magazine. Also recently announced was a Bronze Citation in American School & University 2011 Educational Interiors Showcase. Both awards honor GMB Architecture + Engineering's work on the Covenant Fine Arts Center (CFAC) at Calvin College of Grand Rapids. The CFAC is the front door of the Calvin College campus for many in the broader Grand Rapids community. It was important to maintain that connection as well as serve the college's students by creating additional practice, rehearsal, teaching and performance space. The solution was to modernize the CFAC but respect its heritage and nostalgic appeal to the community. Grand Rapids - Signature Associates has negotiated: The lease of 1,000 square feet of office space located at 3755 Remembrance, Walker, the tenant is Platinum Education Group, LLC. The sale of 2.53 acres of land located at 5375 28th Street Court, Grand Rapids, the seller, Main Street Builders, Inc. and the buyer, Cascade Hospitality. The sale of 5.00 acres of land located at 601 Hyde Street, Kalkaska,, the seller, Edgemere Enterprises, Inc. The sale of 3,850 square feet of medical office space located at 1844 Apple Avenue, Muskegon,, the seller, Citizens Bank, and the buyer, Gurden Trust. Negotiated the lease of 2,000 square feet of industrial space located at 3526 Roger B. Chaffee, Wyoming to Keystone Accents, Inc. from the landlord, Grand Rapids Corporate Center, LLC. Negotiated the lease of 25,000 square feet of industrial space located at 400 Mart Street SW, Wyoming to Hajoca Corporation from the landlord, Northtown Center, Inc. Negotiated the sale of 2.00 acres of industrial land located at 4464 44th Street SE, Kentwood to Franklin Kentwood, LLC from the seller, Quality Properties Asset Management Co. Negotiated a lease with LA Insurance Agency for space located at The Civic Theatre Building, 20 Monroe Center NE, Grand Rapids from the landlord, GR Civic Theatre. Negotiated the lease of 2,140 square feet of retail space located at 2035 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids from the landlord, Cardinal Industrial to the tenant, Smokers Discount. negotiated the sale of 15.85 acres of industrial land located at 500 Agard, Muskegon. The seller, Muskegon County, and the buyer, Nugent Sand. Walker - Berrien Springs School District's Virtual Learning Academy has recently opened a facility, which offers area students both traditional "onsite" education and online courses, features the latest advances in technology, design and materials, including storefront systems manufactured by Tubelite. Lansing - Brothers John and Charles Clark, who led the transformation of a successful commercial construction business into one of the leading, most respected organizations in the industry, were inducted into the Michigan Construction Hall of Fame on October 20. The Clark brothers also received the Distinguished Constructor Award during the ceremonies, which were held at Ferris State University. Hamilton In 2012, Michigan builder Gary Jurkovichs business will celebrate its fifth year of constructing spec and custom homes. To celebrate his continued company growth, he plans to build 55 new homes --- all with R-5 precast concrete foundations from Superior Walls.

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17 Niche Helps Intrepid Plastics Thrive to Survive


By Jeremy Martin The economic climate of the past couple years has not been favorable to those who are faint of heart. Nor has it been advantageous to those companies that steadfastly refuse to alter their business plans. When Bonnie Knopf opened Intrepid Plastics in the fall of 2003, her plan was to grow the business for ten years before selling and moving on to other opportunities. However, as the Grand Rapidsbased injection molding company celebrates its 8th birthday this month, Knopf knows that a sale is no longer on the short term agenda; in fact, very little of Intrepids original business plan remains intact. This is absolutely not where I anticipated being. In 2003, I thought we were going to grow the business and just continue to grow it, Knopf said of her company, which currently makes molds for businesses such as Steelcase, Magna, and other clients in West Michigan and surrounding areas. As opposed to growth, Knopf admits that the company found itself resigned to mere survival, which meant lowering its price structure, taking any jobs available, and, of course, the unfortunate but often inevitable laying off of employees. The hardest thing that weve encountered has been to reduce our staff, Knopf said. Yet despite downsizing, Intrepid continues to fight on, and has expanded itself beyond simply creating molds. Over the last couple of years, weve struggled, like others have. We thought what else can we do? We wanted to find a niche, Knopf said. Ironically, for a small business just trying to stay afloat, the niche that Intrepid found was one that positioned the company as a teacher, mentor and business partner. After having witnessed a pair of colleagues sink nearly $250,000 into the invention and production of a series of tools without ever lining up a buyer, Knopf realized that there must be hundreds, if not thousands, of people out there who have a knack for invention, but who lack in the know-how or proper channels to turn their ideas into a profitable product. I was looking at that, and thought there are so many better ways to approach the launch of a new product, which inventors just arent aware of, Knopf said. And with that, in the middle of a recession, a brand new arm of Intrepid was born. Intrepids Idea Innovators was created to guide designers and inventors down the long, rocky road from idea to creation to marketplace. We would do product development, design and then, if warranted, have Intrepid plastics do the tooling and mold work, Knopf said. As a side note, I was one of the cofounders of the Grand Rapids Inventors Network. We were able to work with new inventors to try to offer them lower cost solutions, instead of just going right to tooling and manufacturing. We were able to offer design solutions instead of manufacturing solutions, she added. Regardless of how rewarding lending a hand to inventors is, Intrepids work as a molder and its future profitability still take precedence in Knopfs day-to-day affairs. After coming off such a tough time the last couple of years, I really want to focus on Intrepid Plastics and getting it strong again, Knopf said. Knopf sees the key to the company lying in its customer base. And not just acquiring more customers, but acquiring the right ones. If weve got customers where the margins just arent there for us, we have to make decisions to let those customers go; right now, we have to work smarter instead of harder. And also, we need to get all of our team and staff members onboard with a strategic, momentous plan, so that everybody is working together and not wasting time on things that are menial and which will hold us back. Its really about getting the right team in place and the right customers in place and then moving forward from there, Knopf said. Thats the plan for now, but as Knopf has witnessed firsthand, plans often change. Youve just got to gather all the lessons youve learned and move forward, Knopf said. Jeremy Martin is a freelance journalist living in Kalamazoo. A Lansing native, he graduated from Western Michigan University holding a B.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing. His writing can routinely be found in the Kalamazoo Gazette, Battle Creek Inquirer and several other local and regional news outlets.

