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THE CHAMBER NEWS September 2012 | Vol. 12 | No. 9

A publication of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Success stories from Ready NOW! make first event a candidate for an annual event.

ATHENA 2012 Celebration Honors Carole Valade Sept. 18

Congratulations to Carole R. Valade on being named the 2012 ATHENA® Award Recipient! The Gemini Publications Editor, Associate Publisher and Senior Manager will be honored at the 2012 ATHENA Award Celebration on September 18 in recognition of her outstanding advocacy and support of women and their accomplishments. “Carole exemplifies so many of the major tenets of the ATHENA program in her career success, in her personal style, and in her passion for helping women reach their full potential,” said Rick Baker, President & CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. “We are fortunate to have such an outstanding champion of women and their accomplishments in our community.” The prestigious ATHENA Award honors an individual who has demonstrated leadership in their professional field, mentored and opened doors of opportunities for women, and contributed time and talent to the community. Nine prominent community and business leaders were nominated for the award this year, the 23rd year the award has been presented in the greater Grand Rapids community. The roster of 2012 ATHENA finalists included: Nancy Boese, Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center; Laura Caprara, Stellafly Social Media; Gayle Davis, Grand Valley State University; Meg Goebel, Paul Goebel Group; Laura Knapp, Grand Rapids Fire Department; Deidra McClelland, The Skye Group; Marge Palmerlee, Degage Ministries; and Denise Sherwood, Goodwill Industries of Greater GR. continued on page 6

ATHENA Young Professional Award Recognizes Rising Young Women

If the high volume of ATHENA nominations is any indicator, it is clear that the number of outstanding young women professionals in West Michigan is on the rise. On September 18, the Chamber will be celebrating some of the most dynamic young women in the area as we announce the final award recipient for the ATHENA Young Professional Award. The ATHENA Young Professional Award recognizes an emerging leader for their contributions to community, professional excellence, and commitment to serve as a personal and professional role model to young women. “It’s absolutely phenomenal, the quality of women leaders and young women out there,” said Committee Member and 2002 ATHENA recipient Jackie Taylor P.h.D of Pondera Advisors, LLC. “There are great stories out there about the ways women, and especially these young women, are reaching out into the community in such entrepreneurial ways.” continued on page 6

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Celebrate member openings and more with the big scissors!

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Helpful resources to grow your business, especially for women entrepreneurs!

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Join Friends of West Michigan Business at the WMPF Sept. 12, hear national election commentary. Page 16

Survey says... Find out how Michigan’s roads impact business and economic growth. Page 13

CHAMBER News & Notes Ready NOW! Program Helps Job Seekers & Manufacturers

Invite Us Out to Visit You!

As part of our ongoing mission to better serve our members, the Chamber would like to learn more about our member businesses and help tell the amazing stories you have out there. As such, we cordially request the honor of an invitation to meet you and your business. This is a wonderful opportunity to host your Chamber for an informal “show and tell.” Take us on a tour of your operations, let us snap a few photos, and give us the scoop on your business (successes, challenges, history, etc.). At the end of our visit, we will post pictures and share the fascinating facts and business stories we gather—helping to promote you and your business in our social media, website, and other Chamber communications. Whether you’re a start-up, a second stage business, or a veteran entrepreneur, we want to hear from you. Don’t wait! Contact Mark Allen at 616.771.0348 or today to invite us out for a Chamber visit!

Last month, manufacturing companies and job seekers came together for Grand Rapid’s first Ready NOW! program sponsored by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, The Right Place, Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids, and Michigan Works! The event’s mission was two-fold: (1) to help job seekers enhance their skills and provide them with employment opportunities and (2) to address the issue of local manufacturers struggling to find workers. Ready NOW! partners teams of job seekers with an HR representative from participating companies who act as a table facilitator. The table facilitator guides the group through discussions and workshops while offering valuable advice. By working alongside their potential employers, the job seekers were able to develop soft skills, build professional relationships, and were more motivated to come back each day. Todd Hubbard, a table facilitator from Everest Institute Career Services, said: “I am blown away by the commitment of the job seekers and your willingness to put together, what I believe, will be a life-changing event for so many people. I am humbled to have been a part of this.” Job seekers who completed the week-long program were guaranteed two interviews for jobs that were immediately available from area employers. Similar programs throughout the region have resulted in a better than 60 percent placement rate, even before the scheduled Ready NOW! Friday interviews, some participants had been offered jobs. Many more had offers on Friday thanks to the Ready NOW! program. Cyndi Gaietto with Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids recently shared additional success stories with the Chamber, noting that the Ready NOW! program was instrumental in “saving lives by the power of work” even after the program ended. She said: “I know this event was initiated to meet the manufacturer’s needs, but some of the personal impacts that were made are tremendous!” With over 500 job seekers interested in participating in Ready NOW! this year, the Chamber is confident that this will become an annual or semi-annual event.


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September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

RIBBON Cuttings

Congratulations to the following members who celebrated grand openings, anniversaries and new additions! If you have an upcoming groundbreaking, grand opening, product launch event, or other reason to celebrate, visit www. to see how we can help. We even bring the giant scissors!

Macatawa Bank celebrated the 5th anniversary of their branch in Cascade.

Houlihan’s made their arrival in Grand Rapids official with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a $500 donation to Kids’ Food Basket.

Crop Mark’s Printing celebrated their relocation and expansion into a new 9,000 square foot facility.

The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum unveiled their new exhibit, Imagination Playground, at their 15th birthday celebration.

Congratulations International Student Exchange on celebrating 30 years of student placements.

G’s Grill is open for business: Great Food, Great Service, Great Fun! Congratulations on your grand opening.

