Briefly: Big News In A Small Format


The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Summit and Northwestern Michigan College will host the second annual Northern Michigan Manufacturing Summit on Tues., Mar. 1, in Traverse City.

The summit is designed for any and all manufacturers in the region. Organizers are specifically encouraging food manufacturers of any size to participate, as the region is seeing considerable growth in this segment.

The event runs 7-11am at NMC’s Hagerty Center on the Great Lakes Campus. It is free of charge thanks to local sponsor Huntington Bank. To register, visit


Thirteen Grand Traverse area businesses have received grants totaling more than $470,000 from the Michigan Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF) for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The grants, applied for through Northwest Michigan Works! will help the companies train new and incumbent workers in a variety of skills.

The largest grant in the Grand Traverse area went to Beckman Production Services, a well servicing company in Kalkaska. The company received $138,719 from the STTF.

“In the months to come we will be giving our employees training that will set them apart in the oil and gas industry,” said Erica Wilson, DOT/safety administrator at Beckman Production Services in Kalkaska. “It would not have been possible to provide all of the training we are planning to provide to our employees without this grant.”

Bay Motor Products in Traverse City received a $32,440 STTF grant to train its employees. The company manufactures A.C. motors, fans and blowers used in various applications such as battery chargers, welders, duct boosters, refrigerators and microwave ovens.

”One way Bay Motor Products used its STTF grant was to increase the organization’s growth with Lean Manufacturing training, which led to a stronger skill set of our employees,” said Andy Robitshek of Bay Motor Products. “We are better able to meet the needs and demands of our larger customers, therefore keeping more jobs and revenue from going to competitors producing products outside of the United States.”


Traverse City-headquartered 4Front Credit issued a bonus dividend totaling $1,051,834.24 to qualifying member-owners on Dec. 31, 2015. 4Front Credit Union began operations on Jan. 2, 2015 and is the result of a partnership between long-standing northern Michigan financial institutions Members Credit Union and Bay Winds Federal Credit Union.


The Traverse Area Association of Realtors (TAAR
has installed 6 new board of directors and elected its Secretary Treasurer and president-elect.

New board members are: Catherine Barris, Real Estate One Randolph; Carolyn Collins, Century 21 Northland; Joni Holly, Homewaters, LLC.; Barb Hood, Stapleton Realty Lake Ann Branch; Mary Janik, Homewaters, LLC.; and Kellie Sergent, Century 21 Northland.

Sergent has also been elected 2016 secretary treasurer and Jamie Grace of Century 21 Northland is 2016 president-elect.


Traverse Area Title Services, Inc. has merged with the Lighthouse Group.
With the merger, the combined teams will be located at 434 E. Front St. in Traverse City, after renovations of the space are completed in February.

“With all of the mortgage industry changes that were effective last fall, I wanted to partner with a title agency which has the software and experienced staff that is ready, educated and trained. Merging with Lighthouse does this and still allows us to work with our customers we have serviced in this community since 1992,” said Terry Bovee, owner of the former Traverse Area Title.

Lighthouse Group, which started with an office in Holland in October of 1995, has expanded over the years to nearly 30 locations and locally has offices in Traverse City and nearby in Empire and Suttons Bay.

“The fact that Lighthouse has a local presence in town was also very important in my decision to partner with them,” added Bovee.

“We were pleased to add Terry and his entire experienced Traverse Area Title staff to the Lighthouse Group”, stated Bob Wuerfel, title president of Lighthouse Group. “Our two agencies fill a common niche, servicing residential and commercial transactions through local, personal handling of the entire title process.”


Sport Clips Haircuts, the nation’s largest franchise dedicated to men’s and boys’ hair care, is opening Feb. 2 in the South Crossings Plaza (2508 Crossing Circle), near Home Depot off of Airport Road.