Reshoring Phenomenon
Chesterfield Township - The reshoring phenomenon is now a reality for part marking and identification specialist, Columbia Marking Tools. According to Tom Phipps, Columbia CEO, Weve recently seen significant new business for our marking equipment as a result of several Michigan-based manufacturers intentionally reshoring capital equipment purchases to local companies. Phipps points out: Over the past year, weve seen an increased number of inquiries with a renewed emphasis on engineering know-how, high quality and fast delivery; a pleasure not to see cost as the only driver. Recently, we received an order for a specially-designed roll marking machine to place part numbers on spark plugs for a large worldwide spark plug manufacturer with facilities here in Michigan, Phipps says. Reshoring was a priority for this project. We also recently entered into a partnering agreement with ABI Systems, Inc.a designer and builder of special assembly machinesto incorporate our marking systems capabilities into a series of assembly cells for a German suspension system manufacturer with operations here in Michigan. Phipps adds: We have found that there again appears to be a real need for experienced assembly engineering design and build know-how with the ability to integrate a wide array of processes, knowledge of PLCs, motion integration and controls, testing, vision systems and, ultimately, the best methods for placing the required identification and traceability marks. Phipps adds, As North American manufacturers who still machine and design in-house, we were confident that reshoring was eventually going to happen. I only hope we havent lost all of the great manufacturing engineering minds that used to dominate our machine tool suppliers capabilities.

