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p. 18

Who do you want to be in retirement?

These GLBR leaders tell us how best to recruit, hire, and retain a diverse workforce. p. 29


Specialized manufac turing leads the way in job creation. p. 37


r workplace. p. 14

Train your brain for a healthier, happie

December 2017

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is an editor and writer with an MBA from Pepperdine University who has worked for several publishing firms.


earned his BAA in journalism from Central Michigan University. He was previously managing editor for C-Suite Quarterly.

Publisher: Marisa Horak Belotti Editor in Chief: Mimi Bell Art Director: Chad Hussle Photographer: Doug Julian Contributors: Beth Bryce, Allison Dean, Jason Dean, Eric Gilbertson, Daniel Handley, Kathryn Lynch-Morin, Nancy Sajdak Manning, Terence F. Moore, Melissa Russell, Stacey Tetloff, and Mike Thompson

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


is retired from The Saginaw News, where he reported for 33 years on local topics and issues.

Advertising Sales Representative: Paul Oslund 989-891-1783

INBOX For information, 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 mimi@

OOPS! In the October 2017 issue of

(Great Lakes Bay) Business, Stacey Gannon was mistakenly listed as the executive director of the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra along with the Saginaw Art Museum and the Temple Theatre in “The Arts Mean Business.” She is executive director solely of the latter two organizations.


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Great Lakes Bay Business, Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2017 (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© 2017 at The F.P. Horak Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Wishing you a very MerryChristmas and a healthy &prosperous 2018 With the holiday season approaching, the associates at A!BM would like to take a twinkling of your time to share a few thoughts for this time of year. Let us not forget the true reason for the holiday and that peace around the world will someday become a reality. Wherever you live in the Great Lakes Bay Region, may 2018 be a year of great opportunity for you personally and professionally. We hope that you and your loved ones will celebrate the season in good health with all your wishes fulfilled. Remember the Great Lakes Bay Region is our home, too! Locally owned and operated, the associates of Absolute! Building Maintenance are proud to be a provider of our clients’ healthy work environment.

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Effectively recruit, hire, train, and retain a diverse workforce.



Specialized manufacturing leads the way for growth, innovation, and job creation in the Great Lakes Bay Region.



V4 2017

GLBRA Message

Dennis Hoeg

Clarence Sevillian


s President & CEO of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, I am often presented with opportunities to engage with various community organizations. When my friend Carol Miller asked me to join the board of the Great Lakes Bay Economic Club, it was an absolute no brainer. The Great Lakes Bay Economic Club (GLBEC) was organized in 1973 by Harrison Plum and Peter A. White. Originally founded as the Bay County Economic Club, the name was changed in 1986 to include the tri-counties of Midland, Bay, and Saginaw. In 2010, the name was changed once again to the Great Lakes Bay Economic Club to mirror the efforts of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance. The GLBEC is proud of its founding tradition of presenting to its membership and the community, speakers and programs that inform, educate, and stimulate. It is the central intent that program subjects considered should primarily be of an economic, business, or financial content. The GLBEC believes that economic issues, whether local, national, or international, affect the lives of and are of vital importance to all informed citizens. It is the purpose of the club to encourage discussion and understanding, whether the topic is educational, informative, or a matter of public debate and controversial public opinion. In January, the GLBEC will be hosting a sports panel with the Great Lakes Loons,

Congressman Dan Kildee

Saginaw Spirit, Central Michigan University, and the Great Lakes Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. The purpose is to highlight the impact of sports to the Great Lakes Bay Region economy. In February, the GLBEC will be hosting the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to discuss the state of the national economy. The Great Lakes Bay Economic Club is looking for new members and attendees! Please visit the Great Lakes Bay Economic Club website, www., and register for an upcoming luncheon. Matt Felan President & CEO Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance

Your next buisness success is waiting in the Bay.


BIZ 101



A Practical Passion A family-friendly internet café is a labor of love.



Focusing on the Present Moment Mindfulness training for executives and employees can make for a healthier, happier workplace—and even reduce costs.



Find the Leader in You When you do, your customers will notice—and like it. Your business will show results. And you’ll be yourself at your best.



Who do you want to be in retirement? For a more gentle transition, redefine yourself before that day comes.



The beneficiaries of her work are the kids who she taught and inspired to teach.



Hustling in the ‘Gig’ Economy Build your portfolio and pursue the career and lifestyle of your dreams.




Credit to the Environment Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union supports the community with a highway cleanup program.

46 48 51



2 9 52


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TODAY family


April 2017

Wh at's Ins ide:

Dishes: Your Babysitter ould 7 Things You Sh Know. p. 17 ing. to Get Kids Read




Top Story Picks Teachers Share p. 6 t-in-the-making. Meet an FBI Agen




Family Fun Activity Guide More than 147 things to do and see in the GLBR! p. 25

p. 20


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

timeless trends

and includes: 10 issues of Great Lakes Bay 4 issues of Great Lakes Bay Business 2 issues of Great Lakes Bay Family (inserted into Great Lakes Bay) Visit our website or call to subscribe: | 989.893.2083


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The Box of 64


aw Umber. Carnation Pink. Maize. Each of these is quite remarkable by itself, and each serves a purpose, albeit a solitary and limited one. But when each is placed alongside Coneflower, Goldenrod, Sepia, Brick Red, and 54 other perfect shades of honed-point crayons, there are no constraints to what can be drawn—there’s only the inspiration of boundless opportunity. This is a tribute to recalled memories of a Box of 64 Crayola Crayons (with the sharpener built in). Before smell-embedded markers and iPads that let you color with your fingertip, the iconic yellow-and-green package of 64 was the ultimate creative tool. In the “old days,” when you received your first Box of 64—usually as a significant gift for a celebration—it meant you had graduated from the pack of eight crayons in primary and secondary colors (plus black and brown) that elementary school children use. It meant you were now skilled enough to anticipate the need for the nuances that would be contributed by all 64 hues. It meant you were mature enough to know that eight crayons couldn’t do the job you needed to do. You now understood that 64—all different from one another but complementary—were essential. By bringing together employees of varying capabilities and from different backgrounds and experiences, businesses can more effectively sell to increasingly unalike consumers, expanding their market share in a global economy. In “Quashing the Quota” (page 29), company managers and employment recruiters within our region speak to the importance of building and retaining diverse workforces—and the value inherent in doing so. They emphasize how people with divergent and distinct perspectives, laboring in tandem, are essential for developing creative solutions for business problems. With Sky Blue, you can outline a puffy cloud. With Blue Gray, you can silhouette a bald eagle. With a box of 64, you can draw it all.