First National Bank of Michigan celebrated the grand opening of their downtown Grand Rapids location.

Huntington Bank opened their newest branch inside the Meijer store at 28th & Kalamazoo. This marks the first of many Huntington Bank branches that will open in the Meijer store locations.

Sam’s Club celebrated the completion of the renovations at their Alpine store location. During the event they awarded $2500 in grant money to three community organizations.

The Chamber News Editorial Policy Articles written by outside authors do not necessarily reflect the view or position of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. The position of the Chamber will be clearly stated. The Chamber reserves the right to reject advertising based on content and does not accept advertising that conflicts with a position of the Chamber. The advertising of products and services in The Chamber News does not necessarily represent endorsement by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber News (USPS 357-010) is published monthly by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. 111 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. p: 616.771.0300 | f: 616.771.0318 | Senior Editor: Latricia Trice | 616.771.0332 | Advertising: Leslee Fritz | 616.771.0357 | Designer: Blaine Puckett | Copy Editor: AliciaMarie Belchak | Second Class Periodical Postage Paid at Grand Rapids, MI. POSTMASTER: Send Address changes to The Chamber News at the Address above.

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

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Being a member of grand Rapids Area chamber of commerce just got better. save money, get fast internet, phone lines, tV for entertainment or information and count on comcast reliability with an exclusive “Member special.” sign up at and use the code 252051. or call your local comcast Business Account executive, Jessica neville, to tailor an offer that fits your unique business needs. your local comcast representative:

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Mark Allen 616.771.0348

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September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

The Chamber News helps you get to know fellow members by profiling two organizations in each issue. Email if you would like to be profiled in a future member spotlight.



Owner Tina Hooper prides her Lowell-based commercial printshop on being able to take a project “from conception to completion.” She started Hooper Printing in her home 20 years ago with her husband at her side and has been serving clients’ printing needs ever since. Today, Hooper Printing does it all, from one color to full color: stationary, envelopes, forms, checks, business cards, and marketing material such as brochures, presentation folders, ad specialties and direct mailings. The shop’s newest addition—a large format printer—opens up additional abilities to print signs in full color on a wide variety of materials such as corrugated plastic, foamcore, and aluminum. “My favorite customers are entrepreneurs,” says Tina. “It is exciting to watch them begin and grow their businesses.” Over the years, Hooper Printing has grown considerably, purchasing five other small print shops to keep up demand. The most recent purchase in October of last year increased sales volume and put the shop on target to have the biggest year ever in 2012. A Chamber member since 2007, Tina directly attributes several new clients each year to Chamber networking events like the Business Exchange Lunch (BEX) and other events. “I highly recommend Grand Rapids Chamber membership to any entrepreneur,” she said. “The Chamber is a great resource for knowledge, learning, and potential clients. Use them.”

Since 2000, photography artist Christine Gribble has been creating images of her client’s special occasions and everyday moments. Through her lens, she aims to capture the essence of a person, a family, a place, or an event. “I think a great image shows personality, not just the reflection in the mirror,” notes Christine. Her tagline—the moment is fleeting...the images are forever—holds true to her belief in the power and importance of photography in documenting lives and memories. “Photographs make us laugh, they make us cry, they let us dream of a future, and they let us hold on to the past,” says Christine. A professional photographer for over 14 years, Christine focuses on storytelling and specializes in on-location photo shoots to document her client’s milestones. She offers several packages to create personal and intimate photo storybooks, including a Baby Steps series at 3, 6, 9, 12 months and a Moment in Your Life series. Christine also serves as a volunteer photographer with several programs that help children and families: creating portraits of foster care children for Michigan Adoptive Resource Exchange, capturing infant memories for parents suffering the loss of a baby with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and most recently working on accreditation with Special Kids Photography of America (SKPA) for children with special needs. As a Chamber member since 2002, Christine values her experiences with CEO & Management Roundtable over the last six years. “I need a safe and confidential environment where I can come to solve problems and bounce ideas off other people,” she says. “I have developed friendships and a supportive network.”

Visit to learn more.

Visit to view a photo gallery and learn more.

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MEMBERS In The Spotlight

Limited number of ads! Secure your spot today; visit or call 616.771.0357

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

The Chamber News


Resources to Grow Your Woman-Owned Business

Carole Valade, from the Page 1 The 2012 ATHENA Award recognizes Carole for leadership as a longtime advocate and mentor for women in business. Those who know Carole concur that her humble demeanor can sometimes mask her passion and drive to assist women business. Yet, she is a powerhouse behind the scenes and has often used her role as Gemini Publications editor, associate publisher and senior manager to connect with and promote women throughout the state—especially on behalf of women business owners. Carole herself said she views it as “an everyday walk with friends, family, co-workers and community members to make it easier for women to see their accomplishments and possibilities.” As one of the first women in the U.S. to be named editor of a regional business newspaper when she joined Gemini Publications in 1987, Carole’s long list of career achievements exemplifies authentic leadership as a woman of strength and character—a story of how success can be garnered by remaining true to personal values. In addition to her duties as editor and publisher of seven Gemini publications, she regularly writes columns and editorials highlighting women in business, speaks to college students about journalism and business management, and mentors young women from middle- and high-school students to aspiring young professionals. Join us in honoring Carole and celebrating the accomplishments of Grand Rapids women professionals at the 2012 Athena Award Celebration!

Like any entrepreneur, women business owners face a myriad of challenges no matter what phase of development. Here’s some useful resources to make things a little easier whether you’re a start-up, a second stage business, or a mature company. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Whether you are a woman interested in starting a business, applying for a business loan, finding government contracting opportunities, or improving an existing business, the SBA is a good point of reference for you. Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) GROW exists to provide education, connections, and resources that create and strengthen women-owned businesses— West Michigan’s source for relevant training, tools, and techniques to entrepreneurs and small business owners. National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) helps women entrepreneurs with economic, social and political spheres of knowledge to propel growth and success for women-owned businesses. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States.

