Grand Rapids Business Journal 02.22.22

Page 1

JOHNSON CENTER defines trends for nonprofit sector.


FEB 22, 2022 VOL. 40, NO. 4

The Business Newspaper of Metro Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon & West Michigan



Jay Greer’s background in accounting, medical devices and entrepreneurialism proves beneficial in next endeavor. Page 8

MRLA tallies omicron variant impacts National Restaurant Association survey shows effect of COVID-19 surge on restaurant industry. Rachel Watson

M&A on track Despite record valuations and deals in 2021, survey respondents don’t expect slowdown in 2022. PAGE 3

Taking stock Market’s historic gains have some investors jumping too quickly. PAGE 7

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association recently published survey data showing further federal assistance to the restaurant industry could save an additional 50,000 jobs. The MRLA on Jan. 26 published the Michigan results of a National Restaurant Association COVID-19 Restaurant Impact Survey highlighting the devastating impact the omicron variant has had so far and the positive effect the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) had on the Michigan industry. The first round of RRF funding was disbursed in August to 1 in 3 of the restaurants that applied. The Michigan findings of the impact survey were provided by the National Restaurant Associa-

tion Research Group, which surveyed 4,200 restaurant operators from Jan. 16-18, 2022. According to the National Restaurant Association analysis, the first round of RRF funding

saved more than 35,000 Michigan jobs and helped 94% of recipients of an RRF grant stay in business. In addition, the survey found: •Nearly 43% of restaurant


Survey shows rise in time off adjustments

SLOWER GROWTH GVSU analysts present views for 2022 from West Michigan business leaders at chamber’s annual meeting. Page 9

Employers amending PTO policies to recruit and retain workers in tight labor market.


The area’s top investment and brokerage firms. Page 4 The area’s top wealth management firms. Page 5

More than 85% of survey respondents say they experienced a decline in customer demand for indoor, on-premises dining in recent weeks because of the omicron variant. Courtesy Essence Restaurant Group

operators who did not receive RRF grants feel it is unlikely they will stay in business beyond the pandemic without a grant. •97% of restaurant operators who applied for an RRF grant but did not receive funding said a future grant would enable them to retain or hire back employees who otherwise would have been temporarily or permanently laid off. “Our survey delivers reliable data to what everyone in Michigan already knows — that omicron is closing restaurants and significantly complicating our recovery,” said Justin Winslow, MRLA president and CEO, adding record levels of inflation in 2021 also hit bottom lines. “Fortunately, we have a solution in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund that we know works, (and) we need Congress to act quickly to supplement its funding.” The restaurant industry was hit hard by the latest surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant. Forced to adapt to deteriorating consumer confidence, restaurants reduced

Rachel Watson

A new survey report shows a major increase in time off policy adjustments happened in 2021 amid the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockton Companies, a global independent insurance brokerage and people solutions consulting group, on Jan. 20 published its 2021 HR Trends Survey Report: A

Spotlight on Competitive Time Off Practices. The survey included nearly 700 U.S. employers from a wide variety of industries and regions, representing nearly 1.5 million employees. The full results of the survey are available to employers who participated. Findings showed key policy adjustments such as better alignment with diversity, equity and inclusion programs; an increase in paid parental leave and other family-friendly approaches; and an increase in policies that provide flexibility for employees, including PTO adjustments. “As the Great Resignation took hold and Americans moved within the workforce at unprecedented

rates, employers are reacting with swift adjustments to time off policies,” said Stacie Engelmann, Lockton vice president and HR consultant. “Organizations who aren’t looking to offer competitive benefits will be left behind in the fight to attract and retain top talent.” Jon Snead, senior vice president, business consultant, and Amy McCulloch, strategic consultant, benefits and human capital, Lockton Companies Grand Rapids, recently spoke to the Business Journal about the results. Snead said he easily could have predicted the theme of changing PTO policies in the survey results. “It pretty much confirms some of the things that Amy and I are seeing out in the market, that time

GRBJ.COM Vol. 40, No. 4 $3.00 a copy. $59 a year © Entire contents copyright 2021 by Gemini Media. All rights reserved.

Inside Track ....... 8 Guest Columns.. 10 Inflation situation Change-Ups ...... 16

COUPLE opens Wyoming café with a purpose.

Calendar ........... 16 Public Record .... 17 Street Talk ...... 18



off … is quickly becoming one of the most important benefits that employers need to offer to be competitive in the market, even more so than the more traditional focus on pay, health insurance (and)

retirement.” McCulloch said she was surprised at the nature of some of the changes to PTO structure, as the use of general PTO programs went down by 4% in favor of a shift to CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

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FEB 22, 2022


Johnson Center defines trends for nonprofit sector Outlook Cryptocurrency, culture wars and donors of color all will be prominent in 2022. Chelsea Carter

So, what’s new in philanthropy? Turns out quite a bit is happening in the giving sector, ranging from cryptocurrency and culture wars to motivated donors of color and better ways to gather data. The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) released its sixth annual 11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2022 report, exploring trends that are expected to impact the nonprofit and philanthropic fields in the coming Behrens months and years. According to Teresa “Teri” Behrens, executive director for Johnson Center, one of the overarching themes of the 2022 re-

port is thinking expansively about what giving means. “So much of what gets researched and talked about is the dollars and, you know, increasing the mega-donors in this sector, getting a lot of the press. But when we look at these trends, it’s really kind of the smaller acts of giving, giving us not just money, but time and talent, that are really critical and would actually help create a sense of community (and) bring communities together,” Behrens said. According to Johnson Center’s team of research experts, some of the 2022 top trends to be expected include: •Cryptocurrency and philanthropy: new donors and new questions for nonprofits •Philanthropy is increasingly embroiled in culture wars •Donors of color are mobilizing for their communities — often at the forefront of emerging trends •Expanding the definitions of philanthropy and philanthropist •Nonprofits are finding new ways to get the data they need “So, I think sort of that expansion in the way we all think about philanthropy and think about ways we can give can be really important. I think the technologies (like) cryptocurrency, it’s kind of a double-edged sword for the

nonprofit sector, in particular,” Behrens said. “So, it’s opening up the paths for giving, but is also creating some new risks and challenges.” The uncharted use and potential of cryptocurrency largely remain a question for those in the nonprofit sector. Philanthropy report experts, however, noted the importance of learning how to move digital money as crypto donations continue to emerge. Behrens spoke to the Business Journal following the January cryptocurrency market decline in which the price of bitcoin, the largest digital asset by market value, was trading for roughly $38,538, 43% lower than its record-breaking Nov. 10 peak of $69,006, according to Forbes. “I think in 2022, in particular in the next year, as we’ve seen, the cryptocurrency market is quite volatile. So, for nonprofits and foundations, I would keep a close eye on what happens with that in the coming year. I think the nonprofit sector, like the rest of the world, is in a learning mode about cryptocurrency and the role it’s going to play,” Behrens said. “And you know, nonprofits that have tight operating margins might want to be especially cautious about keeping assets in cryptocurrency.” Though Behrens said crypto-

currency opens paths for giving, it also, like other technologies, creates new risks and challenges to be mindful of. Privacy concerns and community impacts of social media also have brought up their own set of unique challenges for nonprofits to consider. According to sources for the 2021 center trend report, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s recent testimony before Congress exposed that the tech giant is well aware of the harm its products cause, yet it continues to pursue questionable data collection practices while optimizing an algorithm that bolsters the spread of misinformation. These findings have presented nonprofits with a difficult ethical question relating to their use of social media platforms like Facebook. “It’s opening up a path for giving but is also creating some new risks and challenges. So, whether it’s the risks of social media and privacy concerns and the way data gets misused, or it’s the financial risks of cryptocurrency, that technology is your friend — except when it isn’t,” Behrens said. Another overarching theme Behrens points to is the relevancy of “culture war” issues including privacy, property rights and human rights in the nonprofit sector, CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

Couple opens Wyoming café with a purpose The Stray serves up food, music and a sense of camaraderie. Paul R. Kopenkoskey

Special to the Business Journal

The Stray is a music and arts café located in Wyoming where weathered retail stores and a handful of shuttered storefronts dot the retail corridor. For owners Chip and Karen Van Klompenberg, this is exactly where they want to foster a sense of community and creative inspiration for patrons. “We are all becoming isolated as a society and not just because of COVID but I think that’s certainly part of it,” said Karen Van Klompenberg. “You wave to your neighbors but don’t necessarily go and talk. We thought, ‘What would it be like if we used hospitality where people felt comfortable hanging out and having relationships?’” The Stray opened in September 2021 at 4253 S. Division Ave. in a renovated building that once housed a mechanic’s shop when the first phase of the structure was constructed in the 1930s. The building is a far cry from the cinder block utilitarian facade it once sported, which has housed at least 10 businesses since the building was constructed.

Chip and Karen Van Klompenberg say they hope their venture becomes a focal point in the community. Photo by Paul Kopenkoskey

The Stray’s exterior and interior have a modern, inviting appeal that encourages patrons to stay awhile. A selection of coffees, teas, hot chocolate, sandwiches, flat breads, caprese and vineyard goat salads — as well as a rotating list of draft and canned beers and wines — are for sale, as are pastries and snacks. The Stray’s walls display art that’s for sale created by local art-

ists and the venue hosts concerts on the café’s small stage on Friday and Saturdays, giving local bands of assorted music genres opportunities to perform before a live audience. “I think creative people gather their inspiration in different places,” said Chip Van Klompenberg. “If we could have a place that would inspire people to use their gifts and then inspire other

people, that would be awesome. There wasn’t a lot of places where a band could play in the area and so we said wouldn’t it be great if we had a place where younger talent could be on stage — maybe on stage for the first time — or where more experienced talent could come?” After combing other potential CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

shows M&A on track Despite record valuations and deals in 2021, survey respondents don’t expect slowdown in 2022. Rachel Watson

A new survey shows middle-market companies and private-equity firms foresee a strong year for the M&A market in 2022, with bullish forecasts for deal volumes and company valuations. Citizens conducted its annual Middle Market M&A Outlook survey between November and December 2021 among 265 U.S. based middle-market businesses ($50 million to $1 billion in revenue) that currently are engaged in or open to mergers and acquisitions activity, as well as 135 private equity firms with clients in the same revenue range. Respondents represented core business sectors including health care; technology, media and telecommunications; industrial; consumer services; and business-to-business services. The survey saw an uptick in would-be sellers and continued interest from prospective buyers. Among PE firms, the majority (54%) say deal flow will increase from 2021’s record levels, while 33% say it will remain the same, and 13% say they expect a decrease. In terms of valuations, half Dunstan of middle-market companies expect stable valuations, while 36% anticipate higher prices. PE firms are even more positive, with 42% saying valuations will remain stable, and 40% predicting higher multiples in the year ahead. The survey also found confidence in getting deals done increased among sellers and buyers. “We heard from companies about the challenges they expect will continue into 2022, but they also have a lot of optimism,” said Ralph Della Ratta, chair of Citizens M&A Advisory. “That confidence is one of the fundamental reasons why the M&A outlook is strong even after the pace of deals in 2021.” Jim Childs, head of Citizens M&A Advisory, added, “It speaks volumes that companies and PE firms see this pace continuing.” “It reflects the confidence level in the market,” he said. “The pandemic really disrupted the operating environment, and that creates a new value proposition for both sellers and buyers.” Companies said COVID-19 and other economic factors such as labor market challenges and comCONTINUED ON PAGE 14



FEB 22, 2022




Edward Jones 6769 Courtland Drive NE, Suite 200 Rockford 49341 p (616) 874-8335 f 598-8805


Northwestern Mutual - West Michigan 55 Campau Ave. NW, Suite 400 Grand Rapids 49503 p (616) 774-2031 f 774-0338


Resident manager

Year established in W. Mich.

