Briefly: Big News In A Small Format


Great Lakes Wine and Spirits has acquired beverage distributor Wicksall Distributors, Inc. following the retirement of majority owner Pat Wicksall.

Traverse City-based Wicksall Distributors has 60 employees and services nearly 600 retailers in Antrim, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Kalkaska, Wexford and Missaukee counties. It sells beer and wine from 45 different companies representing more than 200 brands, including five Michigan breweries and six Michigan wineries.

“We’re excited to take the brands to the next level and continue engaging in the community,” said Lew Cooper III, Great Lakes Wine and Spirits co-owner. “Throughout our 68 years as a family-owned business, we have successfully merged over a dozen businesses and grown our employment base to nearly 900 employees, while building ties with communities across the state from the Keweenaw Peninsula to Monroe County.”

Traverse City is not new territory for Great Lakes Wine & Spirits. As a distributor of beer, wine and liquor, the company already has dozens of employees in the region and services hundreds of accounts. They offer products from 475 suppliers, which includes more than 2,300 different brands.



Owner Kelvin Shaw has dropped the Cartridge World franchise after 10 years of ownership in Traverse City, during which time he expanded the business far beyond what other Cartridge World stores offer. In addition to inkjet and toner products, he offers an extensive line of office supplies and print and copy center. New phone number, 929.3549, and website,



Tom Kern has launched Kern Consulting Group (KCG) in Traverse City. The group provides consulting services to chamber of commerce, nonprofit and special event organizations. Susan Wilcox Olson and Chuck O’Connor are also an integral part of the KCG team.

Kern has more than 35 years experience in local government, chamber of commerce and the special event industry. His areas of expertise include internal performance assessments, economic development, financial and operational analysis, sponsorship development, strategic planning, leadership and customer service training.

Kern has held senior leadership positions at four major chamber of commerce organizations and also was the executive director of the National Cherry Festival for 15 years.; 231-590-2520.



David and Nicole Leslie have opened Painting with a Twist of Traverse City, a national franchise that provides a “getaway” through art. It offers private parties for corporate outings, bachelorette parties, date nights and special events. The studio is able to accommodate up to 60 people per gathering.

Painting with a Twist of Traverse City is located at 1545 S. Division St., Ste. 120.; (231) 392-5716.



All Aspects Accounting, a tax, payroll and bookkeeping business, has opened in Traverse City. Bringing nearly 30 years of combined experience in serving the Grand Traverse region, All Aspects Accounting is a partnership of two women, Jeanette Benbow and Rachel Ebach, who understand the importance of free time.

“When you have commitments to people other than yourself – kids, parents, employees or clients – it’s hard to commit the needed time to doing your taxes or business accounting,” explained Ebach. “Then, it can be stressful worrying whether or not you did it all correctly. That’s why we are so excited to be opening our doors … we want to help take away that stress and give back that time.”

Joining Benbow and Ebach in the business is Jonna Stebleton, an Enrolled Agent with the IRS, who specializes in small business and sole proprietorship accounting services and has served the Grand Traverse region for more than 20 years.

All Aspects Accounting is open and accepting new clients for individual and business tax preparation, as well as payroll and bookkeeping. Call 231-486-5566 or email All Aspects Accounting is located at 3210 Racquet Club Drive, Suite C, in Traverse City.



The following management appointments were recently announced by Munson Healthcare and Munson Medical Center: Phyllis Bertram, R.N., manager of C3 in Nursing Services; Nancy Colby, R.N., manager of C2 in Nursing Services; Ann Holmes, R.N., chief nursing officer at Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital; Tom Kimball, manager of Application Services in Information Systems; Kathy La Raia, executive director of the Oncology Service Line for Munson Healthcare; Andrea Ludka, director of Physician Services; Tami Putney, R.N., manager of A4 in Nursing Services; Diane Radloff, director of Practice Administration at Traverse Heart and Vascular; Sarah Robinson, R.N., manager of the Vascular Access Team in Nursing Services; Bobbie Scott, manager of Nursing Services at Traverse Heart and Vascular; Jennifer Snyder, manager in Environment Services.