Date | Tuesday, September 18 Time | 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Location | JW Marriott, International Ballroom, 235 Louis Campau St. NW Cost | $50/members, $75/future members, $700/corporate table of 10 Registration | Visit or call 616.771.0303 to register

Make Mine a Million $ Business The Make Mine a Million $ Business website offers a variety of national, local, and online events, including live competitions with big financing and marketing packages as prizes.

National commentator to speak at Friends of West Michigan Business Reception

ATHENA Young Professional, from Page 1 The top ten finalists for the 2012 ATHENA Young Professional Award are: • Ellie Andrus, Make-a-Wish Michigan • Sara Binkley-Tow, MomsBloom • Bridget Clark Whitney, Kids’ Food Basket • Amy Marshall, Management Business Solutions • Jennifer Pascua, WZZM 13 • Kristin Revere, Revere Consulting LLC • Kasie Smith, Serendipity Media, LLC • Adrienne Wallace, 834 Design & Marketing • Lynee Wells, Williams & Works • Milinda Ysasi Castańon, Herman Miller, Inc. These top ten ATHENA Young Professional Award finalists will be honored along with Gemini Editor Carole Valade, the 2012 ATHENA Award recipient, at the Chamber’s annual ATHENA Award Celebration on Tuesday, September 18. Sponsorship opportunities for the prestigious ATHENA Award event are still available and are designed to raise a company’s profile, image, and brand in front of hundreds of motivated business people. A portion of every ATHENA sponsorship also funds scholarships specifically for women over the age of 30. Contact Leslee Fritz at or 616.771.0357 for more information on sponsorships. ATHENA Awards Sponsored by:

Join us on Wednesday, September 12, from 5:15 - 6:45 p.m. at the West Michigan Policy Forum for the Friends of West Michigan Business Reception featuring national political commentator Rich Galen. Rich Galen brings the perfect mix of policy, politics and business and will provide reception attendees with an interesting, insider’s take on the November elections. A frequent guest on CNN and Fox News, Rich Galen describes himself as “what you get when you cross a political hack with a philosopher.” Some of his ideas are captured in his three-day-a-week political column, Mullings, which reaches 400,000 people per month. Rich is a strategist who knows how to get things done. He has served as press secretary to both Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich and also did a tour of duty in Iraq. When the Communist governments dissolved in Eastern Europe, he was one of the select Americans sent over to help build a democratic political infrastructure. Rich will speak from his extensive business and political experience, both here in the United States and overseas. Join us for this reception and carry the West Michigan Policy Forum conversation forward with community leaders, elected officials, and policy forum attendees. This is a great way to support the Chamber’s on-going advocacy efforts while networking with peers and enjoying hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Date | Wednesday, September 12 Time | 5:15 - 6:45 p.m. Location | St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NE Cost | $150 personal contribution (no corporate funds please) Registration | by Sept. 7 If you have any questions, please contact Joshua Lunger at 616.771.0336 or Contact Leslee Fritz at or 616.771.0357 for sponsorship opportunities.


The Chamber News

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

The Chamber News


Upcoming Chamber Events


To Register Unless otherwise noted, register for events at Or, call the RSVP hot line at 616.771.0303 (please have your credit card information handy when you call). Questions about events? Call 616.771.0300. Special needs: Vegetarian meals are available, please let us know your dietary requirements when registering. Reasonable arrangements for people with disabilities will be made if requested in advance. Registration and Cancellation Policy: Prepayment of events is required and guarantees a reservation. Cancellations must be received at least two business days prior to an event to be eligible for a full refund. No-shows will be billed.

September The Chamber staff spent time volunteering at Kids’ Food Basket and packaged 1000 sandwiches to help fight hunger in West Michigan.

Chamber and community members met and connected with minority-owned businesses at the 2012 Minority Business Expo at the Goei Center.

”It’s always my goal to make a difference for our customers.”

Begin your involvement with the Chamber by networking with other new members! Time | 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Location | John Ball Zoo Bissell Treehouse 1300 W. Fulton Cost | Free for new members (in first year of membership), includes light continental breakfast. Registration | Call the RSVP Hotline at 616.771.0303 or contact Mark Allen | | 616.771.0348 (online registration is not available) Sponsored by:

6 | Business Exchange Luncheon

Theresa Ross

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5 | New Member Connections

Call our Grand Rapids office at 616.871.0713 or visit to experience the difference a partnership with IOI can make for your business!

The Chamber’s #1 Networking event! This is a week earlier due to the West Michigan Policy Forum. Time | 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Location | Centennial Country Club, 3361 Charlevoix Dr. SE Cost | $18/member-early registration, $23/member after 5 p.m. Aug 31, $23/future member (may only attend once) Sponsored by:

12-13 | West Michigan Policy Forum Conference

Join us as business and community leaders from around Michigan discuss key issues and set a policy agenda for our state. Time | 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Sept. 12, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Sept. 13 Location | Downtown Grand Rapids Cost | $425 Register |

18 | ATHENA Award Celebration

Celebrating the accomplishments of women profes-


The Chamber News

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

sionals in our community. See cover page for details. Time | 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Location | JW Marriott International Ballroom, 235 Louis Campau St. NW Cost| $50/members, $75/future members Sponsored by:

20-21 | Facing Racism

This intensive two-day program seeks to combat and heal the wounds of racism by dissecting the complexities of racism and examining U.S. history, race, institutional power, self-awareness, privilege, and anti-racism. Time | 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Location | Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber (FTH&C), 1515 Arboretum SE Cost | Members: $200/person from nonprofit organizations, $300/person from for-profit. $50 extra for future members Registration | Contact Farris Withers at or 616.771.0320

24 | Public Policy Breakfast with Legislators

This is your chance for Chamber members and their employees to establish relationships with key decision makers and voice opinions on issues moving forward in Lansing. Time | 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Location | Hope Network, 755 36th St SE Cost | $15/member early registration thru Sept. 19, $20/ member after 5 p.m. Sept. 19, $20/future member Sponsored by:

Time | 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Location | Amway Grand Plaza, 187 Monroe Ave. NW Cost | Free for FBA members, $90 for non-members Registration | Visit to register.