Chris Carlson


No. of licensed representatives local/ national

No. of No. of support staff offices local/ local/ national national

Centennial celebration

2021 2020 corporate assets (stockholders' equity) Services offered

126 18,856

200 DND

102 15000


Helping long-term individual investors achieve their financial goals by understanding their needs and implementing tailored solutions

Joe Dierks


91 11,000

79 DND

5 368

$309B $290B

Life insurance, disability, long-term care, annuities and investments

VantagePointe Financial Group 3333 Evergreen Drive NE Grand Rapids 49525 p (616) 534-9623 f 534-1340

David Pasciak


55 DND

34 DND

14 24

$4.42B $3.8B

Investment advisory services, family and business wealth management


Centennial Securities 3075 Charlevoix Drive SE Grand Rapids 49546 p (616) 942-7680 f 942-6389

Randall Hansen


41 DND

16 DND

4 5


Customized, flexible planning for retirement, education and additional goals. Risk and financial plan analysis. Wealth management including a suite of investment products. 401(k) administration


Stifel 5181 Cascade Road SE Grand Rapids 49546 p (616) 942-1717 f 942-2412

Paul Drueke


34 DND

22 DND

3 447

DND $4.24B



Thomas Moher


18 DND

14 DND



Financial/estate/retirement planning, business consulting, capital markets, charitable gifting, wealth management, tax strategies, trust administration, asset allocation, retirement plans (401(k), IRA, profit sharing), insurance

Redfield Financial Group 4120 East Beltline Ave. NE, Suite 100 Grand Rapids 49525 p (616) 447-1600 f 447-1616

Mark Redfield




3 3


Wealth management and financial advising

David Muilenberg


6 6

3 3

1 2

$671.96M $609.32M

Tamara Sytsma


3 8,400



$8.2B $7B

Wealth management services for business owners and their families including asset management, charitable giving, estate coordination and wealth blueprints






Bank: retail, commercial, mortgage, investments, wealth management




2 2

$102M $95M

Discovery Financial LLC 971 Spaulding Ave. SE, Suite A Ada 49301 p (616) 957-9999 f 957-9949

Old National Bank 5200 Cascade Road SE Grand Rapids 49546 p (616) 228-6000

Success Financial Group LLC 4144 Chicago Drive SW Grandville 49418 p (616) 261-9480 f 261-9507

Partnership Stifel is partnering with NorthCoast Wealth Advisors. It is now a part of Stifel’s new private client group in Holland.

Acquisition Raymond James Financial acquired U.K.based Charles Group. The group continues to operate as a separate brand and does business as Charles Stanley, a division of Raymond James.

Community plan

Raymond James & Associates 2060 East Paris Ave., Suite 250 Grand Rapids 49546 p (616) 974-3003 f 974-3366

Sytsma Wealth Strategies 922 Wealthy St. SE Grand Rapids 49506 p (616) 608-3755 f 635-2079 10

Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, retirement plans, managed accounts, financial planning, cash management, estate planning

Edward Jones is celebrating its 100-year anniversary.

Lindsey Chrystan

Fee-based planning and management, retirement plans, estate planning, life insurance

Old National Bancorp, the holding company of Old National Bank, established an $8.3 billion Community Growth Plan that supports low-to-moderate income borrowers, community development initiatives and philanthropic programs over a five-year period.

Retirement strategies, investments, federal benefits

The Grand Rapids Business Journal list of top area investment and brokerage firms, ranked by number of West Michigan licensed representatives in 2021, is the most comprehensive available. The Business Journal defines "West Michigan" as Allegan, Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties. The Business Journal surveyed 57 firms; 11 returned surveys and 11 are listed. To be considered for future lists, email DND = Did not disclose



Download this list now at in Excel or PDF format. The Book of Lists and other lists are also available.



FEB 22, 2022



Top W. Mich. executive(s)

2021/ 2020 W. Mich. assets under management

Philip Streng Chris Carlson

$10.03B $11.46B



*Edward Jones 6769 Courtland Drive NE, Suite 200 Rockford 49341 p. (616) 874-8335 f. 598-8805


Zhang Financial 460 Ada Drive SE Ada 49301 p. (888) 777-0126 f. 385-5705

Charles Zhang Lynn Chen-Zhang Robert McDougall

$4.71B $3.72B


Stifel 5181 Cascade Road SE Grand Rapids 49546 p. (616) 942-1717 f. 942-2412

Paul Drueke

$4.52B $2.02B


VantagePointe Financial Group 3333 Evergreen St. NE Grand Rapids 49525 p. (616) 534-9632 f. 534-1340

David Pasciak

$4.42B $3.8B


Northwestern Mutual - West Michigan 55 Campau Ave. NW, Suite 400 Grand Rapids 49503 p. (616) 774-2031 f. 774-0338

Joe Dierks


Centennial Securities 3075 Charlevoix Drive SE Grand Rapids 49546 p. (616) 942-7680 f. 942-6389

Randall L. Hansen


Greenleaf Trust 25 Ottawa Ave. SW, Suite 110 Grand Rapids 49503 p. (616) 888-3210 f. DND

Thomas DeMeester

$1.58B $1.21B


Discovery Financial LLC 971 Spaulding Ave. SE, Suite A Ada 49301 p. (616) 957-9999 f. 957-9949

David Muilenberg


Grand Wealth Management LLC 333 Bridge St. NW Grand Rapids 49504 p. (616) 451-4228 f. 451-4229


Growtrust Partners 979 Spaulding Ave. SE, Suite A Ada 49301 p. (616) 949-8300 f. 696-1919


No. 1 Broker/dealer affiliates

Edward Jones

Commissions, fees or both



Retirement planning, insurance solutions, education planning, estate and trust services

CFP, CPA, MBA, MSFS, ChFC, CFA Custodians: LPL Financial, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab


Fee-only asset management, retirement planning, investment advice, comprehensive financial planning, wealth management


Stifel, Nicolaus & Company Incorporated, Century Securities Associates, Stifel Bank & Trust, Stifel Trust Co.


Full-service wealth management and investment banking


Royal Alliance Associates Inc.


Investment advisory and wealth management services. Building lifelong relationships with clients while becoming a resource to families and businesses as their needs change

$2.53B $2.11B


Northwestern Mutual


Financial planning, risk management, annuities, business and estate planning, long-term care, disability income insurance

$1.7B DND


RBC Clearing and Custody, Charles Schwab, Fidelity


Customized, flexible planning for retirement, education and additional goals. Risk and financial plan analysis. Wealth management including a robust suite of investment products. 401(k) administration


Not affiliated with any one broker/dealer


Trust administration, wealth management, retirement plan services, foundation and endowment services, family office services, estate settlement

$671.96M $609.32M


LPL Financial


Fee-based wealth management and financial planning, 401(k) and deferred compensation

Jeff Williams Steve Starnes Janelle Anderson Anastasia Wiese

$582.29M $487.51M




Comprehensive wealth management for financially successful families

Chris Engle Brian Sandberg Ryan Smith

$557M $441M

Certified financial planners, LPL Financial chartered financial consultants, accredited estate planners, chartered adviser for senior living


By using a comprehensive, goal-oriented planning approach, we seek to help clients create and maintain wealth to assist in meeting their current and future financial objectives


Advance Capital Management Inc. 625 Kenmoor Ave., Suite 307 Grand Rapids 49546 p. (616) 954-2066 f. 954-2499

Ryan Sheffer Jared VanDenBerg James Walsh Patrick Cummins

$544.9M $472.09M




Retirement, financial and tax planning


Henrickson Nauta Wealth Advisors 2325 Belmont Center Drive NE, Suite A Belmont 49306 p. (616) 361-9308 f. 361-9370

Doug Henrickson Jeff Nauta

$510.78M $428.98M



Comprehensive wealth management services


JVL Wealth Strategies 1657 Gezon Pkwy. SW Wyoming 49519 p. (616) 261-2800 f. 261-2866

Jerry VanderLugt

$451.5M $279.48M




Estate planning, financial planning, wealth transfer strategies, investment advisory services


Rinvelt & David LLC 1700 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Suite 150 Grand Rapids 49525 p. (616) 957-0022 f. 957-4409

Roger David Jacob Rinvelt

$434M $387M


Kestra Financial


Financial planning/wealth management, social security optimization planning, portfolio risk analysis, major life event planning


Huizenga Gamache & Associates 44 E. Eighth St., Suite 215 Holland 49423 p. (616) 392-6614 f. 392-6694

Tim Huizenga Roger Gamache Tim Jongsma Lance Baker

$423M $362M


Ameriprise Financial


Corporate executives, preretirees, retirees


Frattallone Wealth Management Group, A Sylvia Frattallone private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Jeremy Moore Financial Services LLC Roger (Jim) VanLoo 6300 E. Fulton St. Shanna Shillington-Bylsma Ada 49301 p. (616) 682-5000 f. 682-5500 frattallonewealthmanagementgroup

All advisers in the practice hold Ameriprise Financial professional designations. Services, LLC Practice owner holds: ChFC, CLU, CRPC, AEP, APMA and CDFA designations. Private Wealth Practice status. Certified to manage discretionary investment accounts and options trading certified. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) on staff.


Custom asset management for the affluent market, complex financial, tax and estate planning, a Chartered Financial Analyst on staff, as well as a designated Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

$419.26M $359.14M

Charles Zhang, founder and CEO of Zhang Financial, was ranked the No. 1 financial adviser in the nation on Barron’s list of the top 100 independent advisers for 2021.

Top 100 For the 26th consecutive year, Northwestern Mutual’s college financial representative internship program was ranked by Vault as one of the top 100 best in the country.

Award designation Kathryn Gadbois Schafer, a senior trust relationship associate for Greenleaf Trust in Kalamazoo, was awarded the Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor designation from the American Bankers Association.

New hires Growtrust Partners welcomed Liz Valliere as its client services associate and Courtney Burt as its client communications associate.



Download this list now at in Excel or PDF format. The Book of Lists and other lists are also available.



FEB 22, 2022



New position

Top W. Mich. executive(s)

2021/ 2020 W. Mich. assets under management

Ronald Knipping Derrek Klimek

$409.16M $339.23M

CFP, MBA, AIF, CRPC, CPA, MST, Rehmann Financial Network EA


Tax-managed investments, financial and estate planning, advanced design 401(k) plans, nonqualified deferred comp. plans

$398.15M $328.22M



Retirement income portfolios, retirement plan rollovers, retirement account construction


Broker/dealer affiliates

Commissions, fees or both



Rehmann LLC 2330 East Paris Ave. SE Grand Rapids 49546 p. (616) 975-4100 f. 975-4400


Ameriprise Financial Services LLC 2856 Port Sheldon St. Hudsonville 49426 p. (616) 379-5248 f. 379-5256

Brian Timmer


Voisard Asset Management Group 99 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 504 Grand Rapids 49503 p. (616) 988-5778 f. 988-5694

Douglas Voisard Brandon Bauer Jordan Buffum

$311.63M $257.19M




Portfolio management, retirement planning, financial planning, retirement plan accounts


West Michigan Community Bank 5367 School Ave. Hudsonville 49426 p. (800) 664-1778 f. 669-7496

Phil Koning

$293.76M $248.29M


Infinex Investments Inc.


