Page 1


Nostalgia brings more than reminiscing to urban redevelopment. p. 30 BIG BOX BYPASS

Small business support yields advantages for shoppers and shopkeepers. p. 26

FEAR-FREE SUCCESS Know what you’re afraid of to avoid career path roadblocks. p. 24


Be in the habit of improving yourself. p. 20

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Publisher: Marisa Horak Belotti Editor in Chief: Mimi Bell Associate Editor: Stacey Tetloff Editorial Intern: Samantha Witzgall


is an editor and writer with an MBA from Pepperdine University who has worked with several publishing firms. A native of California, she now lives in Michigan.


is a historian, freelance journalist, and developmental editor whose writing appears in several Michigan magazines.

Art Director: Chad Hussle Designer: Joe Jones BIZ Scene Coordinator: Jen W. O’Deay Photographer: Doug Julian Contributors: Beth Bryce, Allison Dean, Eric Gilbertson, Daniel Handley, Nancy Sajdak Manning, Terence F. Moore, Jen W. O’Deay, Melissa Russell, Mike Thompson, and Kathryn Will


is a retired Saginaw News reporter. He writes about local government, politics, education, neighborhood groups, and non-profit social services.


is director of communications for LERN, the world’s largest association in continuing education and lifelong learning.

Advertising Sales Representative: Paul Oslund 989-891-1783 On the cover: Present-day photo by Doug Julian; 1931 photo courtesy of Castle Museum

INBOX As a former graduate of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance Ambassador program (2014), I would like to commend the caliber of articles written in Great Lakes Bay Business, V.1, 2016, that focused on empowering leadership development. They were very helpful to share with others in my own personal goal of cultivating leadership skills in young professionals in our community. ~ Angelia Williams-Welch, via email

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Letters must be signed and include the writer’s name and address. Please send to: Great Lakes Bay Business, 1311 Straits Dr, Bay City MI 48706, or email stacey@


V4 2016

For information, email: Great Lakes Bay Business, Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2016 (ISSN 1550-8064) is published by The F.P. Horak Company, 1311 Straits Dr, Bay City MI 48706. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The F.P. Horak Company, 1311 Straits Dr, Bay City MI 48706. Copyright© 2016 at The F.P. Horak Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Distributed by:

Fabiano Brothers




Small businesses stand strong in the face-off against Goliath chains.



The power of the past is good for business.


V4 2016

Sponsored Message

Port Fisher Terminals


ort Fisher Terminals of Bay City is a multi-modal port site that offers vessel, rail, and transportation services. Located on the Saginaw River, the terminal features numerous acres of undeveloped aggregate-surfaced area, 3,000 feet of railroad, 1,000 feet of steel seawall, and more. Over the past few years, the port has received numerous shipments of construction materials, stones, and liquid fertilizers. However, due to changes in the wind industry, there looks to be a shift in the types of materials that are brought into the port. Back in early 2015, Port Fisher Terminals was presented with an opportunity for wind turbine components to be trucked, railed, and shipped to the facility. The most recent shipment was last May, when 45 turbine blades were unloaded for storage at the port. Each of these blades weighed 9,000 pounds and ranged from 160 feet to 200 feet in length. These components will be used by developers in Huron County who have planned to build nearly 150 new wind turbines in Michigan’s Thumb.

These blades were shipped from the Netherlands on a 450foot freighter. The freight traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Detroit River, and then through Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, and Lake Huron. Once on Lake Huron, the large freighter headed north to wrap around the Thumb to enter the Saginaw River and unload at Port Fisher Terminals. After the blades had reached their destination, they were unloaded and later staged for delivery to the wind project in the Thumb. What made this delivery so unique is that it marked the first time in several years that actual cargo had been shipped on the Saginaw River. A majority of the river’s traffic has been dominated by domestic construction and bulk materials for the housing industry. This is all a very good sign for the Saginaw River shipping industry, which looks to rebound from a decade of decline. “It’s the start of a lot of good things to come,” says Fisher Companies Sales Manager Paul Strpko. “As the river and this area start to get more exposure, I see this type of business increasing for the Saginaw River.” Matt Felan President & CEO Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance

Your next business success is waiting by the Bay.




Picture of Success

A paint-and-sip studio unleashes creativity in Old Town Saginaw.



Community Outreach to Build Relationships

The power of participation can yield big dividends in company reputation.


COACHING Ask, Don’t Tell

Enthusiastic leaders fight fatigue with old-fashioned face-to-face conversation.



What Business Are You in?

If the answer is anything other than “improving myself,” you’re making a dumb mistake.


PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS The High Cost of Ruthless Efficiency

Is decreased employee loyalty and dedication a worthy trade-off for the corporation’s economic gain?



Action is a sure remedy for fear.




Pledge for Patient Care

MidMichigan Medical Center volunteers donate time to raise funds for lifesaving equipment.

42 48 50



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Celebrating 70 Years

A TRADITION OF FORWARD THINKING Since 1946, we’ve evolved to meet the

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Creating Community Celebrating Family We’re proud to be part of building our Great Lakes Bay Region community. Thank you to our customers and subcontractors who help us create the spaces where we live, work and come together to celebrate our holidays. From our family to yours, wishing you a joyous holiday season and a safe and prosperous new year.

More Than Construction Est. 1976



T R C c o m p a n y. c o m




Midland, Michigan


Do the Local-Motion


ustomers usually shop chain establishments because they know exactly what they’re likely to find. A burger at one Golden Arches tastes exactly like a burger at any other Golden Arches. Consumers get comfortable with sameness, whether the same is for the better or for the worse. But maybe there’s a way of thinking—and buying—out of the (big) box. In “Beating the Odds” (page 26), we learn about the advantages a small business offers customers. Take a store’s inventory, for example. Small businesses can pleasantly surprise you with their array of goods, some of which are not the limited brands or cookie-cutter models stocked at the behemoths. And it may be a fallacy that big-box stores offer better prices on items—commodity or specialty—than locals do. Pricing is not determined by the individual store, no matter its size. Vendors or manufacturers—not the stores themselves—set the retail price. And at a big box, if you make a special request of the sales clerk, you might hear that he needs to speak with his manager— and that manager may need to get the OK from her manager at headquarters, which is a time zone or two away. At a small business, the salesclerk might just be the owner (as well as the floor sweeper and front-walk snow shoveler). Small businesses (sign painters, prescription pharmacies, hardware stores, and the like) that were founded and are headquartered in our region are vested in our community. That means when they give back to the community, that community is you and me. What makes a community a community is that it looks like diversity and speaks like diversity. There’s character in its un-sameness. These businesses with unique character, those that dominate Great Lakes Bay magazine’s annual Greatest of… reader poll, define our region’s sense of place. So, with apologies to Grand Funk Railroad: I know you’ll get to like it if you give it a chance now Come on baby, do the Local-Motion.

Mimi Bell Editor in Chief

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Local not-for-profits will help distribute them to those in need throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.



101 V4 2016

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SUCCESS A paint-and-sip studio unleashes creativity in Old Town Saginaw.

by Jeremy Benson | photo by Doug Julian


ext year, Kujuanna Ray will celebrate two years of successful entrepreneurship as owner of U Me Paint, a “paint-and-sip” studio in Saginaw. Ray was introduced to a paint-and-sip franchise in Oakland County four years ago, where people could get together in groups, painting various art projects while drinking wine or other beverages. As a child, Ray tended to hold emotions in, while her late brother was the expressive one. But while sipping wine and painting with friends, she found her own emotional expression. “I was able to have that release,” says Ray. “I thought, ‘Everybody needs to experience this.’” Ray began to jot down ideas. She quit her human resources job at Chrysler, moved back to her hometown of Saginaw, and explored her job options. She looked at purchasing a franchise, which was beyond her financial ability. “I thought, I busted tail to build another brand (Chrysler’s), why not work to build my own?” For a year, Ray worked with Jacquetta Dantzler, CEO of The Office Hero in Clio, to turn her notes into a structured business plan. Ray re-acclimated to Saginaw, learning who her 14 |

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Kujuanna Ray, owner of U Me Paint, gets creative in her own studio space

customers would be for her future paint-and-sip studio. She conducted research by visiting other paint-and-sip businesses, adjusting her plan as she went. Before opening to the public, Ray held a practice painting class for a focus group, who then offered feedback that Ray used to further strengthen her plan. Ray says the financial implications of owning her own business have been hard. “Everything I have has been put into this business,” she says, adding that family and friends invested time and money to help get U Me Paint off the ground, too. Ray’s mother also helped to scope out a potential site for the business. “When I looked at that first location, it was a storage room—it was nothing like what we [finally] created,” Ray says. With work, the room transformed into the chic studio Ray had imagined, but the spot had challenges. It was difficult for customers to find because of the location, it was windowless, and the stairwell and freight elevator made access difficult for elderly and disabled clientele. In June 2015, Ray presented her honed business plan to Saginaw Soup, a grassroots investment program that supports entrepreneurs with small grants, similar to the TV show

Shark Tank. Ray was awarded $500, enough to relocate her studio to Old Town Saginaw. The new location provides greater accessibility and visibility, and Ray has established relationships with neighboring business owners who cater events at the space or bring their staff into U Me Paint for team-building outings. Networking has been a large part of U Me Paint’s success. Ray uses her human resources background in tandem with networking to find and hire art instructors who are a good fit for her business. Partnering with other businesses and building relationships with customers through social media are also key marketing strategies— U Me Paint has hosted live video feeds of events and offers discount coupons through its social media profiles. It was the “people piece” that came naturally to Ray. “I love when people come in the studio and say ‘Wow!’ They end up doing something they thought they couldn’t do,” she says. To new entrepreneurs, Ray says, “Never limit yourself.” As she looks to offer art therapy and expand U Me Paint into additional locations, it’s clear she’s taking her own advice.





TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS The power of participation can yield big dividends in company reputation. by Allison Dean


ould your business like to do something good for the community while also improving workplace morale? A community outreach program may be the answer. For-profit companies that support their non-profit counterparts are often viewed more favorably by customers, potential clients, and staff. Charitable support from businesses is not only vital to the execution of the mission of most nonprofits; it also brings greater positive recognition to the business and a sense of shared goals. Many organizations in the Great Lakes Bay Region are involved in philanthropic endeavors. McLaren Bay Region, for example, has a longstanding history of community outreach. “We focus on programs to support health and wellness such as screenings, educational seminars, and classes,” says Magen M. Samyn, vice president of marketing and public relations. Many McLaren Bay Region employees volunteer in the community. Todd Gregory, community president at FirstMerit Bank in Saginaw, knows the importance of giving at many levels and establishing key partnerships. “We couldn’t do a lot of what we do if we didn’t have the clients we have,” Gregory says. FirstMerit Bank engages in various community support activities, contributing time and money to local organizations such as

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Saginaw’s Hidden Harvest and Eastside Soup Kitchen as well as national nonprofits including United Way and the Boys & Girls Clubs. From a simple sponsorship of the local high school athletic booster club to community reinvestment projects and the establishment of the FirstMerit Bank Event Park in downtown Saginaw, Gregory finds the most successful collaborations are with nonprofits whose missions and values align with those of the bank. Gregory believes in providing resources for nonprofits to carry out their missions and in educating the community through offering resources on topics like improving credit and buying your first home. At Three Rivers Corporation, Jen Lee, marketing coordinator, emphasizes that “Three Rivers really cares about giving back to the community that we live and work in.” Employees volunteer on more than 50 boards and committees, and the company also offers job shadowing for students from local high schools and Junior Achievement organizations. Three Rivers looks to the unique skill-sets of its employees to help nonprofits, as it did when the company poured the foundation for a new build during a recent Habitat for Humanity project. The spirit of collaboration and outreach is woven into the fabric of our community. Local businesses and philanthropic citizens are working together for the common good, making a difference in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Tips for Community Outreach Programs How can your business best invest in the community? •

Foster engagement from employees in multiple departments with different skills so that your program embraces many viewpoints.

Select a cause around which to partner with a nonprofit whose goals and mission align with your company vision.

Build a support network and find other corporate/business partners who share similar outreach goals.

Create a clear and timely communication plan to make it easier for volunteers to actively participate.

Develop a plan to recruit volunteers from current employees, alumni, and community members.

Promote the community outreach program internally, and encourage employees to make a difference.



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DON’T TELL Enthusiastic leaders fight fatigue with old-fashioned face-to-face conversation.

by Daniel Handley, regional president & CEO, Dale Carnegie Training®


he last five years have been tough on everyone. Constant change, job uncertainty, pay cuts, and increased workloads for some, and the frustration and stressful demands of the latest impossible business plan simply make people tired. Morale becomes an issue underlying all performance, and craving the weekend starts earlier in the week than it used to. People become less focused and more impatient, unproductive, and disengaged. Managers and employees alike can suffer from this type of fatigue. In response to it, managers tend to get demanding and critical. Doesn’t it make sense that we all get irritable when we face the same old problems, and we just get

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sick of the same old demands of an endlessly frustrating game? The critical factor in handling workplace fatigue at all levels is for managers to stay close to employees. Leadership is the answer. To effectively lead, follow these steps for talking with staff and not at them. Listen to employees’ concerns, interests, and aspirations. Listening is the key to getting employees to understand why things at work are the way they are. Give staff members the information they need and want. Employees need to hear where the business is going, what the future looks like, and what needs to be done. Don’t ignore change. Each employee needs leaders who listen, coach, and guide them through change. And leaders need to craft effective programs to help. Share the company’s mission. Staff members should know what the company stands for, how

they personally change customers’ lives, and what the company believes in. The point for all of us—whether we are human resources professionals, managers, or someone who wants to get ahead in an organization—is to get face-to-face with people, be interested in them, and ask rather than tell. We need to be skillful at creating a culture of recognition, appreciation, and respect. This can be done. A leader can never focus enough on communication, coaching, and training. While you’re imposing change on your organization in order to respond to the marketplace, don’t forget to engage people so that they have more of the attitude, competency, and readiness to participate in the competitive battle with you. Lead with enthusiasm! For more ideas on improving leadership, communication, teamwork, sales, employee engagement, and organizational performance, visit, or contact Dan Handley at, or call 1-800518-DALE.


Jason Holyszko Managing Director– Investments Financial Advisor

The team at The Holyszko Group of Wells Fargo Advisors works together to help meet each client’s objectives

Helping You Plan for a Better Today and a Brighter Tomorrow Rely on The Holyszko Group of Wells Fargo Advisors for caring support and advice as you invest in your future. Jason Holyszko, Managing Director–Investments, Financial Advisor Russ Wittkopp, CRPC®-Financial Consultant David Snider, CRPC®-Financial Advisor | Tammy Mentel, Client Associate 4300 Fashion Square Blvd, Ste 201, Saginaw Township 989-791-1206


hen Jason Holyszko is asked what the best part of financial advising is for him and his team, he responds, “We love meeting new clients and their families. What we do should have a tremendous positive impact on them.” The Holyszko Group of Wells Fargo Advisors is passionate about helping professionals in the Great Lakes Bay Region set and achieve financial goals and objectives. Each time the staff is able to see clients to and through retirement, there is a deep sense of gratification and satisfaction for every person on the team.

Making a difference, one strategy at a time

Holyszko says, “Our team shines when we review a prospective client’s current strategy. Typically, there are better, more effective ways to manage investments, and we can almost always find areas that need improvement.” Holyszko continues, “We believe it’s an

emphasis on finding the ways to best position clients to be prepared for their financial futures that sets us apart.” Personalized service and truly understanding a family’s financial wellness goals is at the heart of our strategy. With access to tremendous resources and technology, The Holyszko Group endeavors to ensure that clients are positioned in investments and plans to meet their objectives. “We hold ourselves to the highest moral, ethical, and legal standards of investments,” Holyszko explains. “Our responsibility is to make the decisions and suggestions that are best for our clients.” The individualized attention to a client’s own personal situation is the start of building a relationship of trust that is so essential in planning.


The highly skilled four-person team—Holyszko,

Russ Wittkopp, David Snider, and Tammy Mentel—at The Holyszko Group has more than 75 years of combined experience. And the staff of the second-generation practice continues to lead its clients into the future, using new technologies and techniques combined with oldfashioned values and customer service. The Holyszko Group knows that the world of personal finance can be complex and sometimes daunting for clients. Each person on staff has a specialized area of focus, and the team-based approach to facing everything from retirement income planning to asset management is made easier with the trust that clients can put into the expertise of the group. Plus, Holyszko, Wittkopp, Snider, and Mentel take the time to explain each investment recommendation and strategic decision every step of the way in the planning process.

Above and beyond

Clients of The Holyszko Group realize early on that customer service is part of the core values of the company. “Global markets ebb and flow with time,” Holyszko says, “but the one constant that we pride ourselves on is our consistent service model.” Holyszko says, “We value forming personal relationships with our clients and being attentive through good markets and bad.” Trust, expertise, experience, passion, and caring professionals: This is the combination that The Holsyzko Group of Wells Fargo Advisors can bring to your financial table. Contact the team today for more information on how to get started.





ARE YOU IN? If the answer is anything other than “improving myself,” you’re making a dumb mistake.

by Terence F. Moore “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up, and it knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.” ~ Attributed to many sources


hat business are you in? When professionals are asked that question, they often respond by saying something like, “I’m in the health care business,” or the banking business, or the retail business, or the real-estate business, or whatever

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industry where they are working. Students usually respond to the same question by saying, “I’m in the business of getting an education.” The correct answer for professionals, students, and anyone else is that we’re in the business of improving ourselves—mentally, physically, spiritually, and, perhaps, financially. It’s probably safe to say that college is like a big train ride. Students get on the train at the beginning of the semester and get off at the end of the semester. Then, they repeat the process. All this goes on for four, five, or more years. (Only 44 percent of students who begin college will complete their degree in six years or less.) The mistake a lot of students make is that they believe the train is taking them someplace. Of course, what they find out is that they are dropped off exactly where they got on. If it’s Michigan State University, it’s East Lansing. If it’s Central Michigan University, it’s Mount Pleasant. If it’s Wayne State, it’s Detroit. The only thing

they have to show for the ride are the skills they have acquired and the preparation they have made for life post-graduation. Unfortunately, too many students spend their time in college amusing themselves instead of improving themselves. Those of us in the workplace know we’re in a similar situation. The position we are in currently isn’t taking us anywhere. We’re going to eventually get off the “work train” we’re on, either of our own choosing or when we get dumped off. When that happens, the only thing we will have to show for the preceding years in the workplace is the preparation we made for that inevitable day. Wise professionals know that they need to work diligently daily to improve themselves and prepare for the next chapter in their life. To comment on this article or share your own observations, or to schedule a presentation, contact Terence Moore at 989-430-2335 or


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RUTHLESS EFFICIENCY Is decreased employee loyalty and dedication a worthy trade-off for the corporation’s economic gain?

by Eric Gilbertson


t’s hard to criticize the virtue of efficiency in human organizations. Businesses have bottom lines to produce; governments (except in Washington) and schools have budgets to balance; and even charities, art museums, and orchestras have payrolls to meet. But like other virtues—patience, generosity, religiosity, and such—taken too far, efficiency can become ruthless and possibly self-defeating. The word “ruthless” comes from the biblical heroine Ruth, revered for her selflessness and loyalty (“Whither thou goest, I shall go…”). Ruthlessness is the absence of Ruth, that is, something not very nice, really.

