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Representing the largest generation in the workforce, GLBR professionals share their views on the region. p. 30


Farmers markets attract small businesses while harvesting deeper ties with local growers. p. 38

SMILE. BE HAPPY. Try these 5 ways to hone your happiness. p. 16

June 2018


Here’s bold and audacious career advice to live your dream job. p. 20

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T o he fM S u ou si n c d


Publisher: Marisa Horak Belotti


is a Michigan-born writer, editor, and songwriter who recently returned to the Great Lakes Bay Region after two decades on the West Coast.

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

Editor in Chief: Mimi Bell Art Director: Chad Hussle Photographer: Doug Julian Contributors: Beth Bryce, Allison Dean, Jason Dean, Daniel Handley, Nancy Sajdak Manning, Terence F. Moore, Melissa Russell, and Mike Thompson Advertising Sales Representative: Paul Oslund 989-891-1783


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


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

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


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Great Lakes Bay Business, Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2018 (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© 2018 at The F.P. Horak Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Representing the largest generation in the workforce, a handful of professionals shares their views on the region’s opportunities.



Farmers markets have evolved to attract a new generation of small business while harvesting deeper ties with local growers.



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GLBRA Message

Bancroft Hotel,

Photo by Doug


The Temple Theatre, Photo by Doug Julian


iverfront Saginaw isn’t just a name or an organization, it’s also a place. And it’s the future of Saginaw! Just recently, I had the opportunity to attend the groundbreaking for Delta College’s new campus adjacent to WNEM-TV5. I also had the opportunity to tour the SVRC Marketplace construction site. The SVRC Marketplace is estimated to add 150 new jobs and bring 30 new businesses to the area. One thing is abundantly clear: Riverfront Saginaw is in the midst of a renaissance, and you are going to want to be a part of the action. Like many large urban centers, Saginaw has undergone transformations throughout its lifetime. Saginaw was once a prosperous lumber town that made way for the auto industry through much of the 20th century. In recent years, Saginaw has diversified its economy and become something more: a vibrant center of learning, entertainment, culture, and growth for the Great Lakes Bay Region. Riverfront Saginaw is officially defined as the riverfront corridor from The Dow Event Center south to the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square, and then across the river to Old Town Saginaw and north to Covenant HealthCare. At the turn of the century, Saginaw taxpayers approved a millage to keep and improve what was formerly known as the Saginaw Civic Center,

turning it into a center of world-class entertainment known, now, as The Dow Event Center. Dick Garber, with his commitment to the Great Lakes Bay Region, has built the Saginaw Spirit into one of the premier family and sporting events in the area. Just this past year, the Spirit welcomed their 2 millionth guest to The Dow Event Center. In 2015, the Central Michigan University College of Medicine opened its doors with a new educational building in Saginaw, adjacent to Covenant HealthCare. Since then, medical students have flocked to Riverfront Saginaw to live, work, and play in the community. In turn, vibrant bars and dining experiences have prospered on both sides of Riverfront Saginaw. The Eddy and Bancroft buildings have been refurbished as luxury apartments, and permanent high-end townhouses, Riverview Brownstone constructions on Hamilton Street, have recently been constructed just across the riverfront in Old Town. In addition to The Dow—and its outside event venue, Huntington Event Park—local patrons are treated to the arts at the historic Temple Theatre, Andersen Enrichment Center, the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square, Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, and a wide array of cultural and art museums. You’re invited! Be a part of Riverfront Saginaw! To learn more about Riverfront Saginaw, be sure to visit www., like their Facebook page, and follow their Twitter page. Matt Felan President & CEO Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance

Your next business success is waiting by the Bay.


BIZ 101



Opportunity Pops A gourmet popcorn enterprise begins with a $20 air machine.



A Strategic First Impression Personal branding that aligns with your career goals will give you focus and direction.



Smile. Be Happy. Try these 5 ways to hone your happiness.



Peak Performers Have a Case of Give-up-itis There’s value in sacrificing today for something better tomorrow.



Women, Find Your Inner Champion Here’s bold and audacious career advice to live your dream job.




Cash Donations, Volunteer Time, and Bartering Absolute! Building Maintenance Finds Three Ways to Contribute.




2 9 56


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DOING WHAT’S BEST - 24/7, 365. McLaren Bay Region is proud to honor our outstanding Employees of the Month from the past year! Thank you for providing exceptional care and great service to our community. MAY 2017 LIZ KITCHEN







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They’re Here to Stay


illennials have become the largest generation in the American workforce, according to a Pew Research Center study. Adults born between the early ’80s and the mid ’90s make up one in three American workers, Pew reports. Is this cause for alarm? You wouldn’t think so, but ask around in nonmillennial circles and you might learn otherwise. I did exactly that, soliciting responses only from people born in the ’70s or before: Give me a phrase that you’d use to describe millennials. “Selfish and flaky.” “So obsessed with tech gadgets that they lack social skills.” “They think they’re entitled.” “If it’s not all about them, they’re not interested.” Boy, did I ever get an earful! Like with many stereotypes, we can sometimes find an individual instance that props up a supposition. Case in point: A college journalism instructor relayed her frustration when teaching investigative reporting to a classful of millennials. She had sent them out on assignment to interview story sources. One student came back empty handed, with no story, explaining that she had emailed questions to the interview subjects, but she gave up when the sources didn’t respond to the emails. The instructor said, “An investigative reporter doesn’t email! She talks with people! Go back out there!” The student asked, “Would texting count?” It’s a chuckle-worthy yet real-life example, but it certainly isn’t representative of the six millennial professionals we interviewed for “The Millennial Force” (page 30). They’ve purposefully chosen to call the GLBR home—because they’re optimistic about its potential for business growth and development. Far from being preoccupied with themselves, when it comes to this region, they’re devoted, passionate, enthusiastic, altruistic, vested, and communityminded. (And, BTW, not a one checked their iPhone during the cover photo shoot.) So, what’s the most important thing to take away from this article and any conversations about millennials you overhear? Don’t jump to conclusions about them. They’ll quickly defy your generational prejudices.

Mimi Bell Editor in Chief

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Where to Buy Pop-Pop’s Gourmet Popcorn

OPPORTUNITY POPS A gourmet popcorn enterprise begins with a $20 air machine. by Mike Thompson | photo by Doug Julian


pportunity is not always well-lit. Carry a flashlight.” Patricia McFarland’s credo has served as a generic business plan for joining her husband, Gene McFarland, to operate Midland-based PopPop’s Gourmet Popcorn for a successful startup. Some opportunities have come shining through with serendipitous events: • Pat visited one of their five adult children’s apartment buildings and met a workman who was reloading a snack vending machine. It turned out he was a distributorship owner. When he sampled the Pop-Pop’s product, he expressed interest in marketing to regional convenience stores that also were part of his itinerary. • Gene encountered someone who just so happens to manage various 7-Eleven outlets in mid-Michigan, and a connection was made. • Pat thanked a kind retailer at Bay City’s My Secret Garden with a specialty popcorn gift. The proprietor enjoyed the treat and asked for products to sell.

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“We have simply sort of winged it,” Pat McFarland says. “We have been very fortunate.” A typical chain-store or mail-order popcorn gift tin includes coatings of butter, cheese, and caramel. The McFarlands assert that their versions of the standard trio are fresher and better-tasting, and they also offer creative varieties that include peanut butter, peppermint, apple, and raspberry. For non-sweet tooths, there are cheddar (white, blue, and smoky), ghost pepper, and white habanera. Variety? The couple donated a bulk sample for a Great Lakes Bay Region charity’s silent auction, offering a choice of toppings. The top bidder placed a special order for Pop-Pop’s to concoct a blend of white cheddar-chipotle-lime. Through their love of creativity, Gene and Pat figured out the ingredients needed to create the flavor, and now this unique “tri-brid” is a customer favorite. Gene is a 1967 graduate of West Chicago (Illinois) High School, and Patricia (nee LaDuke) is a 1971 product of Pinconning High School. Both are retired from past employment, but nowadays they work beyond full time to fill a variety of orders. They are thankful for the help of volunteers, along with four part-time employees.

