Briefly: Big News In A Small Format


VP Demand Creation Services (formerly Village Press) in Traverse City has been selected by Hagerty to provide marketing execution, customizable printing and fulfillment services.

“When we grow, so do our supplier partners and a decision of this magnitude by Hagerty has far-reaching impact beyond just the success of VP Demand Creation Services,” said Dave Moore, company president.

VP Demand Creation Services is a special interest magazine publisher, fulfillment services company, provider of marketing services and a commercial and digital printing service. It has been based in Traverse City since 1969.



Grand Traverse County taxpayers will save $1.2 million in interest over five years following a recent refinancing of $12.2 million in general obligation bonds.

Chemical Bank submitted the lowest interest rate of 1.38902 percent and was awarded the refinancing.

This is the third time NMC has refinanced bonds originally issued in 1999, when voters approved $34.7 million for capital and equipment projects, including construction of a new technology education building (Parsons-Stulen Building), and demolition and construction of the Great Lakes Campus. The first refinancing was in 2005 and the second in 2009. Collectively, taxpayers will save $3.2 million as the result of the three refinancing deals.

“This outcome is a result of NMC fulfilling its duty to be a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars,” said NMC President Timothy J. Nelson. “Both the actual interest savings and the very strong bond rating should give Grand Traverse County residents confidence in the college’s fiscal management going forward.”



Red8Boatworks, a Traverse City community boat building nonprofit, has launched a pilot project teaching wooden boat building and math remediation as an after­school program to students at West Middle School. S

Starting with lessons in the safe use of hand and power tools, the students will build two custom wooden stand up paddleboards. The building process also requires the students to practice the math skills they have been learning in the classroom.

“Students are excited about SUPs and surf culture and the opportunity to build something relevant to their lives using their hands engages this age group in a way that few other things do,” said Program Director Adam Burks. “We’ve adapted the “Building to Teach” boat building math curriculum to SUPs with great success and have brought the program to WMS to make it as easy as possible for the students to take part.”



Dr. Christina Richardson has opened Mi Physical Medicine at 3865 W. Front Street Ste. 5, inside the Cedar Run Annex in Traverse City. She sees patients with muscle, nerve and joint problems as well as those with sports injuries, arthritis and back pain. 943-1455.



Brad Johnson, owner of four Culver’s restaurants in northern Michigan, is the recipient of the 2014 GM Culver Award. The award, named after the father of current CEO and co-founder Craig Culver, is the highest honor in the organization and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated long-term visionary leadership and success.

Johnson owns restaurants in Cadillac, Gaylord and two in Traverse City. He has been with Culver’s since 2002.



Venture Properties, a boutique real estate brokerage in Leelanau County, has been chosen to represent Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate in the greater Northwest Michigan territory. The Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network is a compendium of the world’s finest high-end real estate professionals and extends membership invitations to brokers and firms who consistently demonstrate expertise in the marketing of luxury properties.

Venture Properties, a multimillion-dollar producer since 1980, is one of the top small real estate brokerages in northern Michigan. Since 2012, Perry Pentiuk has been Leelanau’s top broker – involved in more than 80 percent of all Lake Michigan properties in Leland township. He holds the largest Lake Michigan transaction in Leland (more than $3 million), Lake Leelanau sale ($2 million-plus) and handled the largest Leelanau County commercial transaction in 2012.

Venture Properties has also recently teamed up with Harbor Hill Vineyard Service, offering clients the ability to transform vacant land into vineyards, orchards or hop farms.



The 21st Annual ATHENA Grand Traverse Award Celebration is set for Wednesday, April 29, 11:30am to 1:30pm, at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City. The ATHENA Award honors any individual who strives toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and forge paths of leadership for women to follow.

The recipient of the ATHENA Grand Traverse Award will be announced at the celebration. The keynote speaker will be Pamela Culpepper, Chief People Officer for communications firm Golin. She leads the human resources organization and oversees talent, development, performance, diversity and inclusion, recruitment, and employee engagement initiatives. Pamela joined Golin after 13 years at PepsiCo, where she was most recently the company’s global diversity and inclusion officer.

The Award Celebration is open to the public and tickets are available for purchase at



For the third time, CK Franchising, Inc. (CKFI), the franchisor of Comfort Keepers in-home care, recently recognized Russ and Leslie Knopp, co-owners of the Traverse City and Petoskey Comfort Keepers offices, for outstanding achievement. The Quest for Excellence Award recognizes Comfort Keepers franchisees who are at the top sales performers with revenue growth or who deliver the greatest percentage year-over-year revenue growth within a category. The Knopps were recognized for delivering a stellar business performance in 2014.

The Knopps have owned the Northern Lower Michigan Comfort Keepers franchise for 10 years.



Shoreline Center for Healing has moved from Old Town in Traverse City to 1203 E. 8th Street. It has also merged with other practitioners to provide acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, nutrition counseling, holistic therapy, Qi Gong therapy, herbs, nutritional supplementation and health seminars. The new business is called Whole Health Traverse City. 946.4325;



Events North in Traverse City has been retained to act as interim event facility manager for the Cathedral Barn at Historic Barns Park in Traverse City.

After years of public input and planning, the joint City of Traverse City and Charter Township of Garfield Recreational Authority raised $800,000 to restore the 1930s-era barn as a public event space, with the goal of generating rental revenue to sustain and maintain the building for future generations. Events North is establishing the day-to-day operations of the facility and will help the Authority Board of Directors solicit and select a longer-term management entity to oversee operations.



Brilliant Books’ Book of the Month Club – its personalized book selection service – has gone high tech.