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18 Industrial Briefs
Allegan Perrigo Company broke ground on a planned 50,000 square-foot facility at its headquarters in Allegan. The new building will provide much needed office space for many of the employees the Company has added in recent years and as well as room for future growth. The new facility allows Perrigo to strategically manage its growth in West Michigan, and add 400 new jobs. Key features of the building, which is expected to be completed in January 2013, include: Approximately 31,000-square-feet of conference rooms and office space for approximately 200 people; A 7,500-square-foot multi-purpose area for larger meetings, conferences and training. Grand Rapids - Steelcase Inc. recently received the Inforum Board Access Award in recognition of its high percentage (36.36 percent) of women directors on its board along with fellow Michiganbased companies General Motors and Kelly Services. Allegan - Perrigo announced that Christopher Roop has joined the company as vice president of corporate development. Roop will be responsible for identifying, evaluating and pursuing acquisition targets that complement the companys strategic growth objectives. Grand Rapids - North American Trading & Logistics unveiled a new logo, tagline and website as part of its brand revitalization. In addition to offering expert risk management, North American Trading & Logistics provides consulting services and is a sourcing agent. Benton Harbor New Products Corporation (NPC) has announced the hiring of Julie Sparazynksi as the companys new human resources manager. NPC also recently filled two additional fulltime positions, including Kandy Krump in scheduling and Johnny Woods as chief guard. Zeeland - Gentex Corporation was recently recognized by the Detroit Free Press as a "Top Workplace" in Michigan for 2011. In the large company category, Gentex was the highest-rated manufacturer and ranked 4th out of the Top 25 selected. Gentex was also the recipient of a special workplace factor award for "Managers." The annual Top Workplace competition is run by Workplace Dynamics, LLC. Grand Rapids Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company announced that Josh Dykstra, formerly Eerdmans Marketing Associate, has been promoted to the position of Inside Sales Representative. Grand Rapids - Vans Delivery Service, Inc. announced that John Nieuwenhuis, Chief Operating Officer, has earned the certification of Certified Transportation Broker (CTB). Participants must earn at least five candidate points to be eligible to take the exam, which are based on professional experience and education. The participants must also have at least one year of experience working as a broker. Candidates may earn additional CTB eligibility points if they have completed formal education such as being granted a Bachelor's or Master's degree. Battle Creek - Jan Frantz, executive director of the Battle Creek/Calhoun County/Kalamazoo County Inland Port Development Corporation was designated as an Accredited Zone Specialist. The certification was conferred by the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones, a Washington, DCbased trade organization. Grand Rapids Zondervan and its creative partner Extra Credit Projects announced they have received two 2011 creative and design awards: the Communication Arts Design Annual 52 for the Chunky Bible design and the 32nd Annual Telly Award for the NIV Bibles Come Closer branded television commercial. Holland LeanLogistics announced it has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the Visionaries quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems. The Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems provides a graphical competitive positioning of four types of technology providers niche players, visionaries, challengers and leaders. Holland - Trendway Corporation is offering a select suite of products through national retailer Costco. Offered through Costco.com, the Quincy collection is tailored for the home and small-business office. New York, NY Former Chairman and CEO of Wolverine Worldwide, Timothy J. ODonovan, was recognized by the Fashion Footwear Association of New Yorkand presented with the Jodi Fisher Humanitarian Award. Wolverine Worldwide was recognized for not only its financial donation to the cause in 2011, but also its donation of 4,573 pairs of footwear with a retail value in excess of $422,000. Grand Rapids - Advantage Sign Supply announced the addition of the MultiCam line of CNC cutting solutions to its product offering. Its router tables include the 3000 Series, which is ideal for high-production shops producing 3-D carving, Braille signage, and acrylic fabrication. Grand Rapids Lake Michigan Auto Center announced that Kim Bray has joined the LMAC team as the general manager. Brays experience began at The Family Ford Store. Brays family owned the dealership 60 years ago from 1927 until 1987. Grand Rapids Lacks Enterprises received the Ergonomic Innovation Award from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.The Ergonomic Innovation Award is issued to employers for innovative ideas that have been implemented to reduce worker strain. Allegan - Perrigo announced that Britt Tasker has been hired as senior talent acquisition consultant for the Human Resources team. Tasker will partner with internal customers to design and implement talent acquisition processes that identify and bring in exceptional candidates for Perrigo. Zeeland Gentex Corporation announced that it is supplying autodimming mirrors with advanced features including Automatic High-Beam Assist for the 2011/2012 Range Rover Evoque -- a compact sport utility vehicle. Holland Chef Container, LLC announces the expansion efforts of their Westshore Recycling and Transfer Station located just outside Holland in Allegan County. The building expansion will triple the size of the current facility from 6,400 sq. feet to over 27,000 sq. feet. This expansion is estimated to create up to ten (10) new jobs within the Westshore facility. Allegan - Perrigo announced that Candy Ewald has been hired as sales coordinator for the sales and marketing department. Ewald will be supporting the customer business manager and Perrigo customers through sales and marketing functions. Ann Arbor - Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. announced that Brian Gibson has been named vice president of finance, chief accounting officer and treasurer. Auburn Hills - Energy Conversion announced several actions to further management's restructuring of the business: First, the company has temporarily suspended all manufacturing operations as an inventory control measure. Second, ECD continues to execute on its restructuring plan focusing on reducing cost, expanding addressable markets and enhancing its technology. Finally, management has begun discussions with representatives of certain holders of the company's outstanding Senior Convertible Notes due 2013. Madison Heights InfuSystem Holdings, Inc. has appointed Susan Wozniak MSHS, RN, OCN(R) to the newly created position of Director of Clinical Research, Education, and Innovation. Jeffersonville, IN - The Ports of Indiana has named Scott Stewart as port director for the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville. Stewart spent 24 years in positions of increasing responsibility with the Procter & Gamble Company before retiring in 2008 and moving back to Indiana.