Pop-Pop’s Gourmet Popcorn, 136 Ashman Circle, Midland, 989-486-9601, accepts specialty advance orders and provides guided tours. Locations that sell the product include: • Midland Center for the Arts Gift Shop, 1801 West Saint Andrews Rd, Midland • Carousel Corn, 222 S Main St, Mt. Pleasant • Bay City Market, The Pantry, 401 Center Ave, Bay City • 7-Eleven, 1915 S Euclid Ave, Bay City • My Secret Garden, 600 Saginaw St, Bay City • Marathon Fast Pax, 215 S Main St, Freeland • 7-Eleven, M-46 at M-52, Saginaw

The seeds for their popcorn idea were planted several years prior to October 2014, when they opened their storefront and production center on Midland’s Ashman Circle. A daughter requested birthday popcorn, and they started by experimenting with a $20 retail air popper. They researched recipes and contacted companies for ingredient samples. These high-quality methods established the foundation for Pop-Pop’s Gourmet Popcorn. The McFarlands are adamant about making every batch from scratch, using basic ingredients without pre-mixed bases. They started off selling at farmers markets and craft shows. Traditional small business financing has not been viable, and so they have plowed ahead with their own resources. They have gone far beyond their original family-size popper, but they continue to pop with air. They say that in comparison to using movie theater-style oil, air-popping is healthier, the shelf life is longer, and the popcorn is refreshable in a family oven. Prices begin in the $1 range for 1.5 cups, or $2.99 to $7.99 for 10 cups, depending on the flavor. Bulk orders and special event catering also are available. “We’re still trying to figure this out,” Pat says. “Something inside has always pushed us.” Her husband chimes in, “Stubbornness.”






Project Yourself on Social Media Platforms

Personal branding that aligns with your career goals will give you focus and direction. by Allison Dean


ooking to stand out from the competition but uncertain how to do so? The key is authentic personal branding. If you know and diligently maintain your brand, you’ll inevitably build momentum toward reaching your career goals. What’s your personal brand? It’s anything that you use to draw attention to yourself, your company, or the services you provide. Your personal brand can support your professional goals as well as those of the organization where you work. It’s important that your brand not only align with that of your employer but that it reflects who you are as a person.

current employment, Marsh advises that “it should transcend those boundaries.” Once you clarify your value proposition, you can effectively communicate it to your target audience via speaking at conferences, writing a book, launching a podcast, creating videos, or facilitating webinars. These tactics will help you promote yourself and your service offerings.  

Master social media

Don’t forget to communicate your personal brand in your interactions on social media platforms. But make smart decisions to determine which platform will help you reach your target demographic. Consider your objectives and the audience with whom you wish to connect. For example, LinkedIn, the popular business social network, Your value proposition “Embrace what is personal to you—your strengths, might be the best place to connect with your desired audience for delivering professional or B2B experience, interests, and gifts,” says strategy services. and branding coach Kris Marsh of Kris Marsh Making a concerted effort to establish your Consulting. “That is your value proposition.” personal brand can benefit you both in the shortMarsh often helps clients identify what differentiates them in the marketplace. While your and long-term, bringing career opportunities and success. value proposition supports your job goals in your

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Try these tips for polishing your professional image when posting. Know your platform. Have a specific purpose for posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Know which platform is the most effective and appropriate for certain types of social media postings. Public or private? Decide whether you want your Facebook profile, which might be more casual than LinkedIn, for example, to be public or private, and manage your settings to reflect that. Keep it fresh. Update your social media profiles regularly, including current employment, education level, skills learned, and projects you’ve completed. Image is everything. Use a consistent, professional image to distinguish yourself across all business networking sites. Avoid posting personal photos of yourself at bars, clubs, and the like. Sources: article/239607 and how-to-create-a-professional-brand-2059761

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BE HAPPY. Try these 5 ways to hone your happiness.

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


t’s perplexing that the United States has never ranked in the top 10 on the World Happiness Report, especially given that it’s one of the richest countries in the world. The rankings are based on data from the Gallup World Poll, which uses the Cantril Ladder metric. For this study, citizens are asked to envision a ladder. Their “best possible life” is a 10 on the highest rung and the “worst possible life” is a zero on the lowest rung. Subjects are asked where their life places on the ladder. This year in the report, the United States dropped to No. 14, down a spot from last year. Here are five ways to increase your level of happiness. Harness gratitude. Dale Carnegie’s 2nd Human Relations Principle (Give honest, sincere

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appreciation) is not only about giving thanks to those you cherish and appreciate. It also encompasses taking note of everything for which—and everyone for whom—you’re thankful. Multiple studies have shown that garnering gratitude helps stymie stress and improves a person’s state of mind. According to researchers at the University of Massachusetts, the benefits of being grateful are feeling better about your life and your job, having more enthusiasm, and being willing to help others. Avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket. Relying on a single person or set of circumstances to make you happy is a recipe for failure. Apply Carnegie’s 21st Human Relations Principle (Throw down a challenge) by tasking yourself to broaden your happiness horizons. Which activities are you most passionate about? Who would you like to get to know better? Engaging in new adventures actually creates brain chemicals that boost your level of happiness. What have you always wanted to try but never dared yourself to do? The answers will serve as inputs to your personalized prescription for happiness. Pursue it within. No one except for you can make you truly happy, even though it seems that we can derive happiness from other people and things.

As The Beatles famously proclaimed, “Money can’t buy me love.” That’s because happiness is an inside job. People who earn six figures or more aren’t guaranteed contentment. To hone happiness, focus on your passion and your relationships—instead of just your paycheck. Play. If you don’t feel very happy, it’s probably because you don’t have much fun. With so many personal and professional responsibilities, it can be difficult to find time for fun. However, fun is critical for our happiness. Carve out some time each month to play, whether that means tapping in to your creativity or participating in activities you enjoy. Yield to toxicity. Leadership coach and author Marshall Goldsmith said: “You’re only as good as your team.” You’ll probably only feel as happy as those around you, so surround yourself with positive people. Build a highly engaged team. Be a highly engaged employee. Dale Carnegie challenged us to “put enthusiasm in your work.” 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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PEAK PERFORMERS HAVE A CASE OF GIVE-UP-ITIS There’s value in sacrificing today for something better tomorrow.

by Terence F. Moore

“You are either sacrificing today for a better tomorrow, or all your tomorrows will be like today.” ~ Anonymous


ne of the qualities key to almost anyone’s success is what a friend calls giveup-itis—the willingness to make sacrifices today for a better tomorrow. It could be a financial sacrifice or the decision and commitment to earn an academic degree or an advanced degree. For example, most physicians have invested four grueling years after college to obtain a medical degree, in addition to taking out

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an average of $250,000 in student loans. Then, before beginning to practice, they have completed another three to six years of residency in a chosen medical specialty. They clearly understand the meaning of sacrificing today for a better tomorrow. Give-up-itis is another way of naming the willingness a person has to give up some of the many things they’d like to enjoy for immediate pleasure, so as to gain a greater reward at a later time. It’s a trait of peak performers. These people have learned to say no. Winners say no to distractions; losers have difficulty saying no. Losers often end up saying yes to everyone else’s wishes, wants, and whims. Daniel Goleman, in his bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence, describes the marshmallow test that was given to 4-year-olds. The children were offered the choice of eating one marshmallow at that time, or two marshmallows if they would wait for the person conducting the study to run a short errand (15 to 20 minutes max). Although they struggled during the interval, approximately two-thirds of the kids were able to wait to receive the two marshmallows until the test conductor returned. However, more than one-third of the kids grabbed the one

marshmallow within seconds of the examiner leaving the room. Twelve to 14 years later, when researchers tracked down these same children—who were now adolescents—the emotional and social differences between the “grab-the-marshmallow” preschoolers and their gratification-delaying peers were dramatic. Those who had resisted temptation at 4 years old were now, as adolescents, more socially competent, personally effective, self-assertive, and better able to cope with frustrations in life. They were less likely to go to pieces, freeze, regress under stress, or become rattled and disorganized when pressured. They embraced challenges, and even pursued them instead of giving up in the face of difficulties. They were self-reliant, confident, trustworthy, and dependable. What sacrifices are you making today for a better tomorrow? Are you investing your time for a delayed reward, or just spending and passing the time? Terence F. Moore is the co-editor of The Effective Health Care Executive: Guide to a Winning Management Style and author of Lessons in Leadership and Career Survival.