“We went from subscriber numbers in the low 100s to more than a thousand in the space of four weeks in December,” said store owner Peter Makin. “Subscribers fill out a preferences card, which we then use to pick out books specifically for them. But with over a thousand folks to choose books for we clearly needed something more efficient and scalable.”

Now, using an iPad and a Bluetooth scanner, booksellers can see who they have to select for, check out their individual preferences, see what books the customer already has, and see feedback on those selections.

Said store Manager Jack Hannert, “I can select books as swiftly and accurately now for a customer as if they were standing in front of me.”

Makin said the subscriber service, which has members in every state in the country, has a goal of 10,000 subscribers by year-end.



Brauer Productions in Traverse City has launched a new website, The site was designed by Amber Elliott of Grand Traverse Photography and Design. Rich Brauer has been in the film/video business for more than three decades in Traverse City. Though known for feature films, he continues to produce projects for corporate/industrial and commercial clients.



Press On Juice, producer of cold-pressed juices made from organic raw fruits and vegetables in Traverse City, has teamed up with Leelanau County’s Light of Day Organics to create Matcha Magic. The beverage features certified organic matcha green tea and moringa herb paired with fresh pineapple juice and coconut milk.

“I am excited to be pairing with Press On Juice to enable customers to purchase this new, delicious, collaborative, ready-to-drink product offering,” said Light of Day’s owner Angela Macke. “It’s a great compliment to our teas.”

This and other juices are available online ( at the production facility at 2748 N. Garfield and at the Indoor Farmers Market at the Grand Traverse Commons.



Jerry Endres, owner of WIN Home Inspection Traverse City, was recently honored with a Premier Award in recognition of his exceptionally high level of inspections (451) completed in 2014 during his first year of business. He was recognized for his outstanding customer service based on feedback gathered from his clients. He ranks in the top five percent of WIN’s inspection base of 187 locations.



North Bay Fit has opened in Lake Leelanau. Owner and head trainer Ian Cardenas has created an interactive gym environment offering daily classes. The gym is located at 116 E. Philip Street.; 231.590.2808.



The Bellaire-based brewery recently announced it experienced a production growth rate of 51 percent last year, increasing brewing output from 22,866 barrels of beer in 2013 to 34,443 barrels in 2014.

Short’s CFO Brian Beckwith said the higher sales volume made 2014 “an exciting year” for the company, particularly given Short’s policy of only distributing beer within Michigan. “With the equipment and infrastructure we added to our production brewery (in Elk Rapids) last summer, we look forward to another great year in 2015,” Beckwith said, noting the company has a planned production of 45,000 barrels this year.

Short’s is also planning to complete an expansion to its Bellaire pub in 2015 to add more seating, bathrooms, a new kitchen and exterior upgrades. The company plans to bottle over 50 beer flavors this year.



Ten agents with Century 21 Northland in Traverse City have received the Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation by the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB).

The SRS designation is the premier credential in seller representation, designed to elevate professional standards and enhance personal performance. The designation is awarded to real estate practitioners who meet specific educational and practical experience criteria.

The 10 agents are: Molly Buttleman, Camille Campbell, Bridget Carefoot, Luba Childs, Renae Hansen, Susan Kelly, Connie Kroll, Meagan Luce, Ron Williamson and Dave Wilsey.



A new business focused on serving the specialty crop grower has opened in Traverse City. Specialty Crop Solutions provides services and products not currently available to the small- and medium-sized specialty agricultural crop grower.

“The specialty crop farmer is not currently served by nutrient and protectant sellers in today’s market,” said company CEO Bob Reed. “We feel there is a growing need for a special focus for this market. We have both university and industry connections that will provide identification of products needed, and the products are packaged to the appropriate sizes needed by the grower.”

Specialty Crop Solutions serves both the traditional and organic grower. It also offers soil fertility and diagnostics testing and product delivery.

Specialty Crop Solutions is an affiliate of Tri-Turf, an independently owned and operated turf management company.



Over the last eight months Brownwood Farms, a gourmet food company based in Traverse City, has been working to create and implement a HACCP Plan (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Plan).

An HACCP is a management system for food safety – from raw material to manufacturing to consumption. As part of ITS plan, Brownwood Farms has set up standards of practice that they will continue to track and monitor. These items include tracking all incoming raw materials, maintaining GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices) and tracking all personnel who visit the facility.

Additionally, Brownwood Farms has appointed Andrew Zelinski as director of quality.

“I am incredibly proud of this accomplishment and the work of our team,” said owner Jeff Hughes. “We are a small company with limited resources, so this was not an easy project for us to take on. However, we wanted to reinforce to our customers our high standards of production and commitment to crafting quality products made with locally sourced ingredients. We wanted to be ahead of the game – no one required us to do this.”



Brys Estate on the Old Mission Peninsula has landed on the annual list of top 10 Hot Brands as selected by Wine Business Monthly magazine. The top 10 list is compiled from 8,000 wineries across the country.

In creating the list, the magazine looks for vintners, growers, wineries and wines that are making a statement in the industry – wineries with “a bold vision, a unique style and an extreme dedication to pushing forward and going beyond what others thought was possible.”

As a winner, the winery was invited to participate at a “Bottle Bash” event kicking off the 2015 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento, California. Brys Estate family members Walter, Eileen and Patrick Brys, along with winemaker Coenraad Stassen attended the event and served Brys Estate’s 2013 Dry Riesling.



Bay Area Recycling For Charities is the 2014 Take It Back “Recycler of the Year,” awarded by Grand Traverse County Resource Recovery (RecycleSmart). The award recognizes a local business that is committed to assisting county residents reduce, reuse and recycle materials that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill.

Andy Gale founded the nonprofit six years ago. It offers recycling services and eco-friendly products for homes, businesses and events, mattress and electronics recycling and zero-waste event services.