11 | Business Exchange Luncheon

The Chamber’s #1 Networking event! Time | 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Location | Centennial Country Club, 3361 Charlevoix Dr. SE Cost| $18/member-early registration, $23/member after 5 p.m. October 5, $23/future member (may only attend once) Sponsored by:

16-17 | Facing Racism

This intensive two-day program seeks to combat and heal the wounds of racism by dissecting the complexities of racism and examining U.S. history, race, institutional power, self-awareness, privilege, and anti-racism. Time | 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Location | Steelcase University, 901 44th St. SE Cost | Members: $200/person from nonprofit organizations, $300/person from for-profit. $50 extra for future members Registration | Contact Farris Withers at withersf@ or 616.771.0320

16 | CEO Roundtable Rally

25 | West Michigan World Trade Dinner Speaker Series

Come and see why the CEO Roundtable & Management Roundtable Program has been connecting Grand Rapids decision makers for over 25 years. This year’s Rally will provide you with the tools to boost your innovative and creative thought processes. Time | 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Location | Prince Conference Center, 3201 Burton SE Cost | $25, lunch will be provided


22 | Public Policy Breakfast with Legislators

Time | 5:30 Cocktails, 6:15 dinner & program Location | Watermark Country Club Cost | $35 WMWTA member, $50 Non-Member

3-5 | Inside Grand Rapids

Gain invaluable insight as you examine diverse topics in this 2-1/2 day accelerated community orientation program that makes Grand Rapids the classroom. Time | Wednesday, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.; Thursday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m Registration | Contact Farris Withers at or 616.771.0320 Sponsored by:

This event provides Chamber members and their employees the opportunity to network, establish relationships with key decision makers, and voice opinions on issues. Time | 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Location | Western Michigan University Downtown Campus, 200 Ionia Avenue SW Cost | $15/member-early registration, $20/member after 5 p.m. Sept. 19, $20/future member Sponsored by:

9 | 6th Annual Family Business Forum

Hear from keynote speaker Jeff Gordon of Gordon Food Service and gain valuable insight for your family business.

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

TheThe Chamber News Chamber News9 9

NEWS Flashes

Newsflashes is a feature of the Chamber News that recognizes Chamber members’ new products or services, new or promoted employees and recognition that they have received. E-mail press releases to Deadline: first Friday of each month. Advantage Health’s largest ambulatory medical office, an 85,000-square-foot facility at 245 Cherry Street, is near completion and will include a dermatology center, OB/GYN, and hand surgery center. Alexander Marketing announced the additions of Jaclyn Drenth and Sara Gugin to Account Coordinators and John Keene to Public Relations Associate and Copywriter. B.R.A.I.N.S. (Behavioral Resources and Institute for Neuropsychological Services) recently announced that BRAINS co-founder Dr. Rochelle Manor won the 2012 Lipinski Professional Award presented by the Autism Society of MI. Joshua Franken of Bredeweg & Zylstra PLC received his Certified Public Accountant license. Busy Bea’s has become West Michigan’s first janitorial service to accommodate organic waste collection practices, which allows their customers to divert 90% of their waste away from the landfill. C2AE is opening a new office at 211 E. Water Street, Kalamazoo. Calvin College professor of Mathematics and Statistics Jan Koop is the recipient of her fourth improving Teacher Quality Grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education. The $200,000 grant will assist 40 teachers at William C. Abney Academy and two teachers from West Side Christian School. This summer, 71 high school students from 23 states, China and South Korea graduated from Calvin College’s Entrada Scholars program, a merit-based grant program for exceptional ethnic minority high school students who study for one-month at Calvin. Care Resources is pleased to announce that Matthew Murphy has been hired as Community Outreach Representative for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. Joel Rahn, Regional Bank President for Chemical Bank, is pleased to announce Scott Rowley as Grand Rapids Vice President, Commercial Lending.


The Chamber News

Compatico, Inc. announced the promotion of John Rea to President from Executive Vice President. Configura took Best of NeoCon Silver for cloud-based collaboration software “MyConfigura,” winning in the Software/ Technology category in the annual competition held in conjunction with the NeoCon World’s Trade Fair. CSM Group is pleased to announce Don Brown as the employee of the Month for June 2012. CWD Real Estate Investment appointed Terri Springstead, CFO, and Sue Palmitier, Accounting Manager.

The Board of Directors of Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber (FTC&H) is pleased to announce the following promotions: Senior Engineers – Ryan R. Eversole, P.E., Daniel J. Fredricks, P.E., Carl J. Otte, P.E., Kyle A. Patrick, P.E., Steven R. Teitsma, P.E., LEED AP BD+C and Jonathon D. Yonkers, P.E., LEED AP. Foster Swift is pleased to announce the arrival of Karl W. Butterer as a Senior Attorney for the law firm’s Grand Rapids office and a member of the General Litigation Practice Group. Jason Powell of Fox Motors placed first in the world in the Kia Engine Repair and Engine Drivability Division at the Kia Skill World Cup competition held in Korea in June. The Grand Rapids Art Museum recently elected two new members to GRAM’s Board of Trustees: Kurt Hassberger, Chief Operating Officer at Rockford Construction, and Eddie T.L. Tadlock, Assistant General Manager (SMG) at DeVos Place/DeVos Performance Hall.

