Briefly: Big News In A Small Format


Mindful Life Practice, a new counseling partnership of Stephanie Berger, Linda Smith, and Earlene Blevins, has opened in Traverse City. The partners previously worked as therapists at Pine Rest Clinic and Child & Family Services. They have extensive experience working with children, teens, families and adult women, and address such issues as trauma and PTSD, grief and loss, anxiety, depression, parenting, and life changes. They offer personalized and professional counseling services in both individual and group settings.

Mindful Life Practice is located at 221 Garland Street, Suite J (in the Warehouse District); 231.486.0805,

Windemuller, an advanced technical and design services provider in Traverse City, has finalized the purchase of the office building at 1301 Business Park Drive in Traverse City.

“Windemuller’s presence in northern Michigan has changed dramatically since we first established a presence here in 1992,” said Vice President Jim Rose. “The acquisition of the Business Park office is a real milestone for our company and will provide us with capacity for continued future growth throughout the region.”

The company will relocate its northern Michigan headquarters to the new building in March. Windemuller’s corporate operations will continue to be led from the main office in Wayland, Mich.

The new facility will allow Windemuller to expand on its existing capabilities of prefabrication, building information modeling, engineering and design-build services. The new northern Michigan headquarters will include the existing 13,885-square-foot office building and a soon-to-be constructed 6,400-square-foot warehouse addition situated on more than seven acres.

It will be home to 80 employees, including 10 managers that oversee operations throughout northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Key clients served by the northern Michigan office include Munson Healthcare, Traverse City Area Public Schools, Heritage Sustainable Energy, Hagerty Insurance, Northwest Michigan College, Traverse City State Bank, and many of the area’s premier general contracting firms and municipalities.


Businesses in Kalkaska have a new resource to fund growth and expansion through a loan fund from the Kalkaska County Economic Development Corporation. The fund is in cooperation with Venture North Funding & Development, the business financing and support division of TraverseCONNECT.

The Kalkaska County EDC Loan Fund can support improvement projects of up to $50,000 for businesses within Kalkaska County. Interest rates are between 5 and 8 percent on terms up to five years. Clients can also receive assistance from local SCORE counselors on business plans, cash flow projections, market research and more. Venture North will assist with loan underwriting and related services.

The Golf Shop, a local business on S. Cedar Street (US-131) in downtown Kalkaska, is tapping the EDC Loan Fund for $40,000 to make significant improvements to the building exterior. Kalkaska Downtown Development Authority Director Cash Cook said the shop, which is owned by Dennis Brady and Mike Alpers, was among several downtown buildings in line for facade improvements funded through the state before the program was discontinued.

Cook said the EDC Loan Fund was able to step in with the needed financing. He hopes other businesses throughout the county will take advantage of business development funds available through the EDC, the DDA and the village’s brownfield program to grow their operations.

“Any business in the county has access to these resources and others from Venture North,” Cook said. “We want to help you assess what your needs are and leverage all these assets that are available to help the businesses in and around Kalkaska.”

“We’re excited to extend our services to Kalkaska’s business community to promote business growth and job creation,” said Venture North Executive Director Laura Galbraith. “We look forward to playing an integral role in continuing to expand Kalkaska’s local economy.”


All About Water has received authorization from the National Park Service to provide guided kayak tours in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. At this time it is the only company authorized to offer guided kayak tours in the park.

All About Water, started in 2014 by Jeff Gagie, provides kayak and stand up paddle board rental and delivery service in Traverse City in the summer and in the Naples/Bonita Springs, Florida area the rest of the year. Those operations will continue.

The guided kayak tours, which will start summer 2016, will feature the shore at the base of the Pierce Stocking Scenic Overlook, around Pyramid Point, and Good Harbor Bay. The company will provide all of the necessary equipment, including the kayaks, seat backs, life jackets, paddles, dry bags for personal items, and when the weather is cold, wetsuits.


Ramona Pleva, DC has opened Northern Lights Chiropractic located within Spinal Solutions at 2506 Crossing Circle in Traverse City. Her practice focuses on gentle chiropractic care for children, adults, as well as pregnancy care along with extremity adjustments. Dr. Pleva is also available for health talks to community clubs and organizations and postural screenings.