The Builders Exchange of Northwest Michigan has named its officers and directors for 2015: Darek Purgiel, president, Grand Traverse Construction; Jack Ocobock, vice president, D&W Mechanical; Adam Whitson, treasurer, Plante Moran; and Keely Trombly, secretary, Interphase Interiors. Board directors are Jason Bloxsom, Bloxsom Roofing; Mike Trippe, Bouma Incorporated; Chuck Robertson, Allen Supply; John Galnares, Spence Brothers; Devin Hill, Windemuller.



Plans are underway for The Moorings, a new 97-unit, single-family neighborhood on 44 acres in Traverse City and Elmwood Township, just beyond the Tom’s West Bay Shopping Center off M-72.

Projects developers are Bob Brick and Ted Lockwood of RE/MAX Bayshore Properties, Traverse City and Mark Johnson and Jason Warren of MI Local Investments, also of Traverse City.

Connectivity for pedestrians to the shopping center, beaches, downtown and the Tart Trail will be a priority in the design of the development.

“The demand for single level living and new construction in town has been high for the past several years, and we think that The Moorings is the type of neighborhood that will address these demands and provide options for those wanting to live in the city”, said Lockwood.



Meghan Phillips Dykstra and Tandem Wealth Management in Traverse City have recently joined forces with Securities America. Dykstra has more than 10 years of experience assisting businesses, individuals and families pursue their financial goals. She is assisted in her practice by Sharon Swogger.



Eleven members of The Builders Exchange of Northwest Michigan, Inc., have been recognized for their outstanding workmanship in the “2014 Awards of Excellence in Construction.” These projects are located in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Kalkaska, and Emmet Counties and account for more than $23 million dollars in construction:

• Harbor Springs Excavating – City of Petoskey, Turcott Field Baseball Facility

• Strata Design – American Waste Cabinetry

• Gosling Czubak Engineering Sciences – Outdoor patio, Shady Lane Cellars

• Team Elmers – Sleeping Bear Dunes Heritage Trail Phase II

• Hallmark Construction –Tucker’s of Northport

• Alta Equipment – new ALTA building

• D&W Mechanical – Munson Building 29 (Mechanical)

• Northern Restoration – Grand Traverse Senior Living

• Northern Michigan Glass – Grand Traverse YMCA glazing

• Burdco Incorporated – Dance Arts Academy

• Molon Excavating – Kid’s Creek Tributary relocation project



Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies in Traverse City has acquired Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty in northeast Ohio – the company’s third acquisition in the last 12 months. The firm has 16 offices and 350 agents across the Greater Cleveland area.

Company officials believe this merger, which was effective January 1, is a prime opportunity for its west and northern Michigan offices as northeast Ohio is a feeder market for vacation and retirement homes. It also allows it to leverage its resources and its new digital platform, said company President Mike Schmidt.

Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies now includes 65 offices with more than 1,100 associates in Michigan, southwest Florida and northeast Ohio. Closed sales volume is more than $2 billion.



The Old Mission Peninsula’s Chateau Chantal has named a new CEO – Marie-Chantal Dalese, daughter of founders Bob and Nadine Begin and former marketing director. She follows Jim Krupka, who served as CEO for the last 10 years and has retired.

Dalese returned to the family winery in 2009 with her husband, Paul, who serves as vineyard manager. She holds a degree in marketing and management, a graduate diploma from the University of Adelaide, Australia in Wine Business and worked in the Chicago wine trade for five years. At 36, Dalese is the youngest, and only female, of the second generation winery leadership among the nine Old Mission wineries.

Krupka remains a major investor in the company, supply farmer and director on the company’s board.



Cornillie Concrete is once again a locally-owned company. Former co-owners Rick Deneweth of Three West consulting firm in Traverse City and Joe Cornillie have purchased the company from a spin-off of U.S. Concrete – the same company they sold it to in 2000.

