Fawcett-Dopke Insurance Agency, a 102-year-old firm in Traverse City, has purchased Independent Insurance Centre (formerly John D. Guba & Associates) located at 735 S. Garfield Ave. Fawcett-Dopke, located in the NBD Bank building downtown, will be operating out of both locations.


ComputerLand of Traverse City has been awarded the state and local government value-added enhancement (VAE) license from IBM. The program is designed to help government customers find additional qualified business partners. The award is granted based on industry reputation, past performance, staff experience, and excellent references from Michigan government units.

Michigan Message Center has been honored with the 1998 Award of Excellence by the Association of TeleServices International, the industry’s largest trade association for providers of telecommunications services in telephone answering and message delivery. Companies were judged on courtesy, response time, accuracy and service. The company has offices in Traverse City, Petoskey and Kalkaska, and four downstate.

Knorr Marketing was a winner in the National Mature Media Awards Program, presented by the Mature Market Resource Center, which recognizes the nation’s best advertising, marketing and educational materials designed and produced for older adults.

James McIntyre of Knorr Marketing and Petersen Productions were involved in the design and production of “The Meadows,” which received a merit award for TV Advertising in the Housing Division. A panel of mature market experts judged more than 1,000 entries.

Rick Steckley, northern Michigan McDonald’s franchisee, recently received McDonald’s Total Customer Satisfaction Award for all of his restaurants, which include the McDonald’s in Gaylord, Big Rapids, Grayling, Williamsburg, Waters, two in Cadillac, and five in Traverse City. The award recognized Steckley and his staff for creating a friendly atmosphere, anticipating customers’ needs and providing impressive service in all areas of restaurant operation.

In addition, his restaurants on North Mitchell in Cadillac and the Waters location received the Outstanding Restaurant Award, based on customer satisfaction and training efficiency of management and crew.


Arachnida Productions LLC, a Web page design firm, has opened at 1000 S. Garfield Ave., Suite 3, Traverse City. Owner Diane Green creates and actively markets Internet Web pages for professionals, retail stores and tourist-oriented businesses. Visit the company at

Kenneth Benson and Lori Graykowski recently relocated from Detroit to open IMS Printing & Publishing at 733 E. Eighth St. in Traverse City. They offer desktop publishing, graphic design and printing services.

Ming’s Garden Takeout Chinese Restaurant is slated to open early this month in the 14th Street Plaza in Traverse City. It’s owned by Traverse City residents Ming and Elkey Lam and will offer a full menu.

Scott Barnhart and Gene Johnson have opened Visions Custom Cabinets at 6925 Clark Rd. in Kingsley. They specialize in custom cabinets, countertops and hardwood furniture for both commercial and residential clients. Both have several years of experience in the field.


Professional Secretaries International (PSI) will hold an official installation of the Northern Michigan Chapter and 1998-99 officers on Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Munson Medical Center’s Conference Center. Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce President Hal VanSumeren will be a featured speaker, along with chapter officers.

PSI aims to increase skills to help office personnel advance in their careers through networking and an improved professional image. For more information, call Patti Ackerman at 929-2201.

Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City has receive a cash payment of $30,394 from Penguin USA, a major publisher of consumer books, as a result of an antitrust litigation settlement. The bookstore is a member of American Booksellers Association, which filed a lawsuit against Penguin in 1994, alleging they were giving substantial and secret cash discounts to some of Horizon’s competitors.

Traverse City Chamber of Commerce will not be holding a Business After Hours this month. The next one will be Sept. 16 at Bowers Harbor Inn.

Cellular One of Northwest Michigan has expanded its coverage in Grand Traverse County by adding transmission sites in Traverse City and Interlochen. One site improves coverage from downtown Traverse City to the Boardman Lake area, while callers along U.S. 31 west of Interlochen and east to the M-37 intersection will benefit from the second site. The company covers 13 northwest Michigan counties.

The Northern Michigan Sports Medicine Center in Petoskey has put together a customized fitness training and performance enhancement program for golfers. Body Balance for Performance works to maximize a golfer’s swing by addressing such things as posture, strength, flexibility, balance, etc. It was designed by Paul Callaway, former director of physical therapy for the PGA tour. For details, call (616) 347-9300.

Spring Arbor College has opened registration for fall degree completion programs in Traverse City. For details, call 922-1760 or 800-568-6843.

Empire Banc Corp. earned record second quarter profits. Net income for the quarter ending June 30 was $1,417,000 or 45 cents per share. That’s a 13 percent increase over the second quarter of 1997. For the first six months of the year, net income was a record $2,754,000, or 87 cents a share–a 13 percent increase over the same period last year. The corporation owns Empire National Bank, which is headquartered in Traverse City and operates 10 area branches.

Wilcox Associates, an engineering surveying and environmental services company, has relocated its corporate headquarters to: One Madison Avenue, PO Box 580, Cadillac, MI, 49601.

East Jordan Chamber of Commerce is selling newly-designed East Jordan license plates for $10. The plates feature a sketch of Engine Number 6, found in the city’s Memorial Park. Proceeds will benefit the Chamber. Plates can be shipped for $1. Call (616) 536-7351 to order.

Grand Traverse County Law Library has expanded its public hours to noon to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. The Law Library is located on the top floor of the County Courthouse at 328 Washington St.

A Red Wings jersey autographed by Steve Yzerman will be raffled off by Munson Hospice during Red Wings training camp at Centre ICE. The drawing will be held Sept. 17 at the ice arena, with all proceeds benefiting Munson Hospice. Drawings also will be held for additional Red Wings merchandise. Raffle tickets cost $1 each or six for $5. For ticket information, call Terry at (616) 935-7468.

Ludlow Enterprises founders Miles & Betty Ludlow, who own and operate restaurants in Alpena, Gaylord, Cheboygan, Petoskey and Houghton Lake under the trade names Big Boy, Mancino’s and Lud’s Hamburgers, have recently announced a leadership change.

Brian Ludlow will assume the president/chief executive officer position currently held by Phil Ludlow, who’s running for the Republican House seat in the 106th District. He is currently Mayor pro-tem of the Alpena City Council.

Jane Ludlow has been promoted to chief operations officer and will oversee the daily operations of Ludlow Enterprises’ 10 restaurants in northern Michigan.

Versus Technology Inc., Traverse City-based developer and manufacturer of infrared locating systems for hospitals and other organizations, has named Pete Taylor, Ernest Stathakis, Patrick Flannery and Charles Clark as infrared reseller and sales managers. All have strong backgrounds in medical-related industries and experience in sales and marketing.

The infrared products identify the exact location of personnel and equipment and provide two-way wireless communications throughout a facility.

Please send calendar events and announcements for the September issue by August 17. Thank you!