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So when does the unrelenting pursuit of efficiency cross over from business sense into ruthlessness? (Consider the heartbreaking vignettes of workers being laid off from their jobs in the George Clooney movie Up in the Air.) Can some level of callous efficiency blind an organization to its human and humane values? And what is the potential cost to the organization of this blindness? Mountains of reports and reams of data reveal employment trends pointing to an increased mobility by and decreased organizational loyalty to highly skilled workers. Why is this? The lure of riches (big paydays and lavish perks) in a competitive market for talent is one factor, but there also may be something else at work. If employees do have a “what’s in it for me” attitude, could it be because their organizations foster a feeling of insecurity by devaluing employee loyalty and treating employees as expendable assets? This stands in stark contrast to the somewhat anachronistic notion that good people will give their entire careers to an organization in return for a sense of belonging, a reasonable living, and the dignity of a gold watch at the end. Not a bad deal for both parties, actually. The breakdown of these mutual commitments has a calculable cost in the constant recruitment and training of new employees. And there is also another cost—impossible to measure with precision—in the diminished worker loyalty

and dedication to the employer of those who live and work under a cloud of insecurity. Of course, mushy sentimentality can be expensive, too. How much “benevolent overhead”—people whose most productive days have passed, people who work hard and care deeply but drag down a bottom line, or people who may be amicable or fun to have around but are not really needed in a changing economic circumstance—can any organization afford to carry? But do at least some inefficient decencies actually make economic sense? When does the value of employee loyalty—and a culture embracing the humane treatment of its “family” (a misused metaphor)—trump short-term economic gains? That’s not calculable in hard numbers, but wise leadership will agonize over these things, as it should, and understand that heartless disruptions may not be conducive to best effort or peak productivity. There never are easy answers dealing with complex human organizations and complicated human beings. But good judgment starts with asking good questions. And all trade-offs carry a price, even and especially in the single-minded pursuit of efficiency. Eric Gilbertson teaches organizational leadership and constitutional law at Saginaw Valley State University. To comment on this article, contact him at

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FOR IT Action is a sure remedy for fear.

reduce them by changing your approach. Start with identifying the primary fear that’s blocking your career success.

by Beth Bryce

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ~ Jack Canfield, bestselling author and motivational speaker

I 24 |

have a simple question for you: Why aren’t you going for it? Excuses surrounding a lack of talent often mask trepidation and self-limiting beliefs. While the things you are afraid of won’t disappear, you can

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Fear of disapproval. Perhaps someone yelled at you so badly that the thought of taking initiative without approval makes you break out in hives. Quit living in the past. When contemplating taking a bold action, stop making a list of the terrible consequences; instead, make a list of the positive possibilities. There’s something to be said about asking for forgiveness rather than permission. Successful people stick their necks out because they believe their ideas are worth it. Fear of failure. It’s really cozy inside our comfort zone, isn’t it? It’s also boring. Perfectionists enjoy being right all the time, sometimes impeding taking chances. When fear of failure is driving, they think “I failed” rather than “it failed.” Watch your confidence grow by taking action without taking the results so personally. Pursue the stretch job, have the tough conversation, or pitch the idea. It doesn’t have to be perfect—it just has to

be pitched. Fear of success. Consistently performing at a higher level can be daunting; the energy and pressure can be overwhelming. At the root of that overwhelmed feeling is a lack of confidence to meet expectations. Appreciating and owning your strengths every day will help you believe you have what it takes to tackle any challenge ahead. Check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk “Success, Failure, and the Drive to Keep Creating.” She offers a simple way to keep striving, regardless of the outcome. As a firewalker, I can tell you taking action is a sure remedy for fear. While I may have some cuts and burns, each is covered with a superhero Band-Aid®. I suggest you buy a box of Pokémon Band-Aids and go! Beth Bryce is a career strategist and transformation coach. To comment on this article or to share your own observations, contact Beth Bryce by email at bethkbryce@

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3. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Jim Bott, Jim Redmond’s Auto Repair, Saginaw Township Joe Franz, Harless & Hugh Coffee, Bay City John Kowalski, Jack’s Fruit & Meat Market, Saginaw Township Alyssa Morley, The Basketree, Mount Pleasant


mall business isn’t really so small here in Michigan. The Small Business Administration defines an independent business as one with 500 or fewer employees. In Michigan, small businesses make up 98.2 percent of all employers, and they employ more than half of the state’s private workforce, according to the United States Census Bureau. These small businesses likely are included on your list of favorite restaurants, boutiques, gyms, and coffee shops. And there’s good reason, says Iesha Swilley, a business consultant with the Small Business Development Center at Delta College.

Small businesses might not have the buying power or high profit margins that big businesses do, but they do have some specific and special advantages, Swilley says. “In the realm of competition, there is something valued with the smaller, homegrown business that doesn’t have a looming, corporate-type presence,” says Swilley. “They (small businesses) have an advantage as long as they understand they have the ability— and responsibility—to offer the same quality in service and product as the large businesses.” Taking a trip to a Jack’s Fruit & Meat Market at any of the several locations throughout the region offers a chance for

shoppers to see how a small business can compete with a large corporation, such as Walmart, and succeed at doing so. Personalized service and locally sourced inventory have led the market, which has five stores in Saginaw, Bay, and Midland counties, to thrive and even expand. In 2014, the market relocated its Saginaw Township location to a space more than four times the original size in order to accommodate a growing number of customers and more products. The move was announced in August by owner Jack Stehle and completed later the same year. It’s that kind of store-level control and customization where small businesses have the upper hand, Swilley says. “There are fewer people to consult, and it helps they don’t have a corporate office to answer to,” Swilley says. “Small businesses are able to make those calls themselves.” Catering to the wants of a niche market is much easier for a small business says Mazen Jaber, PhD, chair, department of marketing and management, College of Business and Management, Saginaw Valley State University. This niche strategy offers small businesses the opportunity to choose a small target market and fully cater to its needs—in a way that big stores or businesses cannot. “For example, for Walmart to maintain their cost leadership as a retailer, they make sure that all their stores have the same product assortment, regardless of the preferences of the market they are in,” Jaber says. SMALL BUSINESSES SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY (AND EACH OTHER) Another competitive advantage? A stronger connection to clientele, Swilley says. Walk into Harless & Hugh Coffee in downtown Bay City and chances are the barista, who is often the owner, Lyndsay Edmonds, will know your name and your drink order. The same kind of welcome can be found at countless other independent shops, agencies, offices, and firms across the region. Customers may return to these businesses for the great service and personalized attention, but being a patron of a small, independent business also has a positive economic impact, helping to keep more money and jobs in the region than shopping at chain stores. Small business owners are often the biggest advocates of other small businesses, shopping and supporting independent companies when it comes time to purchase supplies, outsource marketing, or procure other services. Chains often have the ability to get what they need— from staples to new lightbulbs—internally. V4 2016

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BIG SUPPORT FOR SMALL Support for shopping small and locally is growing. Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, was launched in 2010 to promote independent businesses, and it was officially recognized by the U.S. Senate a year later. In 2014, an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, and 95 million people went shopping to support small businesses in 2015. Downtown retail districts across the Great Lakes Bay Region are helping encourage shoppers to buy local through their own methods, too. The Downtown Development Office for Mount Pleasant, for example, uses social media promotions such as “Shop Local: I pledge” on Facebook to highlight local, independent shopping options with posts like “Did you know that there are at least FOUR places to buy jewelry downtown? Trillium Fine Clothing, Art Reach of Mid Michigan, The Basketree, and The Main Frame Gallery?” These posts remind shoppers that they don’t have to rely on stores such as Target or Macy’s to get their gifts. Most patrons, about 88 percent according to a poll conducted on behalf of the Public Affairs Council, view small businesses favorably, and 68 percent of patrons would rather pay more to make a purchase or set up a service with a small firm or store than a big


one. People aren’t paying more to shop small, though. It’s a common misconception that small businesses are always more expensive than chains.