19 Fabricating Industry Continues to Show its Mettle


By Edward Youdell This decade is shaping up to be one of the most exciting periods in recent memory for the metal fabricating and forming industry. Reasons include the role manufacturing continues to play in revitalizing the U.S. economy and its influence in pulling the U.S. out of a recession. In addition, there is the burst of new technologies now seen in fabrication shops as well as the surge in green manufacturing practices. Conversely, we face serious challenges in convincing young people to make this high tech sector their career choice. First, a quick definition. Members of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) cut, bend, extrude, fasten, finish, level, punch, shear, stamp, weld and assemble components made from sheet or structural metal. They provide these parts to nearly every manufacturing sector automotive, aviation, construction, farming, home appliances, HVAC, medical equipment, transportation rail, and so much more. Facilities range in size from 2,000 square feet to plants of more than a million square feet. Diversity is this industrys middle name. Key Catalyst for Economy Such diversity helps fabricators survive and thrive, and contribute to the role manufacturing has played in reviving the economy. Numerous economists have cited manufacturing as the sector that has pulled the U.S. out of a recession. To illustrate, in 2010 there were more jobs added in manufacturing than were lost 130,000 the first time this has happened since 1997. We will continue to see the sector grow thanks to the need to rebuild inventory and the strength of expanded exports. The latter is particularly pertinent. According to FMAs economic analyst Dr. Chris Kuehl, as recently as 10 or 15 years ago, the majority of small and medium manufacturers did no business at all overseas. But the average company now does about 30 percent of its business in global markets, and some have much higher rates. The evolution applies to small and medium-sized fabricators who are increasingly exporting goods to international buyers. Reflecting the trend is the growing interest in FMA programs focused on international business. These include seminars and webinars on the issue, and valuable opportunities to network. The annual FABTECH trade show is a prime forum to make such connections, and the FMA LinkedIn group, which also is open to non-members, serves as an excellent international partner tool. In addition, the outsourcing of work, one of the economic maladies that plagued the U.S. economy for years, is starting to fade due to logistics, costs and quality issues. Rapidly increasing labor rates in developing economies, fuel and transportation costs and raw material prices, are starting to diminish the benefits of outsourcing, so work is coming back to the U.S. in a movement called nearshoring. Deadlines are another factor. If a U.S. customer has a quality issue with a foreign supplier who says it can be remedied in, say, six weeks, thats not good enough any more. Manufacturers who can meet shorter lead times are the ones that will win the business and those companies increasingly are U.S. firms. New Technologies a Boost Another explanation for manufacturings bright future is the way the sector has aggressively adapted to new business environments. One strategy is to develop and launch new product lines to access new markets. Many of our member companies have taken this approach. Manufacturers are much more capital intensive and rely more on technology to stay competitive. Technology enables them to produce quality products with significantly more efficiency. Even though workforce numbers have dropped over the last few decades, productivity numbers have risen every year. Workers are now required to be experts and operate the most advanced, automated, sophisticated equipment in the world. They can cut steel with laser lights, water jets and plasma cutters, and program robots to paint, weld, package and palletize products. Theres a greater use of sophisticated control technologies and design software. There are fiber lasers and advanced press brake controls. Critical supply chain management procedures are becoming a science as well. This commitment to tapping new technologies is illustrated by the scope of the 2011 FABTECH trade show in Chicago, where the latest high-tech, breakthrough equipment and products are demonstrated. Exhibit space and anticipated attendance exceeded expectations several months before the event. This is another positive indicator for our industry. Skilled Workers Needed Of course, manufacturers need workers with the necessary skills to operate this new, sophisticated machinery, and the shortage of such skilled personnel is one of the industrys greatest challenges. For many, a labor shortage in an uncertain economy is counter-intuitive. Yet, survey after survey reveals companies have such positions unfilled. Whats happened in manufacturing is that many workers are approaching the end of their careers and weve not done a good job in finding or developing people with the necessary skills and desire to replace them. Several factors contributed to this dilemma. Without question, manufacturing has had an image problem among young people, whose prevailing perception is one of a dark, dank, dangerous factory floor and non-challenging assembly line work. The reality today is quite different. One finds manufacturing facilities that are bright, clean and without endless production lines. They are reliant instead on sophisticated equipment and the newest generation of computer technology. Also, U.S. education priorities did not position manufacturing as a preferred career choice. Vocational programs and shop classes have been dropped due to budget constraints and liability concerns and a greater emphasis placed preparing students for a traditional four-year university academic track. And, for too long, the manufacturing industry itself has not been proactive to combat the problem. Whats encouraging is that this landscape is dramatically changing. FMA has been one of the leaders in championing the cause to attract new blood to the industry. For example, the organization helps fund summer manufacturing camps for young people to introduce them to the complexities of manufacturing, the joys of hands-on problem solving, and the many ways they can employ high-tech and computer skills in manufacturing careers. In fact, the New York Times published a lengthy feature on one of those camps this past August. We also offer college scholarships for students preparing for careers in the industry. FMA is not alone. Groups such as the Gold Collar Careers Initiative in Wisconsin, the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council and The Manufacturing Institute are just three of many today leading similar charges. Educational systems are starting to realize the need to offer a vocational or technical educational track even if it means a collaborative program, and more companies today are reviving apprenticeships and in-house training programs. We hope that these efforts will convince young people that manufacturing jobs are rewarding and fulfilling. Green Practices Growing Whats also encouraging for our industry is growing recognition among its top executives of the importance of green energy practices in manufacturing applications. A 2011 study by the Material Handling Industry of America revealed a whopping nine in 10 executives surveyed say their companies believe that sustainable initiatives have the potential to save both money and resources. Anytime a business can reduce costs, enhance profits and conserve resources its a win-win. Continued on page 20

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20 Fabricating Industry Industrial Briefs Continues to Show its Mettle


Continued from page 19 Showcasing how to leverage this opportunity to help both the earth and the bottom line is a publication we launched at FMA in 2010 called Green Manufacturer. It highlights sustainable manufacturing processes, green products and green applications and educates companies on the best ways to invest and become greener. Were really proud that Green Manufacturer recently won the Gold Medal award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) for best new magazine of 2010. Similar to how manufacturing is tackling the labor shortage issue, we are witnessing a greater focus on green manufacturing issues from a number of entities, including government, academia, industry groups and the editorial trade media. Examples abound. In the government sector, there is the new Economy, Energy and Environment Initiative, known as E3, a coordinated federal and local technical assistance effort that provides manufacturers with customized, hands-on assessments of production processes and assists with the implementation of energy-saving projects. In education, one program growing in prominence is Western Michigan Universitys Green Manufacturing Initiative, a consortium between the school and industry partners to solve green related issues. In addition to its magazine, FMA frequently addresses green issues in seminars and events, such as our ZeroWaste-to-Landfill Workshops and a growing series of webcasts. And, many industry trade shows, including FABTECH, feature presentations and workshops on all aspects of green. Bullish About Industry When one reviews in total the positive trends and critical role manufacturing has in the countrys economy, its evident why the fabricating sector is primed for growth. These factors bring added meaning and value to FMAs mission to foster the success of its member companies and contribute to this vital U.S. industry. Edward Youdell is president and chief executive officer of Rockford, Ill.-based Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), a professional organization with nearly 2,300 members working together to improve the metal forming and fabricating industry.