Mimi Bell Editor in Chief

V4 2017


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101 V4 2017

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PASSION A family-friendly internet café is a labor of love.

by Mike Thompson | photo by Doug Julian


honda Bridgewater and her family relied on rigorous research and marketing when she launched One Stop Business Center in a small storefront along Saginaw’s Court Theater block nearly four years ago. “Business strategy” was the disciplined focus. At the same time, she had a dream. Her second venture in a next-door site, Annie Mae’s Internet Café, which celebrated its first anniversary in April of this year, is rooted simply within her heart. “I’ve had a passion for cooking for many years, starting as a child,” Bridgewater explains. She grew up helping her grandmother, Nettie McKenzie, prepare such staples as fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. This led her to a young-adult professional decade in the kitchen at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth restaurant. Bridgewater would have loved to begin her small business career with her own restaurant. But her husband, Tyrone Bridgewater, and their five grown children, aimed toward a more practical first choice. With brainstorming sessions and follow-up research, they gradually learned that

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Rhonda Bridgewater

Old Town Saginaw surrounding the courthouse was lacking the types of small business services that have flourished in the suburbs. The family’s brainchild is One Stop, which offers FedEx shipping, printing and photocopying, faxing, currency transfers, computer rentals, supply sales, and more. “About half of our customers are people in business and half are residential,” says Bridgewater, a 1989 Buena Vista High School grad. Startup promotion early in 2014 included radio advertising, social media, and door-to-door distribution of handbills. “It took about a year before we could really tell that we were well-needed in this area,” she says, “and then it was smooth sailing.” After a pair of good One Stop years, the door was open during spring 2016 for Bridgewater to make her long-awaited quest into the more risky enterprise of a family-owned café. A standard internet plug-in place offers various coffee and fruit smoothie products, along with cupcakes, pastries, and soups. Annie Mae’s, in contrast, offers all of those in addition to a menu of full-scale entrée items that are not usually

consumed with personal electronics on the table. Offered are Philly steaks, chicken Caesar wraps, quesadillas, and even corned beef sandwiches. At breakfast time, Bridgewater works her waffle maker with an array of fresh-made choices. It’s all enough to make one’s laptop shut down for a spell. “Our main purpose is to offer something different for people to do, just to get away from the house for a while,” Bridgewater says. “We provide a relaxed, family-type atmosphere. And of course, the food is always delicious.” Patrons have speculated that the name is based on Little Milton’s blues tune, “Annie Mae’s Café,” but the honor goes to Bridgewater’s motherin-law, Annie Mae Bridgewater. Employment has consisted entirely of family members. A cousin, Scott Williams, now manages One Stop, allowing Bridgewater to focus on her first love: the kitchen. For hopeful entrepreneurs, Rhonda Bridgewater provides twin shares of advice. From One Stop, “Research, research, research.” And from Annie Mae’s, “Do something you love.” She adds, “You’re going to have successes and failures, but you always can learn from your mistakes. I’m a person who likes to learn.”

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THE PRESENT MOMENT Mindfulness training for executives and employees can make for a healthier, happier workplace—and even reduce costs. by Kathryn Lynch-Morin


hat are you thinking about right now? Are you angry about an accounting issue from last week or worrying about meeting a

deadline tomorrow? Stop. Take a breath, and consider an ageold solution to improved emotional and physical health: mindfulness. Most people spend a lot of their time thinking of past regrets or future fears, says Nan Spence, a registered nurse and licensed professional counselor. These thoughts—when left unchecked—can lead to anxiety, depression, and even physical illness, says Spence, a meditation and mindfulness expert with a master’s degree in theology who leads workshops and courses throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region, including at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Saginaw Valley State University. Mindfulness training teaches you to focus on your breath, quiet your mind, and live in the moment with nonjudgmental awareness, Spence

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explains, and the benefits can extend far beyond stress reduction. Studies have shown mindfulness benefits include enhanced memory, improved focus, less emotional reactivity (fewer blow-ups or breakdowns), and more mental flexibility, according to the American Psychological Association journal article “What are the benefits of mindfulness?” by Daphne M. Davis, PhD, and Jeffrey A. Hayes, PhD. Google, which has ranked No. 1 six years in a row on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, revolutionized the idea that mindfulness practices play a role in corporate success. ChadeMeng Tan started the company training program back in 2007. Now, thousands of Google employees participate every year. The program, Search Inside Yourself (SIY), is now offered to outside groups and individuals. Since 2011, 13,000 employees of Aetna, a health insurance company, have participated in SIY, and the results are hard to ignore. Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna’s chief executive officer, shared on the Aetna blog and Huffington

Post the company-wide changes Aetna experienced since incorporating SIY: reduced stress and increased productivity among employees, fewer sick days, and lower health care costs for the company. “Participants [in mindfulness training] are regaining 62 minutes per week of productivity with an approximate dollar return, in terms of productivity alone, of more than $3,000 [for the company],” Bertolini says. Spence says mindfulness creates better listeners and communicators, thus improving teamwork and decision-making. Spence suggests people should participate in classes for a more in-depth mindfulness experience, but individuals can work exercises into their busy day by taking time for deep breathing, watching short, guided mindfulness meditation videos on YouTube, or using a smartphone app like Stop, Breathe & Think. “[Through mindfulness] people aren’t so reactive, and their decision-making is improved because their minds aren’t wandering all over the place,” she says.

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When you do, your customers will notice—and like it. Your business will show results. And you’ll be yourself at your best. Great leaders…

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


t’s tough to hold on to common sense and our beliefs of what matters today, isn’t it? And it’s all too easy to get discouraged by hearing or reading the daily news. Leaders reassure people, and bring them back to what matters, especially in times of adversity. Leaders inspire. A leader is someone who has earned the right to have followers…someone you and I would follow…someone who’s a sincere communicator… someone who keeps their word and is humble. A leader is someone who doesn’t let you down, never uses criticism in public, and stirs enthusiasm and team spirit. Doesn’t respected leadership matter anymore? Even in a world of social-media bashing, negative trolls, and a lot of hot air, inspirational leadership does still matter—maybe now more than ever. After nearly 30 years of coaching and teaching leadership in my role with Dale Carnegie Training® and leading an organization, here are a few observations I’ve made.

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…are firm but respectful in their dealings with everyone. Leaders see the big view of what’s going on, rather than just seeing the forest. They take the time to climb the trees and describe the way forward. There’s little room for nit-picking, an inflated ego, and beating down the people whose support they need. …determine what really matters. And that’s their business values and promises to the marketplace. They always stand up for them. …are people builders. They don’t tell employees what’s wrong with them or what they should’ve done instead of what they did. Leaders know that such behavior doesn’t garner enthusiastic and willing cooperation from followers. They take people to a place they wouldn’t go on their own. …don’t deal in delusions. They seek facts. They review what actually happened, eliminating conjecture in their meetings. …aren’t arrogant. While they may be proud, they’re not boastful. …realize that commitment is everything. They never let people down. They do what they say they’re going to do. …are competent, inspirational speakers. They can arouse and motivate an audience. …know rudeness is not only classless, it’s ineffective. They know any fool can criticize—and most fools do.

…understand kindness is caring; it’s not a weakness. They take the time to listen and find out where people are at and what they’re going through. Everyone’s heart has been broken. People are disappointed from time to time. They know when leaders are genuinely interested in people, people are interested in them. …realize they don’t know everything. They collect facts, observe, and learn what others have to say—and then move forward. They’re not afraid to act. Leaders believe in important, big things, but they don’t project that they can do everything on their own. They’re good at engaging everyone in those big things. …like to have fun, but they’re not ridiculous. They make it a pleasure for their team to do tough work. …are bold. They have the courage to be heard, shake things up, and move things forward. They stand up, speak up, and put their hand up. They seize the moment. In good times and bad times, there are many benefits—to others, to your organization, to your customers, and to yourself—to being a great leader. Be one of those great leaders. For more ideas on improving leadership, communication, teamwork, sales, employee engagement, and organizational performance, visit, or contact Dan Handley at, or call 989-7997760 or 1-800-518-DALE.


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MOVING ON Who do you want to be in retirement? For a more gentle transition, redefine yourself before that day comes.

by Terence F. Moore

“When your horse dies, dismount.” ~ Anonymous


ome things are as sure as death and taxes. One thing to be sure of is that we will leave any job position we may have. Moving from a full-time career to retirement is perhaps the most dramatic passage one will make. Unless someone works diligently to prepare for such a move before the event occurs, it can be a very unpleasant experience. It’s probably true that people spend more time planning for their financial situation after they retire than what they really want to be

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doing after they leave their full-time career. The problem is compounded because so much of a person’s identity as perceived by others, and even themselves, may be dependent on their job position. A friend who is a dentist retired to Florida for part of the year. A waiter asked him, “What were you when you were somebody?” Therein lies the problem. Unless someone has worked to redefine themselves in retirement, they will be perceived as a “has been.” Clinging to the past only exacerbates the situation. For some, retirement is an escape. It’s an exodus from a job that was less than satisfying. Individuals who retire from this type of situation tend to have fewer problems with moving on. There’s no one set of recommendations for everyone who leaves a full-time career. That’s because people generally fall into four separate groups: 1) Those who don’t have to work, but want to work; 2) Those who don’t have to work and don’t want to work; 3) Those who have to continue working and want to work; and 4) Those who have to work and don’t want to work.

