Briefly: Big News In A Small Format

Hagerty Named A ‘Best Workplace’ For Millennials

Hagerty in Traverse City has landed on a national list of the 100 Best Workplaces For Millennials, coming in at #70.

Fortune and Great Place to Work compiled the inaugural ranking of the best employers for the largest generation of the U.S. workforce – some 54 million – and released the results last month.

Of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millienials, 67 companies, including Hagert, are privately held. Hagerty has 750 employees worldwide, with 630 based in the U.S. – 52 percent of its national workforce is considered a millennial. For this list, a millennial is considered someone under the age of 35. Hagerty’s youngest employee was born in 1996.

The ranking is calculated from surveys of companies who submitted an application to be considered as a Great Place to Work (Hagerty was ranked #6 on the 2014 list). For the Millennials list, more than 90,000 employees were asked to rate the practices of their employers. For each of the 465 companies that participated, at least 50 employees from every company were surveyed.

According to respondents overall, key things they value in a workplace are open communication, risk-taking, collaboration, support among employees and fewer internal politics. Hagerty’s millennial employees ranked Hagerty’s culture most highly, noting the company’s commitment to professional development, wellness programming, community service and transparent communication from managers, senior leadership and the CEO.

Kalyn McPherson, 27, is an assistant manager in Hagerty’s call center. She said the biggest thing that makes Hagerty standout as a workplace is its culture.

“We care about each other,” she said.

She also pointed out professional development.

“Millennials are a ‘fast track’ kind of group,” McPherson added. “Hagerty offers courses on how to get promoted. It provides change for employees without them having to leave.”

Edward Jones, with a presence in Traverse City, also made the list at #10.

Physician Relocates, Opens New Practice

Jennifer M. Lyon, D.O., family and sports medicine, has started a new practice, Pure Health Family and Sports Medicine.Dr. Lyon practices in the same building as Debra K. Graetz, M.D.; Laura M. Hill, M.D.; and Molly Arnold Craven, D.O., at 647 E. Eighth St. in Traverse City.

Baraga Radio Network Now In TC

The Baraga Radio Network has officially opened its doors at a new headquarters located in Traverse City after relocating from Indian River. Founded in 2007 as Baraga Broadcasting, this move marks a new chapter of growth for this non-profit Catholic radio network. The network consists of six radio stations located in Traverse City, Harbor Springs, St. Ignace, Gaylord, Alpena and Tawas. The new office is located at 1020 Hastings Street, Suite 101.

Wedbush Securities Opens In TC

Wedbush Securities has opened a Private Client Services office in Traverse City.

“We are all very excited to bring Wedbush to Traverse City,” said Kirt Kilbourne, office manager of the new location Kilbourne brings nearly 25 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Furthering Wedbush’s national expansion, the Traverse City office houses two teams of financial advisors. They include Mark Spencer, Jeff Spencer, Jerome Hartl and Heather Kilbourne. In addition, Leslie MacKinnon has joined the Traverse City office as the operations manager/client service associate.

The Traverse City office is located at 830 E. Front Street, Suite 100; 231) 642-3310.

Local Company Inks Deals With Boat Manufacturers

Traverse City-based LilliPad Diving Boards has entered into agreements with both Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing and Trifecta Houseboats to offer its diving board as an option on their new products.

The LilliPad Diving Board is the world’s only diving board specifically designed to be mounted on a boat. The diving board features the ability to be removed in minutes when it is not in use, offers multiple tension settings for lighter and heavier jumpers, a docking position and multiple safety features. It won the Miami International Boat Show’s 2015 Innovation Award for most innovative new watersports accessory.

Local Businesses Recognized

Michigan Meetings + Events Magazine has named Traverse City Tourism the best Convention and Visitors Bureau in the state of Michigan.

Each year the magazine’s readership of more than 20,000 convention and meetings industry professionals vote on their favorites in 21 different categories.

“Traverse City has emerged as a tourism powerhouse in recent years, and much of the region’s success is a credit to Traverse City Tourism,” wrote magazine editor Alexa Stanard. “The bureau’s staff tirelessly promotes the area’s natural beauty, outdoor activities and booming food and wine scene.”

Also named best in their categories were seven other Traverse City businesses: Grand Traverse Resort & Spa (Best Hotel with Meeting Space/Over 200 Rooms, Best Golf Resort), Sarah Brown Photography (Best Photographer), Short’s Brewing Company (Best Craft Brewery/Brewpub), Chateau Chantal Winery (Best Winery), Catering by Kelly’s (Best Caterer), and Events North (Best Meeting Planning Company).