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WOMEN, FIND YOUR INNER CHAMPION Here’s bold and audacious career advice to live your dream job.

by Beth Bryce

“We are each responsible for our own life. If you’re holding anyone else accountable for your happiness, you’re wasting your time.” ~ Oprah Winfrey


omen are being empowered to find their voice and take personal responsibility. Following the headlines on women’s rights and marches, #MeToo, and Oprah’s riveting speech at the 2018 Golden Globes (where she declared: “A new day is on the horizon”), I’m wondering if we will choke on missed opportunity. We each have a responsibility to be living our best lives, unencumbered by limitations set by others and ourselves. How are you creating a personal life revolution? Ten years ago I started my master’s thesis on the differences in gender leadership to prove

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women make better leaders. My results were surprising. With different skills from one another, women and men are equally successful leaders. However, men are perceived as superior leaders by both genders. Ouch. Little has changed from my thesis recommendations that encouraged women to take personal responsibility for their career advancement. In ten years of coaching professional women, I’ve witnessed their struggles—regardless of their backgrounds and education. The top things that block women from advancing are a lack of selfworth, self-promotion, and personal leadership.

they know you should be nominated for employee of the year. Chances are they haven’t seen you in weeks. Start by having a courageous conversation, during which you ask for regular 1:1 monthly meetings. Courageous conversations are politically correct right now.

Personal leadership: It’s not enough to take action; women must be strategic. I often hear, “I’m too busy.” While you’re busy taking care of everyone but you, your competition is mining for opportunities, networking with successful people, building teams, and becoming visible. Men do Self-worth: Settling for a mediocre career or not this exceptionally well. Don’t wait for someone to getting paid fairly is directly tied to your self-worth miraculously hand you a new job or promotion; and lack of confidence. Women are eight times it’s all on you. less likely to ask for more money than men. Salary negotiation, annual reviews, and promotions • • • are opportunities to ask. Did you know that management’s perception of a woman who doesn’t Yes, a new day is dawning. Will you seize ask for more is that she’s not leadership material this historical moment and fight for your career or intelligent? Ouch. Do market research, take a success, or sit on the sidelines? Will you let another negotiation class, or phone a friend. Practice in day pass you by and wonder why you don’t have the mirror and repeat after me: “I am worthy.” the career of your dreams, aren’t being treated fairly, or getting paid your worth? As the media Self-promotion: Women work hard. However, frequently touts, 2018 is the Year of the Woman! we make the mistake by assuming that hard work You officially have permission to find your inner equals recognition and reward. You get angry champion. after an abysmal increase or being passed over for a promotion. You must learn how to discuss Beth Bryce is director of career advancement at your awesomeness, stellar contributions, and your Northwood University. Contact Beth at bethk@ expectations. Your boss is busy. You can’t assume

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The LeRoy/Bartnikowski Group prepares to meet with a client to begin the Wells Fargo Advisors’ Envision process

The LeRoy/Bartnikowski Group of Wells Fargo Advisors 4300 Fashion Square Blvd, Ste 201| Saginaw Township 1-844-436-8183 |


hen people walk into Wells Fargo Advisors in Saginaw Township to meet with The LeRoy/ Bartnikowski Group, they receive more than highly qualified financial guidance. They also find friends and lifelong confidantes. Lee LeRoy and Sarah Bartnikowski opened the office on Fashion Square Boulevard four years ago with their professional assistant Haley Cottrell. The team had worked together for over a decade at previous firms, and they project a unified harmony that they hope clients find comforting in uncertain

times. It’s a long-standing partnership rooted in a deep commitment to helping clients achieve their retirement goals and post-retirement aspirations. This commitment is accompanied by a sincere and in-depth discovery period that allows The LeRoy/ Bartnikowski Group to tailor a plan that is customfit to the individual or business. They believe clients appreciate their personal approach to business. Lee LeRoy and Sarah Bartnikowski do not engage in high-profile ad or promotion campaigns. More than 90 percent of their clients reach them from a personal acquaintance, or

from a trusted friend or family member’s referral. The team’s participation in hometown philanthropy and hands-on community service for the Great Lakes Bay Region’s greater good encourages trust and loyalty. They offer this same dedication in assisting their neighbors with treasured family finances. Investors come to The LeRoy/Bartnikowski Group from all walks of life. Although their prime focus is in retirement planning, this process doesn’t start and end at a specific time for everyone. Clients are invited to play an active role in the planning process. In addition to retirement planning, the team

Investment and Insurance products: NOT FDIC-Insured/NO Bank Guarantee/May Loose Value Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company

Lee LeRoy, Branch Manager, Senior Vice President - Investments

Sarah Bartnikowski, Financial Consultant, Vice President - Investments

Haley Cottrell, Senior Registered Client Associate


also offers services that include asset allocation, cash flow analysis, investment recommendations, and professional account management for individuals as well as institutional investors. The first step in the journey of retirement planning is the Wells Fargo Advisors’ Envision® process, a living “dynamic plan” that is vital in an ever-changing economy. Lee LeRoy and Sarah Bartnikowski enjoy this initial phase. This discovery phase allows the advisors to get to know the clients personally. These valuable conversations also allow the advisors to collect a wealth of knowledge from the individual investor, which sets them on a track to a carefully considered retirement plan that is tailored by such factors as risk tolerance and future cash-flow needs.

If it is not retirement planning you seek, but that of complete portfolio management balancing risk and reward, there are many investment paths to explore. Lee LeRoy and Sarah Bartnikowski would like the opportunity to help you pursue your specific financial goals and objectives. They possess extensive investment experience that has assisted them in a variety of market climates—as well as outstanding technology. They believe all investors deserve this experience, and they are pleased to provide it. The LeRoy/Bartnikowski Group of Wells Fargo Advisors welcomes you to sit down with them at their office at 4300 Fashion Square Blvd, Ste 201 in Saginaw Township, by scheduling your visit with Haley Cottrell at 1-844-436-8183.

• Branch Manager, Senior Vice PresidentInvestments • 22 years of experience in the financial services industry • U.S. Army Veteran • Doctorate Degree, Lawrence Technological University

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Huntington National Bank community president David D. Green, posing by the Nickless Family Community Pavilion at Wenonah Park in downtown Bay City during the construction phase earlier this year, helped oversee that project in his role as Downtown Development Authority chairman.