Auburn Hills - United Solar announced a new customer relationship under their Open Solar initiative with GP Solar, a GP Batteries company of Hong Kong, and an initial order of 600 kilowatts of UNI-SOLAR photovoltaic cells. Wakarusa, IN - Utilimaster Corporation, a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. announced they will celebrate the launch of the Reach commercial van with a plant dedication at Utilimaster's headquarters located in Wakarusa, IN. St. Louis, MO Graybar has appointed Peter Elkas as vice president-sales, electric utility and Tom Moore as vice president-sales, broadband utility, effective Jan. 1, 2012. Elkas is a 31-year Graybar veteran who currently serves as district vice president in the companys Boston district. Moore is currently director, comm/data sales in Graybars Richmond district. Miami, FL Ryder System, Inc. announced that it has been selected by UBCR, LLC as its fleet partner in a Michigan natural gas project that includes 16 heavy duty natural gas vehicles, upgrades to two maintenance facilities, and the construction of two new

natural gas fueling stations. The natural gas project is partially funded by a grant to UBCR through the Michigan Clean Cities Coalition and when complete, will displace 380,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually with domestically produced low carbon natural gas. Aubrin Hills - United Solar announces the opening of the new Marcegaglia photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing facility in Taranto, Italy. The new PV factory combines the production of UNI-SOLAR PV laminates with Marcegaglia's metal products to produce the perfect product for PV-integrated, insulated metal roofing panels. Dearborn - Honoring the memory of Earl E. Walker, CEO, Carr Lane Manufacturing, the SME Education Foundation Board of Directors voted to move $835,000 into the Myrtle and Earl Walker Endowed Scholarship fund. The fund will now be endowed at the $2 million level and will pay out $100,000 a year in scholarships.

Global Humanitarianism Competition Calls


San Francisco, CA - Architecture for Humanitya 501(c)(3) charitable organization that seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian criseshas launched the 2011 Open Architecture Challenge: [UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS, asking architects and designers to partner with community groups across the world to develop innovative solutions which would re-envision closed, abandoned, and decommissioned military sites. The six-month competition requires designers to work with the communities surrounding these former places of conflict, to transform such locations into civic spaces that can be used for the public good. As they dot the global landscape, some decommissioned military installations disrupt neighborhoods and split entire communities. While the sites are often laid to waste, Architecture for Humanity sees the locations as an opportunity of global proportion. In the U.S. alone, billions of dollars of taxpayer funds will be spent on doing environmental remediation on the 12-millionsquare-feet of U.S. military space scheduled to close this year. Can we use this opportunity to bring economic stability to areas deserted by closed bases? Globally, an opportunity exists at every site. Can we re-envision the 750,000+ abandoned bunkers that pepper the Albanian landscape? Can we use environmental diplomacy to use a re-imagined Guantanamo Bay Detention Center? Is there a way to turn abandoned bases in Afghanistan into places of learning? The 2011 Open Architecture Challenge will seek to provide solutions to these unanswered questions and will re-envision the future of decommissioned military spaces. The competition is an open call to actionand the first of its kind. Architecture for Humanity will ask the global design and construction community to identify retired military installations in their own backyard, to collaborate with local stakeholders, and to reclaim these spaces for social, economic, and environmental good. If a team does not live near a decommissioned site, Architecture for Humanity has selected sites in Afghanistan, Cuba, Libya, and the United States. In partnership with Google SketchUp and Google Earth, designers are able to present their ideas in the most impressive form, no matter their location or economic capacity. The design competition will be judged by an international, inter-disciplinary panel of experts from various fields. The panel will consist of real estate and building professionals, experts in base realignment processing, former world leaders, and members of communities that have experienced a base closure or demilitarized site. The Open Architecture Challenge is hosted once every two years on the Open Architecture Network, an open-source community developed by Architecture for Humanity. To date, more than 1,200 design teams from 64 countries have competed in these challenges. Support from sponsors and implementing partners funds the construction of selected designs. All of the designs are shared freely via the Open Architecture Network, and made available for future use. Registration begins October 24, 2011 and ends March 31, 2012. Visit http://bit.ly/oac2011 for more information, or to register.