CREATING ADVOCATES, NOT CUSTOMERS Small businesses need to be marketing oriented, otherwise they will not survive, Jaber says. But they don’t have to spend a lot on marketing and advertising, and that is a huge advantage over big businesses that have to spend thousands, even millions, to remain on people’s minds and stand out in the marketplace. “For small businesses focusing on a small market, it is the customer relationship and word of mouth or free advertising that will help them,” Jaber says. “This is a relationship that large corporations and chains are unable to have with their customers. What works in the small business’ favor is that word of mouth is actually more effective than advertising as a persuasive technique. People will trust word of mouth a lot more than they would advertising.” By providing top-notch customer service that lasts long after the initial sale, small businesses are able to build a strong, trustworthy brand. Doing so is how Saginaw Township-based Jim Redmond’s Auto Repair and other similar businesses hold their own against automotive repair chains such as Tuffy Tire and Auto Service. Once consumers are emotionally attached to a business, they tend to visit it more often than the competition, and they often tell friends and relatives about the great product or service they receive.

NEW TOOLS AND RESOURCES Today, small business owners have more resources at their disposal than ever before, making it easier and less expensive to run a successful business. Everything from payroll to accepting payments can be done with cloud-based software. Marketing efforts, particularly, are moving more to the digital world and making things easier for small business owners. Small businesses might not have a dedicated social media or digital marketing position, but the playing field is pretty even when it comes to engaging customers on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, especially as tools for local targeting become more sophisticated. Cops & Doughnuts, a bakery with locations in Bay City, Clare, Gaylord, and Ludington, has more than 37,000 “Likes” on its Facebook page where it posts business updates, pictures and videos of customers enjoying its fare, and more. “With social media and the internet, it makes it easier to reach a wide variety of individuals,” says Swilley. “Businesses are able to connect with individuals and potential customers instantly and more often.”

Only $14 of every $100 spent at chains recirculates, while $68 of every $100 spent at independent retailers stays in the local economy. 1

Small businesses were responsible for 63 percent of the new jobs created between 1993 and 2013. 2

About 57 jobs are created for every $10 million in consumer spending at local independent stores—compared to just 14 new jobs for every $10 million in consumer spending at Amazon. 3

The rate of small business startups has grown, while the number of small business failures has decreased. 4

Since 1990, small businesses added 8 million new jobs; meanwhile, big business eliminated 4 million jobs. 5

Sources: 1. Advocates for Independent Business; 2.Small Business Administration; 3. Institute for Local Self-Reliance; 4. & 5. Small Business Administration

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Account Manager Sue Grim consults with a client

Emil Rummel Insurance Agency Choose a firm where people and relationships matter. Serving the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond, with offices in Frankenmuth, Vassar, Caro, Saginaw & Ortonville 800-572-0939


unning a small business today is a world apart from what it was even just a few years ago. Since then, a number of people have left Michigan to re-locate to other states, making it more difficult for organizations to compete for talented employees. There is also the pressure of increased competition placed on local owners from larger corporations that can often offer higher wages and more expansive benefits to employment candidates. To those factors, add increased government regulations, raised minimum wage requirements, the Affordable Care Act, and more, and it’s easy to understand why small businesses face serious challenges today. Emil Rummel Insurance Agency scales all of those small business hurdles, yet the agency is marked with repeated and widespread success. The biggest challenge the firm has overcome is

Account Manager Julie Wenzlaff trains a new employee

finding a talented staff, which is a No. 1 priority. Emil Rummel hires top-notch employees by aggressively stepping up recruiting and hiring practices. Additionally, the agency has revised training and professional development systems, implemented a new team member orientation, and, perhaps most important, created effective ways for staff to share invaluable knowledge with one another. All of this requires capital and financial resources. The focus on staff at Emil Rummel Insurance Agency is just one of the three main categories it continues to develop. Its longevity— over 66 years in business—is due in part to its investment in processes and systems. Emil Rummel works under the core belief that small companies must focus on a niche and do what they do well. The agency strives to incorporate

new efficiencies created for business, embracing and effectively implementing them without losing laser focus on the customer. In addition to Emil Rummel Insurance Agency’s commitment to people and relationships, it also emphasizes supporting and building relationships with other local businesses in every community of which it is a part. Emil Rummel understands the mutual benefits experienced when small area businesses support one another. For this reason, it is proud to support fellow business owners by sharing others’ stories, buying local, and investing in youth groups and other service organizations throughout the region. Emil Rummel Insurance Agency is dedicated to learning your story, to understanding what success looks like for your business, to supporting or enhancing your success through the services and products it offers, and to building a friendship and partnership with you.



In a time when we cling to our smartphones and the newest technology, from self-driving cars to immersive virtual reality goggles, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would take the time to look to the past. But, as it turns out, a bit of nostalgia can be pretty good for business because nostalgia is actually good for us. In fact, according to a series of University of Southampton studies, as reported by The New York Times, nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom, and anxiety. “It makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders,” the Times article states. SENTIMENTAL SPENDING When businesses, restaurants, and even buildings and towns harness the power of the past, they trigger emotional responses— reactions that are linked to personally meaningful past events, usually involving the people most important to us—that can attract customers, create destinations, and attract new businesses. When people see something that reminds them of cherished memories, they’re more likely to spend money on it, according to

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the results of a study by researchers at the Grenoble School of Management in France. “We wondered why nostalgia is so commonplace in marketing,” the researchers wrote. “One reason could be that feeling nostalgic weakens a person’s desire for money. In other words, someone might be more likely to buy something when they are feeling nostalgic.” MULTI-GENERATIONAL APPEAL Nostalgia isn’t just for Baby Boomers or Gen Xers longing for the “good ole days,” either. All generations are affected by feelings of nostalgia. Millennials and Gen Zers are already prone to #FlashBackFriday and #ThrowBackThursday posts on social media, nodding to days gone by on modern public platforms. In fact, younger generations are even nostalgic for things that might be more relevant to their older counterparts. The resurgence of vinyl records, bell-bottom jeans, and even oldfashioned baby names shows just how much the past plays into the fads of today. “Millennials are coming of age in an age of economic turmoil—a difficult job market,” Cassandra McIntosh, senior insights analyst


A replication of the Weinberg-Pankonin Drug Store mural, originally painted in 1946 on the P.C. Andre Building in Old Town Saginaw, gives passersby a glimpse of the past (photo by Doug Julian)


An early 1900s view of the corner of North Michigan Avenue and Court Street in Old Town Saginaw shows some of the original decorative features of the P.C. Andre Building (photo courtesy of Castle Museum)

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at Exponential, told in an article about Millennials and early-onset nostalgia. “Therefore, they end up romanticizing simpler times much more—even those times they weren’t around for.” NOSTALGIC DESTINATIONS On a large scale, the trend to create nostalgia through restoration can be seen in action in locations such as downtown Bay City. On one side of town is Mill End Lofts, an apartment building, opened in 2014, that sits on the site of the former Mill End, the “World’s Most Unusual Store.” Mill End is remembered by many with tales of creaky floors and unique wares. The name, and even many aspects of the interior, including signs, tiles, and pieces of wood that serve as decorative accents, all work in unison to evoke a sense of nostalgia. In other parts of downtown Bay City, one can see post-modern façades being delicately removed to reveal original bricks, beams, and details. Similar projects to rehabilitate or restore historic buildings can be seen throughout other parts of the Great Lakes Bay Region, too, and there’s good reason. “Historic buildings are tangible links with the past,” the Michigan State Housing Development Authority website reads. “They help give a community a sense of identity, stability, and orientation.” While state tax incentives for restoring and preserving historic buildings ended in 2012, Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives are still available. Since it was written into the tax code more than 30 years ago, the incentive has leveraged nearly $109 billion in private investment, created 2.41 million jobs, and adapted more than 39,600 buildings for productive uses, according to the website of the National Park Service, the government entity that oversees the preservation tax program.

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The corner of 100 South Hamilton and Court Street in Old Town Saginaw, pictured circa 1900, now has a restored façade and is home to Jake’s Old City Grill (photo courtesy of Castle Museum)


Temple Theatre, constructed in 1927 in downtown Saginaw, became a performance mecca (photo, circa 1930, courtesy of Roberta Morey)


Temple Theatre Foundation keeps the popular event location ready for guests to take a step back in time (photo by Doug Julian)

TEMPLE THEATRE, SAGINAW The neoclassic-style Temple Theatre, 203 North Washington Avenue in downtown Saginaw, opened on July 28, 1927, as a vaudeville and silent movie palace, with seating for 2,200 (1,750 today) and was coined “The Showplace of Northeastern Michigan.” The Elf Khurafeh Shrine building was designed by Osgood and Osgood of Grand Rapids, constructed by the Henry C. Webber Construction Company of Bay City, and leased to the W.S. Butterfield Theatre chain. A 10-piece orchestra and the uniquely designed Butterfield Special Barton Pipe Organ #195 accompanied early Temple performances. The organ, historically restored and maintained by Temple Theatre Organ Club, is still featured regularly. As interest in vaudeville declined, the Temple became a first-run movie theater until 1976. After Butterfield left its lease, the theater was used by community groups and was rented for live performances and motion pictures. Following sale by the Shrine, the theater fell into disuse and deterioration, finally facing demolition.