Dan Vos Construction Co., announced the promotion of Ryan Boluyt from Leadman to Foreman and the addition of Kyle Harter as Steel Erector

Ferris State University hosted the August Rotary Club, meeting in the newly-renovated and historic Federal Building to introduce the new President of Kendall College of Art & Design, David Rosen.

Design Plus Inc. added Brian Welsh, Licensed Architect; Phillip Southland and Ivan Cortes, Architectural Job Captains; Paula Lawrence, Landscape Architect Associate; and Lisa Hjort, Architectural Administrative Assistant.

Bill Holsinger-Robinson was named the Meijer Endowed Honors Chairman in Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University.

Doyle & Ogden Insurance Advisors is proud to welcome Shelley Lehmann and Kim Bramer to our Personal Lines Department. They come to us with 26 and 20 years of experience respectively. For the fourth consecutive year, Midwest Estate News has named Dykema Gossett PLLC one of the top three real estate law firms in the Midwest, ranking the numberone law firm based in Michigan this year. Amy Miner has joined Echelbarger, Himebaugh, Tamm & Co. as an Accountant, and Gary Mescher has joined in a Business Development Role. Elzinga & Volkers has hired Kent Thomsen as Regional Sales Representative. Camp Roger, a Chamber member is one of the five finalists in “The Building Our Community” contest launched by Erhardt Construction as part of their 50th anniversary celebration.

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the addition of AliciaMarie Belchak as Communications Specialist. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and KaBoom! awarded the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum a $9,000 Let’s Play Community Construction Grant toward the purchase of an Imagination Playground in a Cart play system. The American Hockey League honored Grand Rapids Griffins’ front office staff for its Community for a Cure Purple Game as the most unique game operations promotion or theme night. Several ticket sales team members were recognized: John VanderHaagen, Social Media Sales and Marketing Manager; John Hoffa, Group Ticket Sales Manager; Bill Hook, Season Ticket Sales and Customer Service Executive. The Griffins also recently announced the addition of Ryan Gajewski as Video Coordinator and secured Jim Paek, longest-tenured coach who returns for his eighth season as Assistant Coach.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women has begun a three year initiative to reach into the city where women face multiple challenges and to help them achieve financial stability. Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine have established a cooperative program of premedical education to grant Grand Rapids Community College transfer students, who are pursing premed, early admission to medical school. Ralph W. Hauenstein, GVSU benefactor and namesake of its Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, is the recipient of the Laurel Crowned Circle Award by Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society for exceptional lifetime leadership and support of student leadership development.

Louise McDonald has joined Herman Miller, Inc. as President of Herman Miller Healthcare.

H&S Companies announced that they have joined the Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC). H&S Companies has also launched a new division, Brewer Professional Alliance, which will meet with brewers to improve operations and business valuations. Heart of West Michigan United Way announced its new 2012-13 Board of Directors who are Chamber members: Floriza Genautis, Management Business Solutions; Jack Greenfield, Arbor Circle; and Lisa A. Shannon, Spectrum Health Grand Rapids.

Two Chamber members are involved with the Bronson Healthcare’s construction of their new Bronson Commons: Kingscott Associates designed the 100-bed Rehab & skill nursing facility and CSM Group is the Construction Manager of the project.

Lighthouse Group is pleased to announce the additions to their team: Josh Grysen, Title Marketing Representative; Allison Hamman, Choice Business Unit Account Executive and Dan Stauch joins as Employer of Choice.

The March of Dimes is proud to welcome John and Monica Inhulsen as the 2012 Signature Chefs Auction Event Chairs. John is an attorney with Foster, Swift & Collins & Smith P.C., the event’s Presenting Sponsor. Monica is an attorney with Amway. Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital announced its new Fundraising Program Vice President for Advancement, Timothy J. Pietryga, and its new Director of Fund Development, Darrow Goodspeed.

R. Blake TenBarge has joined Hospice of Michigan’s growing marketing team as the Marketing Representative for the Southwest region.

Mary K. Hoodhood, founder of Kids’ Food Basket, was recently recognized by Art Van’s Million Dollar Charity Challenge for her work with children in greater Grand Rapids and raising awareness about childhood hunger.

Law Weathers is pleased to announce the election of the firm’s new Executive Committee: Bob Buchanan, President; Mike Roth, Vice President; Jim Ens, Treasurer; and John Huff, Secretary.

Macatawa Bank has promoted Tyler Burke to Commercial Lender in the Clyde Park branch in Grand Rapids.

Hampton Inn & Suites Grand Rapids Airport/28th Street is the recipient of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award for consistently achieving outstanding travelers reviews.

Hub International announced Carolyn Hofstee is its Chief Sales Officer for MI.

Lambert, Edwards & Associates (LE&A) added Michigan journalist Kathy Barks Hoffman as Director in its Lansing Bipartisan Public Affairs practices.