Next Month Topics Banking Services Physical Therpy Adult Education Wireless Comms Pharmaceuical Mfg Architecture & Engineering To be involved e-mail editor@businessupdate.com

Communication & IT
Communications & IT
Grand Rapids After five years of leadership, John Hwang, Co-Founder and CEO of Mutually Human Software, is moving on from the thriving local business he helped create. John Hwang made the mutual decision with partners Mark Van Holstyn and Zach Dennis to part ways with the company. This coincides with the fifth anniversary of Mutually Human as an L.L.C. John Hwang will be exploring new options as a software entrepreneur, while Mark Van Holstyn and Zach Dennis will continue to move Mutually Human forward. Detroit - Compuware Corporation announced the availability of the Compuware Gomez(R) China Portal 2.0. This new portal provides local-language access to the Gomez application performance management (APM) platform and provides unique value to organizations in the Chinese market, meeting increasing demand in one of the world's fastest-growing economies. Muskegon - RC Productions (RCP) owner, Randy A. Crow, announced that Amy H. Atkinson, joined RCP in 1996, has been promoted to President. and that Jane Savidge, oined the company in 1997, was promoted to Vice President. Crow started RCP in 1981will now serve as CEO of RC Productions Inc., the parent company of both RCP and its sister company, Source One Digital. Lansing Connect Michigan released new residential broadband adoption survey results revealing the top trends in technology use among key demographics in Michigan. The survey reveals that approximately 39% of Michigan residents are still not using broadband at home. Most notably, the majority of low-income, senior, disabled adult, and AfricanAmerican households are without broadband at home, leaving them facing an uphill battle in keeping up with essential online resources, job and educational opportunities, and social services. Grand Haven - AzulStar announced that it has extended its Gigabit Wireless Broadband service to greater Kalamazoo, Lansing and Muskegon, Michigan, for businesses, public institutions and multiple dwelling facilities. Lansing - Motion Marketing & Media introduced the newest members of our sales team: Marilyn Hamlin Account Executive; Colette Evangelista (Sassy) Sales Ace; Taylor Kelsaw Executive Producer. Grand Rapids - MarCom Awards announced winners for the 2011 international awards competition that recognizes outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communication professionals. There were over 6,000 entries in the 2011 competition. WGVU Public Media is very proud to be the recipient of ten MarCom Awards for their media and communication efforts. Troy - Syntel, Inc. announced that it has been awarded the CIO100 Award by IDG India's CIO magazine at the 6th Annual CIO100 Awards in Pune, India.

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Troy Revenue Development (ARD) announced a strategic alliance with Grand Rapids-based Foxbright, to help school districts across the state of Michigan leverage their websites and generate new revenue streams. ARDs UNITE Program generates non-traditional, supplemental revenue for school districts; a significant component of the program is internet based. An association with Foxbright allows ARD to offer additional assistance to their school district partners in executing and optimizing the online revenue generated by the UNITE Program. Kalamazoo - Weidenhammer, a Reading, Pa.-based company that specializes in management software for the education sector, has purchased the park's Granite Park I building, located at 4664 Campus Drive. Weidenhammer will move its current Kalamazoo staff into the site in December and expects to use the new site to move jobs from other company locations around the nation and to build a data center in the building to accommodate the cloud computing needs of its clients.

Video Gaming Breeds Creativity


East Lansing, MI, Nov. 2, 2011 Both boys and girls who play video games tend to be more creative, regardless of whether the games are violent or nonviolent, according to new research by Michigan State University scholars. A study of nearly 500 12-year-olds found that the more kids played video games, the more creative they were in tasks such as drawing pictures and writing stories. In contrast, the study found that the use of cell phones, the Internet and computers (other than for video games) was unrelated to creativity. Linda Jackson, professor of psychology and lead researcher on the project, said the study appears to be the first evidence-based demonstration of a relationship between technology use and creativity. About 72 percent of U.S. households play video or computer games, according to the Entertainment Software Association. The MSU findings should motivate game designers to identify the aspects of video game activity that are responsible for the creative effects, Jackson said. "Once they do that, video games can be designed to optimize the development of creativity while retaining their entertainment values such that a new generation of video games will blur the distinction between education and entertainment," Jackson said. The researchers surveyed 491 middle-school students as part of MSU's Children and Technology Project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. The survey assessed how often the students used different forms of technology and gauged their creativity with the widely used Torrance Test of Creativity-Figural. The Torrance test involved tasks such as drawing an "interesting and exciting" picture from a curved shape, giving the picture a title and then, writing a story about it. Overall, the study found that boys played video games more than girls, and that boys favored games of violence and sports while girls favored games involving interaction with others (human or nonhuman). Yet, regardless of gender, race or type of game played, greater video game playing was the only technology to be associated with greater creativity.