A recent poll showed that 44 percent of the respondents said they wanted to work part time after retirement. That’s up from 34 percent in 2013. Regardless of which group you may be in, it’s important to focus on the future and not the past. Your old colleagues who are still working and with whom you interacted on a daily basis are too busy to be interrupted. Use the latitude you now have to form new friendships, new ventures, and new goals. Find ways to support people less fortunate than yourself. Discover those things that bring you joy, and engage in them. The older you become, the more aware you should be that time is fleeting. It’s not to be wasted on trivial and unimportant things. Robert O’Neil, the SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden, states near the end of The Operator, his 2017 bestselling book: “But to keep growing, we all have to move to the next phase. That’s life.” Terence F. Moore is the co-editor of The Effective Health Care Executive: Guide to a Winning Management Style.


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CAROLYN WIERDA The beneficiaries of her work are the kids who she taught and inspired to teach.

by Eric Gilbertson

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” ~ Henry Adams


ome people’s accomplishments are easier to measure than others: monuments etched in concrete and glass; triumphant headlines in politics or sports; money accumulated or contributed; honors received; or celebrity earned or luckily acquired. But for many others, significant accomplishments often go unnoted. How do we measure sustained competent leadership on behalf of worthy causes, the accumulated effect of kindnesses bestowed on others, the earned gratitude for good works, and personal influence over time?

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In the end, such accomplishments might have greater impact on the lives of people and communities than those more popularly celebrated achievements. But unless and until they are spotlighted, it’s rare that they are fully appreciated. Carolyn Wierda has had a long career in education: as a teacher, leader, thinker, and mentor to others. Her work has touched the lives of countless students—many of whom might never have even heard her name—and her leadership has extended that reach through the efforts of many others who have gone on to teach and lead in their own careers. Wierda always wanted to be a teacher. “My grandmother was a teacher, and I used her supplies and played teacher when I was in elementary school,” she remembers. Wierda first came to the Great Lakes Bay Region in 1976 when she and her husband were married. “We met at Torch Lake, where both of our families had summer cottages, me from Ohio and his family from Saginaw,” she says. Wierda started her career in education as a teacher in Merrill, where she taught for

four years before being “pink slipped.” But she returned to Merrill after a year and a half as the school’s principal. She later became principal at Hemmeter Elementary School in Saginaw Township, curriculum director at Bay City Public Schools, back to Saginaw Township Public Schools as human resources director, and finally back to Bay City as associate superintendent and then a six-year stint as superintendent. Among many other initiatives, always with remarkable skill and tact, she led that district to a voterapproved $80 million bond issue to renovate and improve schools that had not seen a major upgrade in 30 years. After a 34-year career in public schools, she went to work at Saginaw Valley State University, where she has led the Gerstacker Fellowship Program for aspiring school leaders, and, more recently, became the prime mover in the Great Lakes Bay Region’s ambitious program to enthuse students about possibilities in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. And with her characteristic

grace, she deflects all the credit to others for raising awareness of STEM opportunities. Those are the black-and-white details of a career devoted to the children of the region. But the cold words on her résumé fail utterly to give color and meaning to the years she has not just

spent but has dedicated—a critical difference—to education. Obviously, the primary beneficiaries of her work were the kids—those she taught and those she inspired others to teach. Wherever she is—in the schools and the community—she is

always just “Carolyn.” Like some popstars and sports heroes, the single first name is enough, and everyone involved knows who that is. Her advice is sought after and cheerfully dispensed, and her support gives precious encouragement. Conversations among teachers and community leaders about schools and kids often begin with “Let’s see what Carolyn thinks about this” or “I’ll bet Carolyn will get behind this idea and give it energy.” Her vigor seems to percolate up from a bottomless reservoir of infectious enthusiasm. She reminisces: “I have truly loved every job I have ever had.” That joy seems to spread to those around her as well. How a leader treats others—whatever their station or status—is a hallmark of leadership and a key to its effectiveness. Patrick Tobin, a colleague of Wierda’s from Bay City Schools, says, “She saw more in me than I could ever see in myself, and pushed me to take on more than I knew I was capable of handling. Through conversation and questioning, she has the most amazing ability to get me to reflect and think clearly. She knows the correct path but always finds ways to help others realize that path rather than just telling them.” Another protégé, Matt Schmidt, superintendent of Bangor Township Schools, says, “Carolyn is an incredible persona and leader who takes an interest in everyone’s personal and professional lives. She sees the need to leave organizations better than when she arrived, and one of the ways she does this is by continuingly mentoring people and at all levels—growing our next set of leaders.” Wierda gave word—as always, without fanfare—that she is retiring at the end of 2017. But clearly her work will go on, as she can neither escape that easily, nor would she try. Her influence on others and their influence on others and others still will clearly stretch on. We wonder sometimes if it’s possible to be both tenacious and tenderhearted, focused but still flexible, competent and yet kind. And every now and then an extraordinary person comes along and answers that question for us: Yes. A teacher’s impact does, in fact, affect eternity, because what is taught and learned is repeated over and again. And those lessons can work for good or for ill. How lucky are we that so many lessons from her life and career are the right ones. Eric Gilbertson is president emeritus at Saginaw Valley State University and the proud grandfather of six children. To comment on this article, contact him at

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HUSTLING IN THE ‘GIG’ ECONOMY Build your portfolio and pursue the career and lifestyle of your dreams.

by Beth Bryce

“We are now part of the ‘hustling class,’ always looking for work, evaluating and updating our skills and value, and staying aware of potential future opportunities.” ~ Diane Mulcahy, author, The Gig Economy


oday, more than a third of Americans are working in the “Gig” Economy—a workforce that mixes together short-term jobs, contract work, and freelance assignments. Recent surveys shows nearly 70 million America workers, 43 percent of the total U.S. labor force,

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work independently to some degree. Nearly 50 million Americans do it by choice. It’s no surprise that workers freed from the constraints of office life report higher levels of satisfaction and greater productivity. For some, this lifestyle offers more freedom, flexibility, and work-life balance. For others, the work is risky as they struggle to cobble together sufficient gigs to survive and seek self-funded insurance and retirement options. Succeeding in the Gig Economy starts with a mindset of owning your own career trajectory. Next is leveraging your skills, knowledge, and network to create a portfolio of gigs. Workers who possess strong technical, management, leadership, or creative abilities are best positioned to create a working life that incorporates flexibility, autonomy, and meaning. Up for it? Start with building a portfolio of gigs. Not every gig has to pay; gigs can be volunteer positions that allow you to explore an interest, learn a skill, or pursue a passion.

There are four types of gigs

Gigs to get your foot in the door. Find a parttime gig that offers the opportunity to begin the process of meeting and collaborating with people in a new industry or sector.