Investment management, brokerage, trustee and personal representative services, IRAs, 401(k) plans


Lake Michigan Credit Union MaxWealth Management P.O. Box 2848 Grand Rapids 49501 p. (800) 242-9790 f. DND

Kristy Kemnic H. James Blakeslee

$280.09M $235.33M

RIA, CRPC, financial adviser

LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC, insurance products through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates


Investment, insurance, banking, financial and retirement planning, estate and college planning


Advanced Asset Management LLC 4555 Wilson Ave. SW Grandville 49418 p. (616) 531-5220 f. 531-7773

Ronald J. VanSurksum, CFP

$148.9M $122.73M




Fee-only financial planning and investment advisory, comprehensive financial planning


Cornerstone Retirement Partners 2900 Charlevoix Drive SE Grand Rapids 49546 p. (616) 301-2581 f. 301-2593

Ron Courser Nolan Goslee

$65M $45M


Brookstone Capital Management


Wealth management, retirement income planning

Ameriprise Financial Services LLC

The Grand Rapids Business Journal list of top area wealth management firms, ranked by 2021 West Michigan assets under management, is the most comprehensive available. The list is based on responses to Business Journal surveys. The Business Journal defines "West Michigan" as Allegan, Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties. The Business Journal surveyed 134 companies; 26 returned surveys and 23 are listed. To be considered for future lists, email DND = did not disclose. * = total assets under management ai16444378898_11892 Max Wealth Management GRBJ ad.pdf



Rehmann named Katie Stewart its human resource solutions senior manager for the Grand Rapids office.

Acquisition Lake Michigan Credit Union acquired Florida’s Pilot Bank. The credit union now has 19 branches throughout Southwest Florida, including the six new branches from the acquisition of Pilot Bank.



Download this list now at in Excel or PDF format. The Book of Lists and other lists are also available.

3:18 PM

19th Annual Midwest

Good with numbers because we value people. We don’t like to brag, but we’re professionals in the field of financial investing. Then again, so are a thousand other advisors at a hundred other financial institutions.

It all starts with a simple conversation. Call us at (855) 919-2207, or visit for more information.

The difference is we believe in shaking your hand, sharing a cup of coffee, and getting to know your business’ financial goals before we partner in pursuit of them.

8AM-1PM @ The GVSU Eberhard Center A comprehensive supply chain management education and networking event focused on transportation, sustainability, technology, and leadership.

Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. Lake Michigan Credit Union and MaxWealth Management are not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using MaxWealth Management, and may also be employees of Lake Michigan Credit Union. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, Lake Michigan Credit Union or MaxWealth Management. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are: Not Lake Michigan Credit Union Not Insured by the Not Lake Michigan NCUA or Any Other Credit Union Guaranteed. Deposits or Obligations. Government Agency.

“Reinvent and Refocus Your Supply Chain”

May Lose Value.


FEB 22, 2022


Restaurants suffer under omicron variant impacts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

hours/days of operation, cut seating capacity and shut down, pivoting to off-premises dining, with the end result being lower sales volumes in 2021 than in 2019. “We’re really starting to see, like in the earlier days of the pandemic, permanent restaurant closures happening in uncomfortable numbers,” Winslow said. “… People have been coming back and dining in resta urants in very significant numbers, but the ability for restaurants to profit

off that has been decreased, not increased, from pre-pandemic times.” According to the survey: •86% of restaurants experienced a decline in customer demand for indoor, on-premises dining in recent weeks because of the omicron variant. •76% of operators report business conditions are worse now than three months ago. •78% of operators say their restaurant is less profitable now than it was before the pandemic. “The National Restaurant As-

sociation estimates indicate that full replenishment of the RRF will save an additional 50,000 restaurant jobs in Michigan,” Winslow said. “The RRF was a critical lifeline to many of our restaurants, but far more remain on the sidelines, desperately looking for support before they are forced to close their doors forever. The (replenis hment of the RRF) will be critical toward the future of many restaurants that serve as the cornerstone of their community.” Winslow said at the end of

2021, he would not have expressed hope Congress would replenish the RRF, but at press time, he thought it was a strong possibility as the legislative body neared its mid-February budget deadline. The initial volume of qualified asks for the RRF funding from Michigan restaurants was about $2 billion, and the first round of funding to Michigan totaled $780 million, Winslow said. “$1.2 billion exists out there of needed relief that was not met, and it’s showing right now in the

Dana Hushak sees a happy medium between great wealth and good fortune. The impact of wealth on successive generations is never far from Dana Hushak’s mind. Over a 30-year career in trusts, he has advised clients in every conceivable family dynamic. A common thread: “What will inheritance do for our kids, and what will it do to them?” And another:

strain on the industry,” he said. “… This industry sits substantially smaller in jobs than it was before and is at risk of shrinking that labor pool even more if it doesn’t have a chance of this funding.” Nationally, there was about $75 billion worth of need for U.S. restaurants, and $28 billion was disbursed in round one of the RRF. The Michigan findings from the national COVID-19 Restaurant Impact Survey are available at

Stock market volatility can create indecision Investors should design a long-term written plan and stick to it.

“What financial steps can we take that will help us help others?”

Danielle Nelson

Being of service is a lifelong mission for Dana, whose

The stock market has made some historic gains lately (and suffered some big losses), but that doesn’t mean investors should be jumping in with both feet right now. Some of those actions have led long-term investors who have invested in S&P 500 companies such as Apple, Tesla, Microsoft Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Meta (formerly known as Facebook) to make rush decisions depending on the direction of the market. Ryan Diepstra, COO for Centennial Securities in Grand Rapids, said despite the ebbs and flows of the stock market, S&P 500 companies have made gains, overall. “The last three years in the S&P have been historic,” he said. “2019 netted 31.5%. 2020 was 18.4% and 2021 was 28.7%. Out of the last 13 years, the S&P has finished positive 12 times, and out of the last 19 years, the S&P has finished positive 17 times. Over the course of the last three years, the S&P has more than doubled, which was the highest three-year return since 1997-99.” Diepstra acknowledged that between Jan.4-Jan. 24 of this year, the S&P 500 went down 12.4%, causing investors to become scared and wondering whether there will be a recession or bear market. “It is not uncommon for investors to look at the short-term outlook and be tempted to sell their investments or put it in cash until things return to normal or until the dust settles or until the economy improves, but let me tell you, there is always going to be something to worry about,” he said. “Any given time, whether the market is up, up, up or the market is down, down, down — we could have a pandemic, we could have a global crisis,

values were instilled by his 98-year-old father’s own missions flown over the Pacific in WWII. Dana’s upbringing and education in Connecticut provided a good springboard for wealth management positions in Boston, Naples (FL), Cincinnati, and Grand Rapids. High marks and happy clients notwithstanding, something nagged at him: A desire to be with a firm whose culture is, like his, mission-driven. At Greenleaf Trust, Dana found the core values he yearned for, in sync with our client centric approach that integrates asset management with tax mitigation, trusts, retirement, estate planning, philanthropy, and family assistance. It was everything he’d hoped for. We saw equally appealing attributes in Dana, and invited him to join our team. As you consider your own legacy, and how your success can best be positioned to help those you love, call Dana Hushak at 616.446.1958. His primary mission is to accomplish yours.

25 Ottawa Avenue SW, Suite 110, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616.888.3210




FEB 22, 2022


Compass president plays many roles Jay Greer’s background in accounting, medical devices and entrepreneurship proves beneficial in next endeavor. Danielle Nelson


ay Greer has been crisscrossing professions since he was able to work, but now he is settled on one. Greer is the president of Compass College of Film & Media, a nonprofit Christian college in Grand Rapids. He became the president of Compass in 2018 and since then he has used the varied experiences and knowledge he gained throughout the decades to help the school excel. Despite taking the helm just four years ago, he has made significant changes at Compass, including changing the school’s name from Compass College of Cinematic Arts to Compass College of Film & Media to give the school a new identity. Compass now owns the building it once shared with ArtPrize. The entire two-story, 28,000-square-foot building is undergoing an approximately $400,000 renovation that includes its theater space with the purchase of a new movie projector and acoustic treatments, with sound and video systems to follow. The collection of those changes was the result of Greer’s life work that preceded them. Greer began his career as a certified public accountant after excelling in accounting classes at Walsh College. His first accounting job was at Deloitte & Touche where he worked for more than two years as a peer professional in the tax department while he was attending school part-time. Although Greer was working in the tax department, he said he realized he didn’t love taxes. So, after he graduated, he went to work at KMPG where he did auditing and consulting for four years before leaving. “The reason I left was because I was working too many hours,” he said. “I was working about 2,700 hours per year, which a normal person works 2,200 hours. I wanted to become a partner, but I realized I couldn’t, and they didn’t have the priority of raising a family that I was going to have. We didn’t have kids yet, so when I knew that we were going to have kids in a

couple of years, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t working those crazy hours.” He went on to work at what was Crittenton Healthcare in Rochester where he was an accountant. The hospital started to diversify its services by buying a home care business and starting to build a nursing home. Greer said those two businesses began losing money and the health system ended up on shaky financial ground. Greer used the accounting skills he gained at Deloitte and KMPG and helped to make the businesses profitable after a little over a year. He said he was later promoted within the system and ended up starting three more companies. In his second year at Crittenton Healthcare, Greer started a business that made durable medical equipment (DME), which can include blood sugar test strips, canes, commode chairs, crutches, walkers, oxygen equipment and nebulizers. “What I found out with home care, which are the nurses and the physical therapists going to a person’s house and helping to take care of them, that those people needed equipment at their homes, DME,” he said. He said the information from the Crittenton nursing staff eventually led to the formation of a DME business. Greer also started another business in his third year. While he was building relationships with doctors, he encouraged them to use the labs at the hospital instead of sending patients to other labs. Greer said the hospital labs could handle basic lab testing but not sophisticated lab testing, so he was able to put together a joint venture between the hospital and a national lab and, as a result, the hospital was able to create another revenue stream. He also was responsible for starting physician practices during his eight years and Crittenton and soon realized he had developed some entrepreneurial skills. Greer decided to start Surgical Carepair, a company that repaired such hospital equipment as minimal invasive surgery cameras and heart scopes, and he was able to help the company expand nation-

JAY GREER Organization: Compass College of Film & Media Position: President Age: 64 Birthplace: Pontiac Residence: Hudsonville Family: Wife, Ann; sons, Aaron and Daniel Biggest career break: Starting Surgical Carepair and then being able to sell it. “That was the biggest thing. Starting my first company and growing it to 30 cities in three years, that was huge. I learned so much during that period of time and I was able to replicate it in other businesses.”