Paychex Inc. Welcomes Connie KyesMyland to West Michigan as District Sales Manager. Previously Connie successfully lead the Northern Indiana Sales Team to numerous top district awards. Connie is celebrating her 5 year anniversary with Paychex and looks forward to continuing her successful Sales Management career in West Michigan. Michigan Blood announced their new Board members who are Chamber members: Chair, John Perras, Pinnacle Insurance Partners; and Board Member Pat Howe, Hope Network. Michigan Commerce Bank has added two new members to its W. MI team: Bonnie Webster, Vice President and Retail Manager and Jon Harrison, Vice President and Business Relationship Officer. Northpointe Bank would like to congratulate Steven Davids on his recent promotion to Assistant Vice President Loan Systems and Operations. Northpointe Bank welcomes Michael Winks, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer, and Sara Amy, Vice President of Retail Production. Northwestern Mutual recognized Financial Representative John Folkert with the Top 20

Award and Gene J. Gilmore with the Senior Leader Award. UMB Channel recognized OST as one of CRN’s 2012 Solution Provider 500 list for the fourth year in a row. Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services is pleased to welcome two psychiatrists Jonathan Dargo, M.D. and Shristi Shah, M.D. Pine Rest Foundation Executive Director Randall Johnson is pleased to announce Samatha Howell and Allen VanderLaan as new members to the Pine Rest Foundation Board of Governors. Plante & Moran, PLLC has elected Robert Bondy to Partner. Porter Hills is introducing a new service to West Michigan: Avenues by Porter Hills, a wellness-based plan for older adults who want to live in their own homes for the rest of their Lives. Price Heneveld® welcomes Amanda Misch, one of five new attorneys to join Price Heneveld’s team in the past year. Progressive AE is pleased to announce that David Shull, AIA, has joined the firm as a Senior Project Manager/Client Leader. Wine Spectator magazine honored Rockford restaurant Reds on the River with the 2012 Award of Excellence, featuring it in the August 31 issue. Regal Investment Advisors, LLC is excited to announce that the Regal Mutual Fund Strategies has officially been trademarked. Rhoades McKee is pleased to announce that Mary L. Tabin has been named to lead the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Rhoades McKee PC. Rhoades McKee Attorney and Shareholder, John M. Lichtenberg has been invited to become a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation. L. Roland “Bud” Roegge, an Attorney with Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, has been awarded the prestigious “Champion of Justice Award” from the State Bar of MI. U.S. News and World Report has named Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital and Blodgett Hospital 21st in gynecology and 22nd in diabetes and endocrinology in the nation in its 2012-13 rankings. Reda Girgis, M.D., has joined Spectrum Health as Medical Director of its lung transplant program. Attorneys Kerr Moyer and Dale Arndt have joined Straub, Seaman & Allen, P.C., Attorneys at Law. continued on page 12

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

The Chamber News


NEW Members

Please join us in welcoming the following companies to the Chamber. We encourage you to do business with Chamber members! Bedside Healers Inc. Gifts/Cards/Collectibles (248) 895-7946

Wells Fargo Advisors announced the promotions of Steven W. Seely, Vice President Investment Officer; Michael E. Sherman and John VanderPoel, Vice Presidents Investments and David S. Westphal, Associate Vice President Investments. Seely and Sherman are at the firm’s East Beltline location and VanderPoel and Westphal are in downtown Grand Rapids. Robert Wright – Owner River City Metrology LLC Die (Sales, Service) (616) 530-4899 Marie Barker

Jason Peach – President

Belwith Products, LLC Manufacturing (616) 247-4226 Jim Oberstadt – Controller

River Town Honda Automotive (616) 667-4500 Rick Clift – General Manager

Child1st Publications, LLC Publishers/Writers (800) 881-0912 Sarah Major – Owner

Newsflashes, from the page 11

Crossroads Chevrolet Automotive (231) 832-4362 Farmers Insurance Group Insurance (616) 258-7837 John Shubert – Agent FMS Property Management LLC Property Management & Maintenance (616) 485-5892 Frederick Steiner

Terry Crone has been appointed to Director of Business Development at Supply Chain Solutions Inc. Corp! Magazine has selected Trivalent Group Inc. as one of Michigan’s Economic Bright Spots for the fourth consecutive year.

Wolverine Building Group announced the completion and open of Lady Jane’s and Luv’s on Broadmoor Avenue, SE and the beginning of construction for the new production kitchen for Senior Meals Program, Inc., located on Wilson Ave. between 28th St. & Chicago Dr. in Grandville.

BTI Consulting Group recognized Warner Norcross & Judd as a member of the Client Service A-Team for 2012.

H&W Utility Group II, LLC Electric/Electrical (231) 832-2297 Ext:1190

Making Sense of the Exchange

Hunter Law Offices, PLLC Attorneys (616) 719-2467 S. Christopher Hunter – Member

Learn the facts and hear the options for future health insurance for your small business with a special focus on chronic disease, employer tips, and the election outcome at the 2012 Health Care Summit.

IT Resource, Inc. Computers/Technology (616) 837-6930 Molly Reid Senior – Account Executive

Friday, November 16

JetCo Solutions Business Services (616) 570-0067 Susan Tellier – Vice President

7:30 - 11:00 a.m. Thousand Oaks Golf Club $25/Chamber members, $35/future members

Knape & Vogt Manufacturing Company Hardware (616) 459-3311 Linda Jo Carron – General Counsel Peace Talks Mediation Services Legal Services (616) 682-7000


The Chamber News

Visit for details and registration. 2012 Government Affairs Division Underwriter

2012 Government Affairs Supporting Sponsor

Member Ribbon Cutting Celebrations 10 | YoChef’s Café - 17 Pearl St., 8:00 a.m. 616.259.1220


14 & 19 | Overview for Planning and Starting Your Own Business – This SCORE workshop covers what professional assistance will be needed,