22 Hotels/Restaurants Briefs
Boyne Falls BOYNE announced the hiring of Brenda Haight, CMP, as Sales Manager of Michigan State Associations for Boyne Resorts Michigan operations. Haight will work to build upon existing relationships and expand new association business at Boyne Resorts Michigan operations. Muskegon The West Michigan Symphony has received a $10,000 grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Outstate Michigan in support of Link Up, the Carnegie Hall national music education program that brings music to the lives of more than 4,000 elementary students in West Michigan each year. Grand Rapids - Travel Leaders nationally has won over $139.8 million in new business accounts this year. Locally, Travel Leaders has won over $250,000 in new accounts this past quarter from Grand Rapids businesses. Grand Rapids Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Lodging Association announced the 2011 winners of the 4th Annual WAVE Awards a program that recognizes outstanding service providers in the Grand Rapids and Kent County hospitality industry. 2011 winners include: Dining: Mary Metts, JW Marriott Grand Rapids; Lodging: Norina Cadili, JW Marriott Grand Rapids; Nightlife: Chris Kenyan, The Gilmore Collection; Transportation: Terron Smith, The Rapid; Retail & Service: Brittany Carter, Rylee's Ace Hardware; Attractions/Events: Patty Alexander, Meijer State Games of Michigan. Muskegon Shoreline Inn & Conference Center joined the Ascend Collection membership program from Choice Hotels International Inc. While Shoreline Inn remains independently owned, through its membership, the hotel gains global reservations and distributions systems. Douglas In the facility previously known as the Bier Hall, SBC has upgraded dcor, expanded services and has hired Jodie Howitt to serve exclusively as Event Coordinator for the newly named Singapore Room, a full service banquet facility complete with bar, stage, dance floor and multiple lighting options and can accommodate well over 200 seated guests. Hickory Corners - The Gilmore Car Museum announced the appointment of David L. Hatfield, a longtime area bank executive, to the position of Director of External Affairs. Hatfield will work toward building community relations, strengthening the museums membership base, and growing its endowment and support for the museums expanding operations. Grand Rapids Suburban Inns welcomes Lucas Ulberg as its new manager of property development. Ulberg will be focused on the companys growth through new projects and will be responsible for managing new construction projects and remodels. Byron Center - Railside Golf Club is celebrating its 20th anniversary by thanking the community it serves and partnering with Mel Trotter Ministries. From November 1 to November 20, the Railside Bar and Grille, Railside Golf Clubs public dining restaurant, will offer the community a 20-20-20-20 promotion --- a one-time special commemorating the past 20 years, over 20 days, with a $20 dinner special and 20 percent of the proceeds benefiting Mel Trotters women and childrens programs.

Plan The Ultimate Event.


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Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival


Grand Rapids Organizers of the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival are happy to report that attendance jumped more than 12% to some 12,000 people for their fourthannual event, which was held November 17-19 in the elegant 40,000-square-foot Steelcase Ballroom inside DeVos Place. Thats four consecutive years of growth in terms of both attendees and exhibitors. Grand Rapids is the perfect size city for this type of event, says Henri Boucher, show producer. It comes alive because its such a dynamic downtown an area that is the envy of all of Michigan. Were proud to host this event, which is the true kickoff to the holiday season. Considered the largest food and beverage festival in the state and one of the premier events of its kind in the Midwest, the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival has shown steady growth since its first year in 2008. That year, some 8000 people attended the festival. In 2009, organizers welcomed a 30% increase in the number of exhibitors and beverages, and twice as many restaurants welcoming nearly 10,000 guests throughout the three-day festival. Close to 11,000 attendees were reported in 2010. This fourth annual event once again exceeded our expectations, says Richard MacKeigan, Regional General Manager, DeVos Place, DeVos Performance Hall & Van Andel Arena. We believe we are in the early stages of an event that will be around for a long, long, time. Comments from exhibitors, sponsors and most importantly guests have determined that 2011 was a grand success. The feeling seems to be that the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer and Food Festival is another great reason why Grand Rapids is such a great city to live and work in. The three-day festival spotlights more than a dozen restaurants; hundreds of wineries, breweries, distilleries and thousands of their products; countless local businesses; and the areas leading industry experts who deliver countless seminars, workshops and demonstrations at no added cost to attendees. Dates for 2012 are moved up a week, to November 8-10.