This new Traverse City business is the latest of the franchise’s more than 1,400 locations across the U.S. and Canada. “Sport Clips offers our clients the expertise of well-trained stylists in a fun, casual environment where they can enjoy watching sports on TV during their haircut. We’re looking forward to introducing clients to our services and distinctive experience,” said Rick and Nancy Ohle, owners of the new Sport Clips. “We’re proud to make it a part of the Traverse City community.”

Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 9an-8pm, Saturdays 9am-6pm and Sundays 10am-5pm. For more information, visit or call the store at 231-642-5330.


The Leadership Lunch Club has announced its featured speakers for the spring season.

Leading off on Fri., Feb. 12, will be Don Coe, co-founder of Black Star Farms who announced his retirement late last year. Coe and partner Kerm Campbell will speak on how they built the winery into an agricultural destination and how they’ve been planning for the leadership transition now underway. Also joining the will be CFO and Director of Operations Michael Lahti.

The event begins at 11am at the Traverse City Country Club. Tickets are $39, which includes lunch, and are available online at

The series continues on April 8 with Tonya Wildfong of Team Elmer’s and on June 10 with Tom Root of Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor. The Leadership Lunch Club is powered by the Center for Coaching & Leadership Development, a locally-owned management consulting and leadership development business led by Barbara Jordan Ellis.


R. Craig Brakeman, DVM has launched the Cherry Capital Mobile Pet Hospital in Traverse City. Brakeman is the former owner of Banfield Pet Hospital, also in Traverse City.

With his new service, he works with the Cherryland Humane Society, AC PAW, H.A.N.D.D.S to the Rescue in addition to making house calls in the area. He provides preventative and surgical care as well as at home hospice care for pets. The mobile unit includes a separate surgery area, a digital x-ray and blood testing machines and a pharmacy. 231-633-4738;


Urban Diversions of Traverse City has been named a Best Of Houzz winner for the second year in a row. The Best Of Houzz 2016 in North America is a homeowner-to-homeowner guide to the top home builders, architects, interior designers, landscape pros and other residential remodeling professionals.

“I am very proud of this recognition and hope it will help new clients decide we are the firm they can trust with their future interior design projects,” said Urban Diversions owner and designer Dale H. Campbell.


Northern Lakes Financial Services with offices in Traverse City and Alden has launched a new name and new brand, Craig Wealth Advisors. Craig Wealth Advisors is an independent firm with securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.

Debbie Craig is the firm’s branch manager and has been helping individuals and business owners for more 15 years with investment and management solutions. Craig offers personalized financial plans which include asset allocation, estate planning, asset management, college planning, and retirement planning.

“We are excited to take this next step with the rebranding and renaming of our firm,” stated Craig. “ The new look and design of our logo, collateral and website reflects the integrity and professionalism in which we assist our clients with wealth management.”

For more information, visit or call 231-331-5500.


MI Physical Medicine, office of Christina A. Richardson, D.O., has moved to 4020 Copper View, Ste. 211, Traverse City.


Dr. Barbara Betker McIntyre, an art therapist and professional counselor in Traverse City, has announced her book “Jungle Journey: Grieving and Remembering Eleanor the Elephant” will be translated into French, Portuguese and Swahili for use in grief groups in 13 African countries.

McIntyre has specialized in grief, loss and trauma issues for more than 30 years. The book, first published in 2000, is illustrated by Michael Henderson, also of Traverse City.

“Jungle Journey” is available locally at Horizon Books and also through Barnes and and the Self Esteem Book Shop.


The Best Western Four Seasons in Traverse City has received an unprecedented 12th consecutive Best Western Chairman’s Award, the hotel chain’s highest honor for outstanding quality standards. The Chairman’s Award recognizes Best Western International hotels with a cleanliness and maintenance inspection score of the top five percent of all 2,100 North American.