Deneweth said he and Cornillie had no intention of buying the company back until Deneweth learned over the summer that three concrete plants in northern Michigan were no longer a focus of the company’s and rumored to be facing a shut down.

Deneweth and Cornillie brought on a third partner, Rob Cherry – who brings extensive experience in the industry – as general manager in charge of day-to-day operations, said Deneweth.



Larkin Group, an independent insurance agency in Traverse City, is now a partner of Acrisure, a large brokerage operator based in Grand Rapids. The deal was effective January 1, according to Bryan Taggart, one of Larkin’s principals.

Taggart said the partnership gives Larkin access to new markets, for instance oil and gas, and access to capital to purchase other agencies and continue its growth in the community. Since 2006, Larkin has experienced more than 500 percent growth, he adds.

“We’re essentially bringing on an equity partner,” said Taggart. “They are a ‘behind the scenes’ brokerage operation.

He said customers will not see any change in the company’s name or culture and all employees remain. Taggart, along with Larkin principals Justin Looyenga and Steve Merten, are now shareholders in Acrisure.



Byte Productions in Traverse City has launched a new website for the Hotel Frankfort (formerly the Sleeping Bear Inn in downtown Frankfort) – The 83 year-old boutique hotel boasts 17 guest rooms. The new website allows for easy online booking and photographic tours of each unique guest room.



Mary Sue Christian, Jennifer Dakoske, Carol Dye and Brett Nichols, all agents with RE/MAX Bayshore Properties in Traverse City, have achieved the Sellers Representative Specialist (SRS) designation. SRS is an official designation of the National Association of Realtors, which defines it as the premier credential in seller representation.




Intentional Wealth Advisors, led by president and wealth advisor Brian Ursu, has relocated to a new office at Copper Ridge in Traverse City to accommodate staff growth. The firm recently added associate wealth advisor Tammy Stoerkel and attorney and insurance consultant Joan Cowley Ursu. Company address is 4110 Copper Ridge Drive, Ste. 235. Phone number remains unchanged.



Dave’s Garage in Traverse City has new owners. Founded by Dave Karzcewski in 1994, the shop at 911 Hastings Street was recently purchased by Craig Olvey and Jamie Laferriere. Olvey and Laferriere are veterans in the auto industry, both leaving management positions at Bill Marsh to own their own business.

The new owners have expanded the technician team and are planning new growth in 2015.



Lucky’s Market will open the second Michigan location in Traverse City in 2016. The Boulder, Colo.-based organic and natural foods grocery chain will open at the Buffalo Ridge Center (formerly Horizon Outlet Mall). The 26,000 square-foot store will take the place vacated when Carmike Horizon Cinemas moves across Buffalo Ridge.

Now in “the design phase,” the new store is likely to offer in-house cured and smoked bacon, ready-to-eat meals, a juice bar, beer and wine, fresh seafood, a bakery, and more. Lucky’s seeks a niche by combining fresh and organic food with competitive prices; typically devotes more than 20 percent of a store to fresh produce; and carries dozens or hundreds of local products.

“We are proud to add Lucky’s Market, another quality store, to the redevelopment of the Buffalo Ridge Mall,” said Joe Sarafa, partner with TC Center Partners, LLC. “We know our local neighborhoods will be positively impacted by this special, community-focused grocery store and we look forward to a great partnership with Lucky’s.”

Lucky’s will employ approximately 150 people. The only other Michigan store is opening in Ann Arbor this month.



Anna Norris is the Traverse City area’s new director for Get Waisted, a high antioxidant, low fat approach to weight loss and health created by former local physician Dr. Mary (Clifton) Wendt and chef and cookbook author Tess Challis.

Norris is offering weekly meetings featuring support and discussion, with a new topic every week.

“We talk about our short term and long term goals, tailored to each individual member’s needs and lifestyle,” explained Norris.

Weekly meetings are held on Thursday, 5:30pm, at Cuppa Joe’s at the Grand Traverse Commons.

Norris’ local Get Waisted Grand Traverse chapter also offers online and and in person support.