Gigs to experiment. Use gigs to test opportunities. Continue to invest more time if it’s successful or move on to something else if it’s not. Gigs to learn by doing. Learn on the job, at your own pace, and in lower-risk situations to gain practice and be comfortable enough to smoothly transition to that role. Gigs to do what you really want to do. Pursue what you’ve always wanted to do to avoid the deferred life plan. The deferred life plan refers to focusing on things we “should” do, while deferring the things we really want to do. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, start hustling now, build your portfolio, and pursue the career and lifestyle of your dreams. Speaking from experience, it’s so worth it. Adapted from The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want” by Diane Mulcahy. Beth Bryce is a career strategist and transformation coach. To comment on this article, or to share your own observations, contact her by email at

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ounded in 1989, and the recipient of regional and national awards for delivering environmental consulting solutions for municipalities and businesses, AKT Peerless has been a proud corporate citizen of the Great Lakes Bay Region even long before the GLBR identity was adopted. “Although our heritage begins in Saginaw,” says AKT Peerless Principal & Co-founder Brian Eggers, “our roots extend deep into all of the communities throughout the greater region, and we value that heritage.” Initially serving the environmental needs of the refined petroleum industry, AKT Peerless has grown its depth of capability, knowledge, and experience by onboarding, training, and retaining top talent, while also expanding its service geography across the nation. Multiple AKT Peerless mergers and acquisitions have created a professional team

specializing in environmental engineering and economic development incentives packaging that focuses on remediation and redevelopments that enable its clients to succeed. “At our core, we provide full-spectrum environmental consulting and engineering services, from site investigations to remediation and compliance. However, we’ve added capability to provide developers with incentives packaging that often make redevelopments financially viable by compensating for costs associated with cleaning up legacy contamination, usually from past industrial operations,” adds Eggers. AKT Peerless’ services are specifically designed to identify, evaluate, manage, and resolve challenges and risks encountered during property acquisition, development, and especially redevelopment. A nationally recognized leader in brownfields redevelopment, AKT Peerless currently manages several USEPA Brownfields Redevelopment grants. Other areas of specialization include vapor intrusion

and mitigation, industrial hygiene, underground storage tank management, asbestos and lead assessment, and more. “Our mission is simply to exceed our client’s expectations and ensure their success,” says Eggers. “I think that’s why we still serve many of the clients we started with in the region three decades ago, and we hope that’ll be the reason we’re serving their needs after another three decades.” AKT Peerless’ fingerprints are on many transformational redevelopments across the region, including Uptown at River’s Edge in Bay City, The H Residence in Midland, and the multitude of projects along the South Washington Corridor in Saginaw— with all contributing to the regional vitality. “We’re proud that our portfolio of services helps to build sustainable communities and regions, because that’s a strategic focus for AKT Peerless,” Eggers adds. “We solve problems and deliver value on projects of any size, anywhere. Ultimately, we know we succeed because our clients and our communities succeed.”

Agent Andy Opperman gets ready for an afternoon of fall corn harvesting on his family’s farm in Vassar

Serving the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond, with offices in Frankenmuth, Vassar, Caro, Saginaw, and Ortonville 800-572-0939


s the largest independent insurance writer of farmers in Michigan, Emil Rummel Agency offers every type of coverage, from pollution, liability, and workers compensation, to umbrella, business income, and equipment breakdown. Perhaps the most significant testament to the outstanding service offered by Emil Rummel Agency is the fact that fourth-generation farmer Andy Opperman serves as one of the business’ experienced farm agents—while still working his family’s farm! Opperman grew up on his family’s dairy and crop farm. Over the years, he and his wife have grown to regard the folks at Emil Rummel Agency as family—so it made perfect sense for him to join

them as a farm insurance agent. He understands the sense of pride that comes with literally harvesting the fruits of his labor, and after witnessing various “surprises” over the years, he also understands how crucial good insurance coverage can be. Opperman says, “It’s very expensive to farm these days. With one wrong move or one bad weather event, you’re susceptible to losing a lot of money. With the proper coverage, you don’t have to worry about not being able to transition the farm to the next generation after suffering a major catastrophe.” It’s clear that Opperman has a real passion for helping his fellow farmers, especially when it comes to helping them with one of their most significant and least understood expenses. Among the many reasons Emil Rummel Agency is the top choice of local farmers is the

individual care each client receives. From a sevenstate, 15,000-acre farm to a 12-acre maple syrup farm, Emil Rummel Agency offers comprehensive coverage to fit specific and changing needs. Emil Rummel Agency President and CEO Greg Rummel explains, “Our goal is to help uncover each client’s exposure, help them see the risk, and offer a solution that works for them, all at a fair price.” Since 1950, Emil Rummel Agency has been a friend to over 600 farming families. And although the farm and insurance industries have changed since then, the need to protect assets and secure the future of the business and family legacy has not. Emil Rummel Agency has earned its reputation as the best farm insurance provider in Michigan. For specialized and individualized farm insurance coverage, Emil Rummel Agency is the only choice.

Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! is more than a spare pair of hands to post jobs and sort resumes. We are the pulse of the job market! Because of our direct interaction with our employer customers, we are: • Best equipped — with resources, knowledge, experience and manpower. • Influential — to convene employers within specific industries to tackle long-term hiring issues. • Collaborative — to partner with employers and training providers. • Connected — to a network of resources throughout the region and state. • Innovative — to adapt, respond and customize solutions.

1 a day


number of job postings we helped employers fill – that’s one every 15 minutes


people reached in a week with one of our unpaid Facebook job lead posts for Nexteer


single-company job fair held at one of our 5 service centers, giving us unmatched insight into what employers and industries need talent wise

$1.4 million competitive grants we helped 34 employees get for training

Talent expertise by the numbers

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times we helped a job seeker become a better job seeker

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number of people we funded to get the additional training they needed to meet employer demand

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usinesses of all sizes tend to thrive when fueled by a pool of employees with diverse experience, backgrounds, and ideas. This is borne out in case studies as well as company bottom lines. Historically, diversity in the workforce has referred primarily to gender, ethnicity, and race. In recent years, however, inclusion has broadened to consider age, sexual identity, and the integration of other-advantaged workers into the mainstream workforce. In conversations with a spectrum of professionals in the Great Lakes Bay Region, there is a shared sentiment that progress is being made toward parity and equal opportunity for all. The consensus among those interviewed is that change is a constant, although some legislative actions don’t always feel like a move forward for certain groups.

The passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 ushered in a new era of equality, and companies began to sanction internal employee resource groups (ERGs) to address specific issues and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce. More than a half century later, the conventional wisdom of ERGs persists, but the social climate is shifting again. In July, Deloitte became the first major company to announce that it is discontinuing ERGs, with the chief criticism being that such programs encourage fractional segmentation of the workplace population based on differences, rather than bringing employees together Whether the goal is to increase recruiting opportunities, build more productive teams, or extend market reach, having a well-rounded staff can broaden a business’ exposure to other perspectives and deepen its impact in the increasingly diverse communities it serves.

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PROGRESS THROUGH INCLUSION Greg Gwaltney sits on the board of trustees and serves as treasurer for Perceptions, a Midland-based nonprofit organization that offers education, advocacy, networking, and resources to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, as well as to other organizations in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Gwaltney suggests companies train and send their LGBT employees to recruit future employees from college LGBT student organizations. “Often, diversity is described as being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance,” Gwaltney says. Inclusion can be tricky because it involves people’s attitudes. Gwaltney says a way to affect change is for companies to create an environment in which different cultures and

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experiences are valued. For example, some companies have employee resource groups that empower and engage members to connect with diverse people within the workplace. Another way to help change attitudes is for companies to provide sponsorship programs to LGBT talent for developing networking, presentation, negotiation, or leadership skills. By having LGBT individuals in leadership roles, the image other employees may have toward the LGBT community can change while simultaneously adding another dimension to the brand of a business leader. Gay and lesbian employees are able to assimilate more easily than transgender individuals, says Gwaltney, but younger demographics are bringing more change out into the open. According to Kristin Wenzel, chief operations officer of Michigan Works!, Michigan Works! has been an ally for the transgender community in navigating sensitive areas, such as credentials, name changes, and identification, related to employment situations. “All of our programs are inclusive, and we respect the confidentiality of each individual seeking our services,” says Wenzel.