Transportation drives our economy. Almost everything we eat, use and touch spends time on a truck. We know that sustained economic growth requires efficient, reliable infrastructure to move these goods to market. Yet, recent findings suggest we’re in for a big surprise when the cost of our lack of investment in today’s roads hits our pockets! The way we currently invest in transportation hass a big impact on our future ability to grow. When our economy grows, it places a heavier burden on our infrastructure network. Ignoring the issues of infrastructure capacity, condition, access and funding is similar to placing a ceiling above our heads. We may have room to grow now, but eventually our growth will be restricted. If we are not proactive today about improving our current system, we will be forced to play a costly game of catch-up down the road. And because the price of every product includes the cost of transportation, Michigan-made products will become less competitive when this cost grows. Did you know that the longer roads are allowed to degrade the more it costs to fix them? Once a road reaches “poor” condition, the repair budget may be 6 to 14 times more than just maintaining a road in “fair” condition. The way we allow roads to continue to degrade actually leads to a greater financial problem. Almost two-thirds of Grand Rapids streets are rated in “poor” condition. If nothing is done to address this crisis, more than 90% of the 600 miles of Grand Rapids roads will be in “poor” condition within a decade. These issues are having a negative effect right now on the business community and on the general quality of life in West Michigan. According to our annual Government Affairs Survey, two transportation issues are a priority for our members: (1) reforms that promote the best value for dollar spent on transportation and (2) adequate funding that keeps infrastructure in “good” or “fair” condition. The Chamber is addressing transportation at several levels: through representation on Grand Rapids’ Sustainable Streets Task Force (SSTF), by working with our state legislators to update funding mechanisms, and in collecting data from the West Michigan Logistics Assessment, a freight and logistics survey that will help identify capacity, regulatory and other transportation obstacles in our region.

identifying your competition, business plans, what legal entity to incorporate as, marketing research, financing and more. Classes start at 8:30 a.m. and cost $45 for one or two people. Register at

20 | Speak Up & Be Effective™ - In this program,

you will learn how to think on your feet, project more confidence, manage your nerves, and get your points across. Call Varnum Consulting at 616.336.7058 for details.


Member Ribbon Cutting Celebrations

3 | CityFlatsHotel Ballroom - 83 Monroe Center St NW, 4:00 p.m. 616.451.1892

6 | Dadds Magic Bus - 407 Turner Ave. NW, 1:00 p.m. 616.235.3233

9 & 10 | Speak Up & Be Effective™ - Advanced

Communicate with impact. Call Varnum Consulting at 616.336.7058 for details.

12 & 17 | Overview for Planning and Starting Your Own Business – This SCORE workshop covers what professional assistance will be needed,

identifying your competition, business plans, what legal entity to incorporate as, marketing research, financing and more. Classes start at 8:30 a.m. and cost $45 for one or two people. Register at

If you are concerned about the future of Michigan transportation, join our committee: contact Joshua Lunger at 616.771.0336 or

AT&T Michigan

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast


17 | Snap Fitness - 9321 Cherry Valley SE, 12:00 p.m.

Willis Law announced Diane Phillips has joined the law firm as Bookkeeper; Amanda Izenbaard as Client Services Manager; and Cindy Zerban as Legal Assistant.

Grand Rapids South Two Men and a Truck has been certified ProMover by the American Moving & Storage Association.

G’s Grill Restaurants/Cafes (Loc., Equip., Supplies) (616) 608-4521 Joseff Vanhorn – Owner

The Hidden Cost of Underinvestment in Michigan Roads

Member Seminars, Events & Celebrations

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

TheThe Chamber News Chamber News13 13


Thank you to the following companies that renewed their memberships in February. We are glad to have you and your employees as members! Prince Conference Center Real IT Solutions, Inc. Wealthy Street Bakery Wedgwood Christian Services Broadway Systems/Ark Labs Chase Creative Unlimited Elite Merchant Solutions Grandville Dental Health Hansen Collision of Grand Rapids Kramer Entertainment, Inc. Smith & Company, Inc. West Michigan Caterer Arthur Murray Dance Studio Buffalo Wild Wings Clean Resources Dental South Festida Foods, Ltd Fritz Wahlfield Construction Company McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon Paragon School of Pet Grooming Ramada Plaza Grand Rapids Hotel Silas Distributors Inc Bruce Heys Builders, Inc. Grand Traverse Resort & Spa Blue Sphere Solutions, Inc. Dykema Excavators Jerrils & Associates Legacy Trust McAlvey, Merchant & Associates Tabernacle Community Church Turn-Key Solutions, Inc.

60+ Years of Membership Lynch Sales Co. 50+ Years of Membership Miller Johnson Spectrum Health United Foam Prangley Marks, LLP 30+ Years of Membership The Sharpe Collection BMW-Land Rover-Jaguar-MINI Cascade Engineering, Inc. Custer Hansen-Balk Steel Treating Co. Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services PwC Woodland Mall 20+ Years of Membership Hughes Integrated Inc Advantage Health Physician Network BLDI Environmental Engineering Comfort Inn Airport Opera Grand Rapids AMBS Investment Counsel, L.L.C. Heitzman & Associates, Inc. Grand Rapids Ballet Company The Charter Group Foremost Communications, LLC Urban Associates Inc. Macatawa Bank Royce Rolls Ringer Co. Crowe Horwath LLP Cumulus Media First Telecommunications, LLC Grand Rapids Art Museum Wells Fargo Insurance Services, USA, Inc. Spectrum Health Medical Group Specialized Language Development (SLD) Center Morris Builders, Inc. Northpointe Bank Partners in Dental Care, PC Rapid Shred, LLC Best Leasing Services LLC University of Phoenix-West Michigan Campus Hampton Inn North Midwest Juice Inc. of Michigan Home Repair Services Cintas Corporation Freightliner of Grand Rapids Tall Turf Ministries Charter Industries Creative Financial Staffing - An Affiliate of Crowe Horwath Ed DeVries Properties, Inc. Planned Parenthood of West & Northern Michigan Whitneyville Land Company Jarvis Handling Equipment Co. Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty Award Window Cleaning Services, Inc Field Technology Services Corporation Great Lakes Motorcoach Great Lakes Wholesale & Marketing L.L.C. KRAHE InfoSystems, Inc. Monelli’s Italian Restaurant & Sports Bar