Jay Greer served as interim president before taking theArole in 2018 latefull-time class during her at what is now Compass undergraduate career College of Film & Media. led Shorouq Almallah Photo Courtesy of Aaron to turn her attention Greer to information science. Courtesy 616 Media

ally with a presence in 30 cities across the country. “What I found was that we could repair them faster and cheaper than manufacturers, like half the cost, so I helped the hospital save money and made it that they didn’t have to rent equipment,” he said. “Instead of the manufacturer taking two weeks to get it back, they can have it back in three days.” Greer purchased another competitor during the fourth year of operations and then sold Surgical Carepair to Cardinal Health. He eventually spent 14 years at Cardinal, initially on a series of six-month contracts. During that time, Cardinal purchased another company that was failing. Greer was able to turn that business around and eventually sold it. He then started a new company at Cardinal Health called Optifreight Logistics, which grew into a $250 million enterprise in six years, three of which he served as president. Eventually, Greer also facilitated a joint venture between Cardinal Health and Healthcare IQ in Florida. After 14 years at Cardinal Health, Greer retired. The hiatus didn’t last long. “I had two companies call me within a week,” he said. “One from Iowa and one from Auburn Hills, Michigan, that were entrepreneurial companies. They were small companies, and they were service businesses, which was all I had ever done, service businesses, and they asked if I could consult so I started doing consulting.” As a result, Greer started a

consulting firm called Jay Greer Entrepreneurial Consulting. He also started another business, Cornerstone Technologies, that sells medical supplies to the same clients Carepair focused on. Fifteen years later, Cornerstone is serving more than 80 hospitals in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, and Greer still is involved as a managing member. Jumping from a medical device manufacturer to president of an arts and entertainment school might seem like a stretch, but like everything else in Greer’s life, there are connections. He became involved with what was then Compass College of Cinematic Arts after his son attended a high school film camp at the institution. His career as a CPA gave him the opportunity to join Compass’ board of directors 15 years ago as its treasurer and later chairman. After the previous president retired, Greer agreed to serve as interim president and eventually filled the position permanently. The school was rebranded this year as Compass College of Film & Media. Greer said Compass is using the resources it has to show students the various opportunities they have in the film and media industries while stressing those opportunities are not limited to just Los Angeles and New York. He said there are many cinematic, television, marketing and advertising jobs right here in Michigan. “The industry in the last five years has changed, and with the COVID piece, the number of

things being shot in LA has gone down,” he said. “There are more things being shot in other states and with the streaming services that are going on, it doesn’t matter where you shoot the film. The question is, ‘Do you have the right equipment? Do you have the right staff? Do you have the right background? Do you know how to edit? Is it a good story?’” Compass recently created three productions on-site and students were able to get hands-on experience from professionals in the industry. One of the TV series the students produced is called “The Watchers.” The trailer will be released in April on a streaming service. Students recently partnered with the Kent County Sherriff’s Department to help its staff create a better social media presence by training them to write, produce and edit videos. Compass also partnered with Critter Barn in Zeeland to do a nativity shoot so the organization could post it online for people to watch when they couldn’t visit the barn because of the pandemic. “I am hoping to build a relationship with the community,” he said. “I want to reach out to different parts of our community with our skillset. I am looking at how can students learn hands-on while helping the community, because if they can help serve the community while they are doing hands-on, they can make an impact on the community with their video storytelling skills. Compass could help the community in a lot of different ways.”


FEB 22, 2022


Economists forecast slower growth trend in 2022 GVSU analysts present views from West Michigan business leaders at chamber’s annual meeting. Rachel Watson

The economic confidence of business leaders across West Michigan is slipping as hurdles to growth mount, according to a recent presentation by local experts. At the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s 134th annual meeting on Feb. 2 at DeVos Place, economists Paul Isely, professor of economics and associate dean in Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business, and Kuhelika De, assistant professor of economics at Grand Valley, presented “The State of Grand Rapids Business,” an economic forecast they published with the support of data and perspectives collected from chamber members. The report is based on a representative sample from a survey last fall of 1,000 organizations in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Allegan (KOMA) counties. “We were excited to match data from the Seidman College of Business with expert analysis from members in manufacturing, real estate, hospitality and employment,” said Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber. “Despite the uncertainty, there is a lot to be excited about in

The report was based on a representative sample from a survey last fall of 1,000 organizations in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Allegan counties. Courtesy of Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

2022, including continued growth. As we tackle these challenges and opportunities, the Grand Rapids Chamber will continue to have our business community’s back.” Isely said business leaders are heading into 2022 with less confidence than last year. He added West Michigan businesses will continue to rebound from the pandemic, but growth will slow later this year due to a likely rise in interest rates. “Surprisingly, what we’re finding in talking to business leaders across West Michigan is that

they’re feeling less confident going into 2022 than they were going into 2021,” Isely said. “This is telling us that concerns over talent, prices, supply chain and the pandemic are creating uncertainty. COVID and COVID responses clearly shaped 2021 and will continue to do so into 2022. “(Business executives) are worried about how much longer this will go on, and (they) wonder if they will have to worry about inflation, interest rates and finding labor for the next 12 months.” Several factors, including a

short COVID recession and $5 trillion in federal stimulus, contributed to slowing the projected growth rate, Isely said. These factors “superheated the economy,” which will correct itself and swing back like a pendulum, he said. “If you pull it too far in one direction, it will correct in the other direction,” Isely said. “You can accelerate really fast for a short period of time but can’t do it for a long time. The economy corrects itself by using things like increases in prices in order to try to slow down.”

De said supply chain bottlenecks and low labor force participation rates will impact inflation, predicted by the Federal Reserve at 3% for 2022. However, De said her economic models show inflation measured by the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index at 3-4%, while inflation on the consumer price index (CPI) is at 4-6%. The confidence index, tracking overall business confidence in KOMA, fell last year due in part to uncertainty, inflation and supply chain issues, Isely said. Other findings from the GVSU economic forecast for 2022: •The Business Confidence Index for the end of 2021 was 72.4%, lower than expected last year. •The Forecast Business Confidence Index for 2022 is 70.5%, showing reduced expectations. •Employment is expected to grow by 2.6%-3.2%, showing similar growth to 2021. •Overall nominal sales are expected to increase by 2.3%-2.9%, a pickup in growth from expectations in 2021. •Wages are expected to increase by 4.4%-5.2%. •Prices are expected to increase by 5.9%-7.3%. •All indicators signal the West Michigan economy will show solid growth during the beginning of 2022, with growth slowing as the year progresses. About 700 chamber members attended the event. “We were so pleased to partner CONTINUED ON PAGE 17

Michigan bests nation’s Business Conditions Index Citizens survey showed state’s Q4 numbers improved from Q3 while U.S. numbers declined. Rachel Watson

Michigan fared better than the nation during the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the latest Citizens Business Conditions Index, although both numbers showed economic expansion. Citizens on Jan. 27 published the quarterly national Citizens Business Conditions Index (CBCI), which was 54.35 for the fourth quarter, down from 57.84 at the end of September but still in expansionary territory. Michigan’s Q4 index was at 54.82, slightly better than 54.08 in Q3. The index draws from public information and proprietary corporate data to establish a view of business conditions across the country. An index value greater than 50 indicates expansion and points to positive business activity for the next quarter. “It’s good to see (Michigan’s) slight uptick over the third quarter, given that the national aver-

age went down, and I think that’s just a testament to the resiliency of (the) Michigan economy coming back, and it’s also a testament to a lot of companies out there managing through the pandemic that now have a little bit more of a tailwind from the pandemic versus a lot of headwinds going into it a year-plus or so ago,” said Jim Malz, Midwest regional executive at Citizens. Following particularly high readings in the second and third quarters, the latest index value reflects the demand momentum still driving business conditions. The CBCI has been in expansionary territory for five consecutive quarters. “The vast majority of companies have successfully adapted to the pandemic. Malz (Last) quarter, we started to see some overheating. That’s prompting an adjustment back to a more moderate pace of growth,” said Eric Merlis, managing director, corporate risk solutions, Citizens. “A slight pullback will help the supply chain continue to normalize and allow the labor

market to keep adjusting, both of which are constructive for confidence levels.” With increasing concerns about inflation and a new COVID variant surging late in Q4, there was considerable volatility. Supply chain issues continued, something the omicron wave might further aggravate. “(If there’s another variant on the horizon) how is that going to impact people’s psyche and behaviors in terms of spending, and how can we better manage? You never know about that, but I think folks have pretty well prepared,” Malz said. The strong demand experienced throughout the year carried economic activity along at a fast pace. The Federal Reserve announced changes to its policy outlook for 2022 to stave off excessive inflation. “I think the biggest concern is (whether) the supply chain challenges will hopefully slowly abate over time as we roll into Q2 and the back half of the year,” Malz said. “I think it’s looking promising, somewhat, now that rates will likely increase, and so things may slow or temper a bit.” Against this backdrop, three of the five underlying components in the CBCI were additive, while one was neutral, and one had a moderating effect.

High readings in the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) indexes for manufacturing and nonmanufacturing contributed to the positive CBCI value this quarter. As of December, the manufacturing index reflected some progress in supply chain and labor issues. The services index hit an all-time high in November, Citizens said. These indexes also capture sentiment, reflecting a broad confidence that continued throughout the economy in Q4. Employment markers were neutral during the period, neither boosting nor pressuring the CBCI. Hiring activity continued its trendline, driving the unemployment rate down, while wage inflation ticked upward. New business applications were an area of relative weakness in the fourth quarter. However, Citizens said there was strength in the proprietary activity data of its commercial banking clients, which is an underlying component of the CBCI, as well. Several trends solidified the recovery in 2021 and even drove the economy toward early indications of overheating. Excess savings have been a key driver of the high demand level. The fourth quarter saw signs excess savings finally have tapered off, and households slowly are returning to pre-pandemic behaviors.

Another key theme in the index data this quarter was business activity pulled back modestly from second- and third-quarter peak levels but remained steady. As policymakers work toward removing support, a moderating trend in business activity should help ease inflationary pressures, Citizens said. Though the pandemic’s impact continued, the fourth quarter brought signs of continued strength, alongside “reassuring markers of normalizing trends” in the economy, according to the financial institution. Malz said he believes the biggest unknown affecting the economic picture moving forward is the geopolitical scene. “If there’s an event or events, how does that impact the U.S. and our goods manufacturing base, consumer base, industry base and economic base here in the United States?” Malz said. “That’s a wild card right now we’re paying very close attention to, and a lot of our clients are talking about the same thing. We just don’t have a feel for what’s going to happen and hopefully (it will be) nothing too major or nothing too severe.” Citizens is based in Providence, Rhode Island, and has branches in Michigan and 10 other states. More information about the Q4 index is at



FEB 22, 2022



If Fed acts wisely, expect inflation rate to regress


n a New York Times op-ed in January, Paul Krugman commiserated with those blindsided by the jump in the U.S. inflation rate. Quoting him: “A 7% surge in the Consumer Price Index over the past year comes as a shock, especially because so many people, myself included, didn’t see it coming.” It seems to me that no one with some familiarity with economic theory should be in the least surprised at what has happened. A good place to begin any discussion about inflation is with one of the most wellknown claims in economics, made by one of the most wellknown economists of the 20th century, Milton Friedman, a Nobel laureate and professor of economics at the University of Chicago: “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” What does that mean? Simply that an economy’s inflation rate is closely related to the rate at which its money supply is growing. Money is the currency in circulation, plus balances in various bank accounts, and the inflation rate is the percentage change in average price from period to period. What Friedman argued is that the rate at which the money supply grows will determine the inflation rate. In fact, there could be a simple relationship between these two percentage changes. Here’s the relationship I’m alluding to. Say the money supply is growing at the rate of 6% a year, and the inflation rate is 3%. Then if the

rate at which the money supply is increasing goes up to 9%, the inflation rate would go up to 6%. Every 1 percentage point increase in the rate at which the money supply is growing could cause the inflation rate to go up by 1 percentage point. Other factors might need to be considered when trying to understand why the inflation rate has gone up. But many economists would say this is the appropriate starting point. In any case, let’s start there, by looking at some data on the Consumer Price Index and the money supply. Let’s look at how the CPI changed over time vis-a-vis how the money supply, known as M2, changed over time. The dates I picked were arbitrary. The first of the year is as good a time to take a measurement as any, up to 2020. I gave the pandemic a couple of months to “percolate” through the economy and then looked at the change in values from May to May. November was the most recent month for which the numbers for the CPI and M2 are available, and so I also looked at the changes that have occurred from May to November 2021. What do we see? One, the inflation rate from 2012 to 2019 was pretty low, just under 1.5%. It went up a percentage point the next year, to 2.5%, and then it doubled to just under 5%. This past half-year, the annual inflation rate reached 7.5%. Why? Well, look at how the money supply has been changing over the same period. From