In 2002, Dr. Samuel Shaheen and his wife, Patty, purchased the Shrine complex and began nine months of renovations. The theater and adjoining ballroom facilities reopened in November 2003. Shaheen later formed the Temple Theatre Foundation and turned theater operations over to the foundation to serve the community. Today, the Temple that has been graced by many legendary performances is again an elegant, exciting showcase that attracts many to its downtown location. Ballroom and banquet facilities in the adjoining areas are busy with meetings, banquets, and receptions. The theater offers a variety of events including films; organ, choral, and orchestra concerts; dance and jazz performances; and meetings and weddings. The most recent improvement is a historically accurate marquee that features modern cost-efficient lighting, designed by Eric Larsen of Midland, who also designed the historic-style marquee for Bay City’s State Theatre.

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The modern-day decor of State Theatre in Bay City, originally Bijou Theatre, invites guests in with colorful architecture (photo by Doug Julian)


A postcard features the Bijou Theatre as it looked in 1908 (photo courtesy of Bay County Historical Society)

JAKE’S OLD CITY GRILL, SAGINAW Jake’s Old City Grill, 100 South Hamilton Street at Court Street in Old Town Saginaw, is housed in a three-story Miller-block sandstone building on part of the old Fort Saginaw site—later the site of Saginaw’s oldest surviving residence, the Cushway House (1844); the 1866 Miller-Braley Bank that established the current building; First National Bank; Saginaw County Savings Bank; Bank of Saginaw; and Carter’s women’s clothing store. The building was then leased out to various small businesses. In 2001, the worn building was sold to Saginaw restaurateur and designer Paul Barrera, who envisioned restoring its Victorian character and established Jake’s. The building later sold to Hall Commercial Properties in 2009. During Barrera’s early restoration efforts, he became fascinated with Saginaw’s frequently mentioned colorful, legendary entrepreneur “Little Jake” Seligman—so much so that he added Jake’s name to “Old City Grill.” Then,

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in the spirit of Seligman, Barrera purchased two adjacent properties, planning to develop two restaurants, a separate banquet facility, and mixed-use office spaces with condominiums above. However, the 9/11 tragedy abruptly affected bank- and private-financing abilities for several years. Nevertheless, Barrera commenced with whatever demolition, abatement, and preparation he could afford. In spring 2005, construction began. Barrera, his wife, Pamela, his son and new business partner, Paul Jr., and his father, Pete—with 60 combined years of continuous business in Saginaw—all worked together to make that vision come true. Today, Barrera’s award-winning, upscalecasual restaurant, which incorporates the adjacent prior American Express Telegraph Office building, is a destination spot in revitalizing Old Town Saginaw. Inside, refurbished brick walls display the elaborately framed 135-year-old life-sized painting of Jake Seligman, plus masses of historical photos and papers that pay tribute to the history of the district and Saginaw. And Hall Properties, now developing luxury condos overhead, continues to fulfill Barrera’s vision. P.C. ANDRE BUILDING, SAGINAW The P.C. Andre single-story commercial building, 108 North Michigan Avenue at Court Street in Old Town Saginaw, was established in the 1870s by former Saginaw businessman and mayor Peter C. Andre (1817-1902). The building’s exterior architectural details originally included decorative cornices and brackets, and the interior included five commercial spaces. In 1953, to modernize the building for a new Rexall drugstore anchor tenant, the decorative exterior trim was stripped, and the exterior was covered with metal panels. By 2014, as the 12-block area of Old Town Saginaw, on the National Register of Historical Places, was experiencing an increasing resurgence, Saginaw native Tom Germain, now in California, decided to restore some familyowned Saginaw buildings. Germain and his former college roommate, Alex de Parry, owner of Ann Arbor Builders, acquired ownership of the P.C. Andre Building and formed a partnership to restore it. During renovation, the building’s exterior metal siding was removed, and the cornices and brackets were restored. Removal of the siding exposed nostalgic painted murals. A narrow Hinds and Weinberg mural that advertised the 1921-1946 drugstore appeared on the Court Street face of the building, and the North Michigan side of the building revealed a large Weinberg-Pankonin Drug Store mural that was painted in 1946 when Hinds sold out to Reynold Pankonin before Rexall moved in. A decision was made to restore the murals.


In 1955, Ashman Street in Midland housed Glover’s Pharmacy (photo courtesy of Midland Daily News)


Today, the revitalized building is home to WhichCraft Taproom (photo by Doug Julian)

Saginaw resident and artist Jim Fives, who identified the paintings as those of Saginaw artist Ike Kozak, was hired to authentically re-create the murals to be enjoyed by Saginaw residents and visitors. Extensive interior and exterior work on the building was completed in September 2015. Five commercial tenants again lease space in the restored building. Bauer’s Jewelry, which opened there in 1891, has continually leased the same space, except from 1952 to 1972. STATE THEATRE, BAY CITY State Theatre, 913 Washington Avenue in downtown Bay City, was built by Worthy L. Churchill in 1908, opening as the Bijou Theatre, a Victorian-style vaudeville and burlesque house. The theater’s name was changed to the Orpheum in 1920, and sound pictures began showing there in 1926. In 1930, the Orpheum was purchased by the W.S. Butterfield theater chain, gutted, and then redesigned in an Art Deco/Mayan Temple-style by architect C. Howard Crane, who designed the Fox Theatre in Detroit. The Mayan marquee was removed, and the theater reopened as the State Theatre in 1957. From 1984-1991, the theater was owned by George Kerasotes Theatres of Springfield, Illinois. Local businessman Tim O’Brien owned the theater from 1991-2000 when it showed second-run and art films. The theater closed in 2000 due to low attendance. Bay City Downtown Development Authority purchased the theater, began

renovations to restore it to its Mayan roots, and then sold the building to the Friends of the State Theatre for $1 to continue long-effort renovations. Renovations through 2004 included basic areas: the exterior; restrooms; stage construction; basement storage; installation of a heating, venting, and air-conditioned system; a new concession stand; and electrical, fire detection, and sound and lighting systems. Decorative work such as replica carpeting, updated seating, and Mayan headdress wall sconces were in place by summer 2006. A digital cinema projection system was added to the single-screen theater. In September 2008, the retro Mayan headdress marquee by Eric Larsen (now Empire Architectural Design, Midland) was unveiled. Today, State Theatre, with seating for 549, is one of the premier performing arts centers in Michigan. Events hosted there include comedy, music, educational programming, recitals, film, performances by nationally known celebrities, wine tastings, and more. Facility rentals also are available. WHICHCRAFT TAPROOM, MIDLAND The 1880s building at 124 Ashman Street in downtown Midland began as a livery stable when Ashman Street likely was a trail-type avenue near Main Street. The tall one-story building with a two-story façade has been expanded at least twice. The building was the first location (1933-1977) of Midland’s longtime Glover’s Pharmacy, and it later housed Mashue Printing that operated there for 25 years until 2011.

In 2012, the building was leased to Richard and Sharon Caldwell of Midland by Larry and Mary Jo Lang of Lang Enterprises, LLC. The Caldwells then sought building permits and a special Redevelopment Liquor License to repurpose the building for WhichCraft Taproom, planning to encourage Michigan’s growing craft-beer market and support other local and Michigan businesses. The couple declared their business motto: “Drink Local. Drink Well.” Renovations to create an inviting taproom atmosphere included the Langs’ removal of multi-layered walls and ceilings, sandblasting, and floor refinishing. Interior work by the Caldwells included building the cooler, bathrooms, kitchen, managing all electrical/ plumbing, and substantial work to the subfloor and basement. Richard Caldwell created repurposed furnishings—the bar itself from a disassembled basement wall, the bar top and smaller tables from an old bowling alley lane, and the large community tables from a fallen, salvaged old-growth pine tree from the Upper Peninsula. Visitors to WhichCraft now enjoy a celebration of Michigan products and talents in a historic and artisan atmosphere. Smallplate and weekly dinner specials feature Michigan-made foods whenever possible. All beer, wine, cider, and mead served are produced in Michigan to encourage growth and development of the industries. And special events at WhichCraft feature local and statewide artists, musicians, and businesses.

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BORDEN BUILDING, MOUNT PLEASANT The 1908 Michigan Condensed Milk Factory (Borden Creamery), 320 West Broadway Street in downtown Mount Pleasant, was designed by architect William D. Kyser, superintendent of the Borden Creamery, Fairport, NY. The contractor was D.C. Babcock, who built the Fairport facility. The expansive red brick, rectangular-shaped, partial one- and two-story commercial Italianate-style building with 223 windows has a gable-style roof with eight cupolas. Early local attorney Samuel Whaley Hopkins (1845-1923) is credited for bringing the Borden business to primarily agricultural Mount Pleasant and its surrounds, when the condensed milk industry was growing rapidly. The factory, broadly supported by area residents, enabled the growth of agriculture and the processing and preserving of milk from hundreds of dairy farmers in a 10-mile radius. After the factory closed in 1960, there were over a dozen unsuccessful attempts to redevelop the property from 1965 to 2002. Ownership changed many times, and the building sat vacant for most of 40 years. In the midst of this, in April 1983, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Finally, in fall 2002, when Mount Pleasant solicited proposals from developers, J.E. Johnson Development Group of Midland presented a successful plan to purchase and rehabilitate the structure while maintaining its historic appeal. The Mount Pleasant community united to support the restoration of the Borden Building, to sell the former city hall building, and to increase personal taxes by 0.6 mills to allow the city to purchase a condominium in the Borden Building. Clean-up and construction began in August 2007, and the grand opening was held in December 2008. Today, the award-winning restored building in the city’s first historic district houses modern city offices and the regional state court administrator’s office. A portion of the building is available for lease.