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avid D. Green is the newly promoted Great Lakes Bay Region community president for The Huntington National Bank. His personal history demonstrates how Huntington Bank maintains community links and leadership. Elders, and even some middle-agers, will recall when Second National Bank was an icon in our region. Second National merged two decades ago with Citizens Bank, which then became First Merit Bank, and now is Huntington. Green, a product of the Thumb area, started at Second National back when Second National was simply Second National. He explains that Huntington Bank’s Great Lakes Bay Region anchor continues to offer local, family-based customer services—but now with stronger, bigger-bank resources. Huntington Bank was founded in 1866 in Columbus, Ohio, and today reaches eight Midwest

states. Ohio remains the mainstay, but Michigan has the next-highest number of locations: over 300. Whether a customer seeks a home mortgage or retirement savings, Huntington is there. Green graduated from Caro High School, and first took an interest in banking as a youthful Eagle Scout, achieving a Finance Merit Badge. He pursued his studies during the 1970s at what then was Saginaw Valley College, as the first member of his family with the privilege and the opportunity to enter into higher education. He was employed at Farm Credit Services, serving the Thumb region, an agency to which he devoted the first 15 years of his professional career. He recalls an early highlight of assisting a family near his hometown with gaining ownership of an 80-acre farm. When Green joined Second National in 1991, he rose through the executive ranks, displaying a passion for community involvement. He began his volunteer service with Bay City Downtown

Development Authority, for which he has served as chairman for the past dozen years and counting. Leadership roles followed with Bay County Economic Development Board and Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. His added service includes Bay Future, a community development umbrella group, Saginaw Future, and Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance. Green has served as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, now Saginaw Valley State University. What does all of his community involvement and board service have to do with everyday lives for everyday people? Green points to one of many examples: Visitors to Bay City’s historic Wenonah Park, for a special event or simply for some summer sun, this year will enjoy a $2 million update that includes a new pavilion. “I love this community, and I love Huntington Bank,” Green says. “I can’t see life being any better, anywhere else.”

A Word From SPACE, Inc.



Midland Tomorrow Innovation Center in Midland

A sustainable and cost-effective alternative for your workspace renovation.


he way people work today has changed, and their workspace should change, too. However, this can be costly and place tons of perfectly good office furniture into a landfill. To avoid these issues, a senior interior designer at SPACE, Jessie Donahue, developed a new way to reinvent office interiors by upcycling existing furniture assets. The process is named “SPACE anew.” SPACE anew is a highly innovative and cost-effective process that reinvents your current office interiors by reutilizing and upcycling your existing furniture assets. Upcycling is not refurbishing or recycling. It takes what you currently have to a whole new level by “reimagining” your workspace to reflect your company’s culture and vision. In addition, the interior

designer looks at four key areas that affect talent attraction and worker productivity: comfort, collaboration, privacy, and flexibility. The designer integrates all of this information and incorporates it into the creation of a beautiful and functional workplace. Instead of purchasing new office furniture, existing inventory is used. The results are amazing! The SPACE anew process keeps 100 percent of the existing office furniture inventory out of the landfill, and the cost will be between 30 - 40 percent less than the expense for new furniture. However, the benefits go far beyond price. SPACE anew clients have noticed an improved balance between collaborative areas and individual workstations; better space utilization; and most of all, a fresh, new, and beautifully designed workplace that improves morale and productivity.

Program Support Center in Bethesda, MD



3142 Vantage Point Dr | Midland 48642 989-835-5151 |

• •


“What a fabulous experience it was to work with SPACE on the Midland Tomorrow Innovation Center! The team members at SPACE were true professionals and a pleasure to work with. The interior designer transformed our space using upcycled furniture and the SPACE anew process. I would highly recommend SPACE for any project and encourage you to consider the various programs they have to offer your organization.”

Boosts creative “energy” and worker morale Fits more people in the workspace comfortably and productively Enables greater collaboration and teamwork Increases worker access to daylight and views Reduces costs while upgrading interiors Eliminates landfill use and waste Increases worker recruitment and retention, especially among millennials


The staff of the award-winning Diamond Solutions, including co-owners Parker and Hope Perrien (center)

PO Box 2123 | Midland | 989-331-0021 |


iamond Solutions was recognized at this year’s Michigan Celebrates Small Business as the Best Small Business Honoree for the Great Lakes Bay Region of the Michigan Small Business Development

Center (SBDC). Michigan Celebrates Small Business is the state’s premier awards program celebrating small business excellence and honoring advocates of the small business community. Diamond Solutions is one of only 11 companies chosen from over 5,800 small businesses that worked with the Michigan SBDC in 2017. These companies were selected based on their success in creating jobs, increasing sales, improving their business strategy, and demonstrating their level of involvement with the Michigan SBDC.

Co-owners Parker and Hope Perrien purchased Diamond Solutions (formerly Diamond Asphalt) in July 2014 from Parker’s father, who had started the company in 2008. At the time of purchase, the small asphalt repair company had seven employees, served central Michigan, and yearly sales of $200,000. When the couple decided to purchase the business in early 2014, they reached out to the Michigan SBDC for support. Having been actively involved with the business since he was in high school, Parker knew how to do the work but had limited experience at managing a business. He also had no knowledge of the ins and outs of obtaining a business loan to purchase an existing business. Over the course of the next three years, the couple received no-cost, hands-on consulting services from several SBDC business consultants. These services included building a business plan,

preparing the necessary reports and documents for the loan application, obtaining market research, and developing new marketing strategies and a strategic needs assessment, and more. With the support of the Michigan SBDC, the couple closed on a six-figure Small Business Administration (SBA) loan to purchase the business, transforming the company into a fullservice parking lot maintenance company that now has 55 employees, sales in excess of $4 million, and a presence in 12 states. “I’m confident that it was through the support of the Michigan SBDC that we were able to obtain the business loan,” says Parker. “They were instrumental in providing me with the resources and tools to not only purchase the business but to scale growth and expansion as well.”


Dan Timmins

Community Bank President

Cheryl Gaudard Commercial Lender

Jason VanWormer Treasury Sales Officer

Tom Sullivan II Senior Credit Analyst

Nick Bellestri Commercial Lender

Mercantile Bank was started by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. We focus on what makes us one of the regions best partners - our customers and their success.

Joy O’Neill Commercial Lender

Brad Wahr Commercial Lender


Building Trust

A 125 year Legacy by Herbert A. Spence III, President and CEO, Spence Brothers


y great grandfather and his brother started a construction company named “Hugh Spence & Brother” (my great grandfather was “Brother”) to help rebuild the community after Saginaw’s Great Fire of 1893, which destroyed most of the city’s east side. Their business and reputation, based on the trust they earned, grew dramatically as they built homes, churches and other buildings, some which still stand today throughout mid-Michigan. They Hugh renamed the company Spence Spence Brothers in 1910, and it continued to flourish and Matthew expand throughout Spence Michigan.

Surviving & Thriving The Great Depression arrived shortly after my grandfather’s generation began taking over the business, which required them to travel across the country to keep the company alive by constructing government buildings and post offices. Their hard work and sacrifices made it possible for their and my father’s generation to enjoy amazing growth during Michigan’s economic boom the next few decades. They built facilities throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region, including foundries for General Motors and research facilities for Dow. They built hospitals and higher education facilities across the state, including dozens of buildings for the University of Michigan. Because of their growing expertise in concrete structures, they also built water and wastewater treatment facilities.

Changing Needs, but Same Values When I started working, as the first member of the fourth generation in 1980, I put my engineering degrees to work, literally shoveling “you know what” at one of those wastewater plants we were renovating. Yes, we all started at the bottom to learn the business and earn the respect and trust of our co-workers. The industry was changing during that time, with some clients wanting more services than the tradition low-bid General Contracting method. Therefore, Spence Brothers developed our Construction Management services to help customers get the most for their investments during design and construction. This serves our mutual interest of achieving better project outcomes for all involved. Many of the major projects we have built in this area


Original construction of the Saginaw News Building by Spence Brothers in 1958.

over the past few decades have been done as a Construction Manager, including many projects for SVSU, Delta College, and Covenant Healthcare. Although our services have expanded, our current dedicated team still strives to uphold the same values of Safety, Integrity, Mentoring, People, Legacy and Excellence, that have helped Spence Brothers build trust and important facilities for 125 years. Helping our Community Thrive Making our community a better place has always been part of our mission, through building important facilities and by providing talent, treasure and leadership for important community organizations. My father, Herb Spence Jr., certainly exemplified that with his leadership at Habitat for many years, and has been a great inspiration to others who have followed his example.