Restoration Services in Traverse City has purchased the former Lamar building at 3691 Cass Road, relocating from the 2,000-square-foot space it had been renting for two years on Barlow Road.

“It’s a perfect location, nearly quadrupling our space,” said owner Kelly Clark. “It’s ideal for content cleaning, pack outs and storage, as well as space for our equipment and construction materials. It’s also an ideal location, on a main artery, allowing us to quickly get to emergency calls in any direction.”

The new owners will renovate the interior over the winter and tackle some exterior work in the spring.


Swell Development, a web development company based in Grand Rapids, has begun operations in Traverse City. Swell offers custom web development services, web-based business applications, and digital marketing execution to businesses looking to improve internal efficiencies and grow their customer base. Wes Sovis is Swell’s director of marketing. He can be reached at 231.649.8077.

Ken Schmidt, CEO of Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies in Traverse City, was recently invited as a featured speaker to Coldwell Banker international brokers in Latin and South America. The meeting was held in Mexico City with more than 300 owners, managers, and agents from Brazil, Argentina, Belize, North Peru, Panama, Mexico and more. Schmidt spoke on the importance of building a strong company through leadership and on the great opportunity to build business internationally around the world.

Coldwell Banker has offices in 43 countries and territories. For 2015, China has been the #1 country to invest in United States real estate, surpassing Canada. Coldwell Banker has 300 offices in China.

“International brokers around the world are amazed at the beauty and value of the real estate in Michigan, Florida and Ohio where we have offices,” said Schmidt. “I see our international marketing investment like exporting our beauty and value, but more importantly importing clients who wish to buy in our markets. It helps to provide another qualified group of buyers for our sellers.”


iNDIGO Health Partners, a private hospitalist medicine group in Traverse City, has been awarded a federal grant by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to promote better access to health care in communities across northern Michigan.

iNDIGO is eligible to receive $226,803 in matching funds to partner with hospitals in 13 counties in northern Michigan. These funds can be used to purchase and deploy telemedicine technology linking needed physician resources to patients in largely underserved areas. The counties that stand to benefit include Mason, Crawford, Charlevoix, Chippewa, Dickinson, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Luce, Manistee, Mackinac, Otsego, Schoolcraft and Wexford.

“This technology allows community hospitals to deliver quality care while reducing pressure on limited local provider resources.” explained Dr. David Friar, iNDIGO president. “Patients can remain in their hometown and receive high quality medical care.


Realtor Molly Buttleman of Century 21 Northland in downtown Traverse City has been named president of the Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) Northern Michigan chapter. She will preside at the governing board and chapter meetings for 2016.


Dingeman & Dancer law firm in Traverse City is celebrating 25 years in business. Lawyers Daniel Dingeman and Mark Dancer were both born and raised in Traverse City.

“It has been a privilege to practice law and serve the greater northern Michigan community with their legal needs,” said Dingeman.

Dingeman & Dancer specializes in real estate law, residential and commercial development, zoning law, estate planning, healthcare, personal injury and wrongful death.


The Grand Traverse Area Literacy Council, an organization that has served the Grand Traverse area since 1970, recently joined Networks Northwest. The GTALC provides trained tutors, in a one-to-one relationship, to help adults with reading and writing difficulties. It also provides English as a Second Language tutoring. Tutoring is free and confidential. The office is now located at 1209 S. Garfield in Traverse City in the Michigan Works! building. 922-6940,


Michigan BrewVine Passport, a federally trademarked new concept of 9&10 News/Fox 32/Northern Michigan Digital to promote tourism to the wineries and breweries in northern Michigan, was awarded Best of the Best Sales Promotion at the annual National Association of Broadcasters Small Market Television Exchange. Launched in June 2014, the Michigan BrewVine concept started with 13 wineries and now has grown to 20 with the addition of 19 breweries.