“Receiving the Chairman’s Award from Best Western is a tremendous honor,” said Russ W. Cole, general manager. “This award demonstrates the Best Western Four Seasons staff and management’s commitment to providing quality accommodations for our guests. Our housekeeping, maintenance and guest services departments, headed by Sherry Crocker, Alan Paavola and Carrie Blanke, respectively, along with all of our dedicated employees have worked hard to achieve this level of excellence.”

Located at 305 Munson Ave., the Best Western Four Seasons reopened in June after an extensive 7-month renovation.


The Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center (TBCAC) will benefit from the Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCA) $20 million appropriation recently passed by Congress.

“The Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center (TBCAC) is a safe haven for local children and families suffering from the trauma of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and witness to violence,” said Executive Director Sue Bolde. “VOCA funding allows us to continue providing services to child victims and their non-offending caregivers throughout the region. We appreciate that Congress supports the work of the CACs.”


The Community Foundation has been awarded a grant of $203,654 from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support initiatives aimed at improving the quality of health for children and families in the region. The money will support infant-maternal health efforts in the region, primarily in partnership with Healthy Futures, a program of Munson Healthcare.

Healthy Futures provides comprehensive education and support to young families at no charge and is available to all families from pregnancy until two years postpartum. The program is particularly focused on three key maternal and child health promotion strategies: breastfeeding, immunization, and access to care.

Community Foundation executive director Phil Ellis said in partnership with Munson Healthcare and Healthy Futures, the Community Foundation has identified three primary strategies for expansion and enhancement of Healthy Futures: expanded home visitation, technology, and community outreach and awareness.

Traverse Bay Internal Medicine Now Open

Robert L. Pacer, M.D. and Timothy R. Weichert, D.O. have opened their new practice, Traverse Bay Internal Medicine at 4977 Skyview Court in Traverse City. It offers a complete range of primary care services for adults. Dr. Weichert is accepting new patients. The office can be reached at 231-486-5516.


Next Processing payroll service provider in Traverse City is now offering Payentry Hire and Payentry Onboarding, Payentry Hire is a cloud-based tool powered by designed to streamline the hiring process, including creating job postings, prescreening candidates, linking to top job boards and social media sites and management of applicants in one location. Payentry Onboarding is a fast and paperless way to get new hires up and running, allowing for e-signing of both required and custom documents and a place where employees can upload verification documents. More information on both services is available at


The Trivalent Group, a managed services provider (MSP) offering business solutions in cloud, IT support, business continuity, and ISP/network services, has opened a Traverse City location. Rob Stout and Tim Weber represent the northern Michigan sales office. Headquarters in Grandville, the company also has offices in Battle Creek and Mount Pleasant. Trivalent Group has been recognized by CRN magazine in its MSP 500 list as an Elite 150 MSP in North America as well as MSPmentor’s list of Top 100 MSP’s in the world for the last 5 years. The local office can be reached at 231.620.5410 or 2133 River Highlands in Traverse City.


The following management appointments have been recently made at Munson Healthcare and Munson Medical Center:

Joanne Anderson – manager of Oncology Services at MMC

Marcia Bartlett – manager of Bay Area Urology, a service of MMC

Nicholaus Ember – manager of the Thomas Judd Care Center, a service of MMC

Nick Erikson – director of Outpatient Retail Services for MMC

Diane Glowicki – director of Rehabilitation Services for Mary Free Bed in partnership with MMC

Ericka Lyons-Simrau – manager of Accounting for Munson Healthcare.

Chris Meek – business manager of the Cowell Family Cancer Center, a service of MMC

Rick Palmer – manager of Clinical Engineering for MMC

Soumit Pendharkar – practice administrator for Oncology at MMC

Sarah Qutaishat – manager of Infection Prevention for MMC

Mary Shanahan – clinical manager for Food and Nutrition at MMC

Mary Tripod – practice administrator for Traverse Heart and Vascular, a service of MMC

Bryan Williams – director of Outpatient Rehabilitation for Mary Free Bed in partnership with MMC

Georgia Wilson – director of Dialysis Services for Munson Healthcare