LAND OF OPPORTUNITY AND DIVERSITY Jerry Artache, a Puerto Rican native and executive vice president in sales and marketing for Merrill Technologies Group, personally experienced assimilation into American culture when he came to the U.S. mainland to attend college at the University of Michigan. Racial differences that barely registered in Puerto Rico were focused upon, even in 1985, his freshman year. “It never affected me personally, but I noticed it,” he recalls. Diversity spurs increased innovation and creativity, especially in technology, says Artache. “We have a strong commitment to diversity at Merrill. One of our six corporate values is diversification—not only in the marketplace but also in the workplace. We have systems in place to maintain and protect [diversity]…and a process designed to bring more diversity into the workplace.” The emergence of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs has been instrumental in awakening a new generation of tech workers, offering an alternative educational track for gaining employable experience. “STEM is a great way to access a diverse group of students,” says Artache. Merrill started a welding certification program to offer employment opportunities to those not pursuing a college degree.


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GLASS CEILING REFLECTIONS Women surpassed men decades ago in sheer numbers as the majority employees in industries such as health care and accounting. While parity in other areas (such as pay) may still be a work in progress, Heidi Bolger, founding principal of the Consulting Division at Rehmann, points out that corporations are “scrambling to have more female representatives on their boards of directors.”

As an industry’s gender makeup shifts over the years, it’s important to implement appropriate standards, specifically the professional ethics involved with mentors of the opposite sex, says Bolger. The Family Medical Leave Act, passed in 1993, covers much ground and ensures basic rights and protections related to the duties of motherhood. For example, Rehmann, like any large employer in compliance with current law, has lactation rooms on site. The modern workplace has evolved to include family time, says Bolger, with additional allowances made to retain valued employees. “If someone wanted to take a leave and they were a high-quality individual, we’d find a way to have them mesh back in the long term,” she says.


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CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY David Hall, branch manager at Community State Bank, says that reflecting the diversity of the community is essential for a financial institution that wants to instill a level of inclusiveness and trust. “Understanding where our customer has been, the challenges that they face, and where they are looking to go are all important aspects of assisting them in finding success,” says Hall, who is African American. “Building [a] personal relationship with a customer is the most successful way to attract business and build trust,” he adds. But that’s not always possible, in spite of best intentions. Hall recalls an incident he experienced


more than a decade ago at a previous banking institution. While filling in at a different branch other than where he usually worked, he offered to help a woman customer who was waiting to conduct a transaction. She refused his help, waiting an extra 10 minutes for the next available teller, to whom she then complained: “Why would you hire a black person to work here when there are so many white people out of work?” The incident is a reminder to Hall that while the workplace may have evolved to keep pace with societal norms, the perspectives of some within the general public hasn’t.

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ADAPTABLE TO CHANGE For the past five decades, Do-All, Inc. has provided personal, social, community, and employment supports for individuals with disabilities in Bay County. Due to changes in Medicaid guidelines, the nonprofit recently changed its model from facility-based employment to community-based training. Sue Goddard, director of business development, says the new rules determined that Do-All was operating a “sheltered workspace” by having employees complete work for clients in a separate location. As a result, the agency moved from its former home on Bay City’s Lincoln Avenue to Cat’s Meow, the thrift store that operates at 1465 Center Avenue in Bay City. While the change represents a challenge in logistics and restructuring the work model that had been effective for many years, Goddard is confident that the organization will continue to match other-advantaged workers with opportunities in the region. DoAll clients have included McDonald’s franchises, SC Johnson, Bay City Public Schools, Cops & Doughnuts, ATS Printing, Camp Fish Tales, and Delta College. Of the value of recruiting otheradvantaged workers, Goddard says, “They show up. They’re loyal, [and] they have good attendance. They want to work. And that’s what employers are looking for.”


The integration of employees with diverse perspectives and abilities into the workplace has many layers, resulting in a sum richer than its parts. While it’s our differences that make us unique, it’s our overwhelming majority of similarities that brings us together.

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Joshua Leadford

Joshua Leadford, a senior associate with Masud Labor Law, suggests best practices for employers when they are looking for the lasting success in filling their staffing needs. He advises any employer to consult with legal counsel prior to acting on any significant personnel decision, because being educated on current laws and regulations can go a long way if litigation becomes inevitable.

1. Seek out applicants from a broadbased demographic to secure qualified applicants from multiple sources, and avoid decisions based solely on an individual’s protected characteristics such as age, race, gender, or religion. 2. Have a format and structure in place where you treat applicants similarly, documenting all personnel hiring and termination interactions in writing. 3. Avoid using vague terms such as “You weren’t a fit.” Such a comment invites an accusation of discrimination. Shifting answers, vague answers, immature attitude, introverted personality, and negative perception of the current employer are some examples of characteristics that have nothing to do with discrimination. 4. Accommodations must be made for religion and physical disabilities. For instance, unless an employer can show a legitimate reason why a hijab headscarf can interfere with a person performing their job, it cannot be cited as reasoning for a personnel decision. 5. Don’t make up a reason to save a candidate’s feelings. Almost all discrimination cases hinge on whether the plaintiff can establish that an employer’s reason is false or made up. Giving a fake reason to avoid an uncomfortable situation could create more problems down the road.

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Emcor, Inc.

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orkers and companies that call the Great Lakes Bay Region home have always been makers. From car parts and ships to giant cranes, the region is no stranger to what it means to be a manufacturing powerhouse. Manufacturing is in the region’s past, present, and future and it’s not just the mass producers, the mega suppliers, turning out meticulously machined pieces, creating jobs, and boosting the economy. Niche manufacturers (smaller companies that make unique products, usually in smaller volumes) are making significant impacts across Saginaw, Midland, Bay, Isabella, and Clare counties. “The diversity of the economy in the Great Lakes Bay Region is powered by niche manufacturing,” says Matt Felan, president and chief executive officer of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance. “The region is home to such vast niche manufacturing because we have historically had a talented and productive workforce.”


Employment in Michigan’s manufacturing sector has increased by more than 175,600 jobs since 2009—an increase of 40.6 percent in eight years, according to the Michigan Manufacturers Association.

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“Because of niche manufacturing, we have thousands of jobs that pay very well in every corner of the region,” Felan says. “These jobs have a multiplier effect that allows for additional jobs in supply chain, logistics, and other related industries.” Felan is right. Job growth in manufacturing means job growth in other industries, too. For every person who’s hired in manufacturing, another four employees are hired elsewhere, according to the Michigan Manufacturers Association. Nearly 11,000 of those 175,600 jobs were created in the region, as employment in manufacturing increased to 187,571 in 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Some of those jobs were the result of niche manufacturing spin-off companies coming out of the region’s larger manufacturers, says Becky Church, president of Midland Tomorrow. “Niche manufacturers do small scale production of oneof-a-kind products,” Church says. “This allows them to focus on exact industry demands and processes that can’t be met by large manufacturers.” Fulcrum Composites Inc. was launched in 2004 by Chris Edwards with The Dow Chemical Company as a minority owner. This successful spin-off company manufactures and markets curved panels and thermoplastic composites for furniture, furniture components, and architectural panels.

Edwards says Fulcrum’s position in the market place is bolstered by Dow’s peripheral involvement. “[Fulcrum] gets the chance to do things we might not be able to do based on our size,” Edwards says, such as supplying all of the steel column covers for Dow’s new headquarters.


