Briefly: Big News In A Small Format
40 UNDER 40 NOMINATION PERIOD NOW OPEN
It’s that time of year again: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 NMC Traverse City Business News’ 40Under40!
Now in its ninth year, this celebration recognizes individuals in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie and Kalkaska counties – under the age of 40 – who are movers and shakers, and making impacts on their community, the region and the economy. If you fit this description, or know someone who does, complete the online form at tcbusinessnews.com. A list of frequently asked questions is also available online.
Note: The nomination deadline is Friday, July 10, at 5pm. Nominations received after that time will not be accepted.
NEW BUSINESS: HONEST EYES
Optical store Honest Eyes has opened at 802 W. Front Street in Traverse City, offering prescription eyewear with a focus on affordability.
“I have worn glasses all my life and I could never understand why I had to pay so much and why all optical stores seemed to sell the same stuff,” said Karin Andrews, who owns the store with husband Rick. “There is simply a lot of profit in the industry and single companies own everything from manufacturing to retail stores and even insurance.”
After researching the industry and finding a better approach, they opened their first Honest Eyes store in 2011 in Pennsylvania. Honest Eyes is a B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Prescription) optical business.
“This allows us to keep things very simple and our costs and prices down” explained Rick Andrews. “It eliminates the high costs of a doctor’s office, exam equipment and medical staff so we can focus exclusively on providing a better and unique selection of eyeglass styles at more affordable prices.”
The retail store stocks hundreds of the latest frame styles, buying from smaller, independent manufacturers. Lens laboratories work with Honest Eyes to custom make lenses for each customer’s prescription. The store does not perform eye exams and does not handle contact lenses.
The Andrews spent the winter renovating and restoring the 100-year-old building they now occupy at the corner of West Front and Cedar streets, previous longtime home of Lessard’s Trophy & Awards. The renovation was designed by Traverse City architect Fred Campbell and construction done by F.L. Padella of Suttons Bay. Honesteyesonline.com; 717.602.9291.
NEW TECH GROUP FORMING
A new effort to promote networking and collaboration among local technology professionals is underway in Traverse City. Called TCnewtech, the new group will meet monthly to share presentations on new products, technologies and business ventures, along with other happenings related to technology. The target audience includes programmers, IT staff, tech company owners, people looking for investment opportunities and start-ups looking for investors.
The inaugural meeting will take place Tues., June 2, at 6pm at the Centerpointe building in Greilickville. There is no charge to attend or make a presentation.
NEW REAL ESTATE OFFICE OPENS
Premier Waterfront Realty has opened an office in Traverse City. The firm is owned by Charlene Scheer, a real estate broker since 1992, who previously was the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Grayling.
The Traverse City office is located at 12935 S. West Bay Shore Drive, Ste. 350. The phone number is 989.915.1556.
MITCHELL SELECTED FOR GRAPHICS WORK
Mitchell Graphics, with locations in Petoskey and Traverse City, has been selected by 4Front Credit Union to provide graphic design, print, and fulfillment services for its 13 branch locations and three corporate offices spanning from Manistee to Petoskey.
4Front Credit Union resulted from the December 2014 partnership of Members Credit Union, based in Traverse City, and Bay Winds Federal Credit Union, with headquarters in Charlevoix.
Mitchell has been based in Petoskey since 1972 and in April 2014 added Progress Printers, a Traverse City printer with roots first established in 1859.
NEW RUG SHOP OPENS IN OLD TOWN
Rectangles Rugs and Design has opened its new showroom at 517 S. Union in Traverse City. “Rectangles is a rug matchmaker: We make the introduction, you fall in love,” said Owner Kathy Hank.
The full-service rug store stocks hundreds of rugs and samples, including vintage, hand-knotted, one-of-a-kind, natural fibers, hides, children’s and “everywhere” rugs. It also offers an “In Your Space” home visit service and has added a “Shop the Markets” feature. Custom rugs, resizing/repair, and appraisal services are also available. 231.486.6224; rectangleit.com.
MI NEWS 26 NAMED ‘STATION OF YEAR’
MI News 26, Michigan’s only 24/7 local news channel, was named LPTV (Low Power Television)Station of the Year at the National Association of Broadcasters expo in Las Vegas. It was the only Michigan-based TV station to receive an award.
MI News 26 is based in Cadillac and reaches 14 counties throughout northern Michigan. The station was judged against others across the country with the award given based on innovative local programming, strong community involvement and involvement with local nonprofits.
HEALTH ASSOCIATION GROUP LAUDED
The Michigan Association of Health Underwriters (MAHU) was recognized with the Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award as part of the national association’s chapter certification program.
“MAHU exemplifies the dedication to providing the best opportunities for our members through their dedication to chapter development,” said Keith Wright, president of the northern Michigan chapter. “This year, the Northern Michigan Association of Health Underwriters organized numerous educational meetings in our local community and hosted an association golf outing to increase and maintain memberships. These projects and many others have set a standard of excellence in the health insurance industry that we are proud to represent.”
