What’s News


Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering Inc., a Grand Rapids-based civil and environmental engineering and survey firm, has opened a Traverse City office. The firm serves municipalities, developers, industries and the State of Michigan.

“This geographic expansion will allow us to capitalize on opportunities for work in the area,” said Larry Fleis, PE, president, who is originally from Leelanau County. “We will now be able to effectively service the western and northern Michigan areas from Berrien Springs to Marquette.”

The company was recognized by the Detroit News last year as the 25th fastest-growing, privately-owned company in Michigan over a five-year period.

The office, at 3491 Hartman Rd., Suite B, can be reached at 932-8700.

• Another Grand Rapids-based company, Great Lakes Network, has opened its third office in Traverse City at 311 E. Front St. Principles Greg Spraggins and Mark Swope say the expansion of the information services company is in response to growing business in northwest Michigan. It is an authorized Ameritech distributor.

The Courtyards by Marriott at the corner of U.S. 31 and South Airport Road will open sometime between June 12-19, reports Michael Smith, director of operations for Lodgco Management.

The 83-room hotel has an indoor pool and Jacuzzi, exercise facility, as well as a full A/V-equipped meeting room that seats up to 50. A computer, printer and copy machine will be available for guests in the hotel’s “business center.” Each room has a hair dryer, ironing equipment and coffee maker, and 15 of the rooms have whirlpools.

The hotel is taking reservations for after July 3 at 929-1800.

Digital Document Solutions Inc., an independent document imaging consulting firm, has opened in Traverse City. Gregg Law, president, will be presenting seminars in various Michigan cities to explain the benefits of document imaging systems in business applications. He is a CompTIA Certified Document Imaging Architect and a member of the Association for Information and Image Management; 941-0082.

Blockbuster Video was scheduled to open before Memorial Day weekend in the former location of Mickey’s Market on Eighth St. in Traverse City.

There are six Blockbusters in the TC area and 16 in northern Michigan, said Scott Hicks, director of marketing and development for Horizon Video, the Blockbuster franchise group that owns and operates area stores. More locations are planned for northern Michigan, but no more in the TC area this year, he said.

The store will employ around 10. Blockbuster is headquartered in Dallas; there are 6,000 locales worldwide.


Edward’s Home Furnishings Inc. of Suttons Bay has added a year-round patio shop. Lines include Terra, Brown Jordan, Woodard, Lloyd Flanders and Teak. They also sell hammocks, market umbrellas, garden fountains and more; 271-6600.


• David Miles Boekeloo of MetLife Financial Services has moved and opened a new MetLife office at 310 W. Front St. to better serve his clients. New numbers are: 947-7880 and 947-7886 (fax). The original Williamsburg office will still service clients.

LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel, LLC, recently relocated its Traverse City office from the Lake States building to 13721 W. Bay Shore Drive. Formed in 1988, the firm is a Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC, specializing in portfolio management for individuals; 922-0525.


Brauer Productions Inc.,/b> was recently awarded numerous “Communicator Awards,” a program that singles out companies whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. Brauer won “Crystal Awards of Excellence” for 1.) a 14-minute presentation for the Michigan Society of American Foresters, made to bring awareness to the benefits of managing forests and 2.) a production called “Sisters” that was created for Cherry Capital Airport to help viewers identify with the impact the airport has on their lives. The company also won three Awards of Distinction for “Building 50 Vignette: A Community Against Demolition”; “The Lost Treasure of Sawtooth Island” movie promo; and “Neighborhood Watch” for CML Public Relations and their client Waste Management of Northern Michigan. “Munson-Mercy Together,” a 30-second spot, earned honorable mention in the Cinematography category.

Gaylord/Otsego County Chamber of Commerce has qualified for the prestigious Award For Excellence by the National Association For Membership Development. The award recognizes excellence in financial performance, member programs, internal operations, and organizational mission. The Chamber became a qualifier when it placed above the national average in net gain in members, member dollars and retention for 1999. Finalists will be determined in June and three winners will be chosen during a final interview in Washington D.C. August 10-13.


• The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has approved a nearly $1.2 million grant to the City of Charlevoix for the Harbor Industries infrastructure project. The grant will be used to build a water main loop, storm sewer, sanitary sewer and a pump station to meet the company’s expansion needs. The project is expected to create 120 new full-time jobs.

Harbor Industries is a national leader in the design and manufacturing of displays and fixtures for the retail industry. It is headquartered in Grand Haven and ships products worldwide.


• Employees and family members from Morse/Hahnenberg Moving & Storage raised over $450 in the May 6 March of Dimes Walkathon in Traverse City.

The company also endorses and participates in other March of Dimes fund raisers, like bake sales and 50/50 drawings.

Morse Companies, the area agent for Allied Van Lines, has a history of corporate philanthropy and has been involved with the Walkathon for the past 10 years.


• With the help of Signs Now in Traverse City, TV 7 & 4 has changed its logos to match the corporate shift to more muted colors in the peacock design. Signs Now recently completed the relettering and installation of the new logo on the news vehicles and also reworked the logo for the Doppler forecast weather center.

Wild Flower restaurant at Crystal Mountain Resort is sporting a new look and menu.

The look was inspired by the work of a Scottish architect who practiced in the late 1800s and early 1900s and who was often compared to Frank Lloyd Wright.

Chef Kristin Pyne has re-created the menu, blending her talent with the products of area. Highlights include Baked Crab and Trout Diable, Cavatappi Pasta with Duck Confit and Smoked Buffalo Tenderloin.

Versus Technology, Inc.’s (OTC BB: VSTI) annual shareholders meeting in Traverse City on April 14 was attended by its largest audience to date. The meeting focused on the company’s U.S. and international sales efforts, reviewed the successful March Eagle Eye product launch and emphasized the impact the company’s new Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chip will have on the locating industry.

During a presentation of the agreements reached with major players in the security industry such as Checkpoint, HID, Axcess, Automatic Identification Technologies and Motorola, president Gary Gaisser referred to the impact he expects the Eagle Eyesystem will have on the asset control industry.

Versus previously announced a deal to work with HID Corporation, a leader in the access control industry, to develop an HID/Versus active tag for the $12 billion radio frequency identification (RFID) segment of the security industry.

Please send submissions by June 19 for the July issue. E-mail to biznews@traverse.com or fax to 929-7914. See snail mail address on page 4.