The Chamber News

Achievement Resources, LLC Aldi American Express Business Travel Berghorst Food Service Blue Medora LLC Centennial Country Club Grandville Tractor & Equipment Jandernoa Entrepreneurial Mentoring - JEM Junior League of Grand Rapids, Inc Lead Marketing Agency Moss Ridge Golf Club & Banquet Center Page Woodworking, Inc. Paul Medawar Fine Jewelry Prism Wealth Management, LLC Stonebrook Townhomes UDECON, Universal Decontamination Services Avantgarde de Salon & Spa Axis, Small Business Branding Center Care Resources Hylant Group of Grand Rapids, LLC Parsley Mediterranean Grille Vranian Business Development, LLC West Brook Recovery Center LLC West River Storage Suites Alpinist Endeavors LLC Commercial Gaskets of West Michigan Continental Rail Gateway Delaware Manor Grand Wealth Management, LLC Management Business Solutions Natural Remedy Marketing LLC Western Districts Members Credit Union

Fast Facts About Sustainability

By Norman Christoper, Executive Director, Sustainable Community Development at Grand Valley State University As we progress along our sustainability journey, it is always useful to take time out and reflect on the importance of sustainability. Let’s take a look at some fast facts that help us better understand why additional progress is still needed.

Big Picture Facts! • • • • • • •

An American family of four uses up to 260 gallons of water per day. Americans use 15 times more energy per person than those living in a developed country. Office buildings use approximately 19% of all energy consumed in the U.S. Energy use can account for over 30% of a company’s operating budget, while adding 20% to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Americans consume on average 2200 two-ply napkins per year—the equivalent of over six napkins each per day! The average American produces 1609 lbs. of waste per year. Every day 50 to 100 species of animals and plants are subject to extinction from human influences.

Facts to Fix It! • •

2+ Years of Membership

10+ Years of Membership

5+ Years of Membership

Easter Seals Michigan Empire Education Group Flagstar Bank Genius Phone Repair Grace Bible College H&S Companies i local Insurance Plan Administrators Jade Rare Coin Newk’s Express Café Service Solutions Shaklee Distributor Smashburger The Silver Spork University Moving/C&C Relocation, Inc. Van Dyken Mechanical, Inc. West Lake Homes, Inc. West Michigan Plumbers, Fitters & Service Trades Local Union #174 Willis Law YoChef’s Catering Company


• • •

Minority- and Woman-Owned Business Directory Sign up for your FREE listing! Monday, October 1 Deadline Must be 51% owned and operated or controlled by an ethnic minority group or a woman.

One Year of Membership All-Star Equipment, LLc Big Lyle’s Party & Event Entertainment CenterPoint Energy Services, Inc

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle will light a 100 watt light bulb for four hours. The energy saved from recycling one aluminum can will operate a TV set for three hours. Recycling, reuse, and composting can reduce waste streams up to 75%. Every ton of recycled paper saves almost 400 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill, and 17 trees. Becoming more energy efficient is as easy as switching to LED and CFL lighting where possible. For example, CFL lights last 8-12 times longer and use 25% less energy. Purchase Energy Star labeled products such as appliances with the assurance that the products save energy. Continue to save water through more efficient products such as showerhead and toilet fixtures.

Energy use, water consumption, and waste generation are still very important areas for all of us to remain focused on. Sources:; www.sustain.ucla. edu/sustainability

Stay up to date on the latest news.

Follow us @GRACC

September 2012 | Issue Sponsor: Comcast

The Chamber News


111 Pearl St. NW | Grand Rapids, MI 49503


CEO & Management Roundtable Celebrates 25 Years Congratulations are in order for the Chamber’s CEO & Management Roundtable Program as it celebrates its Silver Anniversary this year! For 25 years, the CEO & Management Roundtable Program has been bringing fellow managing directors, executives, and business owners together to discuss issues and challenges in a safe and confidential environment. It is often cited by members as one of the best values at the Chamber and a great benefit of membership. “I would recommend the CEO & Management roundtable to any person who is willing to grow by sharing and receiving valuable feedback,” said Bonnie Nawara, a roundtable veteran of 10 years who has served as facilitator for many years and also chaired the CEO steering committee. “The CEO & Management Roundtable experience has been invaluable in my career. I have transitioned from a business owner to a non-profit CEO and received valuable guidance in each transition from my peers,” said Nawara, who is CEO of Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW). Since its inception in 1987, the CEO & Management Roundtable Program has grown into one of the most successful and valued programs at the Chamber. Today, over 300 participants are actively engaged in the program across 30 different roundtables, offering opportunities to improve business performance through structured, peer-to-peer, cooperative, and confidential interactions. “The Roundtable Program allows individual business owners such as myself an avenue of sharing confidential information and to get an honest to goodness opinion and/or instructions on how to improve,” noted Tony Noto of Noto’s Old World Italian Dining. Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Chamber’s CEO & Management Roundtable by making the one-year commitment to join one of our roundtables. The fall session will begin with a mandatory orientation in late September and your first roundtable meeting will be in October. Don’t miss it! The fall enrollment deadline is September 7. Cost | $75 for one year Registration | Visit to find out more or download a brochure. Contact Wes Trimpe at or 616.771.0342 for more information.

September Chamber News  

Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce September 2012 Chamber News