New Home in Riverfront Saginaw We added offices in Ann Arbor and Traverse City about twenty years ago to better serve customers in southeast and northern Michigan. However, our company headquarters has always been in Saginaw, including the last 70 years at 417 McCoskry Street. Since we have definitely outgrown that facility, we are very excited to be moving into new offices on the third floor of the new SVRC Marketplace. The Marketplace will not only be a great place to work, it is another exciting addition to Riverfront Saginaw, which is truly being transformed and re-energized. Explore it and see our new home at the Saginaw Chamber’s Business After Hours on July 12th! Strong Roots, Strong Future Just like our community, our company’s current growth and success was made possible by the generations of great people who came before us. We are thankful for the organizations who are currently investing in new facilities throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region. We certainly appreciate so many who are letting Spence Brothers help them, allowing us to fulfill our mission “to build trust and important facilities with great people and organizations, driven to help each other and our communities thrive.” Our community is beginning to thrive, once again, and the future looks even brighter.

Current projects across the Great Lakes Bay Region include, Clockwise from Top Left, The Legacy in Bay City, Delta College Saginaw Center, Frankenmuth Uptown North Main, Saginaw County Adult Detention Center, Dow Innovation Center and Laboratory, Covenant Hybrid OR, Saganing Eagles Hotel and Casino, and the Midland County Courthouse Renovation.










The Millennial Force


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hen it comes to work expectations and the ideal job, millennial values and opinions can be rather, well, confusing. Millennials, sometimes referred to as Generation Y, have a desire to be engaged at work, but they also desire to leave work at work and don’t want to respond to emails or answer calls after hours. And, while millennials (like every other generation) want good pay and benefits, most don’t plan on staying in any one job very long. Compensation is important, but they almost equally value corporate responsibility—social and otherwise— and they really want to like their jobs. One thing is certain, though, millennials, born between 1980 to about 1996, are a growing dominance in workplaces across the United States. By 2025, according to research from The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy agency, they will make up as much as 75 percent of the country’s labor force. If a company can’t attract or retain millennials, it could lead to unfilled roles, unmet potential, and, worst of all, wasted money. It’s estimated that millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually, according to the Gallup study “How Millennials Want to Work and Live.” Michigan and the Great Lakes Bay Region are struggling to attract and retain millennials, who are more diverse and educated than young adults were prior to 1981. While the number of millennials continues to increase in the United States, their presence in Michigan is on the decline. Since 1980, the number of people ages 18 to 34 living in Michigan has declined from 30 percent of the state’s population to just 22 percent. The median age of residents in Bay, Saginaw, and Midland counties hovers between 40 and 43. Isabella County skews younger, with a median age of 27. The percentage of college graduates ranges from 21.4 percent in Bay County and 24.6 percent in Saginaw County to 31 percent in Isabella County and 33.9 percent in Midland County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The whole story isn’t told through data, though, and millennials in the Great Lakes Bay Region are confident and optimistic about the professional and playtime prospects they’re finding in Saginaw, Bay, Midland, and Isabella counties.

I’m excited about…the enhancements to and redevelopment of Midland’s Main Street.

Kristen Wuerfel

EMBRACE YOUR HOMETOWN Kristen Wuerfel is the quintessential Great Lakes Bay Region millennial. Wuerfel, marketing and communications director for Midland Center for the Arts, was raised in Bay County and graduated from Saginaw Township’s Valley Lutheran High School—where she met and started dating her now-husband, Adam—and eventually attended Northwood University in Midland County. She lived at home while attending college, interned at Midland Community Center, and served on the executive board for the Northwood Auto Show. Wuerfel also worked for Garber Management Group and Serv-A-

Pure, a family-owned company her grandfather started in 1946. “The region is what you make of it,” she says. While the regional economy has its own challenges, especially as uncertainty clouds some of the largest employers in the area, seeing other millennials take on management and community leadership roles is proof the generation wants to see this region thrive, Wuerfel says. “I’m optimistic when I see people my age putting a stake in the ground,” she says. “I’ve seen some millennials really take hold and infuse their communities with new opportunities.”

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I’m excited for… the opening of Saginaw’s SVRC Marketplace in downtown.

Gabriella Hoffman BE PART OF THE CHANGE Like Wuerfel, Gabriella Hoffman was born and raised in the Great Lakes Bay Region, growing up in Saginaw County and later attending Central Michigan University. But, unlike Wuerfel, Hoffman moved to Chicago about two weeks after her college graduation. While in Chicago, Hoffman started to feel a twinge for her hometown. “I saw the true potential of Saginaw and what great economic advances were taking place, and I wanted to be a part of it,” Hoffman says. A year later, she made her way back to Saginaw, where she had landed a position as program coordinator for Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce. “I’m right in the heart of downtown. I, too, believe in the growth and potential,” she says. Hoffman says her position at Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce allows her to

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see business growth and meet with business professionals who share her belief in the potential of the region on a regular basis. Construction of The Saginaw News building, which will house the SVRC Marketplace—a mixed-use facility slated to include a year-round indoor farmers market, office space, and quaint shops—is just one example, Hoffman says, of the visible regional effort to appeal to millennials. “I’m able to see, firsthand [through my employer], the regional efforts taking place, while I share resources, strategic goals, and long-term planning,” Hoffman says. “I think the Great Lakes Bay Region is thriving on these regional efforts and the shared visions of so many in the Saginaw, Bay, Midland, and Mount Pleasant communities.”

I’m excited for… Delta College’s soon-to-be satellite campus in downtown Saginaw.

FEATURE RECRUIT FOR ENTHUSIASM After high school, Saginaw native Iesha Copeland headed for Detroit to attend Wayne State University. But, as appealing as the big city was, Copeland made her way back to Saginaw. “There was so much revitalization happening in other parts of the state, and I wanted to contribute to what was happening in my hometown,” says Copeland, an intake business consultant at Michigan Small Business Development Center.

And she stuck around, too, choosing to attend Saginaw Valley State University to earn her master’s degree. “It was a great decision,” she says. Copeland says the region is doing a great job attracting millennials because of all the new professional and social opportunities, but she suggests businesses focus their efforts on recruiting millennials—not just those with strong experience, but also those who have drive, enthusiasm, and passion. She notes that in the end, those are the qualities that will enhance the entire region. “Community organizations and employers should seek out ways to invest in the development of young professionals, engaging their ideas for improving our communities and workplaces,” Copeland says.

Jeff Wood


Iesha Copeland

I’m excited about… Saginaw’s development along the Saginaw River.

The Great Lakes Bay Region offers millennials many opportunities for work and for fun, says Jeff Wood, a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., but he admits there’s still work to be done. “While the region is certainly still off its high from [before] the downturn of the automobile industry, I’m optimistic about the resurgence it is experiencing,” Wood says. He points to investments by some of the region’s larger employers and universities, as well as new business developments, as positive signs and as big draws for millennials. “I love the entrepreneurial mindset that it takes to be successful, and we need to continue to attract those individuals that will take a chance at creating something to build a more fruitful region,” Wood says. “I think the region needs to do more to attract and retain millennials, but some of that might just be educating millennials on what the region has to offer.”

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LOOK FORWARD The region is proactive— and effective—at attracting and retaining millennials, says Ali Smith, a real estate agent with Bay City’s Ayre Rhinehart Bay Realtors. But, like Wood, Smith says there’s always room for progress. “I believe that the business climate is heating up and beginning to create more opportunities than we’ve had in the past, and with much more to come,” says Smith.

I’m excited about…Bay City’s Uptown and its mix of corporate headquarters, restaurants, and stores.