HUMANE SOCIETY DIRECTOR NAMED
Heidi Yates is the new executive director of the Cherryland Humane Society in Traverse City. Yates replaces former director Mike Cherry, who retired in March after 26 years of leading the organization.
Yates brings more than 15 years of animal welfare experience to her new post. She has been the executive director of Humane Society & Animal Rescue of Muskegon County since late 2011. Under her leadership the shelter was recognized in 2013 for its improvements by The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. Prior to joining the Muskegon Humane Society, she was at Harbor Humane Society (in West Olive, Mich.) for seven years serving as its development director and four years as its executive director.
PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS CELEBRATES 15
Take Action Photos in Frankfort is celebrating its 15th anniversary. The studio specializes in family, portraits, senior photos, business portraits and special events. It is owned by Jessica and Susan Rastelli. takeactionphotos.com.
SPRINGFIELD RECOGNIZED BY ROOFING CO.
Springfield Inc. of Kingsley was recently awarded the Chairman Award by Duro-Last Roofing in recognition of outstanding achievement in quality workmanship, customer satisfaction, and 2014 sales excellence. Duro-Last is the world’s largest manufacturer of custom prefabricated, thermoplastic single-ply roofing systems.
FINANCIAL OFFICE RELOCATION
Jim Mellinger, a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Traverse City, has opened a new office. He can now be found at 12935 S. West Bay Shore Dr., Suite 310, in Traverse City. The phone number is 231-947-1123.
LOCAL DRONE COMPANY GETS GREEN LIGHT
Eagle-Eye Drone Service in Kewadin has received the go-ahead from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to proceed in the commercial drone industry. It is the only drone company north of Detroit that is qualified with a licensed pilot and FAA exemption to provide services to the real estate industry.
Eagle-Eye Drone Service’s primary interest is residential and commercial real estate as well as commercial advertising and marketing.
“The real estate market has been waiting for the opportunity to bring new marketing material to promote their residential/commercial listings and our aerial service is exactly what they are looking for,” said Greg MacMaster, chief pilot.
MUNSON JOINS HEALTH COALITION
Munson Medical Center has formally joined the Northern Michigan Health Coalition as a member. The coalition is comprised of ten health care organizations in northern Michigan providing primary and acute care, behavioral health care, substance use treatment, dental care, elder services, and public health.
The coalition is made up of Crystal Lake Health Center providing primary care; Centra Wellness Network providing behavioral health care; West Shore Medical Center providing acute and primary care; Catholic Human Services as a substance use treatment and behavioral health provider; Northwest Michigan Health Services providing primary care; Michigan Community Dental Clinics as a dental provider; Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department and District Health Department #10 as public health providers; Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan as an elder care provider and now Munson Medical Center providing physical and behavioral health care services.
“We are encouraged by what the coalition is aspiring to do in our region,” said Al Pilong, president of the Medical Center. “We want to be part of the promising collaboration between the multitudes of providers of different disciplines that the coalition offers.”
PETERSON MCGREGOR BUYS CADILLAC FIRM
Peterson McGregor and Associates in Traverse City has acquired Cadillac Insurance Center and its Manistee, Grayling and Petoskey locations. The combined companies fall under the umbrella of Peterson McGregor and Associates with the Cadillac location becoming Peterson McGregor of Cadillac.
Peterson McGregor was also recently recognized by Hastings Mutual with membership into its elite 1885 Club for 2015. Of the more than 657 agencies contracted with Hastings Mutual, only 36 have attained this measure of profitability, partnership, and production.
DEWEY INSURANCE HONORED WITH AWARD
For the third time in recent years, the Dewey Insurance Agency in Kalkaska has received a President’s Club Award from the Accident Fund Insurance Company of America. The firm was one of 25 top performing independent agencies nationwide to be honored with the 2014 award.
Recipients are recognized by superior efforts to help grow and retain profitable business (workman’s compensation insurance) for the fund.
The 42-year-old independent insurance firm offers a variety of coverage to consumers throughout northwest Michigan, as well as multiple other states.
Founder Rodger Dewey, along with son, Patrick, and daughter, Christina, own and operate the independent agency, while also operating the affiliate Dewey Oil & Gas Insurance Agency, Inc.
NEW WEALTH MANAGEMENT GROUP FORMS
Morgan Stanley has announced the formation of the Gegich/Idziak Group at Morgan Stanley in Traverse City. It is led by Branko Gegich, senior vice president/financial advisor/senior portfolio manager along with Jason Idziak, vice president/financial advisor/branch manager; Edward Idziak, vice president/financial advisor/financial planning specialist; Colleen Etue, financial advisor; Jean Powell, senior registered associate; and Dianne Jurica, senior registered associate.
“We created this talented team specifically to help our clients leverage our skills and experience as they approach retirement,” said Branko Gegich.