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Corporate Information
Grand Rapids Zondervan has established a publishing partnership with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Under the agreement, Zondervan will release three Christian titles, including a childrens book inspired by President Carter, as well as a trade book title and a Bible title that will both be authored by the nations 39th President. Grand Rapids Lambert Edwards & Associates, Inc. announced it has acquired Atlanta-based IR Squared, an investor relations firm with a roster of national public company clients. IR Squared principal Robert Burton has joined Lambert Edwards as Managing Director and head of the firms Financial Communications practice. Grand Rapids Frey Foundation Chairman David Frey announced the appointment of Steve Wilson as the foundations next president. Effective January, 2012, Wilson will succeed Milt Rohwer, who will retire this December, after 13 years as foundation president. Grand Rapids Interphase Interiors announced that Andrew Kotman has joined the companys Grand Rapids operations as an account executive. Kotman brings nearly 10 years of work experience. Michigan - The 2011 Michigan Womens Hall of Fame honorees in the CONTEMPORARY CATEGORY are: Dr. Lois A. Bader of Lansing ; Jumana Judeh of Dearborn; Justice Marilyn Kelly of Bloomfield Hills; Edelmira Delma Lopez of Lansing; Kary Moss of Ann Arbor; Rose Mary C. Robinson of Detroit; Tricia McNaughton Saunders, born in Ann Arbor. The Hall of Fame honoree in the HISTORICAL CATEGORY is: Valeria Lipczynski of Grand Rapids emigrated from Poland and dedicated her life to serving the Polish American community. The Philip A. Hart Award is presented annually to Scott Burgess, Community Relations & Advertising Specialist for the Accident Fund Holding, Inc. West Michigan - The West Michigan Internship Initiative announce the latest round of funding support received from the Community Foundation for Muskegon in the amount of $5,000. According the Community Research Institute's report, in Muskegon County there are 454 NPOs employing 8,145 people and representing more than $385 million in economic impact. Grand Rapids When West Michigan Co-op (the Co-op) opened for business in November 2006, the organization became the first year-round local food source in the Grand Rapids area and only the second online farmers market in the nation. Five years later, the Co-op is celebrating its anniversary and continued growth with a promotion for new members. Grand Rapids The Hispanic Center of Western Michigan has received a $1.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for a three-year Latino Community Development Project to be carried out from September 2011 to August 2014. The Latino Community Development Project will provide important and stable support for: the Centers Latino leadership development efforts; expansion of the Centers education and civic engagement program; and expansion of the Centers core immigration services and advocacy for immigrant families. Holland Peter Rhoades, Board Chair for The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holland announced that Craig Spoelhof has accepted the position of Executive Director, effective immediately. Spoelhof has been acting as the Interim Executive Director since August 2011. Grand Rapids - Deksia received recognition from Print Magazines 2011 Regional Design Annual for their winning entry, Second Time Around. Grand Rapids Full service public relations firm Clark Communications announces that it has relocated to 131 South Division Avenue, Suite 100. As part of this move to the Heartside area, the firm announced its intention to tithe 10% of its revenue in 2012 to helping Heartside residents that are entrepreneurs. Lansing - Horizen Hydroponics has opened their 4th location in Lansing located at 5425 West Saginaw Highway across from the Lansing Mall. Owners John and Bridgette Ujlaky feel education is a core principal at Horizen Hydroponics. Grand Rapids - Jeff Hartnagel has opened the doors to Play It Again Sports situated at 3560 Alpine Avenue in Grand Rapids. Play It Again Sports buys gently-used, quality sports equipment and gear and offers cash on the spot for the items. Grand Rapids - Kantorwassink won recognition from the Creativity 41st International Awards for: their work promoting the Grand Re-Opening of Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital; and The recent marketing campaign to promote disaster readiness for the Kent County Sheriffs Office of Emergency Management. Grand Rapids - Kantorwassink's Client Holiday Gift was featured as one of last year's best self promotions in the Septemeber/October Issue of How Magazine. Lansing - Gov. Rick Snyder announced six appointments and three reappointments to the 25-member Michigan Community Service Commission, which works to create and strengthen a culture of service and volunteerism. Appointments: Julie Calley, of Portland; Michael Lavoie, of Bloomfield Township; Fred Mester, of Bloomfield Hills; Watson Olson, of Gwinn; John Truscott, of Okemos. Reappointments: Donna Niester, of Fort Gratiot; Marsha Smith, of Traverse City; Larry Williamson, of Grand Rapids.

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Grand Rapids Michigan Works! Kent & Allegan Counties fourth annual Essential Service Awards Ceremony (ESAs) recognized 10 local individuals for their top job performance. The ESAs are known for honoring local men and women who perform important, but traditionally, undervalued jobs and the important roles those individuals play in West Michigans economy. Melvin Williams YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Cleaning/Housekeeping Category; Angie McKeown Minnie Sophronas Restaurant and Bake Shop, Foodservice Category; Esther Rop MOKA, Healthcare Category; Jim Vizard Crowne Plaza Grand Rapids, Hospitality Category; Phil Zimmerman Allegra Marketing Print Mail, Transportation Category; Debbie Beilstein Macatawa Bank, Retail Category; Dave LaBotz Kent ISD, Government Category; Muli Muthiani MOKA, Nonprofit Category; Warpeerig Mukuag Butterball Farms, Inc., General Labor Category; Nicole Staszkiewicz YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Childcare Category;

Review of Re-Engage
economic times? Yes, they do, say human resources experts Leigh Branham and Mark Hirschfeld. They argue that, since the economic meltdown of 2008, keeping your employees engaged is more important than ever. Using vivid real-world examples, employees comments and compelling data, Branham and Hirschfeld demonstrate how your company can join the list of elite employers. In fact, they may provide a bit too much information; their book features so many lists of possible tactics that readers may feel overwhelmed at times. Still, getAbstract is confident that the book provides solid information for senior managers and HR professionals. In short, Branham and Hirschfeld ably demonstrate how, when times get tough, the best keep going. Leigh Branham and Mark Hirschfeld. Re-Engage: How America's Best Places to Work Inspire Extra Effort in Extraordinary Times. McGraw-Hill, 2010. 368 pages. List Price: $29.95. ISBN-13: 978-0071703109. getAbstract is the leading provider of business book summaries, with more than 6,000 titles covered. www.getabstract.com

By Rolf getAbstract

Dobelli,

Chairman,

Best places to work lists might seem like vestiges of another, more prosperous age. Do employers still have to worry about employee satisfaction in hard