Ali Smith

REPLICATE THIS While he may be a bit biased, Adam Markstrom sees Bay City setting the standard for attracting millennials—though he’d rather not use that term. The Uptown development. The addition of downtown lofts, shops, and restaurants. Other big-city-like developments. These are all big draws for his generation, Markstrom says, about the resurgence of downtown Bay City. Now, similar projects are taking place across the Great Lakes Bay Region. “Millennials are more attracted to cities that have a diverse culture and a multitude of experiences they can enjoy,” says Markstrom,

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a decision support specialist at McLaren Bay Region. But it’s not just about giving millennials opportunities, he says. It’s about giving them a seat at the table, and Bay City is setting the example in that realm, too. “As baby boomers continue to work later into life than the generations before them, that has prohibited the availability of positions to millennials,” Markstrom says. “Recently, the average age of the Bay City Commission dropped by nearly 15 years into a millennial demographic. I see that as people [moving from] ‘this is how we’ve always done it’ to ‘we need new, young, and fresh ideas.’”

Adam Markstrom



Meeting the needs—and wants—of the millennial workforce is good for business. Why? It’s estimated that millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually. Here are some of the things millennials are looking for in a workplace. • They want regular, productive coaching sessions—not micromanagers or quarterly reviews. According to the Gallup report “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” millennial workers are more engaged than non-millennials when their managers provide frequent and consistent communication and feedback. • In a survey by the Harvard Business Review that asked what people look for when applying for a job, millennials ranked the opportunity to learn and grow as “extremely important,” more than Gen Xers and baby boomers. Rounding out the top three on the “extremely important” list: the quality of the manager and quality of management. • Work-life balance is very important to the millennial generation. Other generations want this, too, but millennials are acutely aware that their parents pushed the pursuit for balance and freedom to the backburner in exchange for more money or a better position.

I’m excited for… the Midland groundbreaking of the McLaren Bay Region Office Building.

• Millennials will take less money for more interesting and fulfilling work. A study from the Intelligence Group found 64 percent of millennials said they would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring. • Social and environmental responsibility is important to millennials when they’re shopping for a workplace. Millennials want to work for organizations that have values that align with their own.

Helping you achieve your goals has always been ours Congratulations to Ryan D. Iles for being recognized on the 2017 Forbes “America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors” list. Ryan was ranked 234 of 500 nationally and 10th in the state of Michigan.

The Iles Schropp Group Ryan D. Iles, CFP®, CIMA® Senior Vice President Senior Financial Advisor 989.791.8483 • 888.835.3192 Merrill Lynch 4805 Towne Centre Suite 200 Saginaw, MI 48604

Source: Forbes/SHOOK “America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors” list was developed by SHOOK Research. Advisors considered for this ranking were born in 1980 or later with a minimum 4 years relevant experience; advisors have: built their own practices and lead their teams; joined teams and are viewed as future leadership; or a combination of both. Ranking algorithm is based on qualitative measures: telephone and in-person interviews, client retention, industry experience, credentials, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, such as: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criteria because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOKResearch, LLC, which does not receive compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on a ranking. The ranking or ratings shown here may not be representative of all client experiences because they reflect an average or sampling of the client experiences. These rankings or ratings are not indicative of any future performance or investment outcome. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer and Member SIPC, and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Investment products:

Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed

May Lose Value

The Bull Symbol and Merrill Lynch are trademarks of Bank of America Corporation. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the U.S. CIMA® is a registered service mark of the Investment Management Consultants Association dba Investments & Wealth Institute. © 2018 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. ARJSNNYK | AD-03-18-0242 | 471003PM-0318 | 03/2018

Everything for


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Contact our business service specialists at 989-249-8200 • 800-227-2328 Subject to credit approval

HOME Walraven Produce, Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market

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Rainbow Produce Farm, Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market


Gerald Timm, Timm’s Family Farm, Downtown Saginaw Farmers Market





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ushels brimming with bright red apples so big you need two hands to pick one up. Tabletops teeming with flats of succulent strawberries as far as the eye can see. As childhood memories go, a visit to the local farmers market can conjure images of wide-eyed wonder and endless bountiful harvests of yesteryear. A survey of the Great Lakes Bay Region reveals that farmers markets have progressed to provide not only a lush outlet for local growers, but also fresh business opportunities for enterprising folks who are harnessing natural resources outside the realm of cash crops. Today you’ll find the traditional outdoor markets thriving in Frankenmuth, Midland, Mount Pleasant, Bay City, and Saginaw—with the latter two launching indoor marketplace developments that have refurbished a piece of each city’s downtown history. A hybrid of nostalgia and revived interest in sustainable living, farmers markets are becoming incubators for a new generation of grassroots startups. Sharing space alongside the usual array of flatbeds filled with fresh-picked corn, waves of leafy greens, and a cornucopia of assorted produce, you’ll also find locally produced hand-milled soaps, fresh-pressed oils, baked goods, maple syrup, jams, jellies, and hand-crafted jewelry and other artisan handiwork.

Amanda Perkins, Paul’s Produce, Downtown Saginaw Farmers Market


Paul’s Produce, Downtown Saginaw Farmers Market

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Following in the footsteps of Bay City’s City Market, which revived the long-vacant J.C. Penney building when it opened in June 2017, SVRC Industries is creating new avenues for local commerce in Saginaw. The official “new kid on the block,” SVRC Marketplace will soon open in the refurbished Saginaw News building, with 100,000 square feet of space on a lower level, a main level, and two floors of office space. The Downtown Saginaw Farmers Market will occupy the outdoor pavilion, continuing its operations and selling season as in years past, according to marketplace manager Audra Davis. SVRC Industries, a community-based nonprofit that creates and supports opportunities for people with barriers to employment and community access, is behind the venture. In addition to an autism therapy clinic on the lower level and available office space on the top two floors, the ground floor is designed to accommodate 70 year-round indoor vendor spaces as well as 50 seasonal outdoor spaces.

“We’re combining that seasonal fresh community along with [an] indoor European market experience,” says Davis, when referring to the development that breathed new life into the downtown landmark left dormant since The Saginaw News departed in 2010. Many of the building’s architectural touches—marble countertops and antique tile floors, for example—have been preserved and incorporated nicely with the updated design. Frankenmuth Credit Union and Miller on Washington, a wine bar and taproom with outdoor seating, anchor the first floor, and Spence Brothers and CMU Research Corporation occupy space on the upper floors. Davis and other Saginaw officials drew inspiration from organized visits to Detroit’s Eastern Market and other markets across the state. Tom Miller of Saginaw Future was particularly impressed with the Flint Farmers Market, which operates out of the building that formerly housed the Flint Journal. “I was blown away by the level of sheer human activity that surrounded the market,” says Miller, VP of urban development and special initiatives. “Certainly, SVRC Marketplace is going to be an anchor for downtown Saginaw.” Davis touts the affordable rent at the Marketplace, which starts at $137/month, as a great opportunity for an aspiring entrepreneur to have a physical presence in a high-traffic area in the community. “Where else,” she asks, “can you start a business for that kind of rent?”