2012 to 2019, it increased at an annual rate of 5.64%. From 2019 to 2020, it increased by 6.67%, faster but not too much out of line with the past eight years. Then, along comes the pandemic and from May 2020 to May 2021, the money supply increased by 14.1%. That’s a big jump. Over the past six months, the money supply has increased

by just under 10% on an annual basis, still very much above what has been the norm. I’m not sure we have to look any further for a reason for the jump in the U.S. inflation rate. But maybe this is too simple a story for some. So, what else should we bring into the picture? CONTINUED ON PAGE 11





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Common ethics dynamics in Zucker, Flores matters


e like to think that high-profile ethics issues like CNN CEO Jeff Zucker’s resignation (for failing to follow CNN’s conflict of interest rules) and former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores’ discrimination lawsuit against the NFL, are outliers. We like to chalk up conduct like Zucker’s to personal arrogance and believe lawsuits like Flores’ are “complicated legal matters.” The truth, and the good news and bad news, is that both situations result from several common, problematic ethics dynamics. Moral licensing There are several ethics dynamics underlying the CNN/ Zucker situation. One common dynamic is “moral licensing.” Moral licensing is the ethical equivalent of cheating on your diet. The mischievous trick our brains play on us when we are dieting is to tell us: “You have been so good limiting your carbs, calories, or whatever it is you are counting, that having this one little cookie or small scoop of ice cream won’t ‘hurt.’” And sometimes it doesn’t “hurt” — until we fall for the trick

one too many times. Often, we do not consciously hear the trick; it is the autopilot function and we are the Tesla automobile. Or if we do think about it, we recognize it too late to modify our “in the moment” conduct. Researchers Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel found that our minds play the same trick on us when it comes to ethics. We tell ourselves, “I worked late last week so it is OK if I take a longer lunch this week” or “The company doesn’t pay me a fair salary, so it it’s OK that I take office supplies for personal use.” Can’t we hear Zucker’s autopilot telling him he did not have to report his relationship with a subordinate because “we don’t know whether this relationship will last. I can report once it becomes serious.” Or if it did make Zucker’s conscious thought processes, he may have fallen prey to another common ethics trap called “ethical fading,” which is another dynamic identified by Bazerman and Tensbrunsel. Ethical fading Ethical fading is the ethics equivalent of parents saying: “Yes,

it is a serious thing that Johnny got expelled from school for hitting another student in the face, but that student was wrong for calling Johnny a dweeb. Plus, the school handled it all wrong. I am calling the principal first thing in the morning.” By coupling the actions of the other boy and the school’s process into the analysis of Johnny’s behavior, the ethical implications of Johnny’s actions “fade.” In truth, the situation involves three different issues that should be analyzed separately. Unethical and ethical conduct stand alone. One does not balance out the other. Perhaps, Zucker’s autopilot was engaging in ethical fading by telling Zucker that the upcoming launch of the network’s new streaming platform was too important, and needed all his focus, justifying a delay in reporting. Perhaps he “faded” the ethical and leadership implications of failing

to follow the rules of the company he ran by focusing on the urgent business demands on his plate. Zucker’s bosses also may have engaged in ethical fading. By many accounts Zucker’s relationship with his subordinate was an “open secret” that did not become an “issue” until the investigation of Chris Cuomo. (After all, if you fire your top-rated anchor for having a conflict of interest, you had better not have a conflict of interest yourself.) Perhaps prior to Cuomo’s departure, the powers that be at CNN faded the ethics of Zucker’s apparent relationship with a subordinate by focusing on his highly successful business skills and the damage to the network should Zucker leave. Obviously, any ethical fading ended in a big way. CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 (616) 459-4545


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‘You’re getting warmer’ is not a good way to exercise executive leadership


’ve come to believe that most leaders are unintentionally playing a game of “You’re getting warmer, you’re getting colder” when it comes to creating clarity around their organization’s purpose, vision and values. It’s really hard on talented and self-motivated people to not understand where their leader wants them to go. Many work to figure out the direction by trying things and then seeing how their leader reacts to it. Sometimes they’re getting warmer, which feels good and hopeful, but all too often, it’s a frustrating and embarrassing version of, “No, you’re getting colder.” This is much less functional than creating clarity for the team around purpose, vision and values. Virtually any leader would agree with me on this. So why are so many not doing it? It’s really hard work! Successful leaders often are very intuitive. They have a sense of what will work and what won’t, but that sense doesn’t bubble up until they’re in the moment. With hard work, and maybe a coach to help them find their clarity, they can turn that intuition into clear and consistent direction. When we help someone pursue this clarity our coaches will ask clients to describe what their organization will look like years from now. Or, “How do you know what to say yes to and no to?” When faced with these kinds of questions, a client often will respond with, “Oh, that’s hard to say.”

Exactly! “That would be hard” often stops a person from going further. Now if they have a bulldog coach in front of them, they will persist and do the hard work of digging for clarity. It might take many more questions, and a lot more listening, but usually they can get to a place where they find the clarity that the team needs. Doing the hard work of turning intuition into clear direction is worth the effort so you can plan your work and work your plan. So how are you doing at this? You might stop and ponder that for a moment. After the hard work of creating clarity, then comes the next hard part — you need to turn those clear thoughts into effective communication so others understand them. Once again, this is hard work. Most leaders don’t do this hard work. Instead, they do all of the other work that keeps them super busy, often over-functioning in areas their people should be covering and then telling their people “you’re getting colder” when they take on tasks they know are theirs to do. We know from research that important messages need to be communicated several times and in several different ways. We’ve adopted the expression, seven times/seven ways. This means that once you get your clear direction into words, you have to figure out other ways to get that clarity into the team’s psyche. This will be done through words, visuals, decisions, actions

and behaviors. Another expression we like is, “I can’t hear what you’re saying because your actions speak too loud.” Keep this in mind when you’re working on ways to communicate your vision. The good news is, if you’re willing to do this hard work, it has a great return on investment. Your people will know where they’re going and they won’t have to ask you so many questions. Of course, you’ll have to train your ego to be OK with that. They will be aligned and pulling in the same direction, which creates great momentum. They won’t be frustrated with your lack of clarity and they will have more energy and passion for the work and the team. The results are so much better and the process is much more fun, which also helps you retain and attract great talent — one of the great challenges of our time. All of this requires the hard work needed to create clarity, communicate it and be OK not being the center of it all as the grand master of the game “You’re getting warmer, you’re getting colder.” Creating clarity of purpose, vision and values is one of the simple but hard things we can do in West Michigan to be a cut above the rest, thus making our region the hotbed of the best leaders in the country. Rodger Price is the founder and managing partner of Leading by DESIGN, an executive development firm in Grand Rapids.

If Fed acts wisely, expect inflation rate to regress CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

One of these is the rate at which the economy’s output is increasing over time, or the economy’s growth rate. When that goes up and everything else stays the same, the inflation rate should fall, and vice versa. The pandemic put a damper on “economic activity,” the buying and selling of goods and services. People didn’t go shopping, and they didn’t go to work, and from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, output decreased by about 10%. In fact, over the past two years, the annual growth rate has been under 1%, less than half of what would typically occur. Is there anything else to consider? Well, there is a third variable that could affect the inflation rate, which is how quickly people spend money. Think about that. Say the Federal Reserve prints $1,000 and gives it to me as a gift. What if I don’t spend it and put it in the proverbial cookie jar? Then that injection of money into the economy doesn’t generate any spending and therefore, it doesn’t put any upward pressure on prices. As it happens, people were spending money more slowly in the third

quarter of 2021 than in the first quarter of 2020. This put a bit of a brake on inflation. Had it gone the other way — if people started to spend money more quickly — the inflation rate would have gone up even more. In view of these facts, no one versed in economic theory should be surprised by what we’re seeing right now. What would be hard to understand is an inflation rate that continued to hover around 2%. That would be something of an economic mystery. Of course, people are probably more interested in “what’s next” than in “why this.” What can we expect in the near future? If wage and salary increases lag behind price increases — and they may in periods of rising inflation — then inflation means, effectively, that you and I have a little less money to spend. However, most people would probably agree that there’s something worse than having a little less money to spend. That’s having no money to spend. In other words, losing your job. That’s one of the dangers of reining in inflation too quickly. The unemployment rate rises. Not forever, but that’s little consolation to someone out of work for a year.

Unemployment makes people unhappy, and many of those who are less unfortunate than the people who lose their jobs, nervous. Everybody in the economics profession knows this, and consequently, I would guess the Federal Reserve is going to be very careful about changing monetary policy, about reducing the rate at which the money supply is growing. But seeing the growth rate of the money supply has gone down makes me think the people at the Fed are working to bring that rate back down to where it’s been for the past 10 years. And if they do, my guess is this is all going to go away. The inflation rate is going to fall back to the neighborhood of 2%-2.5%. As I said, I think the Fed will be very judicious in ratcheting the growth rate of the money supply back down to 6% a year. However, whether it will or not is certainly beyond my ken. And perhaps people of such professional eminence are privy to trends and facts that I can’t even guess at. So, we’ll see. Jon Neill is a professor in the Department of Economics at Western Michigan University.

FEB 22, 2022



Employee wellness programs and the Great Resignation


e’re in the midst of the Great Resignation with employees leaving their jobs in pursuit of other opportunities at the highest rate in decades. People are resigning for a number of reasons — NPR cites better pay, more flexibility, and jobs better aligned with values as top motivations. Individuals also are lending more thought to how they are valued by employers, and how employers care for and invest in their workforce. In other words, many employees are leaving because they do not feel that their employer cares about their well-being. One Gallup Poll found that in April 2020, just 48% of those surveyed believed their employer cared about their well-being; by March 2021, this number dropped to 35%. Employers may be able to reverse this trend and limit the impact of the Great Resignation within their organization by taking steps to increase conversations about wellness in the workplace, improving your employee wellness offerings, and raising awareness of and participation in these offerings. Here are some steps employers can take: •Engage in conversations about employee needs. To best understand what your employees need to feel cared for, actively listen to their concerns and ideas. Surveys, townhalls and regular check-ins with employees are great places to start. Give individuals ample opportunities where they feel safe communicating what they need. Try to better understand what resources are working well and what ones need to be improved or added to best address employees’ physical, mental and emotional needs. Don’t just listen — use this information to act and address common concerns expressed by your teams. This will help employees feel cared for and heard, two important factors in employee well-being. •Define what well-being means for your organization. “Well-being” might not mean the same thing to every person or team — research from Gallup indicates that making sure the understanding of the term and its implications are clear for your organization is important. Work with leadership to define it and consistently integrate it into employee and executive communications. When employees have a better understanding of what their organization is striving for in terms of wellness, they will be better able to invest in the goal on a personal level. •Actively promote your employee wellness offerings. Many employers offer employee wellness programs — but only

a fraction of employees might know they exist. Work on increasing promotion of well-being benefits to both new and current employees. Partnering with leadership can be especially effective. If company leaders are actively participating in and promoting wellness initiatives, it is likely that other employees will follow. Leading by example is essential for better integrating employee wellness into company culture.

