empower YEAR IN REVIEW
DEAR READER, Welcome to the very special 2020 issue of Year in Review. While we are all happy to put the past year behind us, we take this opportunity to highlight the positive events and impactful installations that were completed throughout an infamous year, while looking forward to 2021 with a renewed mindset and transformative ideas for the future. Our mission to design and build exceptional spaces that empower people to do their best work holds strong. Our core values of Take the Extra Step, Find the Positive, Better Every Day, Build Trust and Family First will continue to guide us internally with the Custer team and externally with our valued clients. Through shutdowns, disruptions, and uncertainty, Custer was still able to serve our essential clients in healthcare, education, and corporate industries by fulfilling furniture and technology installs and reconfigurations of interior environments to serve their needs in the pandemic. We have navigated mandates and CDC recommendations and thoughtfully applied research to inform the future of design. In the third quarter, we also opened a showroom in Fort Wayne, Indiana where we have been able to welcome our employees and host our partners in a reinvigorated environment in the heart of the city. Through everything, we have emerged stronger and more resilient as an organization. In 2021, we will focus on the theme of â€œwork betterâ€? to improve our own spaces and educate our clients on how the office must change to encourage the return to the workplace. The hybrid work model will be the norm moving forward, but the office will always serve as a prime place to collaborate and connect with others. An inviting and engaging space has never been more important to helping build and maintain company culture. In first quarter, Custer will unveil a pilot space in our 217 Grandville headquarters, which will showcase improved technology and a free-address work style. This will offer our employees an enhanced office experience and serve as a space to host and collaborate with clients differently. In the spring, we will revisit our investment in the Kalamazoo community, finally opening our location on the 15th floor of the Exchange Building and welcoming area businesses to share the space with us. This upcoming year will also be one of stronger partnership with our enterprise organizations! In the following pages, you will also see projects highlighted from our electrical company, CS Erickson, and flooring and building services provider, Century. Their work is often integrated into the total package that Custer creates and we will continue to connect our customers to their services. Here is a look back at some notable projects from a turbulent 2020. And with that, we welcome 2021 with open doors and engaging spaces. Thanks to all our clients and partners for doing business with us, we appreciate and value you. With Gratitude, Todd Custer CEO + President
AWARDED FOR EXEMPLARY SERVICE NAMED STEELCASE 2019 PREMIER PARTNER
In 2020, Custer was the recipient of the Steelcase Premier Partnership award for top performance in the previous year. The Premier Partners program has proven to strengthen our dealer partnership with the leading contract furniture manufacturer in the world, aligning us with Steelcase core values and bringing superior value to our customers. While all Steelcase dealers in the United States and Canada routinely meet high standards for quality and performance, Custer is proud to be among a small sample of Authorized Steelcase Dealers that stood out as extraordinary partners in 2019 â€“ all of which consistently engage with Steelcase, their customers, influencers, and community to deliver exceptional value. Custer remains proud of our commitment and leadership in achieving the criteria for this prestigious award. Our entire team is exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to continue supporting our loyal customers, and empowering the work they do.
Stryker set out with the goal to amplify talent attraction and retention within the new medical instruments facility. Custerâ€™s mission for this phased project was to provide a cutting edge space that supports employees with choice and control in how they work day-to-day. Custer provided furniture throughout the vast 485,000 square foot facility.
PORTAGE, MICHIGAN 10
Custer partnered with HOK, The Christman Company, TowerPinkster, and Renegade on this project.
empower Custer partnered with Weigand Construction and Design Collaborative on this project.
To support Mach Medical’s intent for the facility, these interior spaces needed a specific type of furniture to enhance creativity, brainstorming, concentration, privacy, collaboration, and staff coworking. Some key needs for the customer included flexibility, adjustability, space division, storage, quick access to power and data, use of vertical space (static and mobile) to capture content, access to natural light, quality materials and assembly, and to provide a beautiful aesthetic for staff. Throughout collaboration on interiors, key words took priority in describing the
intent for staff use of the different types of environments, including “I-spaces”, “we-spaces”, “owned spaces’, and “public spaces”. Mackinac by Steelcase was incorporated to provide spacial division, storage, and access to natural light. Open areas within the facility allowed for natural light to be transmitted through meeting spaces.
COLUMBIA CITY, INDIANA
CUSTER SHOWROOM The new space, nestled between Promenade Park and The Landing, is located at street level inside of the newly renovated Superior Lofts building.
assess their current floor plan and advise on adjustments specifically tailored to their business,” says Nikki Probst, vice president of business relations with Custer.