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After renovation and restoration, the Borden Building represents Mount Pleasant's past in the city's first historic district (photo by Doug Julian)


Borden Creamery employees, as pictured around 1908, helped grow the dairy industry in Mount Pleasant (photo courtesy of City of Mount Pleasant)


From its opening in 1904 until post-WWII, Pere Marquette Depot, pictured circa 1920, welcomed and well-wished train travelers to and from Bay City (photo courtesy of Bay County Historical Society)


Preservation of the original Pere Marquette Depot is evident in the carefully re-created ticket window (photo by Doug Julian)

PERE MARQUETTE DEPOT, BAY CITY Pere Marquette Depot, 1000 Adams Street in downtown Bay City, was established by the Pere Railroad Company (est. 1863) in 1904, when the company was building several new passenger and freight depots. The two-story, red brick arts and craft-style building was designed by Saginaw architect William T. Cooper and constructed by local contractors Matthew Lamont and J.H. Tennant. In 1937, all Pere Marquette properties in Bay City were acquired by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company. Pere Railroad and Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad companies formally merged in 1947. By then, increased road transportation post-World War II was causing declines in rail travel. In 1951, the depot was closed, boarded up, and incurred some damage by an accidental fire. The Greyhound Bus Company then occupied the renovated and modernized building from 1953-1969. After closing, the building was vandalized, damaged, and remained unused for 38 years. In 1982, the building was placed on the

National Register of Historic Places. Several proposals to reuse the depot did not materialize, but Bay City citizens resisted eventual proposals to demolish it. Finally, in 2003, the Great Lakes Center Foundation purchased the depot, planning to restore it to house local non-profit tenants. Building restoration began in 2007, and strict guidelines were followed to ensure preservation of the building’s historic character. The former tower, canopy, and porte cochère were re-created, and door and window openings were restored, along with the two-story waiting room with a re-created ticket office. The remaining interior was designed to provide modern office and support space, an elevator, and barrier-free restrooms. Tenants moved into the space in 2008. Bay Area Community Foundation and Great Lakes Bay College and Resource Center offices now reside there, and the Waiting Room, with seating for 150 and a large catering kitchen, is available for event rentals.

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Bobby Sinclair guides a customer in The Gift Shop at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland to the perfect item

MidMichigan Medical Center volunteers donate time to raise funds for lifesaving equipment. by Mike Thompson | Photo by Doug Julian


obby Sinclair began volunteering in The Gift Shop at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland during the early 1960s when it was little more than a candy and cigarette counter. Her sister, Mary Jane Barbian, was chairwoman of the volunteer support group for the fledgling shop, so she signed up. “I was able to help Sundays,” Sinclair says, “because my husband (Thomas Sinclair, a then Dow Chemical company communications specialist who passed away in December 2014) would be home to babysit our two girls.” More than a half century later, she’s still providing help for patients’ relatives and friends in choosing from a wide array of items, anything from cards and balloons to decorations and candles, from magazines and books to clothing and jewelry. Fresh flowers always are available, too, with call-in hospital room deliveries provided. The profits of The Gift Shop are donated annually to MidMichigan Medical Center for equipment purchases. “I’ve always enjoyed my co-workers and the visitors, and the hospital appreciates the equipment that is paid for with the money we make,” Sinclair says. More than 70 volunteers work two or 40 |

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three shifts per month, allowing The Gift Shop to stay open seven days per week. Last year’s proceeds totaled $138,000, says Diana Brookens, manager of volunteer services. Those funds helped MidMichigan purchase equipment for the medical center’s operating rooms, surgery center, rehabilitation services, and cardiovascular services. Smaller gift shops also operate at MidMichigan Medical Centers in Alma, Gladwin, Clare, and Alpena. People have different reasons for volunteering, Brookens says. Some have had relatives or friends who received care and treatment, while others simply want to help MidMichigan “give back to the community.” To volunteer in The Gift Shop is similar to working in a retail store, with training provided in customer service and cash register operations. Carolyn Popp began volunteering six years ago after her daughter graduated from Midland High School. “At the time, I was an empty-nester looking for something to fill the void, and at The Gift Shop I fell in love with what I was doing,” she says. She now is chairman of The Gift Shop Service Steering Committee, a group of gift shop volunteers who do double duty by advising the

center’s board not only on shop operations but the choices of medical equipment to obtain with the proceeds. The current gift shop is new, modern, and much larger than it was previously as a result of an overall MidMichigan Medical Center—Midland expansion four years ago. Popp is excited when the volunteers conduct open houses, such as a holiday event this past November. “It’s the most festive time of the year, and we have big crowds, like a huge sidewalk sale. We bring in people from outside, customers who do not even have relatives or friends staying in the hospital at the time,” she says. “We have such highquality merchandise. I’ll be wearing something— like a sweater, maybe—and someone might give a compliment and ask where I got it. I tell them, ‘The Gift Shop,’ and their reaction is, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’” In fact, The Gift Shop received a third-place bronze award from Midland Daily News readers in a local survey category for “Best Place to Buy a Gift.” To volunteer or for more information, visit www., or call Diana Brookens at 989-839-3340.



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Great Lakes Bay Region Business Groundbreakings, Expansions, Initiatives, and Industry Awards

Contractors, a national association representing construction-related firms across the United States. Wolgast excelled in quality, employee benefits, training, and community outreach.

Saginaw Health Plan pilots program with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, Inc.

Craig Howson, Ted High, Jay Pelton, Dan Kozakiewicz, Paul Crivac, and John Bartos accept awards for Three Rivers Corporation at the ABC Greater Michigan Chapter’s Greatness & Gratitude Awards Celebration

Three Rivers Corporation wins Associated Builders and Contractors Greater Michigan Awards

A 2016 Excellence in Construction Award and a Platinum Safety & Evaluation Process Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Greater Michigan Chapter was presented to Three Rivers Corporation. The ABC Excellence in Construction Award recognizes the entire construction team working in collaboration to successfully complete a project. Three Rivers was honored for design and construction of MidMichigan Health’s Gerstacker Building in the General Contractor/Construction Management New Construction over $10 Million category.

CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region opens Arenac County Children’s Advocacy Center The Arenac County Children’s Advocacy

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Center is located at 201 South Forest Street in Standish at the Community United Methodist Church of Standish. The satellite program was made possible by a National Children’s Alliance Program Development grant, received by the CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region’s Children’s Advocacy Center, and help from the Rev. James Payne of Community United Methodist Church of Standish. The Children’s Advocacy Center team will travel to Standish regularly with a portable recording system to complete forensic interviews in a child-friendly environment and provide crisis counseling and follow-up services for victims and their families.

Wolgast Corporation receives national recognition

Wolgast Corporation of Saginaw Township received renewed status as an Accredited Quality Contractor by the Associated Builders and

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), under leadership from the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, Inc. (MiHIA), launched a pilot program this past fall on the heels of MiHIA DPP efforts in Midland, Saginaw, and Bay counties. The initiative enables Saginaw Health Plan, a nonprofit designed to provide health care coverage to the uninsured residents of Saginaw County, to offer the new DPP benefit to Health Plan members. As of August 2016, participants in the MiHIA DPP project saved an estimated $530,000 in regional health care costs, or $2,650 per resident.

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP named “Cool Place to Work”

Crain’s Detroit Business recognized Warner Norcross & Judd LLP as a “Cool Place to Work” for the firm’s commitment to work-life balance, workplace flexibility, and an excellent compensation and benefits package.

Saginaw Valley State University receives Michigan Baseball Foundation grant

A $6,420 grant from the Michigan Baseball Foundation was used to purchase sizeappropriate sports equipment for youths attending Community Youth Days clinics at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU). SVSU hosts approximately 700 students annually at free, year-round baseball, softball, football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, and track and field programs.

Our 2017 bridal issue is coming soon!

Brides-to-be will be looking to our February 2017 issue for all-things wedding. Be sure your business gets noticed! Reserve your ad space today.

Bakeries & Cakes | Bridal Boutiques | Caterers | Chapels | DJs & Entertainment | Floral Arrangements | Gifts Hair & Makeup | Hotels | Invitations & Wedding Favors | Jewelry | Limos & Party Buses | Photographers & Videographers | Travel Agents & Destinations | Tuxedo Rentals | Venues | Wedding Planners

989-891-1783 |




scheduled to open in January 2017; the second location is yet to be named.

Child and Family Services of Saginaw partners with Macy’s “Shop for a Cause”

For the second year, Child and Family Services of Saginaw participated in Macy’s “Shop for a Cause,” a charitable event dedicated to supporting fundraising efforts of nonprofits. Child and Family Services kept 100 percent of the proceeds raised.