“Try to better understand what resources are working well and what ones need to be improved or added to best address employees’ physical, mental and emotional needs.” Tom Spring •Leverage employee engagement to promote wellness. Of course, wellness programs are only successful if employees who know about them also use them. Leveraging your leadership team is a good first step — so is actively communicating with employees about their thoughts on the program. Look for feedback and use what you learn to make adjustments. Especially as many individuals and companies continue to work from home, well-being offerings may need to shift similarly. •Recognize and celebrate the progress employees are making on their wellness goals. By listening to feedback and recognizing achievements, you can help turn employees into well-being program ambassadors. These success stories and personal experiences could encourage even more employees to engage in wellness offerings — especially when their voices are amplified throughout the organization. It’s a tough time for employers as turnover rates rise in many organizations, but a renewed focus on employee well-being can help. There are many programs available — including through your health plan. For example, Priority Health offers a free well-being platform, Wellbeing Hub, to every member and has an employer-sponsored wellness program, PriorityWell, to help employers create vibrant, healthy workplaces. Tom Spring is the director of well-being and health engagement at Priority Health. In this role, he leads the company’s health and wellness initiatives that are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Priority Health’s members.


FEB 22, 2022



The power is in the process H ere’s a lesson that every salesperson needs to learn early in their career: Sales is not magic. Just the opposite; every selling situation has a very definable, step-by-step process which, when executed with expertise, almost inevitably leads to a sale. One way to define the job of a salesperson is this: Salespeople manage a sufficient number of customers step-by-step through the selling process. It follows, then, that one way to improve your results is to clearly identify the steps in your selling situation’s unique process, and then focus on moving each customer, one step at a time, methodically through that process. There are a number of advantages to this perspective: •You will know where you are in the process with each customer. This saves you time by eliminating much of the uncertainty regarding a project with a customer. •It clearly points out the next step in the process, which allows you to be very focused in your sales calls. •It provides a way of keeping track of multiple projects in large accounts. (For each project, where are you in the process?) •It allows you to hone in on different steps of the process that may be causing you difficulty, and improve in the skills and competencies that will bring you the most bang for the buck.

•It allows you a fairly accurate way to predict future sales. •It provides you a way to think about each account, and to talk about it with your manager. In spite of that, I rarely come across a company in the B2B world that has taken the time to identify the sales processes that are most effective for its unique combination of markets, products/services and sales resources. Please note that I am talking about something more sophisticated than the simple formulas promoted by the generic sales gurus. It really is difficult to apply those simplistic notions to the realities of managing a project through the labyrinth of end-users, managers, engineers, new product committees and purchasing agents that is the reality with which so many B2B sellers contend. One of my clients, a seller of big-ticket production equipment, identified 28 steps in its unique selling process. Which brings us to the first principle of sales processes: Every unique combination of product category, market segment and sales resources potentially has its own “best” sales process. For example, if you sell flour to independent grocery stores via inside, telephone salespeople, you’ll have one “best” process. If you sell a new concept in packaging to manufacturers of pharmaceutical products primarily through field

salespeople, you’ll have quite a different process. This can be true for different products to the same customer. There is one sales process for selling a $20,000 industrial scrubber to a maintenance department of a large manufacturer, and a quite different one for selling the detergent that scrubber uses. Notice that it is the combination of ingredients that determine the best sales process. So, your sales process may be completely different than your competitor’s. You may have more resources devoted to the internet, for example, while your competitor may not have any web-based marketing and instead relies on the traditional field salesperson. Since your resources are different, your processes are different. It doesn’t take much reflection to observe that there is incredible power in developing a breakthrough sales process. For example, two of the fastest growing companies today are Walmart and Amazon. Notice that one of the most significant of points of their distinction is not the product they sell. That’s the same as what a lot of other people sell. It is their selling process. Look at it from the customer’s point of view. The experience of buying from Walmart is dramatically different than the alternate process of buying from the local vendors. Likewise for Amazon. It’s not the product, it’s the

process! Just understanding your unique selling situation and then crafting an intentional process can be one of the most powerful initiatives you undertake. It will allow you to focus the power of your sales resources in a laser-sharp way, track every salesperson’s progress and improve the end result — more customers and more customers buying more! Unfortunately, most sales managers have not thought this way. As a result, most companies have no articulated sales process. Rather, salespeople have been left on their own to determine how to do their job. The reality is that most commonly, every salesperson claims a unique situation, there is no accountability and sales managers are left spending most of their time reacting to crises. It is time to change that. Where to begin? Formulate a strategic approach to using sales processes. Commit to the following sets: •Develop some standard processes •Train and equip your people in them •Develop some tracking tools •Review and refine the process and the execution of them regularly There are two basic selling processes. You should at least address these. First is the process of gaining a new customer. The second is the process of expanding the business with that customer. These two processes are the heart of the salesperson’s job. One of the most common complaints I hear from sales executives is that their salespeople don’t prospect enough. They just don’t bring

in enough new accounts. It’s entirely likely that they have never been taught how to do so. If that is true for you, then you need to rectify it. What that means is that you must design a step-bystep process that articulates the important events the salesperson must execute to move a “prospect” account to the point that they give you an initial order. What must be done first, and next, etc. Now that you have identified the key steps to the process, you can focus on each of those steps and help everyone learn how to do it better. Let’s take the first step of the first process: Identify potential prospects. •How do you do that? •What constitutes a legitimate prospect? •How many should each salesperson accomplish each month? •What tools do you have available to assist them in this step of the process? Resolve each of these questions and you will have the basics for a two-hour training session to bring people up to a level of competency on the first step. Now, on to the second step, third step and so forth until every salesperson has been trained and equipped for every step of the process. Then, you are ready for step three. Understanding that the power is in the process, your job now is to track the progress of each salesperson, or each part of the system, as your company works the process. You don’t need to track every step in the process, just those that are esCONTINUED ON PAGE 13


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Common ethics dynamics in Zucker, Flores matters CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

Outcome-based compliance The Flores lawsuit involves another fascinating dynamic Bazerman and Tenbrunsel identified. Fortunately, this dynamic involves some good news. The good news is that most people are intrinsically motivated to be ethical. We naturally want to do the right thing. Research reveals that well-intentioned rules designed to address ethical and moral issues, like the NFL’s Rooney Rule requiring clubs to interview a certain number of diverse candidates for coaching and coordinator positions, are ineffective. Bazerman and Tensbrunsel found that: “One reason one-dimensional goals fail is because they cause individuals to be driven by an extrinsic motivation to comply rather than by an intrinsic motivation to do what is right.” In one experiment, when people were told to “do your best” in editing a document they did a better job than when told to focus on “correcting grammar mistakes.” Motivating people by appealing to their innate desire to do the right thing may be more successful than a rule-based approach. In other words, a values-based approach helps people understand what is right in any given situation, rather than complying with a

checklist of rules. Outcome-based evaluation and accountability measures are key to the success of values-based approaches. Part of the problem with the NFL’s Rooney Rule is that it does not appear to hold clubs accountable for insufficient outcomes. Outcome-based evaluation and accountability are key to improving cultural ethics. Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president for football operations, acknowledged the need for outcome-based evaluation in the NFL’s 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Report, stating: “As we approach this new decade of occupational mobility, we must be willing to boldly determine success metrics, expand policy, provide proper incentives, and prioritize accountability.” What this means The good news about these common ethics dynamics is that they do not make Zucker, the NFL, and all of us who fall prey to these dynamics from time to time intrinsically unethical people or organizations. It only means we are human. If we want to succeed and meet our goals, we must learn about these common ethics dynamics and create tools and processes to account for them. And time is of the essence for

FEB 22, 2022

The power is in the process CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

organizations to improve their ethical and cultural wellness. Currently, entire industries are struggling to retain employees. By November 2021, associate turnover rate in large law firms reached 23.2%. Toxic work cultures are the top driver of The Great Resignation. “Resigners” cited three factors in defining a toxic work environment: •A failure to seriously address DEI issues •Treating employees disrespectfully •Unethical work environments Moral licensing, ethical fading and ineffective rule structures, along with other ethics dynamics, contribute to DEI, ethical and cultural issues in organizations. The Great Resignation, customer boycotts and lawsuits all are indications that values matter to people both inside and outside of organizations. The good news is that we can learn about problematic ethics dynamics, build tools to avoid them, and become the better organizations and people we naturally want to be. Victoria Vuletich is founder and president of Ethics Squared. She is a trainer, consultant and speaker in ethics and professional identity development, as well as a licensed Michigan attorney.

sential events. An essential event is a key step in the process that cannot be skipped. The event must happen, or the process will not be complete. These will include meet and engage a decision maker, present a proposal and close the deal. How can we measure each of these? The last is easy. When we see a purchase order from someone who was not previously a customer, we know the deal is closed. So, we arrange with our IT guy to deliver a weekly report of “purchase orders from new accounts.” That’s easy. Now, what about the other two? These must be reported by the salesperson. So, you create an email form that asks each salesperson, on Friday, to indicate the name of the individual and company of the prospects they met for the first time that week. Also on the form is a place to indicate the number of times this week they made a proposal to a prospect. They fill it out and email it in every Friday. Or, if you are using a CRM system, you just run the report from their call reports. Every Monday morning, you review the companywide implementation of your sales process. Which now brings you to the final step. At the end of every month, you review your measurements and draw some conclusions. Which steps of the process went smoothly last month? Which didn’t go as

predicted? Where do you need to focus your time and efforts? For example, let’s say you discover that your salesforce of one inside and six field salespeople had only 10 first meetings with decision-makers in prospect accounts. Your goal was 20. Clearly there is a problem implementing that piece of the process. You’ll never acquire the number of new customers that you want if you don’t make enough initial contacts. So, at this month’s sales meeting, you discuss the issue and discover that your salespeople are having trouble making appointments to see prospects. You now hone in on that issue and brainstorm ways to overcome it. You select one to implement: You are going to deliver, by FedEx, a handwritten request from the salesperson for a meeting. You implement this refinement and watch the numbers. Next month, you direct your attention to the aspect of the process that most loudly calls for your intervention. You are now deeply involved in the never-ending process of refining the execution of your sales process. And the power is in the process. Dave Kahle is an author, consultant and speaker who has presented in 47 states and 11 countries, improved the performance of thousands of B2B salespeople and authored 13 books. Receive his insights on a regular basis here: subscribe-daves-e-zines/.