Bay City City Market

CITY MARKET STARTUP Celebrating its first full year serving the community, City Market has embraced downtown Bay City, and its market manager, Ruthy Shemanski, says the community is reciprocating. According to Shemanski, downtown Bay City is a “food desert,” an urban area with low access to affordable quality foods. “Many customers coming in now were shopping at party stores before,” she points out, “because that was the closest place they could walk to.” Shemanski says that after a bustling first four days, which saw 35,000 people stream through the doors, subsequent months have been spent with management tweaking business hours and curating a balanced mix of purveyors that the community will support. Some original tenants have moved on, while others— Heidi’s Darn Good Cookies, That Guy’s Meats, and The Devout Sprout—have expanded after experiencing “exponential growth,” according to Shemanski. The Harvest Store, which greets visitors entering from Center Avenue, hosts different area growers, such as Pennell Farms, as well as wholesalers, allowing the store to offer a year-round selection of produce. Amy Sylvester of Winding River Farms believes people are beginning to see farmers markets as a way to get closer to the source of their food. “Every family used to have a garden, but society got away from it,” she says. One of the original vendors of the Downtown Bay City Farmers Market back in 2007, Winding River now occupies space inside City Market. Sylvester and her husband, Chad Histed, operate their Linwood-based farm, producing meat, honey, maple syrup, cow’s milk soap, and deer feed as well as fresh produce. In addition to its City Market location, Winding River has participated in Midland Area Farmers Market since 2008. Bay City City Market

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Joe Madaj, Berry Creek Farms, Midland Area Farmers Market

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Paul Bublitz has spent many a Saturday morning at the end of Ashman Street tending the market over the years. His dad was a cash crop farmer, and Bublitz remembers helping wrestle melons out of the fields as an 8-year-old boy. He got his own booth at Midland Area Farmers Market—the region’s oldest market, having been in operation more than 60 years—at age 20, and he’s witnessed a wealth of changes in the ensuing 20-plus years. Noting the trend of recent generations exiting the family farm business in the region, Bublitz remains upbeat as he adapts to the times. “[Modern farming] is almost an agri-tourism thing,” he observes. “I’m my own PR department, marketing, and manufacturer, all in one.” Ben Cohen’s journey down the rabbit hole of sustainability led him to form Small House, specializing in fresh-pressed oils and dozens of seed varieties. In his first trip to Midland Area Farmers Market, he had one product: sunflower oil. He sold out in 20 minutes. Originally, Cohen only sold at farmers markets. Now that his online business is ramping up, he has moved operations to a licensed commercial facility in Midland. Still, he estimates farmers markets account for 50 percent of his sales. “I would continue to do it no matter what,” says Cohen. “Not only am I a vendor, I’m a shopper.” Cohen credits Michigan’s Cottage Food Law, among the more progressive in the country, for allowing homegrown businesses ample opportunity to get started. Enacted in 2010, the legislation exempts “cottage food operations” that sell less than $20,000 of product from state licensing and inspection regulations. Farmers markets have become more mainstream in recent years, says Cohen, who sells at all five area markets. “It’s almost hip to buy local stuff. It’s a social gathering.”

FEATURE Paul’s Produce, Midland Area Farmers Market

Rick Wachowski, Berry Creek Farms, Midland Area Farmers Market

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Since 2017; outdoor since 2007 401 Center Ave, Bay City 800 Jefferson St, Bay City (outdoor) Year-round (City Market); June 7 - Oct 25 (outdoor) Tues - Fri, 10 p.m. - 6 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Thurs, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. for outdoor market) Vendor Spaces: 30 (indoor), 15+ (outdoor) Rent: Starts at $2/sq. ft. (indoor); $20/day, $300/ season (outdoor) Contact: Ruthy Shemanski, 989-402-7963 (City Market); Jan Rise, 989-450-4376 (DBCFM)

FRANKENMUTH FARMERS MARKET Since 2004 534 N Main St, Frankenmuth May 19 - Oct 13 Wed, 3-6 p.m.; Sat, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Vendor Spaces: 50+ Rent: $150/season (Wed); $345/season (Sat) Contact: Mary Tilger, 989-907-9298


Since 1957 End of Ashman St, Midland May 5 – Nov 17 Wed, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sat, 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. Vendor Spaces: 100 Rent: Starts at $25/day; $450/season Contact: Emily Lyons, 989-839-9901

FRANKENMUTH FRESH Moving from its old Main Street tourist thoroughfare to a new building up the road a piece in 2016, Frankenmuth Farmers Market is now its own destination rather than a

Frankenmuth Farmers Market

collection of tents mixing local farmers with tourist shops. Mary Tilger, the market manager, says Frankenmuth Credit Union supported the move to a permanent location. On one hand, farmers are no longer crammed into high-traffic areas and have their own space; on the other hand, incidental traffic is diminished, as the new area is not located in the main walking thoroughfare. Still, Tilger is not fazed and believes the new location allows the market to continue to develop its value proposition that will attract locals. “As far as I know, we’re the only ‘growers only’ farmers market in the region. That’s kind of our niche.” • • • While it’s true that the Great Lakes Bay Region will never be confused with the Gourmet Ghetto of Berkeley, California, there are nonetheless plenty of opportunities for aspiring businesses to capitalize on the fruits (and vegetables and food products) of local agriculture.

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MT. PLEASANT FARMERS MARKET Since 1973 331 N Main St, Mount Pleasant June 1 - Oct 26 Wed, 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Vendor Spaces: 38 Rent: $300/season; overflow area: $200/season Contact: Carol Moody, 989-779-5330


Since 2018 (SVRC); 1992 (outdoor) 203 S Washington Ave, Saginaw Year-round (SVRC); May 25 - Oct 31 (outdoor) Mon, Wed, Fri, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (SVRC) Mon, 12 - 6 p.m.; Wed and Fri, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (outdoor) Vendor Spaces: 70 indoor, 50 outdoor Rent: Starting at $137/month (indoor); $30/day, $500/ season (outdoor, farm direct), $60/day, $1,000/ season (outdoor, resellers) Contact: Audra Davis, 989-752-6176 (SVRC); Julia Darton, 989-758-2429 (DSFM)

From Farm to Market

Place Your Trust in the Agriculture Accounting & Business Financial Experts Accounting n Auditing n Tax Planning & Preparation Payroll Administration n Retirement Plan Administration Financial Planning n Management Consulting

800-624-2400 • • Bay City • Clare • Gladwin • West Branch


Bridal Fashion...



Don’t Just




January 2018

COOL YOUR HEELS. When you’re between job searches is the time to prepare for your next career opportunity. p. 38



p. 28


Try these 3 steps to believe in yourself— and achieve your objectives. p. 16


Solicit constructive criticism to become even more successful than you already are. p. 20 March 2018



SUBSCRIPTION IS $18, and includes: 8 issues of Great Lakes Bay 4 issues of Great Lakes Bay Business


e: Visit our website or call to subscrib 93.2083 | 989.8

EVERY ISSUE BRINGS YOU ENGAGING STORIES ABOUT: People and places History and culture Arts and entertainment Restaurants Charitable events Local lifestyle trends Gardening and home design ideas And more!

g room? e in a waitin e with your phon is th g in g .) a e p m (Read is o ou get h hoto of th Snap a p e website when y th and visit



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CASH DONATIONS, VOLUNTEER TIME, AND BARTERING Absolute! Building Maintenance finds three ways to contribute. by Mike Thompson | photo by Doug Julian

Absolute! Building Maintenance employee Tony Curran installs an event banner


aginaw-based Absolute! Building Maintenance (A!BM) is the provider of clean and healthy environments for more than 170 facilities—including governmental, medical, educational, and industrial—in the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond. A!BM also is there for an array of regional community events. John Markey is the founding co-owner with his wife, Bridgette, who serves as the company president. They pursue creative strategies beyond cash contributions to support more than two dozen worthy causes and cultural groups in Saginaw, Bay, and Midland counties. For example, the company offers funds to pay for Friday Night Live T-shirts. Employees set up the stage in downtown Saginaw, put together the dance floor, and hang banners. And when we hear promotional ads for Friday Night Live and various events throughout the region, these often are offered by local radio and television stations in a “barter” exchange for A!BM services at their studios. “That’s a win-win-win,” John Markey says. Great Lakes Bay Region events receive needed 48 |

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backing, publicity is virtually free of charge, and A!BM generates a positive image to help recruit new customers. Markey grew up in Saginaw, attending Saginaw’s Arthur Hill High School and Delta College, and in 1975 he had moved as a young adult to Montrose, near Birch Run, when he launched his enterprise under a contract with a single local grocery store. Since then, A!BM has grown its service area, which now extends from Alma to Port Huron and from Auburn Hills to West Branch. There are 180 employees who clean and maintain 3 million square feet of property. “The economy has become more difficult during the four decades since our company began, and it can be a real struggle for the nonprofit groups,” Markey notes. “For example, many people don’t realize that the cost of putting on a single symphony concert is $45,000 to $50,000.” He adds, “We’ve been very fortunate to make a good living in our profession, and this community involvement is our payback.” Through its charitable endeavors, AIBM supports: • Saginaw, Bay, and Midland chambers of commerce

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra Temple Theatre and State Theatre Saginaw and Bay Area community foundations Dow Diamond All-Stars, Michigan Baseball Foundation Pulse 3 Foundation Positive Results Downtown, formerly PRIDE (Saginaw Christmas Parade, Holidays in the Heart of the City, and Friday Night Live) Saginaw Area Fireworks Committee Wenonah Park and Hoyt Park Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square Japanese Cultural Center and Tea House Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission 100 Club of Saginaw County Covenant Foundation Field Neurosciences Institute CAN Council of the Great Lakes Bay Region Saginaw Art Museum Bay City All Saints Schools All Saints After Dark event READ Association of Saginaw County Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Bishop’s Charity Golf Classic



2018 Golf & Summer Fun

Action Auctions!