Custer began construction in the new 5,000 square foot space in late January of 2020.
“We’re thankful for the opportunity to continue strengthening these relationships with local businesses at such a critical time as we move forward in planting our roots in the Fort Wayne area. We are very proud to play a role in getting the community back to work safely”.
By the end of May, a certificate of occupancy was approved for the space. The new location now includes an interior mural created to depict Custer’s core values, completed by local Fort Wayne artist Matthew Plett. “We’ve had a number of powerful one-onone conversations with our Fort Wayne customers where we’ve been able to 14
Custer officially unveiled its new location to the public in October 2020, including a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce.
Custer partnered with CS Erickson, Century, and Renegade on this project.
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA
WASÃ‰YABEK DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
empower Custer partnered with McGraw Construction and CS Erickson on this project.
Tribally-owned Waséyabek Development Company, which manages the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi’s non-gaming economic development ventures, worked with Custer in a recent renovation to their Grand Rapids office space. The renovated space is located in the historic Kendall Building in downtown Grand Rapids, which was formally acquired by Waséyabek Development in late 2018. As the company continues expanding its operations in the Grand Rapids area, the goal for this beautiful new space was to provide employees with a collaborative environment to work in.
Waséyabek President and CEO Deidra Mitchell told MiBiz in 2018 that the motivation behind this Grand Rapids office was to attract and retain new talent – further expanding the holding company’s growth in the area. In addition to the design and furniture provided by Custer for this project, Custer partner company CS Erickson also played a role in making the space smart and connected with data cabling, sound masking, security cameras, and bringing power and connectivity to a conference table.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
WARSAW, INDIANA Images by Michael Firsich Photography
This Warsaw, Indiana business was facing an obstacle that many businesses come across – running out of square footage for a growing team. Ensuring privacy for Silveus Insurance Group agents within the open architecture of their new space was a main priority for our team’s design approach to this project. This customer-facing 10,000 square foot workplace would need to allow for team collaboration, while still providing privacy and areas for confidential conversations with clients.
Through intentional design, Custer was able to accomplish this through providing individual offices made from Steelcase Privacy walls around the perimeter of the space, leaving the interior of the space available to accommodate open office workstations, and multiple touchdown areas for group collaboration. The most notable design solution for this space included space planning to allow for perimeter-facing private offices and conference rooms – ultimately providing access to natural sunlight to as many areas within the space as possible.
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS VIP LOUNGE GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
Custer worked closely with Lynn Hollander, Senior Interior Designer at Ghafari Associates, and Steelcase Design Portfolioâ€™s Laura Turner on the addition of this new VIP lounge at Van Andel Arena. The ground-level space provides a new multi-functional area to be used by both the Griffins organization as well as the arena. Custer provided furniture solutions from the Steelcase Design Portfolio throughout the player lounge space. Ghafari Associates provided Programming, Planning, Architecture, Interior Design, and Administration on this project. "It was important that we used upholstery and products that were durable for all of the various functions of each of the spaces. We incorporated some of the Griffins and Van Andel Arenaâ€™s logos and colors. In addition, my design choices reflected their need to relate to the younger generation of hockey players and their preferences," said Lynn Hollander when asked about the client's vision for the space.
Custer partnered with Lynn Hollander of Ghafari Associates and Pinnacle Construction on this project.
With the goal of maximizing use floor space and team collaboration, Kellogg’s set out to update its Battle Creek headquarters – one floor at a time. Through our phased approach, Custer has been working to update each floor, one at a time, to open benching workstations.The solutions Custer provided allow Kellogg’s to maximize the use of its entire building, while encouraging open collaboration and maintaining coveted enclosed meeting spaces for employees to remain productive.
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN 22
Custer provided furniture throughout this beautiful 33,000 square foot workplace interior project.
Custer partnered with TAP Architecture and Schweitzer Construction on this project.
JIM SCHMIDT FORD
empower Custer partnered with Mosaic Building Solutions and Design Collaborative on this project.
The customer sought a more modern approach to this location’s interior than the company’s other existing dealerships in the area. The globally-recognized Ford logo inspired accent colors found throughout accounting and customer lounge areas of the space. Specific environment solutions provided by Custer included new conference room spaces for team collaboration and meetings, and a refreshing new approach to the design and layout of the sales team’s offices, along with furniture throughout the space.