Prior to the recession, many companies relied heavily—or even entirely—on individual clients and industries. Trevor Keyes, president of Bay Future Inc., says these companies took the recession as a learning opportunity and have since diversified their client portfolio. “Instead of having a large percentage of assets tied to a specific company or industry, niche manufacturers looked locally and statewide to identify additional applications for their products in different markets and expand out from there,” Keyes says. “It will continue to grow as consumer buying habits change and as overseas labor and costs continue to go up.”  JoAnn Crary, president of Saginaw Future Inc., says niche manufacturing concepts permitted a number of area companies to maintain and grow during the economic downturn. Leaders at niche manufacturing companies typically face fewer barriers when

it comes to making decisions. Having smaller shops and teams provides faster and less challenging adaptation periods when industry and technological shifts occur.


In order to be successful in the future, niche manufacturers will need to look internally at their processes, products, and costs, but they will also benefit from a bit of outside help. Pat O’Brien, owner of Emcor, Inc., the Bay City-based




Emcor, Inc.

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Chris Edwards of Fulcrum Composites Inc.

manufacturer of high precision ball screws for use in auto, aeronautic, and even nuclear applications, says his company has advanced from working with outside entities. The Monitor Township Downtown Development Authority was instrumental in locating a suitable place to build the Emcor facility. Bay Future helped Emcor connect with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to secure a grant for employees to receive training at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU). O’Brien says SVSU’s excellent mechanical engineering curriculum has helped create a pool of qualified candidates. Felan says there absolutely will be growth opportunities for existing companies as well as the ability for the region to recruit new companies to the area, but growth will only happen if the region wins the talent war being waged across the country. “We must develop the STEM workforce of tomorrow through increased focus on mathematics, computer sciences, and skilled trades,” Felan says. “If we are able to produce this type of talent, we will be able to expand our niche manufacturing base in the Great Lakes Bay Region.”

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Nathan Loomis, a spokesperson for Orchid Orthopedics in Bridgeport, says his company is growing but growth has been hindered by a lack of workers. “There was a time [when] it was easier to find experienced people,” says Loomis, who has worked 17 years at Orchid, which manufactures specialized medical implants and instruments, such as dental and trauma drills. “There is a shortage of experienced people.” Rather than waiting for candidates with a checklist of skills, because those people are few and far between, Loomis says, Orchid developed its own robust training program for new hires. This formula has allowed the company to keep hiring and filling gaps. Orchid’s situation isn’t unique. Across the region and Michigan, specialized manufacturers are struggling to fill positions in welding, machining, engineering, and everything in between. Over the next decade, more than 3 million manufacturing jobs will be needed, but 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap, according to the Michigan Manufacturers Association. Jim McBride, president and chief executive officer of Middle Michigan Development

Corporation (MMDC), says niche manufacturers in his area, which covers Clare and Isabella counties, are also being held back by the skills gap. “We have some very strong companies telling us that if they could find more welders and fabricators, they would be hiring more,” McBride says. “They are being held back by the talent shortage.” Morbark, a manufacturer of custom wood chippers, grinders, sawmill equipment, and other wood processing and material handling equipment located in Winn, is one of those companies. John Foote, senior vice president of Morbark, says like many other companies, Morbark is striving to attract good people and is working to help people understand the huge variety of careers available in manufacturing. “Whatever your interests, a person can almost always find an opportunity with manufacturing,” Foote says. “Support just in getting this message out to our local youths would make a very positive impact on people’s lives and our communities.” Manufacturing is very similar to a good local sports team, Foote says. When the team does well, the whole community benefits. When a local manufacturer is thriving, the whole community benefits,

not just on game days, but every day. McBride and Katherine Methner, who serves as the Clare County director for the MMDC, say Michigan Works, Mid-Michigan Community College, Central Michigan University, and other local educational entities are doing everything they can to help fill the gaps, but it has proven difficult for two reasons: First, the bounce back after the recession was greater and quicker than most expected; and second, there is a lack of knowledge, interest, or a combination thereof by high school-age students thinking about their career prospects. As the impetus for this change, McBride points to the dismantling of many skilled trades programs when school funding shifted from a property tax-based model to a per-pupil system. The per-pupil school funding system doesn’t take in to account classes that are more expensive to run, such as skilled trades programs at county and regional ISD centers. Isabella and Gladwin counties have recently passed millage proposals to bring vocational education back to the students, McBride says. “This is helping immensely, but students getting into those programs today as freshmen still have years to go before they enter the workforce,” he says.

Fulcrum Composites Inc.

Orchid Orthopedics


If you’ve been to the newly opened Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit or the Staples Center in Los Angeles, you’ve experienced the custom seating, platforms, and staging solutions from StageRight, part of the Rodgers Group in Clare County. Delfield, in Isabella County, has likely made it possible for you to grab a bite to eat (Taco Bell, anyone?) with its custom kitchen, refrigeration, counter, and serving system solutions Chances are you’ve benefited, even if unknowingly, from the water rakes, screens, and compactors that are used in flood control, food processing, and wastewater treatment that are made at Duperon in Saginaw County. Living in the region, you’ve probably seen or been on a boat topped with the marine-grade epoxy made at Gougeon Brothers in Bay County. Are you a skier? Midland County is home to SMI Snow Makers, producers of snow machines and customizable snow-making automation software.

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Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union staff volunteers collect litter from a section of U.S.10


THE ENVIRONMENT Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union supports the community with a highway cleanup program. by Allison Dean


he three-mile stretch of U.S. 10 between Stark and Eastman roads in Midland has become a little more picturesque over the past few years, thanks to Midland-based Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union (DCECU). More than a decade ago, DCECU decided to participate in Michigan’s Adopt-a-Highway program, undertaking beautification responsibilities for the well-traveled section of highway that spans Midland’s northern perimeter. Twice annually, in September and in April, approximately 20 employees participate in the cleanup event. “Giving back to the community is part of the DCECU philosophy, and helping beautify U.S. 10 via the Adopt-a-Highway program is just one of the ways we like to do that,” says DCECU president and CEO Dennis Hanson.

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Driven to make an impact Executive assistant to the CEO Susan Phillips adds, “We wanted to do something for the community that made an impact, and we chose the Adopt-aHighway program because it benefited all of us plus everyone who drives through that area.” In addition to cleaning their adopted stretch of highway, DCECU volunteers also maintain a nearly mile-long section of the boulevard and pedestrian pathways near the credit union as part of Midland’s Adopt-a-Street program.

Branching out for the greater good In 2016 alone, DCECU supported approximately 50 local organizations and causes through fundraising donations, sponsorships, and volunteer service activities. The credit union is always on the lookout for unique ways to give back to the community that go beyond financial contributions. For example,

DCECU employees routinely participate in an internal “Pink Out” bake sale and silent auction benefiting Cancer Services of Midland, the Midland County Habitat for Humanity Women Build Week, and all-staff in-service days that incorporate a volunteer service component. In addition, DCECU donated 35 gently used, factory-reset, retired iPad® mobile digital devices to CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region, a nonprofit that offers prevention education, intervention and advocacy programs, and services for children and families in Bay and Saginaw counties. In partnership with Midland Area Community Foundation, the credit union also offers two scholarship funds that award up to 10 scholarships of $1,500 each every year. So the next time you find yourself on U.S. 10, take note of the scenery and know that DCECU and its employees are working hard to keep Midland beautiful for generations to come.

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

percent of all hospitals in the United States— examines how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management, quality and safety, and clinical integration.