Over 50 golf course passes for 2018 golf season (Good for 2 people w/cart - Most good 7 days a week)

SAVE 30% to 50% OFF Overnight stays in Traverse City, Petoskey, Gaylord, Houghton Lake, and Mackinac Island

SAVE 30% to 50% OFF Food certificates for area restaurants

Call or check online for spring auction dates & times! |

Listen to Mid-Michigan’s...

WE KNOW BUSINESS for GREAT SAVINGS! Kendra Christensen Vice President of Lending NMLS 1595957 989.460.3627

Dave Ward Business Lender NMLS 1012952 989.460.3636

BUSINESS LOANS DESIGNED TO SUIT ALL YOUR FINANCIAL NEEDS Make YOUR Dream Come True | We Help Small Business Grow Run and Grow YOUR Business Business Lines of Credit Business VISA Construction & Development Commercial Real Estate Equipment Financing Industrial Properties COPOCO Community Credit Union NMLS 184528

Mixed Use Properties Office / Warehouse Properties Rental Properties Restaurants Retail Properties Vehicle Loans

To participate, call 989-631-1490 or 1-877-658-1490

Items sold during auction times only. No gimmicks or tricks.

For a complete list of all auction items, go to







1. Larry Arendt, Valeri Allen, and Bob Thomas 2. Angel Moore and Linda Lones 3. Kate Hofmann and Sara Kelly 4. Terri Scheuerlein, Abby Scherzer, Jan Schaffer, Mark Delestowicz. and Rick Meeth



5. Lynn Schutter, Jason MacDonald, John Brohy, and Mark Thompson

6. Vera Harrison, Randy Roberts, Catherine

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Martinez, Katherine Griffiths, Leslie Eshenbacher, and Delores Gale 7. Laura Kelly and Steve Spellerberg

New Hope Senior Communities Serving the entire Great Lakes Bay Region

“New Hope hosts family dinners once a month. It’s so nice to go to Dad’s place and have a meal with him. Dad and I have said many times that the food here is better than any restaurant in town! Their chef is, as my dad says, ‘top notch.’ He shops for special items for my dad’s diabetic diet and prepares foods he loves.”

~ A resident’s daughter

“New Hope Valley is a beautifully decorated home, with kind, knowledgeable, and helpful staff. It’s an independent living community unlike any other I have visited in the Great Lakes Bay Region.”

~ A resident’s family member

“New Hope Valley offers a home. There’s no room for loneliness among the love, comfort, and security that surrounds New Hope Valley. Friends are easy to make. And everyone is welcome.” ~ A resident

“The director customized a care plan to fit my mother’s situation. She’s still independent, but she needed a little extra care. And in the future, when mom requires additional care, there’ll be no need to look for another place for her. She can stay right in her own apartment.” ~ A resident’s daughter

“My wife and I love the personalized approach at New Hope Valley. Every employee is 100-percent engaged. The community is very affordable, and we don’t have to worry about stairs or elevators as everything is on a single floor.” ~ A resident

To learn more, visit us at, or call 989-577-7000 to schedule a tour.


Motherhood close to home “I trust CMU Health to care for me and my baby.” Nothing is more important to a woman than receiving quality healthcare for herself and her baby. Patients trust the physicians at CMU Health’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for pregnancy services including pre- and post-natal care, childbirth, and infertility; as well as gynecological care including annual exams, birth control, sterilization, menopause, and incontinence. Our CenteringPregnancy program is now accepting new patients! Call 989-583-6800 to make an appointment.

“What I liked the most about CenteringPregnancy is you can ask any question; there’s no dumb question you can ask. And everyone is just there for you.” Aaliyah, Saginaw resident

About CenteringPregnancy CenteringPregnancy is a program that allows mothers to experience their pregnancies in a group setting where they get to know each other and their providers on a deeper level.

CMU Health CenteringPregnancy made possible with support from MiHIA and Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

1000 Houghton Ave., Saginaw, MI 48602 • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

CMU Health Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology • (989) 583-6800 •

AMaintenance MERICA N & Cleaning Services Call today to schedule your office cleaning. We specialize in floor waxing, carpet cleaning, window cleaning and one-time cleanups. • Locally owned and operated • High-quality, detail-oriented work at affordable prices • 20 years of experience • Fully insured and bonded • 24-hour answering service Call 989-791-4411 for a free estimate.







timeless trends




Ask these 7 questions to boost your career. p. 24 Feb/Mar 2017



Long-time residents drive regional developments. p. 29


Are you merely ambitious, or destined to lead? p. 36



and includes: 8 issues of Great Lakes Bay AND 4 issues of Great Lakes Bay Business

Visit our website or call to subscribe: 989-893-2083






n the late 1970s, Richard “Dick” Dolney, founder of Dolney RV (est. 1971), 1171 S. Huron Road, Kawkawlin, Bay County, poses at his dealership with several motorhomes, including Dodge El Dorados. Dolney RV offers new and used recreational vehicles (RVs), parts, service, and rentals. The 47-year-old business is family owned and operated and has spanned three generations including founder Dick; his son Todd, the current owner; and Todd’s son Brandon, who plans to take over when Todd is ready to retire. Brandon anticipates his sons becoming the fourth generation involved. Brandon attributes part of their business success to being large enough to offer products at great prices, yet being small enough to know each customer and provide the level of care each deserves. Brandon shares, “Many customers have become friends and are extremely loyal…. One of the coolest aspects is that I’ve sold campers to people who bought from both my grandpa and my dad before me.” A 2011 University of Michigan study commissioned by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) shows that people use RVs for flexibility and convenience, comfort, family appeal, affordability, lure of the outdoors, and versatility. In 2011, approximately 8.9 million households owned an RV, and the RV rental business was a growing $350 million industry. The RV industry and the Dolney business are thriving with increasing RV demands. Dolney’s new sales grew 65 percent from 2015-2016, then somewhat more in 2017. In 2010, the RVIA commemorated 100 years of the RV. The Buffalo, New York-produced 1910 Pierce-Arrow Touring Landau is regarded as America’s first RV. And Los Angeles Trailer Works and Auto-Kamp Trailers began assembly line production of camping trailers in 1910. Photo courtesy of Dolney RV, Kawkawlin, Michigan.

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The Great Lakes Bay Region Does Better with Garber. “I’ve worked with Garber for nearly 20 years. Known for their great products and great service, their professionalism is top-notch. What’s important to me is that they also continue their commitment to the Great Lakes Bay Region. They give back. They support our community in so many ways. So, when it came time to buy a car, I knew where I wanted to go. It matters where I buy my car. That’s why I buy from Garber!” Larry J. Rodarte Publisher of Mi Gente Magazine Executive Director of the Great Lakes Bay Hispanic Business Association


2018 June Business  
2018 June Business