In addition, Rachel Jarosz, senior meetings and event manager at Events North was elected to the magazine’s 2015 Hall of Fame as Best Up-and Coming Event Planner.

Byte Productions Relocates

Byte Productions has relocated to the Old Town Corner commercial development at Eighth and Cass in downtown Traverse City. The tech company, which specializes in web design, development, email marketing, SEO, online event registration and hosting, has spent the past 15 years located on Cherry Bend Road in Leelanau County.

“Being downtown and closer to many of our clients has been a goal of ours for a while,” said co-owner Tim Barrons. “We will be celebrating 25 years in business in 2016 and it seemed like the perfect time to relocate and expand.”

Northern Lakes Financial Opens Second Location

Northern Lakes Financial Services has opened a second office in Traverse City to compliment its main office in Alden. Branch Manager/Financial Advisor Debbie Craig said the expansion allows it to better serve its Traverse City-based clients. The firm offers business retirement plans and investment and wealth management to individuals.

The new office is located at 733 East Eighth Street, Suite 102.

Workplace Fitness Award For Crystal

Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville is the recipient of the 2015 Governor’s Fitness Award for Healthy Workplaces (company up to 1000 employees). The resort was among three finalists including the Kellogg Foundation and Michigan State University Federal Credit Union. In addition to providing free access to resort activities and health and fitness programs, each employee gets unlimited access to the Peak Fitness Center and reduced cost on group fitness classes, personal training and services at Crystal Spa.

TC Courtyard Receives Excellence Award

The Courtyard by Marriott Traverse City recently received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. The Courtyard by Marriott Traverse City is an 83-room hotel owned by Lodgco Hospitality in Mount Pleasant.

FastSigns Relocates

Signs and graphics provider FASTSIGNS of Traverse City has relocated its facility to the Hammond Commerce Center in Traverse City. The new larger facility means improved customer service, a larger production area, new amenities for employees and room for growth.

The 3,300 square-foot facility includes a 1,300 square-foot garage with a 14-foot-high door to accommodate commercial-sized vehicles.

The company’s new address is: 1420 Trade Centre Drive, Traverse City, MI, 49684. Phone numbers and fax numbers remain the same.

Builders Exchange Awards Scholarships

The Builders Exchange of Northwest Michigan board of directors recently awarded two scholarships for 2015. The scholarships are given to either a family member of a member company, or an employee of a member of the Builders Exchange who will be attending a school in Michigan.

Recipient Colby Winter, son of Jim Winter of Spence Brothers, graduated from Traverse City West Senior High and will be attending Michigan State University. Recipient Mary Fries, daughter of Bill Fries of Arms/Cole Hurst Mechanical, graduated from Benzie Central High School and will be attending Northwestern Michigan College.

Exit Realtors Earn Awards

Marilyn Taylor, Tom Alflen and Nicole Gentry of EXIT Realty Paramount in Traverse were recently recognized with Top Producer awards by EXIT Realty of Michigan. The awards were given for the Top Sales Volume in the state for 2014. Taylor took first, Alflen third and Gentry fourth in the region. Additionally, Taylor, Alflen, Jennifer Blain and Nancy Henry were named the Top Four Agents in Sales Volume for Michigan for the month of April 2015 by EXIT Realty of Michigan.

Ford Insurance Receives Partner Award

Frankenmuth Insurance has recognized Ford Insurance of Traverse City as a “Preferred Plus” partner for 2015. This distinction is awarded to the top five percent of all independent agencies representing the insurance company, and is reflective of the agency’s outstanding profitability, growth and partnership. Ford Insurance Agency has been with Frankenmuth Insurance since 1974.

Retail Location For Juice Company

Traverse City juice company Press On Juice is expanding to a new retail location at 1125 E. 8th St. In addition to the juice menu, customers will also be able to get fresh fruit smoothies.

“Our customers will have an easier way to get our products”, said Owner Kris Rockwood. “The juices will be available in both 8 oz. and 17 oz. sizes, along with a complete smoothie bar.”

Yoga Studio Opens

Yoga4 is now open in Lake Leelanau, offering a wide variety of yoga & fitness classes. Yoga4 also hosts monthly workshops, intensives and private sessions. Owner/director is Christen Landry, a Yoga Alliance certified registered yoga teacher who has been practicing yoga for more than 20 years and teaching for five years.

New Menu, Chef For Tucker’s

Tucker’s of Northport has released a new Michigan-focused menu, created by newly-named Chef Jeremiah Moore. The dishes made with Michigan ingredients showcase the restaurant’s many house made items.