MERCY HEALTH CONCIERGE MEDICINE Mercy Health sought to transform typical patient care spaces with their brand new facility, Concierge Medicine, located on E Paris in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mercy Health partnered with Custer to provide furniture and custom design-build solutions by Renegade. The new space boasts design references that could normally be found in a hospitality setting, transforming the patient experience into a warm, welcoming patient visit. Unique, hospitality-inspired furniture selections provided by Custer can be found throughout the new buildingâ€™s waiting area and patient consultation rooms.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
Custer partnered with First Companies, AMDG Architects, and Kathryn Chaplow Interior Design on this project.
PARKVIEW MEDICAL CENTER TOWER
Among the more obvious, unexpected challenges the healthcare industry faced in 2020, the expedited development of a new 168,000 square foot patient care tower had potential to exacerbate this year’s already demanding circumstances for Fort Wayne’s Parkview Health Systems. Instead, collective teamwork and expedient resourcefulness by all parties involved took precedence throughout the course of this project, resulting in the completion of a
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA 30
beautiful new facility, empowering medical staff to provide patient care to the Fort Wayne community – three months ahead of schedule.
Custer partnered with Weigand Construction on this project.
HOSPICE CARE OF SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN
empower Custer partnered with Miller Davis and Diekema Hamann on this project.
Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan sought more collaborative, open spaces for its employees – allowing choice and control in how and where staff work.
Collaborative lounge settings, small meeting rooms, and enclaves were designed into the planning for this space – creating quiet spaces for individual work.
Through intentional design planning, lounge areas, enclaves and collaborative settings were agreed upon for this space. The various environment types would ultimately allow employees to choose between different postures throughout their work day.
Specific environment solutions provided by Custer include a large conference room – featuring the addition of a thirty foot long Enwork conference table – as well as several other smaller enclave spaces.
Throughout the open office spaces, Answer Beam paired with height adjustable workstations were selected to bring variation to desk work.
PRESIDENTâ€™S OFFICE GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
empower In 2019, Philomena Mantella was elected by the Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees as the institution’s fifth president, and the first woman to serve in the position. Mantella’s dynamic background and lifelong commitment to education presented Custer with a unique opportunity to support the new President with inventive, future-forward solutions in her new space. Our team worked closely with President Mantella’s staff to transform the new dedicated office, previously occupied by Philomena’s predecessor, Thomas Haas. Mantella’s intention for the workspace was centered around mobility and a desire to be visible to her peers. Technology was to be integrated within the furniture and needed to be easy to use. The ability to quickly collaborate and be within reach of writable surfaces were among the solutions that Custer set out to solve for.
Custer partnered with Century and CS Erickson on this project.
AQUINAS COLLEGE PETER M. WEGE WING
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN 38
empower Custer was joined by TowerPinkster and Pioneer Construction on this project.
Updates to Aquinas College’s science facilities began in 2019 with an addition of the brand new Sister Aquinas Weber Wing, along with the complete renovation to the school’s existing Peter M. Wege Wing. To pave the way for new science programs and research initiatives, upgrades to the facilities included the addition of flexible chemistry laboratories, faculty-mentored teaching laboratories, an advanced computer laboratory, a large auditorium equipped to seat more than one hundred students, and collaborative student spaces. Featured products for the facility included custom epoxy coffee tables designed to incorporate a large beech tree that was repurposed from the construction site – designed and built by Renegade, Steelcase universal surfaces and storage, Migration tables and Cachet seating, as well as Coalesse SW1, Montara, and Lagunitas.
NORTHWESTERN MICHIGAN COLLEGE Dated at more than fifty years old, a Northwestern Michigan College instructional facility has undergone an extensive renovation just in time to welcome incoming students for the new academic year. Facing an increasing student population in recent years, Northwestern Michigan College turned to Custer to provide furniture throughout the space. Custer served as a proud partner and integral resource for NMCâ€™s Innovation Learning Centerâ€™s inviting collaborative learning environment. This beautiful new space now serves as a showcase for learning, growing, and innovative instruction. Specific environments that our furniture products solved for included classrooms, conference rooms, collaborative meeting spaces, a cafeteria, library and entertainment area within the facility. Featured products found throughout the space include Steelcase Verb tables, Thread power, Flex Boards, Turnstone, and KI seating.
TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN
Custer partnered with Cornerstone Architects and Spence Brothers Construction on this project.