Added Jason Idziak, “Three of our advisors have experience as branch managers, which helps us leverage the vast resources of Morgan Stanley. Combine that with our deep roots in the community and our belief in steady consistency, and you have a team that can help bring a steady hand to the most challenging times of life.”
LOCAL RECYCLER GETS STATE RECOGNITION
The Department of Environmental Quality and Governor Rick Snyder’s Recycling Council recently recognized Bay Area Recycling For Charities (BARC) in Traverse City for excellence in recycling.
BARC was recognized at the Governor’s Recycling Summit for excelling in several key categories, including providing leadership, improving measurement tools, expanding recycling rates, focusing on outreach and education, increasing access to recycling, and “closing the loop” by designing or creating new products that can be recycled or by purchasing and using products made of recycled content.
BARC was also awarded a Michigan DEQ Community Pollution Grant in the amount of $65,000 to assist with the improvement of recycling transportation infrastructure.
LONGTIME DOWNTOWN TC OWNER RETIRES
Beth Guntzviller of Miner’s North in Traverse City has retired after 40 years in the jewelry business.
She first opened The Miner’s Den Rock Shop in Traverse City in 1975 and sold lapidary equipment, crystal prisms and general jewelry supplies. Two years later, Miner’s Den Rock Shop moved into downtown and as Miner’s North Jewelers became a full-service jewelry store.
Her husband Wayne joined the store fulltime 15 years ago as a bench jeweler and will continue on in that role. Son Jeff has taken over the day-to-day running of the store with daughter Julie handling operations.
DOG TRAINING FRANCHISE OPENS IN TC
U.S.-based dog training company Sit Means Sit now has a location in Traverse City. Owned and operated by Jason Folgmann, Sit Means Sit-Northwestern Michigan offers customized training programs for dogs and their owners designed to eliminate poor canine behaviors such as: jumping on people, nuisance barking, destroying property, chewing, pulling on a leash and soiling the house.
Sit Means Sit’s training programs are tailored specifically to each dog and owner.
“We are incredibly excited to become part of the Traverse City community with the first Sit Means Sit location,” said Folgmann. “It is our philosophy that a happy dog is one who is under control. We can curtail poor behavior and eliminate embarrassing situations with our remarkable training program.” SitMeansSit.com
LOCAL CYCLING SHOP DISTRIBUTES HELMETS
Brick Wheels in Traverse City was recently awarded a grant from Bell Sports for 150 bike helmets.
“There is a need for educating families on the importance of wearing a bike helmet and preventing head injuries,” said owner Tim Brick.
Brick Wheels distributed the helmets during the annual Bike Rodeo last month, which focused on cycling safety and awareness for the whole family, and the Bike Mas Project at Traverse Heights Elementary School.
NEW STAGING SERVICE FOR REALTORS
BlueLaVaMedia in Traverse City has added its own virtual staging service for the local real estate industry. The company had previously used a third party for staging. Now that it has brought the service in-house it is much more affordable, according to owner Jason LaVanture. BlueLaVaMedia.com.
TRAVERSE CITY COMPANIES PRODUCING SUPER BOWL BOOK
Two Traverse City firms have partnered to produce a book about one of America’s iconic sports events – the Super Bowl – which celebrates 50 years this year.
Jerry Jenkins, founder and CEO of publishing services firm Jenkins Group, and colleagues Brett Karis and Pete Racine are investment partners in JKR Ventures, publisher of “Super Bowl 50: Celebrating Fifty Years of America’s Greatest Game.” The trio collaborated with TC-based Greenlight Marketing to create the book layout and design.
“I’ve seen a fair number of Super Bowl books over the years, and most of them were written for the football enthusiast,” said Jenkins. “Not many images, too many statistics, and somewhat bland design and content. We wanted to create a book that not only coves the games, but also captures the cultural celebration that the Super Bowl has become.”
The book is authored by national sports writer Bethany Bradsher of North Carolina, a self-described football fanatic who has penned five sports books and covered the Carolina Panthers.
The 344-page book is packed with photos and highlights the games, players and coaches as well as some stories from beyond the gridiron. SuperBowl50Book.com.
NEW WEBSITE FOR TC TOURISM
Traverse City Tourism has unveiled a new website (traversecity.com) that allows visitors to view the popular Lake Michigan resort community’s attractions and activities in all four seasons at the touch of a button.
The innovative “seasonality” function means that all the content for each page – text, photographs and listings – can be changed by simply selecting the appropriate season. Other new features on the site include: responsive design, enhanced imagery, international translation and dynamic searches.
The new site was developed over the course of nearly a year in consultation with Simpleview Inc. of Tucson, Arizona.
EVOLA MUSIC ADDS GROUP LESSONS
Evola Music in Traverse City has added a beach-themed music classroom for group piano lessons for all ages using nationally recognized methods. Classes include Music Pups (birth to 4 years), Piano Tigers (ages 4-6), Way Cool Keyboarding for Kids (ages 7-10), Way Cool Keyboarding (ages 11-16) and adult piano classes. Evola.com.