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Johnson Center defines trends for nonprofit sector CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

and its tie to donors of color coming to the forefront of emerging trends and mobilizing their communities for greater good. “We’re also seeing a lot of areas where philanthropy is really making huge strides toward a greater inclusion, whether it’s from recognizing the contributions of donors of color and the marginalized communities, or thinking about how we help people who’ve been incarcerated get back into communities and into the workforce. There’s sort of a theme there around thinking inclusively about different kinds of communities and different kinds of giving,” Behrens said. Though report sources point to

giving trends related to new currency variations or emerging and growing funding sources, the report also points to new focus areas of giving. While philanthropy remains overwhelmingly human-centric, the field also has shown an increased awareness of animal and environmental welfare over the last decade. According to report source Giving USA, the growth in giving to animal and environmental organizations tripled that of human-centric recipient organizations from 2010 to 2020. In 2011, support to these types of organizations escalated from 2% of total USA donations amounting to $6.15 billion of total giving, $290.89 billion, to 3% of $471.44 billion in

total U.S. donations, amounting to $16.14 billion in 2020. Researchers point to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s One Health Initiative, a local to global effort to achieve optimal health outcomes by focusing on relationships of people, animals, plants and their environment, as one source of the shift. “We’ve seen there’s been increasing attention to animal welfare as we’ve seen the CDC creating the One Health Initiative. We’re really deepening our understanding of the interdependence of animals and humans as we see diseases that can get transferred back and forth,” Behrens said. “So, I think that’s one example where heightened attention to animal

welfare is kind of accelerated a bit by the pandemic.” While companion animal welfare continues to grow, a shift toward farmed animal interests and a heightened focus on food systems, specifically, also is increasing as it continues to contribute to climate change and disproportionately negatively affect communities of color, according to the study. Report sources from Humane Society International “estimated funding for all farmed animal issues had grown from roughly $5 million to $50 million over the past 15 years — a 900% increase.” “The sort of ongoing theme across all our years is ‘what is the role of philanthropy?’ And so, if we define philanthropy as private

action for public good, who gets to define what public good is? And that, I think, is a tension that goes across time,” Behrens said. “So, when we look at some previous trends, reports have looked at, for example, the relationship between businesses and philanthropy, or government and philanthropy, and this year we’re looking at culture wars and different communities within our society. How do we arrive at what is our common definition of public good? I would say that’s kind of an ongoing discussion, that’s just part of the democratic society.” A library of Johnson Center’s philanthropy trends reports is available at

Outlook shows M&A activity is on track CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

modity prices are headwinds to operations, yet still they see stable, positive performance for the year ahead. For some sectors, COVID and its effects make life much harder, through depressed revenue (gaming and lodging) or steep labor/ commodity challenges (transportation and logistics). For others, the pandemic has driven sales higher (health care, online retail). However, even within sectors, this environment is creating winners and losers. David Dunstan, managing director of Citizens Capital Markets, said times like these usually make for an across-the-board seller’s market, but the “haves” and “havenots” environment is splitting the difference. “For the companies that have been able to manage the many challenges we noted, they are performing well, it’s a seller’s market,

they’re growing, their margins are good,” he said. “For other companies that have been challenged, it’s becoming more of a buyer’s market for the better capitalized companies to buy underperformers. And so, interestingly, despite the great valuations, the respondents felt like it was fairly evenly weighted between the seller’s and buyer’s market, which I was surprised to see.” Dunstan noted the positive attitude of those surveyed mirrors the deal volume and pipeline Citizens’ M&A division is seeing. “That’s a good sign their enthusiasm is warranted,” he said. He noted it’s good to keep in mind potential external factors such as tensions heating up with Russia and new and more virulent strains of COVID emerging could impact stock market and business performance, tempering the positive outlook for M&A in 2022. Key findings of the 2022 survey: •Expected selling activity is

rebounding with the percentage of companies open to a sale increasing after a COVID-related decrease in the past two years’ surveys. The most common reason to sell is for strategic growth opportunities, but the second-most common is lack of a succession plan, along with pandemic weariness. Pandemic burnout among baby boomer business owners also could be the key driver behind the jump in sellers looking to sell their whole business, which rose to 39%, compared to about 24% in the prior year. •In line with other years, six in 10 companies said most of their growth would come from acquisitions. Growth remains the top driver for buyers and sellers coming to market. •Interest in international deals among companies continues to decline among buyers and sellers. However, there was an uptick with more PE firms interested in international opportunities, rising

from 44% in 2021 to 55% in 2022. •Those who say they have more interest in M&A cite more compelling opportunities to pursue (35%) and an interest in expansion (24%) as main reasons. But those who have less interest in M&A worry about the challenge of finding partners (16%) and the uncertainty of the environment, plus a need for more time (15%). •Among sellers, there is continued interest in using an adviser for M&A transactions. The main reason they seek out an adviser is to help find potential offers. Among buyers, they see value in the way that advisers speed up the process and help to assess an opportunity. •As in prior years, two-thirds of buyers said they prefer to work with a seller who uses an adviser. But there was a big jump in the percentage who say an adviser helps keep negotiations at a professional level (42%, up from 35% in 2021). This might reflect the

high-stress environment underlying the current marketplace, Citizens said. The survey found broad indications high volumes and strong valuations are poised to carry on in 2022. The worries of the prior year (tax implications and political changes) have faded from the priority list, while the ongoing pandemic still is a big factor for operations and for bringing buyers and sellers to the marketplace. Amid these dynamics, low interest rates and strong economic growth continue to support high valuations. The pandemic is the new normal, and companies, PE firms and advisers all have adjusted to working under these conditions. Strong performers should be prepared for a seller’s market with a competitive offer process and high valuations. More information on Citizens 2022 Middle Market M&A Outlook is at

Couple opens Wyoming café with a purpose CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

locations, the Van Klompenbergs concluded this is where they wanted to base their café. “When you drive down South Division you see the shuttered storefronts that are on the downswing or upswing from a business standpoint, but the more time we spent in this area, the less concern there was for that,” he said. “There’s a friendliness of the neighborhood. “One of the things we wrote early on in what we wanted to achieve in the business was the last place we wanted to be in was a strip mall,” said Chip Van Klompenberg, who is a mechanical engineer by trade and a partner with Zeeland-based manufacturing technology company Extol.

“We found some buildings in other areas on the north side of Grand Rapids and more of the hotter spots of Grand Rapids, but in order to get a place and do what we wanted to do from a space standpoint, in the type of community we wanted to be in, and in the financial range of what we wanted to invest in it, this place kind of rose to the surface.” It’s an entrepreneurial renaissance Tommy Brann hopes will spur like-minded change for South Division. “I’ve seen other areas make big comebacks,” said Brann, whose Brann’s Steak House & Grille has been in business for 50 years on South Division and is a few blocks south of The Stray. He also is president of the Division Avenue Business Association. “Twenty years ago, those areas were hurt-

ing and now they’re hip areas to go to. I think people at The Stray can help Division Avenue go farther.” This is the couple’s first foray into owning a café, something they’ve had in mind for 10 years. They purchased the 9,500-square-foot building for $400,000 and spent another $500,000 refurbishing it, which included replacing the steel roof. Currently, 3,500 square feet are in use as a café and kitchen, but plans are in the works to open an artists’ studio in the middle portion of the building. “We were strategic where we spent money,” said Karen Van Klompenberg. “We wanted it (the interior) to have a story feeling by leaving some of the things open and visible and capitalizing on certain features.”

Then, with a smile, she added: “I did more things than Chip was planning on.” Their respective skillsets complement what they want The Stray to accomplish. “I have traditionally had the artistic skillsets and Chip had more of the mechanical, strategic business skills, but we always thought it would be great to utilize both skillsets and complement each other,” said Karen Van Klompenberg, whose background is in interior design. “There’s music and art and the good coffee and some food to give people something substantial to eat. There’s something about that all together that’s more inspirational than any of those parts by themselves.” The Van Klompenbergs dubbed their café The Stray be-

cause they’re dog lovers. Their logo is patterned after Toby, the yellow lab mix they rescued that has since died. They now have Beau, a Catahoula Leopard mix. An outdoor patio that will be open in the warmer months will allow patrons to take their dogs with them. “People have been very expressive in sharing their appreciation for having something like this in their community,” said Karen Van Klompenberg. “We try to do things with lighting and décor to make you feel a little something. When I get in those types of places, I get more creative. That can be from the music or design, or the way people interact here.” “We want a place where community is built and make sure community is enhanced because we are here,” he added.


MONTH 00, 2022


Survey shows rise in time off adjustments CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

categorized buckets of vacation time, sick time, holidays, family leave, etc. “The employers that have PTO, they increased the amount of time that they’re giving people under their PTO policies (but splitting it up into different categories),” McCulloch said. “… Maybe 15 years ago, you saw a massive movement toward PTO, and now some of the employers are backing off that PTO and they’re breaking it back up again.” She added another PTO trend that continues for a small segment of employers — 13% — is unlimited PTO. “I find unlimited PTO to be kind of a crazy concept, and it went up by 6%,” she said. “You’re still only seeing 13% of employers offer unlimited PTO … (and) they don’t offer it across the board; it’s offered to a select segment of people, which stands to reason.” The COVID-19 pandemic impact on policy designs was significant, McCulloch said, with 76% of surveyed employers now offering employees the ability to telecommute on at least an occasional basis, and 78% of respondents reporting they offer work-life flexibility as part of their talent retention strategy. “Caregiver leave … went from 7% of employers offering it to 21%,” McCulloch said. “That’s indicative straight away of COVID — they’re reacting to the pandemic and obviously the hard employment market.” Snead said he believes these trends are here to stay, as many of them improved equity and opportunity among the sexes. “One (policy) that has seen the most growth is parental leave, and that is tied to the reaction to COVID, but also comes out of the diversity, equity and inclusion strategies that employers are trying to look at — making sure that fathers, domestic partners and same-sex partners are allotted time off for similar family events that the wife or the mother has been typically allotted,” he said. “With it impacting all members of the family, I think you’re going to continue to see that.” Snead and McCulloch said they also see a generational mindset difference in the value of time off as a benefit. In his prior job, Snead interviewed job candidates, and almost all of them inquired about the company’s PTO policy as one of their top concerns. McCulloch said this was not the case in previous decades. “When I look at the generation in front of Jon and me, Jon, how often did your dad or your mom or whoever worry about the vacation time they had? My parents, that was never part of their evaluation of a company,” McCulloch said. “Now, you have a totally different set of values. The generations behind us are like, ‘Hey, we don’t want to work around the clock. We value that time off.’ That’s another reason why it’s going to be here to stay, is because that population expects it … and I don’t think employers will take it away.” Despite the overall cost of benefits packages rising, cost reduction strategies such as changing bene-

fit plan designs or carriers notably were absent from the survey, as fewer than 10% of employers indicated they were making changes to seek any financial savings for their organization. Snead said he believes this will be a short-term trend and that as the labor market improves, employee cost-sharing will rise to a more sustainable level for employers. “One reason for (this trend) is the hard labor market. … another big part of it is (employers) … don’t

have the manpower within their own organization, within HR and within finance, to implement those types of changes. “The employers want to take the path of least resistance because they’re so bogged down with dealing with COVID compliance and everything else.” McCulloch said instead of making PTO policy changes, one employer client of hers had to focus on the opposite and create an attendance rewards program because they were struggling with getting

employees to show up to work. “They put in a rewards program where, based on how many days in a row, how many weeks in a row, how many months in a row (you show up), you get cash rewards for that. … There is all this focus on paid leave, but the employers also need to balance that with having people present and coming to work.” Snead said he believes employers in West Michigan are doing better at meeting some of today’s challenges than companies in other

markets Lockton serves. “I’m confident that the employers here in West Michigan will continue to do what they feel is necessary for their business and most importantly, for their employees. … There is a definite focus on taking care of the employees, and that’s something that’s always been big here in West Michigan,” he said. To participate in future HR Trends Survey Reports or learn more, people can email hrtrends@

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FEB 22, 2022

ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING Warner Norcross + Judd LLP’s headquarters in the new Warner Building, designed by GMB Architecture + Engineering, received a 2021 Interior Architecture Award from the American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids. The law firm is the anchor tenant in the Warner Building in downtown Grand Rapids, housing more than 240 attorneys and staff.