Moore previously worked at Know Just A Bar near Petoskey and also co-owned a small bakery and café in Marquette.

AmericInn Receives ‘Excellence’ Award

AmericInn Traverse City has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at the Traverse City AmericInn and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who helped us achieve this award,” said General Manager Nick Trahair.

Breast Health Center Receives Accreditation

Munson Medical Center’s Smith Family Breast Health Center recently received accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). The three-year recognition is a program of the American College of Surgeons.

“This recognition speaks to the commitment and dedication of our physicians and staff to elevating the clinical care provided to breast cancer patients,” said Kathleen LaRaia, executive director of oncology services at Munson Healthcare. “Our patients should feel confident that their care meets the high quality standards through a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options.”

In addition to a multidisciplinary care approach for women identified with breast cancer, the Smith Family Breast Health Center offers digital screening mammograms, ultrasound, breast MRI and MRI guided biopsy, and bone density testing.

Stormcloud Turns Two

Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort recently celebrated its second birthday. In its first two years of operation, the brewery has produced approximately 1,600 barrels of “Belgian Inspired, Michigan Made” beer, with Stormcloud’s flagship Rainmaker Pale Ale earning a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last fall.

Additionally, Stormcloud received the 2015 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, for consistently favorable reviews on TripAdvisor

Now open daily year round, Stormcloud Brewing Company has expanded from 22 employees in 2013 to more than 40 current employees working in the brewery and restaurant.

Cherry Republic Launches College Match Program

Glen Arbor-headquartered Cherry Republic has instituted a new program to help its college and college-bound workers. The Cherry Republic College Match program provides funding for seasonal employees beyond their wages, matching their hours worked with a company contribution. The amount of that contribution increases with the number of years they work for Cherry Republic, escalating from $1 per hour worked in year one to $4.50 per hour in year seven.

“We value our employees and we value their education,” said company CEO Bob Sutherland. “This will help them with the cost of going to school. We believe it will also help us retain our seasonal employees from year to year, so our customers will continue to get the exceptional service they have come to expect.”

Local Public Speaking Pro Launches E-Book

Onlee Bowden, owner of In Your Own Words in Traverse City, has launched her widely acclaimed teaching method to the world with “Flip It On Its’ Ear, A Radical Approach to Public Speaking.”

Flip It On Its’ Ear is an electronic book and interactive video course designed to radically alter how people think about themselves and public speaking. With more than 30 years of teaching, writing, and speaking on the topic, Bowden brings mastery level understanding to how people learn and use public speaking in their daily lives.

Rehmann Named To Best Workplace List

Rehmann has been ranked among the top 25 best accounting firms to work for by for its “Vault Accounting 50” list. Firms were ranked on culture, satisfaction, work-life balance, compensation and overall prestige. Employee reviews revealed that associates feel the firm culture and flexible work schedule are the best aspects of working at Rehmann. The Traverse City office is located at 107 Cass Street.

Naveego Forms Strategic Partnership

Naveego, Inc. in Traverse City has formed an OEM partnership with Stonebridge Consulting, a provider of business advisory and technology services for oil and gas companies.

The agreement formally establishes the Naveego cloud-based business intelligence platform as the core master data management component for ENERHUB, Stonebridge’s enterprise data management solution for oil and gas operators.

Edward Jones Moves Up On Fortune 500

Financial services firm Edward Jones has moved up on the annual Fortune 500 list in its third appearance in three years, according to Jim Mellinger of the Traverse City office

Fortune magazine’s annual listing ranks the largest U.S. companies by revenue. Edward Jones moved up 18 spots to No. 426 on this year’s list, with more than $6.3 billion in revenue for 2014.

Shanty Receives ‘Excellence’ Award

Shanty Creek Resorts was recently recognized by TripAdvisor with a Certificate of Excellence award. Now in its fifth year, the 2015 award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great reviews on

TCL&P A ‘Reliable’ Provider

Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P) is one of 191 of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn the Reliable Public Power Provider for providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. The award, from the American Public Power Association, was presented during its annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference held recently in California.

Basic Communications Relocates

Basic Communications in Traverse City has relocated from Fourteenth Street to its newly built Sprint store in the East Bay Plaza at 748 Munson Avenue. BASIC President Greg Kirby said the additional square footage will allow them to increase staff to better serve their clients as well as be able to effectively showcase the latest products. BASIC is the only Sprint Phone Repair Center in northern Michigan.