Hospitals & Health Networks names Covenant HealthCare the Most Wired® Hospitals & Health Networks honored Covenant HealthCare as a 2017 Most Wired® hospital. The 2017 Most Wired® survey and benchmarking study is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. The survey of 698 participants, representing an estimated 2,158 hospitals—more than 39

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Garber Buick announces Drive Your Community Scholarship Program winners

The trauma program at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland received a three-year reverification as an Adult Level II Trauma Center from the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma and was designated as an Adult Level II Trauma Center by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Hailey Gaskell (5th grade), Vincent Villareal (5th grade), Samantha Stricker (5th grade), Ethan Rauschert (6th grade), Nolan Yockey (7th grade), Haylee Hall (8th grade), Janae Whyte (11th grade), Hannah Benemann (12th grade), Jocelynn Burtch (12th grade), and Haley Fila (12th grade) were awarded scholarships from Garber Buick for making an impact in their communities through volunteering. Each student created a short video about their volunteering experiences and what it means to them to be active in their community.

Professional Research Consultants, Inc. honors MidMichigan Health

Nexteer Steering the Future Fund supports Rauchholz Memorial Library

MidMichigan Health’s corporate division was recognized as a 5-Star Performer by national health care research leader Professional Research Consultants, Inc. for patient care, degree of people treated fairly, and total compensation package. The health system also received an Award of Distinction as a place to work. MidMichigan Health was honored with the award during the 2017 Excellence in Healthcare Conference held in Austin.

The Friends of the Rauchholz Memorial Library received a $1,850 grant from the Nexteer Steering the Future Fund, administered by the Saginaw Community Foundation. The grant will allow the library to expand the children’s area with new shelving and height-appropriate furnishings, increasing children’s accessibility to computers and books.

Yeo & Yeo participates in Young Professionals global volunteer week

Covenant FastCare is open for business inside Meijer at 3360 Tittabawassee Road in Saginaw Township. The location is staffed by Covenant nurse practitioners and a medical assistant. A report following each visit can be sent to a patient’s primary care physician. FastCare takes walk-in-patients only.

MidMichigan Medical Center– Midland Trauma Center receives Level II re-verification

Covenant HealthCare’s Frank Fear

consecutive year that Yeo & Yeo employees have participated in the annual event.

Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants joined the Young Professionals (YP) group of the Leading Edge Alliance (LEA) for its annual LEA YP Global Volunteer Days. This is the seventh

Covenant HealthCare announces new FastCare location

Shively Bros., Inc. fundraises for back-to-school Shively Bros., Inc. has initiated a Giving Back campaign to support mid-Michigan communities. The company held a Back to School Fun Fest in August at Bridgeport High School. Activities included a backpack giveaway, street fair games, prizes, food trucks with a portion of sales donated, a 50/50 raffle, and more.

Garber Chevrolet hosts Stuff the Bus event At the second annual Stuff the Bus event, hosted by Garber Chevrolet in Midland, attendees collected supplies for early childhood programs throughout the county. Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union (DCECU) and its staff donated hundreds of items to the cause. The credit union purchased and donated 25 backpacks, seven insulated lunch bags, and 56 membership-club-sized packages of nonperishable food. DCECU’s employees contributed more than 600 school supply items, including pencils, paper, glue, notebooks, erasers, crayons, markers, colored pencils, pocket folders, backpacks, and more.

Great Lakes Bay Health Centers receives award American Cancer Society presented the National Community Health Center Award to Great Lakes Bay Health Centers (GLBHC) for Innovative Work in Cancer Prevention. GLBHC is the only health center in the nation honored for its work with migrant workers to reduce the burden of cancer care. GLBHC has also offered additional navigation services, such as transportation and translation to migrant workers who use its services.

NETWORKING EVENTS Bay Area Chamber of Commerce: Business after Hours. Held most months on a Thursday, 5 – 7 p.m. Members only. December: Huntington Bank, 701 Washington Ave, Bay City; 989-893-4567, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce: Eye Opener Breakfast. Held most months on a Friday, 7:30 – 9 a.m. DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City—Riverfront, Bay City; 989-893-4567, Great Lakes Bay Regional Hispanic Business Association. Meets the second Monday of each month. Saginaw; 989-753-1999, Midland Area Chamber of Commerce: Chamber Connection. Held most months on a Wednesday, 5 – 7 p.m. Members only. Midland; 989-8399522, Midland Area Chamber of Commerce: Wake Up! Midland. Held on the first Friday of most months, 7:30 – 9 a.m. Great Hall Banquet &

Convention Center, Midland; 989-839-9522, Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce: Business over Breakfast. Held most months on a Thursday. Mt Pleasant; 989-772-2396, www. Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce: Business after Hours. Held most months on a Wednesday, 5 – 7 p.m. Mt Pleasant; 989-7722396, Saginaw Area Chamber of Commerce: Percolator Breakfast. Held the first Thursday of most months, 7:30 – 9 a.m. 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. Saginaw; 989-757-2112,

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MOVE Savage receives Bernard E. Lorimer Award MidMichigan Medical Center– Midland presented Dr. Sasha Savage with the Bernard E. Lorimer Award. The award was first given in 1978 and recognizes one employee each year who possesses the characteristics that Bernard E. Lorimer exemplified during his career as president of the Medical Center in Midland. Savage is the first physician to have received the award.

Regenbogen completed his medical degree from University College Dublin in Ireland, served as a fellow of the Department of Medicine, Divisions of Hematology and Oncology, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. From 2013-2014, Regenbogen served as an instructor for the division of hospital medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.

Regenbogen joins MidMichigan Health

Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants promotes three associates

The comprehensive cancer care team at MidMichigan Health welcomed medical oncologist and hematologist Thomas Regenbogen, MD. The team includes Jeffrey Letzer, DO, Isabelle Le, MD, and Physician Assistant Meredith Letzer, PA-C.

Mary M. Kreider, CPA, Taylor Diener, CPA, and Trisha A. Machowicz, CPA, were promoted in the Saginaw office of Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants. Kreider, who joined the firm in 2005, was named senior manager.

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Great Lakes Bay Region Executives Hired, Promoted, and Recognized

She serves in the business and management consulting group with a focus on financial reporting, tax planning, and tax preparation for nonprofit, health care, and servicebased sectors. Diener has been promoted to manager. She provides audit services for the firm’s education and nonprofit clients. She joined the firm in 2012 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwood University. Machowicz was named senior accountant. She provides audit services for the firm’s education, nonprofit, and government clients and prepares individual and trust tax returns. She joined the firm in January 2015 and holds a bachelor’s degree in professional accountancy from Saginaw Valley State University.

McDonald appointed to Michigan Early Childhood Investment Corporation Governor Rick Snyder named Kristen McDonald, Greater Midland president/CEO, to the statewide Early Childhood Investment Corporation. Created in 2005, the 15-member board is the state’s center for information and investment in early childhood to ensure Michigan’s children are safe, healthy, and eager to learn when they enter the school system. McDonald has been in her current role with Greater Midland since August 2016. Before beginning her current position, she was vice president of program and policy for The Skillman Foundation, a Detroit nonprofit organization focused on improving the lives of children.

Kim joins Mid Michigan Vascular Surgery

Dr. Sasha Savage, MidMichigan Medical Center

Becky Church, Midland Tomorrow

Thomas Regenbogen, MD, MidMichigan Health

Denise Garrett, Yeo & Yeo Medical Billing & Consulting

MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland welcomes Smith Board-certified neurosurgeon Adrian Smith, MD, joined the medical staff of MidMichigan Medical Center– Midland to help treat a variety of brain and spine conditions. Smith earned his doctor of medicine degree at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. He completed his residency training in neurosurgery at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and an internship in general surgery at University of South Alabama Hospital in Mobile.

Mitchell named Manager of the Year Scott Mitchell, executive director of the Greater Midland Tennis Center, was named 2017 Facility Manager

Kristen McDonald, Greater Midland

Adrian Smith, MD, MidMichigan Health

Ryan Kim, MD, Mid Michigan Vascular Surgery

of the Year by the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). USPTA is the world’s leading trade association of certified tennis teaching professionals and coaches. Mitchell has been in his current role with the Greater Midland Tennis Center since October 2015.