PORTAGE CENTRAL MIDDLE SCHOOL
empower The 2020-2021 school year kicked off with a vibrant new education facility for Portage Central Middle School students. The building’s footprint boasts three floors of tiered education spaces – each incorporating a unit dedicated to classrooms found on one half of the building, as well as large extended learning areas and student breakout spaces. Custer provided classroom furnishings found throughout the facility, as well as ancillary furniture for extended learning areas. Custer also provided furniture for the school’s media center, maker space, STEM lab, Digifab lab, art classroom, band and choir seating, cafeteria, teacher’s lounge, and conference room furniture.
Custer partnered with Stantec, Owen-Ames-Kimball Co., and Wallbridge on this project.
BYRON CENTER HIGH SCHOOL
Furniture selections chosen for Byron Center High Schoolâ€™s classrooms allow easy flexibility for students and teachers to adapt to day-today versatility throughout the school year.
Byron Center High School students now have choice and control over their postures to better support individual learning styles.
Lounge pieces found throughout the school encourage posture support when students are seeking individual pause and respite time. The new layout boasts vast breakout spaces found on the first and second floors to encourage both individual learning, as well as collaborative group learning.
BYRON CENTER, MICHIGAN 44
Custer partnered with Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. and TowerPinkster on this project.
PA R T N E R S + S E R V I C E S We provide the ease of one contact for your entire renovation. Custerâ€™s complete portfolio of companies offers a unique set of services to serve the needs of your project from floor to ceiling.
Offering premier facility care and enhancement through flooring, cabinetry and countertops, commercial cleaning, and janitorial services. www.century-gr.com
Providing streamlined design-build expertise and expert electrical services for commercial and industrial environments.
Grand Rapids premier membership facility, hosting independent work in a shared environment for individuals, small business, and corporate groups.
Internally, we take a full-service approach to interior environments, integrating strategy, design, furniture, and technology to create your dynamic, purposeful environment.
FEATURED PARTNER PROJECT
1 11 LYO N A complete transformation to the 111 Lyon building has been a highly anticipated endeavor to reactivate the area surrounding the Vandenberg Center in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. CS Erickson was selected as a design-build partner through a request for qualification process – measuring qualified candidates based on team technical aptitude and design capabilities, team alignment, project understanding and initial budget development. The 30,000 square foot project encompasses a complete transformation to a majority of the main level – adding up to four new retail spaces with storefronts along Lyon Street, and the relocation of the existing 5/3rd bank branch. A vibrant new grand staircase and ADA-compliant ramp now encourages pedestrian traffic at the Plaza level, complete with handrails with integrated lighting along Lyon Street. Other specific solutions CS Erickson provided in this project include installation of the building’s electrical systems, including upgrading the primary switchgear and adding a new generator to the premises.
CS Erickson partnered with Triangle Associates, AMDG Architects, Diekema Hamann, and CWD Real Estate on this project.
FE AT U R E D PA RT N E R P ROJ EC T
Flooralytics partnered with CS Erickson, Custer, Century, LPDA Inc., SA Morman, Basic Fire Protection, and EPS Home Security on this project.
Century announces the appointment of its own new executive leadership and the move of former CEO, Greg Hadfield, to lead an expanded set of offerings through a new company, Flooralytics. Flooralytics opened its doors at a new Grand Rapids location in 2020 as the only West Michigan-based ANSI-nationally accredited textile analytics and floor testing laboratory. Century’s former CEO, Greg Hadfield, brings thirty years of experience in chemical, textile, and flooring companies to this new endeavor—providing honest partnership to the testing process to collaboratively solve initial product shortfalls and save manufacturers money in the process.
Steve Jahr has been named the new President and CEO of Century, and has served as the company’s COO and CFO for five years—helping to grow the residential and commercial flooring and commercial floor care services of the business. Custer, West Michigan’s leader in furnishings and interior environments, is a majority owner in both Century and Flooralytics. Second generation President and CEO, Todd Custer, is excited about the opportunities that these changes in leadership bring to the expanding capabilities of the Custer family of brands.
Century provides residential and commercial professional flooring, product design and installation, and commercial floor care and cleaning services. 51
Custer designs and builds exceptional spaces that connect people, empowering organizations to do their best work.
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We believe an exceptional space is the foundation of excellent work. Custer designs, builds, and empowers spaces that support the work our c...
Published on Jan 1, 2021
We believe an exceptional space is the foundation of excellent work. Custer designs, builds, and empowers spaces that support the work our c...