The Traverse Area Association of REALTORS (TAAR) has welcomed two real estate operations to the TAAR and the Northern Great Lakes REALTORS Multiple Listing Service (MLS): RE/MAX Land and Lakes, based out of Lake City and Pro Realty of Cadillac.


Higher Self Bookstore in downtown Traverse City has new owners and a new location. Jeff and Jo Currier, owners of Ways to Wellness in Midland, Michigan have purchased the store from Ricki Blanchard. The Curriers are blending the two businesses at the new location at 313 E. Front Street.


Oryana Natural Foods Market in Traverse City raised $429,000 in its member loan campaign to help support its second location in Acme. Co-op member-owners were given the chance to offer loans at various monetary levels to help support the remodeling and equipping of the Acme location (the former Williamsburg Dinner Theater). Oryana is targeting a fall 2016 opening for its second location.


Hagerty has named Michael’s Place its 2016 Nonprofit Partner. Now in its third year, the program assists a local organization with employee service, pro bono consulting and a $25,000 financial investment.

“Michael’s Place has a long-standing relationship with Hagerty,” said McKeel Hagerty, president and CEO. “We share a common vision for a vibrant and healthy Grand Traverse region and support Michael’s Place as they assist individuals, businesses and schools in times of crisis. Our employees anticipate being able to work side-by-side with the organization’s leadership in 2016 to leverage additional resources and, together, make a meaningful impact in our community.”

The selection of Hagerty’s Annual Nonprofit Partner is the culmination of a year of giving that has generated nearly 15,000 hours of service to date to communities in which the company operates.

Year-end support is Hagerty’s largest campaign, with three weeks of service and donation drives. Year-end giving kicked off the week of Thanksgiving and included the donation of nearly 800 books for second grade students in the Traverse City Area Public Schools for #GivingTuesday, in addition to adopting 100 elementary school students for Christmas.

Additionally, the company held donation drives at its headquarters in Traverse City and provided donations to: Grand Traverse County Commission on Aging, Women’s Resource Center, Love INC, Toys for Toys, Traverse Heights Elementary School, TCAPS after-school programs, Habitat for Humanity Grand Traverse Region ReStore, Cherryland Humane Society, Women’s Resource Center Thrift Shop, Traverse City High School Food Pantry, Father Fred Foundation and Safe Harbor.


Adamy Valuation Advisors, an independent business valuation firm headquartered in west Michigan, has partnered with Traverse City valuation firm Warren Cline, PLC, to expand its presence in the northern Michigan market.

The two firms have been transitioning towards this alliance over the past several years. Previously, Warren Cline, PLC’s sole proprietor, Warren (Bud) Cline, had retained Adamy to provide economic research and staff support on valuation projects provided for his clients. Going forward, Adamy will transition into providing valuation services directly to Cline’s clients, allowing Cline to focus on the consulting and strategic planning side of his practice.

“As I looked towards transitioning from preparing traditional valuation reports to focus on business value and transaction consulting, it was extremely important to me to find a firm with the right culture and resources to serve my clients,” said Cline. “Additionally, I wanted a firm that will work well with the northern Michigan CPA firms who frequently refer their clients to me. Adamy’s practice, like my practice, is a resource for local CPAs, attorneys, and financial advisors, who need to refer a client to a valuation expert.”


Chris Killeen has opened The Killeen Agency, an Allstate office, in Acme. Before becoming an Allstate agent, Killeen was an underwriter with Hagerty in Traverse City, servicing both United States and Canadian clients. The staff of four offers home, auto, business, renters, and life insurance policies. The office is located at 5756 U.S. 31 North; 231.267.8656.


Grand Traverse Pavilions employees Chrissy Iverson and Jamie Wilson have been awarded 2015 Michigan Medical Care Facilities Council Scholarships. Iverson and Wilson will each receive $1,000 toward their education.
Wilson is a senior at Ferris State University and expects to complete her nursing degree in May. She currently works as staff development doordinator for Grand Traverse Pavilions. Iverson attends Northwestern Michigan College and will complete her practical nurse certification before continuing on to become a registered nurse. She currently works as a certified nursing assistant in the Aspen Pavilion.