Midland Tomorrow names president and chief operating officer Becky Church has been named president and chief operating officer of Midland Tomorrow. Church joined Midland Tomorrow in 2003 and most recently held the position of vice president of Operations. Church has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwood University and is currently

Jennifer Bruzewski, Midland Business Alliance

pursuing her CEcD credential through the International Economic Development Council.

Garrett receives CPPM® credential Denise Garrett of Yeo & Yeo Medical Billing & Consulting has completed the required training to become a Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM®) through the American Academy of Professional Coders. Garrett is an account manager and has been with Yeo & Yeo since 1998. She is a certified professional coder and a certified foot and ankle surgical coder, with expertise in the coding of diagnoses, services, and procedures for physician practices.

Ryan Kim, MD will now practice at Mid Michigan Vascular Surgery with Ron Bays, MD, serving the entire mid-Michigan area’s vascular care, including the Thumb, north to Oscoda, west to Mount Pleasant, and south toward Flint. Kim recently completed fellowship training in vascular surgery at the University of Missouri. He completed his general surgery residency in Saginaw with Central Michigan University College of Medicine. He earned his medical degree at Ross University School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree in clinical laboratory science at Loma Linda University.

Bruzewski named director of marketing and communications Jennifer Bruzewski has been hired as the director of marketing and communications at the Midland Business Alliance (MBA). Bruzewski joins the MBA from Duro-Last, Inc., where she worked in marketing and sales since 2014. Bruzewski has a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University and an MBA from Central Michigan University.

Tarrant named president and CEO of Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Bay Area Chamber of Commerce selected Ryan Tarrant as the Chamber’s new president and CEO. Tarrant most recently served as chief of staff to Congressman John Moolenaar in Washington, DC. Prior to this position, Tarrant was the district director, external affairs director, and constituent relations representative for Congressman Dave Camp in Midland.

MidMichigan Physicians Group welcomes Sana Otolaryngologist Said Sana, DO, joined MidMichigan Physicians

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Group. As a board-certified otolaryngologist, Sana specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat; the associated glandular structures of the head and neck, such as the thyroid, parotid, and parathyroid; associated cancers; and sleep disorders that are treated by surgery.

Wolgast Corporation announces additions to staff Michael H. Pung has joined Wolgast’s Construction Management team as educational facilities specialist. Pung recently retired as Mount Pleasant Public Schools superintendent. New Construction Management field manager Michael Hollingshead joins Wolgast with 36 years of construction experience. Sarah Hudson has been hired at the Towne Centre office as a receptionist. Derek Rickett has joined Wolgast Corporation as a project manager. As a thirdgeneration carpenter, he has over 16 years of construction experience, including owning his own construction company in Colorado.

Garber given 2017 Lifetime Humanitarian Award Richard J. Garber, president of Garber Management Group, received the 2017 Lifetime Humanitarian Award, announced by Governor Rick Snyder. The 2017 Governor’s Service Award winners were selected for their commitment to volunteerism, service, or philanthropy. Garber is one of four to receive this distinguished award in its inaugural year.

Gray and Trew join Saginaw Art Museum Saginaw Art Museum announced Sarah Trew as associate curator and Jennifer Gray as event coordinator. Trew graduated from Indiana University in May 2015 with a master’s degree in library science. Shen then moved to London and

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earned her MA in museums, galleries, and contemporary culture from the University of Westminster. During her time in London, Trew worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Design Museum in visitor-facing and collections management roles. Gray graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. During her time at CCAD, she participated in group and solo shows both locally and nationally.

Three Rivers Corporation welcomes Moultrup Chris Moultrup joined Three Rivers Corporation as business development manager, where he will be responsible for the growth of the business in alignment with organizational goals, support business development activities, and planning, developing, and leading the sales pursuit process. Most recently, Moultrup was a director at Midland Tomorrow Innovation Center (formerly the MidMichigan Innovation Center). His responsibilities included new business development, business modeling, product and service commercialization, early stage and growth financing, and business incubation and acceleration.

The Dow Chemical Company announces leadership changes Rich Wells, currently vice president of Operations Canada and USA North and site director for Michigan Operations, was named vice president of operations for the U.S. Gulf Coast and vice president of Operations for Texas Operations. Wells has been tasked to lead efforts as the company moves toward the DowDupont merger. Dow also welcomed Reiner Roghmann as the new vice president of Dow Michigan Operations. Roghmann has been vice president of site operations for Dow Central Germany since January 2011 and vice president for EMEA Operations since January 2014.





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5. Martha, Dorothy, and Judy Zehnder 6. Pamela Monastiere and Misty Janks 7. Barbara Littles and Branden Strong



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his 1951 photo depicts the early buildings, trellises, and fencing structures at McDonald Nursery, Inc. (est. 1929), 1019 North Center Road, Saginaw Township. The business, greatly expanded in size and services since then, was started by Saginaw dentist Dr. Francis J. McDonald (18931963) in the first year of the Great Depression. McDonald’s interest in growing plants began as a hobby, and then friends began asking him if he would plant some trees and shrubs around their homes. Two of the three sons of McDonald and his wife, Mary (Fordney) (abt. 1895-1981), worked at McDonald Nursery during the 1950s. After World War II, the oldest son, Joseph F. (1919-?), helped develop the business side of the nursery. In 1956, the youngest son, Thomas W. (1929-2014), joined the business, and then became the owner/manager after Francis’s 1963 death. Thomas continued in that role until 1981, after purchasing two area auto dealerships. Thomas and his wife, Ruth (Bader), helped to improve and grow the nursery business. The couple ultimately built nine expansions to the building and added a flower shop, gift department, and Christmas department to further diversify the business. Today the McDonald business is operated by their daughter, Jody McDonald Rider. Rider says, “[Our business] has flourished for 88 years by appreciating our customers, listening to their needs, and developing a strong loyalty with them.” McDonald Nursery strives to create a shopping experience for customers by offering unusual plants, gardening supplies, patio furniture, and a gift shop featuring ladies’ apparel, chimes, candles, memorial gifts, and more. Additionally, the lawn and tree fertilization/weed and insect control division services clients with year-round programs. Photo courtesy of McDonald Nursery, Saginaw Township.

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THE REST. More Than Fun and Games Designing sleds to make them go faster may seem like fun and games, but for Dow employees Jay Tudor and Mark Mirgon, it’s their job. Jay and Mark are part of a team of Dow engineers and scientists that partner with USA Luge to make their sleds faster and more competitive. Their impact extends from professional luge tracks around the world to classrooms right here in the Great Lakes Bay Region, where they have sparked curiosity in students by volunteering their time to a classroom project where children engineered sleds of their own. While we sit back and enjoy the ride, Jay and Mark are hard at work, turning “good” into “even better.” The Human Element at Work

Michigan Operations: MiOps, YourCareer, OurCommunity

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The Great Lakes Bay Region Does Better with Garber. “I can sum up the reasons I buy my vehicles from Garber in one word and that is ‘loyalty.’ The loyalty the Garber organization and the Saginaw Spirit has shown the Saginaw County law enforcement community and the Great Lakes Bay Region has impressed me ever since I started doing business with Garber in 1993. The support and charitable donations I've witnessed over the years has been nothing short of amazing. The quality of employees at Garber is also unmatched. Whether it is my sales professional, or my service advisor, the staff has been great to work with since our relationship began. It matters where I buy my car. That’s why I buy from Garber!” Dan Kuhn Executive Board Member/Business Agent at Police Officers Associaton of Michigan

2017 December Business  
2017 December Business