Yeo & Yeo recognized among “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For”

Robert J. Looby, Catholic Federal Credit Union chairman of the board, Brother Francis Boylan,CSC, Holy Cross Children’s Services, executive director emeritus, Jerry Blaxton, Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan, Bridget Looby Staffileno, Catholic Federal Credit Union VP of community relations, and Alan Watson, Catholic Federal Credit Union president/CEO, represent their respective organizations working together through a Catholic Federal Credit Union donation to support the communities served by the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw

Catholic Federal Credit Union donates to Holy Cross Children’s Services

A $10,000 donation was made to Holy Cross Children’s Services through Catholic Federal Credit Union’s advised funds, established to provide funding for organizations and special projects that support the communities served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw and managed by the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan.

Underground Railroad, Inc. selected as national Advocacy Learning Center participant

The U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women chose Underground Railroad, Inc. as one of only 15 programs to participate this year in an 18-month educational course through the Advocacy Learning Center.

Go! Salads moves to new downtown Midland location

Go! Salads moved to 139 Ashman Street in Midland. The salad and soup restaurant was formerly located at 6800 Eastman Avenue, 44 |

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Suite FC3, at the food court inside of Midland Mall.

Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, Inc. and Central Michigan University Health launch CenteringPregnancy Program in Saginaw County

The CenteringPregnancy Program, designed to lead expecting mothers through a structured process resulting in fewer spontaneous preterm births and fewer newborns with low birth weight, began in the fall in Saginaw County. CMU Health will evaluate 10 aspects of birth outcomes on a quarterly basis. The grant project will conclude in July 2018.

Central Michigan University Research Corporation approves expansion throughout Great Lakes Bay Region

The board of directors of Central Michigan University Research Corporation voted in favor of establishing two new business accelerator facilities in two cities within the Great Lakes Bay Region. Bay City’s Uptown office is

Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants was named one of Metropolitan Detroit’s “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” by the Michigan Business & Professional Association (MBPA) for the fifth consecutive year. The MBPA’s annual competition recognizes organizations that display a commitment to excellence in human resources and employee enrichment.

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge celebrates Maankiki Marsh restoration project completion

The Maankiki Marsh project, funded by a $1.5 million grant via the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, included restoration of 940 acres of wetland.

Saginaw Community Foundation presents grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Great Lakes Bay Region

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Great Lakes Bay Region received a $2,380 grant from the Saginaw Community Foundation. The funding was used to purchase LEGO® educational materials for the Boys & Girls Clubs’ STEM program in Saginaw.

Fashion retailer H&M opens in Saginaw Township

Swedish-based company H&M (Hennes & Mauritz AB) offers fashion-forward apparel at affordable prices. The new store, located inside Fashion Square Mall, is approximately 22,000 square feet.


Hope close to home.

“I trust the surgeons at CMU Health.”

Saginaw resident George Servantes was diagnosed in 2015 with colon cancer that had spread to his liver. Now fully recovered after liver surgery, George credits surgical oncologist Elizabeth Paulus, M.D., and the team at the CMU Health Department of Surgery for the specialized care that led to his recovery. The surgeons of CMU Health in Saginaw offer multidisciplinary care and an unwavering commitment to quality and to the patients they serve.

Elizabeth Paulus, M.D., is a fellowshiptrained surgical oncologist who provides highly technical procedures for patients in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Talk to your primary care doctor about the benefits of working with a surgical oncologist.

Surgical oncologist Dr. Elizabeth Paulus and George Servantes, Saginaw.

CMU Health Department of Surgery • 1-877-9SURGICAL •

AMaintenance MERICA N & Cleaning Services Dirt and grime are not only unsightly, affecting the look of your entire property, but they can also cause potential health hazards if left untreated. Let us create a customized cleaning plan that fits your specific needs. • Full service commercial cleaning, including floor waxing, truck mount carpet cleaning, window cleaning, and construction/renovation cleanup • High-quality, detail-oriented work at affordable prices • 20 years of experience • Fully insured and bonded • 24-hour answering service Call 800-968-3491 for a free estimate.





Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail completes Bay City to Saginaw trail connection

The first connector for the trail system that will eventually link each county of the Great Lakes Bay Region was finished, in part due to a $280,000 Michigan Department of Natural Resources grant received by the Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail Committee. The trail begins at the Bay-Saginaw county line near West Freeland Road and runs north along a Michigan Department of Transportationowned abandoned rail line to East Hotchkiss Road.

Rebel Magnolia moves to new location in Shields

Rebel Magnolia, a vintage clothing boutique, moved from 713 Ashman Street in Midland to 7677 Gratiot Road.

The Gallery, Art for Saginaw opens in downtown Saginaw

The 5,000-square-foot The Gallery, Art for Saginaw, 107 South Washington Avenue in the historic Bancroft Building in downtown Saginaw, is one of the largest art galleries in Michigan. The non-profit organization has a threefold mission: provide space for talented Michigan artists to display and sell work, provide a space for the community to discover art, and benefit youths of Saginaw by cultivating awareness and appreciation of the arts through various education initiatives developed by the Saginaw Art Museum.

United Way of Midland County board of directors approves fundraising goal

Giving consideration to current economic conditions, campaign division trends, and funding capacity of the community, the United Way of Midland County board of directors approved a community campaign target of $4.5 million for 2016. Community-level goals were centered on education, health, and self-sufficiency.

Solarize Michigan receives recognition from Michigan Public Service Commission

The Michigan Public Service Commission showed a 20 percent growth in 2015 for the Solarize Michigan program, an initiative of the Institute for Energy Innovation for making

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solar a simpler and more affordable energy option in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Cathedral of Mary of Assumption announces plans for restoration project

A $3.5 million plan, funded by donors throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, includes renovating and updating the 115-year-old Cathedral of Mary of Assumption church at 615 Hoyt Street in Saginaw.

Unique Instruments receives grant from Michigan Business Development

Supported by a $105,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, Unique Instruments, a subsidiary of Orchid Solutions, LLC, plans to add new production lines at its Bridgeport Charter Township location. The addition is expected to generate $5 million in new investments and create 30 jobs.

Wieland Trucks Inc. invests in expansion project

Wieland Trucks Inc. completed a $1 million expansion for a two-story, 5,000-square-foot office to house its sales, administrative offices, retail parts, service, and display area at its Buena Vista Charter Township headquarters. The project included the addition of three service bays and is expected to add three to four Buena Vista jobs plus another three to four positions at other regional locations.

Morley Companies, Inc. receives contract award for opening of additional contact center

Morley Companies Inc. added a new contact center in Greenville, South Carolina, creating 130 jobs in Saginaw Township. Morley’s Saginaw Township global headquarters campus encompasses 400,000 square feet of facilities on 25 acres.

Indigo Venue opens in downtown Saginaw

A new nightclub, Indigo Venue, opened at 234 South Water Street in Saginaw at the former National Guard Armory building.

NETWORKING EVENTS Bay Area Chamber of Commerce: Eye Opener Breakfast. Held most months on a Friday, 7:30 – 9 a.m. Held at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bay City-Riverfront; 989-8934567, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce: Business after Hours. Held most months on a Thursday, 5 – 7 p.m. Members only. Bay City; 989-893-4567, Midland Area Chamber of Commerce: WakeUp! Midland. Held on the first Friday of most months. Held at Great Hall Banquet and Convention Center, Midland; 989839-9901, Midland Area Chamber of Commerce: Chamber Connection. Held most months on a Wednesday, 5 – 7 p.m. Members only. Midland; 989-839-9901, Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce: Business after Hours. Held most months on a Wednesday, 5 – 7 p.m., Mt Pleasant; 989-772-2396, Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce: Percolator Breakfast. Held the first Thursday of most months. Free for members. Held at Horizons Conference Center, Saginaw Township; 989-752-7161, www. Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce: Business after Hours. Held most months on a Thursday, 5 – 7 p.m. Free for members. Saginaw; 989-752-7161, www.saginawchamber. org Great Lakes Bay Regional Hispanic Business Association. Meets the second Monday of each month. Saginaw; 989-7531999, Want your business news included here in Great Lakes Bay Business? Email information to

We make magazines THAT CREATE STAGGERING RESULTS Newsletters | Annual reports | Case studies | Alumni and donor magazines | Web content and blog posts Commemorative editions | Custom content strategy WINTER 2013


A Thriving Bay Area


Giving Guide

Vol. 2 • Issue 1

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Information at Your Fingertips


Individuals and small businesses can access affordable health insurance p. 7








McLaren Health Plan Offers “Rewards” to Members









McLaren Bay Region invests in hybrid imaging p. 4



Opening the Door on the Future

New parents manage child wellness with Family BirthPlace App p. 3

501741_BeWell_Winter13.indd 1




Neuroscience and design converge to drive buyer behavior. p. 9

Commercial printing continues to evolve rapidly. Here are tips for moving forward successfully. p. 13

Where are communicators spending their budget? p. 15

for His Glory

A publication of the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan

pg. 7


Serving Michigan’s Bay and Arenac Counties

BACF.indd 1

11/25/13 10:03 AM

Inspiring Gifts

Philanthropy How to Tell The Feel-Good Family about 101: Charitable Power of 6 Gift Ideas Planned Giving Giving Lessons Endowment pg. 5 Begin at Home Wishes pg. 13

8/8/13 10:33 AM





Case Study

Once Upon a Time

Th e Buzz

A pontoon manufacturer floats its brand boat with an impressive dealer sales kit p. 18

Organizations use storytelling to build loyalty and drive revenue p. 12

Industry trends that your business needs to know to survive p. 20





Better ideas. A page at a time.

providing business innovations



Spreading His Love

5 ways to grab attention with special effects on print p. 2

Sister Elaine Raymond, M.S.S.p. and the Special Religious Education ministry celebrate 40-plus years p. 2

In the Business of Giving

Catholic Federal Credit Union uses donor advised funds to help people in need p. 6

A (Catholic Education) Love Story

One couple makes a lasting gift to All Saints High School with a charitable gift annuity p. 8

Top 6 Ways to Give

Find a planned giving option that’s right for you p. 9



150 YEARS An Affiliate of Covenant HealthCare


| Winter 2015



CEO Notes ........................p. 2 Hills & Dales Foundation Update.............p. 4 The Costs of Giving Back ....p. 7

p. 31

Convenient Clinic Locations........................…p. 7






The rapid rise of digital has shaken up the printing industry. p.13

A look back at the storied past and





MATH PHOBIA? Fear not. These free tools and tips can lessen your anxiety. p.10

SEEING GREEN Print and paper have a great sustainability story to tell. p.20


Community Calendar..........p. 8

V 2 Issue 1 2014 THE TOP 38 GROWING COMPANIES p. 41

After reading your custom publication that includes compelling

WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK IN BUSINESS? Look fear straight in the eye… then go for it

content, stunning visuals, and sophisticated design, prospects and

p. 22

Successful Execs Share THE BEST ONE-WORD ADVICE p. 18

A Helping Hand at Hills & Dales

clients develop an emotional connection with stories about your

Medical students learn new skills at a hometown hospital p. 5 The Pulmonary Rehab Program Improves Quality of Life p. 3

We Work Together for a Healthier Community p. 4

CMU College of Medicine students Matthew Wolf, Cassandra Vogel, Omar Khan, and Shelby Reitzel

Have Your Cataract Surgery Close to Home p. 6

Warm Up with Winter Lentil Soup p. 7

organization. They feel familiar with your business and are more inclined to donate, join, or buy—like 63% more inclined.* *Data from Roper Public Affairs Survey

For more information, call Shaynie Feinauer - 989.891.1710 P.O. Box 925, Bay City, MI 48707






MOVE Bruski named Rising Star

Adam D. Bruski, attorney in the Midland office of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, was recognized by Michigan Super Lawyers for his work in business and corporate law. The peer-reviewed Rising Stars Award acknowledges fewer than 2.5 percent of attorneys in Michigan who attain a high degree of peer recognition and personal achievement.

Rotary Club of Saginaw appoints Spranger as president

Melissa Spranger, vice president of commercial loans at Chemical Bank, became president of the Rotary Club of Saginaw for the 2016-2017 year. Spranger is from Reese.

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Yeo & Yeo hires Brown

Kelly Brown, CPA, joined Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants as a senior accountant at the firm’s Saginaw office. Brown, a member of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, brings four years of experience to the position.

Ott chosen as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for seventh time

Jeffrey A. Ott, partner in the Midland office of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, was included on the “Best Lawyers in America 2017” list. Ott received the peer-reviewed award for excellence in his work in banking

Great Lakes Bay Region Executives Hired, Promoted, and Recognized

and finance law and financial services regulation law.

Catholic Federal Credit Union promotes Petricevic

Alicia Petricevic was named member services supervisor at Catholic Federal Credit Union’s State Street location in Saginaw Township. Petricevic has been employed at the credit union for 15 years and has worked in member services, the contact center, branch operations, and the marketing department.

Smith joins Yeo & Yeo

Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants hired Stacy Smith as firm administrator in the Saginaw headquarters. Smith has a bachelor’s

degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration from Northwood University.

Turpin named president of Duperon Corporation

Mark Turpin accepted the position as president of Duperon Corporation. Prior to joining the company, Turpin was vice president and general manager of Parkson Corporation. He is a member of the board of directors and executive committee for Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association.

Powell joins ArtReach

Amy Powell was hired as executive director of ArtReach of Mid

Stevens Worldwide Van Lines 527 W. Morley Dr. Saginaw, MI 48601 877.269.1616

Adam D. Bruski, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

Melissa Spranger, Chemical Bank

Jeffrey A. Ott, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

During this holiday season, we reflect upon the good relationships we have built. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you, and hope that the holidays bring happiness and success to you and your families!

AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! T h e wa y to m ove

Alicia Petricevic, Catholic Federal Credit Union

Stacy Smith, Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants

Patricia “PJ” Kahl, Astrike Financial PLLC

USDOT 72029

The RIGHT team for Your Business! Michigan, a community arts center. Powell was formerly employed at Central Michigan University, most recently as a resource specialist.

Yonick joins McLaren Medical Spa

McLaren Bay Region welcomed David V. Yonick, MD, plastic and reconstructive surgery, to McLaren Medical Spa. Yonick is accepting new patients.

Two join Saginaw Spirit

The Saginaw Spirit, a junior ice hockey team based in Saginaw, welcomed Chris Osgood and Brandon Bordeaux to its ownership team.

New-Tech welcomes Zeigler

Matthew Zeigler became co-

owner of New-Tech, a Midlandbased manufacturer specializing in laboratory equipment. Zeigler is the son of company founders Warren and Bonnie Zeigler, who are phasing into retirement. Zeigler’s education is in architectural and construction technology; he joined the family business 17 years ago.

Astrike Financial PLLC welcomes Kahl

Patricia “PJ” Kahl joined Astrike Financial PLLC as an accounting associate. A Midland native, Kahl specializes in accounting services for small businesses and individuals. She also works as the administrator for The Menu Manager in Midland.

• Commercial Loans • Checking Accounts • Merchant Services • Commercial VISA • Online, Mobile & Text Banking

JOHN HUNTER, JR 989-799-9326






4 3

1. Sarah Suchy, Dani Munsch, Jesse Pero, and Jessica Ramirez

2. Mark Litter and Trevor Keyes 3. Neil and Magen Samyn 4. Kevin and Julie McCallum


5. Janine Ouderkirk and Kim Bruce 6. Donice Hannegan and Tom Brubaker 7. Jen Hanson, Leo Romo, Chris Lauckner, and Greg Gwaltney


8. Carol Sullivan, Robbyn Prange, and Charles Serrano



5 Midland Sabourin's Pharmacy Your Health and Family Wellness Center • Pharmacy-grade supplements and oils • No long waiting times • Speak directly to a pharmacist about • Personal, fast, and friendly service • Gifts, wine, and beer your personal health care concerns and questions 314 W Wackerly, Ste L Midland Phone: (989) 839-2402 Fax: (989) 839-2405 Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Saturday: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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We want to

share what’s

about the


you Great Lakes Bay Region with

anytime anywhere! and

Check out our new website and discover local events, restaurants, and places to go. Our easy-to-navigate website features: 

Photos of people having fun at events around the region

Monthly Arts & Entertainment Guide

Dining Guide

Links to submit magazine travel photos and story ideas

A sign-up to receive a weekly event eBlast from Great Lakes Bay

And more!

Plus, learn more about becoming an advertiser or getting your Great Lakes Bay magazine subscription today!






round 1980, two of Saginaw’s Audio Central Alarm employees—a monitor/dispatcher (front) and another dispatcher (back)—work at the new Central Alarm Monitoring Dispatch Center, a 24/7 operation. The back wall displays Potter alarm monitoring devices that receive signals from direct wire phone lines. This system was later replaced with fiber optics. Currently, internet protocol is used. Audio Central Alarm, Inc., 819 South Washington Avenue, Saginaw, is Saginaw County’s first and oldest alarm company. The company was founded by Patricia O’Brien in September 1973, near the end of the Vietnam War (1975) and at the peak of America’s second wave of feminism in the Women’s Movement. O’Brien started the business in her home with only $1,100 savings (about $5,900 in 2015), which she used for basic office equipment, supplies, and a van down payment. The security equipment was acquired on consignment. O’Brien is the first woman to hold a State of Michigan alarm security contractor’s license to operate a UL (Underwriters Approved) central dispatch alarm monitoring center. “I believe my success and longevity in the business is due first to the high regard and respect I have for my co-workers/employees, who are the backbone of the company, and secondly to my resilience or ‘never-give-up’ attitude,” says O’Brien. Members of the Audio Central Alarm staff of 25 have been employed there for an average of 18 to 25 years. Audio Central Alarm serves the entire state of Michigan, primarily the Tri-Cities. The company sells, installs, services, and monitors residential, commercial, and institutional alarms for burglary, fire, and hold-up, plus cameras, surveillance, and access systems. Photo courtesy of Pat O’Brien, Audio Central Alarm.

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The Great Lakes Bay Region Does Better with Garber. “When I came to Saginaw almost 35 years ago, I heard about the Garber family and the great work they do in this area. I have continued to work with them and have seen their involvement with the community, which has continued to impress me over the years. Great business ethic with unmatched community involvement is why I continue to do business with them. It matters where I buy my car. That’s why I buy from Garber!”

Waheed Akbar, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon GoGar

December Business 2016  
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