Shannon DeVries joined Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo as business operations manager. The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo announced the additions of Ty Hicks as marketing director, Carrie McFerrin as administrative assistant and Miriam Thomas as temporary programs director. Nicki Poer and Nicole Weber also join the staff as community box office associates. Eric Oliphant has been promoted to operations manager/membership director. UBS Financial Services Inc. along with its wealth management team based in Grand Rapids, announced Michael Toth has been elected to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park board of directors.


Holland-based Tiara Yachts founder Leon Slikkers was awarded for Lifetime Achievement at the recent Boat Builder Awards, facilitated by the International Boat Industry and METSTRADE.


Holland based Macatawa Bank hired Justin Salava as branch manager, senior VP for its branch at 5271 Clyde Park Ave. SW, Wyoming.


Old National Bank announced the promotion of Ryan Elwell to banking center manager. Wyoming-based Honor Credit Union recently opened for business. It previ-

FEB 22 Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Chamber 101. Designed for members looking to begin, continue or further involvement with the chamber. 7:309 a.m., Grand Rapids Chamber. Cost: free. Registration/information: 2020Chamber101. FEB 22 Wyoming Business Leaders Meeting. 8-9 a.m., Marge’s Donut Den, 1751 28th St. SW, Wyoming. Registration/information: (616) 261-4500 or d.kuba@instantcashmi. com. FEB 24 AMDG Architects Online Speaker Series. Topic is Transforming The Future By Healing Child Victims of Abuse, Exploitation and Trafficking, by Cassandra Ma, founder/director, Reclaim 13. 12:30-1:30 p.m. Cost: free. Registration/information: AMDGFebruarySpeaker. FEB 24 Business+Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association Workshop. Topic is BIFMA 101 Compliant Overview. Noon-1 p.m. Registration/information: bit. ly/BIFMA101Compliant. FEB 24 Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lesson Breakfast. 7:30-9 a.m., Grand Rapids Chamber. Cost: $25/ members, $40/nonmembers. Registration/ information: FEB 24 Grand Rapids Public Library/Mercy Health program for people 65-plus. Topic is Ask a Doctor and Ask a Lawyer about Grief, Stress Management

Harpst tapped as LMCU’s VP of mortgage strategy John Harpst joined Lake Michigan Credit Union in a new position as vice president of mortgage strategy. Harpst is responsible for strategic initiatives and special products within LMCU’s mortgage division, with the goal of improving operational efficacy, ensuring regulatory compliance and helping to continually improve service to the credit union’s members. LMCU is the largest credit union in Michigan, with assets that exceed $10.5 billion, a mortgage servicing portfolio of over $12 billion and more than 504,000 members. ously was ATL Federal Credit Union. Honor and ATL joined forces to mark Honor’s 24th member center in Michigan.

Square neighborhood, the exclusive BHB development located in Ada.


Daryl Van Tongeren of the Holland-based Hope College psychology faculty has been named a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science


Integrity Tree Services announced Adam Witzel is now Midwest account manager; Dakin Wright is Midwest regional manager; and Kristen Ryan is work planning manager. Sue (Schweim) Tellier, owner and president of Grand Rapids-based JetCo Federal, was elected to the Leadership Advisory Council as vice chair and a member of the board for Women Impacting Public Policy



The Grand Rapids Chamber welcomed Caylie Peet to the newly created position of minority business program manager.

Military Times ranked Consumers Energy as the No. 1 employer in Michigan for veterans. In the 2021 Best For Vets: Employers list, Consumers Energy also ranked 20th nationally.



Chris Wert joined Construction Staffing Solutions/Staffing Solutions as a recruiter. EV Construction hired Veronica Cline as FSD coordinator at its Coldwater location; Jack Bohannon as an assistant project manager; and Chase Weatherell in the general trades division. Brett Lesiewicz was promoted to vice president of project management. Jason Nulf joined Bruce Heys Builders as project manager. Nulf will focus on new homes built within the Kennett

and Mood (Mental Health Issues). 11 a.m., Main Library, 111 Library St. NE. Registration/information: FEB 24 Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce Power Lunch. Grab your business cards and expand your network. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., City Flats Hotel, 61 7th St., Holland. Cost: $35/members, $50/ nonmembers. Registration/information: (616) 928-9101 or FEB 24 The Acton Institute Virtual Conference. Topic is Business Matters 2022, covering a synthesis of business insight and moral grounding. Noon-5 p.m. Cost: $50, scholarships available for those in need. Registration/information: / BusinessMatters2022. FEB. 24 World Affairs Council of Western Michigan Great Decisions Series. Topic is Global Cooperation in Space, by Frans von der Dunk, University of NebraskaLincoln. 6-7:15 p.m. in-person, Grand Rapids Community College Winser-Bottrail Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE or virtually. Registration/information: FEB 24-26 St. Cecilia Music Center Jazz WinterFest. Feb. 24: Christian McBride & Friends with Avery Fisher Prize; Feb. 25: The Christian McBride Trio with special guest jazz singer Cyrille Aimée; Feb. 26: Christian McBride and quintet Inside Straight. 7:30 p.m. Cost: $40-$55 per single concert. Registration/information: (616) 459-2224 or

Molly Chelovich, financial adviser with Merrill in Grand Rapids, was named to the 2021 Forbes Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors list, which recognizes the nation’s top up-and-coming wealth advisers under age 40.


Stephanie Adams, a longtime nonprofit leader and community organizer, has been named president and chief executive officer of the Grand Rapids Public Schools Foundation, the fundraising partner of Grand Rapids Public Schools.

FEB 28 World Affairs Council of Western Michigan Great Decisions Series. Topic is Russia and the U.S., by Fiona Hill, former National Security Council member. 6-7:15 p.m. in-person at Grand Rapids Community College Spectrum Theatre or virtually. Registration/information: MAR 1-29 Express Employment Professionals Virtual Strategic Leadership Training Program. Practical tools for new and future leaders. Tuesdays, 1-5 p.m. Cost: $1,395. Registration/information: Strategic-HR-Leadership-Virtual-Training. aspx MAR 4 Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Monthly Government Affairs Update Zoom Meeting. A 30-minute virtual meeting to briefly highlight key issues. 10-10:30 a.m. Cost: free. Registration/ information:


The United Methodist Retirement Communities Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation boards officially approved the merger into one UMRC & Porter Hills Foundation. Combined, the UMRC & Porter Hills Foundation is one of the largest foundations supporting aging services in Michigan.


The Grand Rapids Public Library has been awarded a grant of $21,00 from the State of Michigan Council for Arts to support GRPL’s One Book, One City for Kids program, which provides fifth-graders in Grand Rapids Public Schools a copy of the selected book and the opportunity to meet the author. It also will be used for the Summer Reading Challenge, the library’s summer literacy program.


Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge hired attorney Michael J. Bovill, practicing in the firm’s litigation practice group; Allen G. Nederveld joined the firm as chief operating officer. The American College of Bankruptcy extended an invitation for A. Todd Almassian to become a Fellow of the college. This honorary association of bankruptcy and insolvency professionals plays an important role in maintaining excellence in the industry


John Ball Zoo received its continued Association of Zoos & Aquariums accreditation status following its 2021 review by the AZA Accreditation Commission. John Ball Zoo became the first in Michigan to earn AZA Accreditation in 1983 and has maintained this status for 38 consecutive years.


Hudsonville native Jacob Ellis received a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps $180,000 scholarship.


Gadson “Chris” Pompey has been named Kalamazoo-based Urban Alliance’s executive director after serving as interim executive director for five months. Guiding Light donor relations officer

Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE or virtually. Registration/information: MAR 9 Culinary Conversations Seminar. Topic is Female Food Industry Leaders. Gain insights of four accomplished West Michigan female food industry leaders. 5-7:30 p.m., Grand Rapids Downtown Market, 435 Ionia Ave. SW. Cost: free. Registration/information: MAR 10 Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Business Exchange Luncheon. Providing members and future members with facilitated networking. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health, 333 Michigan St. NE. Cost: $35/nonmembers, $50/ nonmembers. Registration/information:

MAR 5,12, 19, 26 Grand Rapids Public Museum Investigation Education Classes. For kids ages 8 and older. Small group, hands-on educational classes investigating science and history. Saturdays, 10:30-11:45 a.m., GRPM. Registration/information:

MAR 14 World Affairs Council of Western Michigan Great Decisions Series. Topic is India and the Quad Alliance, by Robert Rossow, Center for Strategic and International Studies. 6-7:15 p.m. in-person, Grand Rapids Community College Winser-Bottrail Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE or virtually. Registration/information:

MAR 7 World Affairs Council of Western Michigan Great Decisions Series. Topic is People in Transition: Examining Global Demographic Changes, by Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew Research Institute. 6-7:15 p.m. in-person, Grand Rapids Community College Winser-Bottrail Applied

MAR 18-20 Kohler West Michigan Women’s Expo. Tailored to women and their families. DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW. March 18, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; March 19, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; March 20, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost: $11/adults, ages 15 and up; $9/children, ages 6-14. Registration/informa-

Bob Evans has been named one of Senior Neighbors’ 16 Over 60 for his engagement in the community and impact on the lives of others. Make-A-Wish Michigan announced its volunteer board of directors’ officers for the 2022 fiscal year: board chair: Rob Casalou, Trinity Health Michigan & Southeast Regions; vice Evans chair (elect): Denise Christy, Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC; vice chair of strategy: John Lallo, Orka Solutions; treasurer: Phil Bocketti, UBS Financial Services; secretary: Todd Van Tol, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Elected to the organization’s volunteer board of directors: Jon Albert, Michigan Head & Spine Institute; Noble Billingsley, DTE; and Luanne Thomas Ewald, University of Michigan Health, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Wayland-based Paws With A Cause announced Christina Elmore, Faye Richardson-Green and Anne Barea joined its board of directors.


Byron Center-based SpartanNash for the ninth consecutive year has been named among the 2021 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation, by the National Association for Business Resources. Nick Hayes joined Kentwood Office Furniture as product marketing manager.

CHANGE-UPS POLICY: The Business Journal welcomes submissions to the Change-Ups section. Send announcements concerning personnel changes, new businesses, changes of address etc. to Change-Ups Editor, Grand Rapids Business Journal, 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or email

tion: MAR 21 World Affairs Council of Western Michigan Great Decisions Series. Topic is Creating a Just Transition in Climate Change Policy, by Vonda Brunsting, Institute for Responsible Investment, Harvard University 6-7:15 p.m. in-person, Grand Rapids Community College WinserBottrail Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE or virtually. Registration/ information: MAR 22 Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Create Great Policy Health Care and Human Resources Summit. Featuring health care leaders and reform experts presenting facts on the future of health care and sharing options for businesses. 7:30-11 a.m., Calvin University Prince Conference Center, 1800 E. Beltline Ave. SE. Cost: $125/members, $150/ nonmembers. Registration/information: CALENDAR POLICY: The Business Journal welcomes submissions to the calendar section. Send items to Calendar Editor, Grand Rapids Business Journal, 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or email bjcal Submissions must be received at least three weeks prior to the event. The Business Journal calendar posted on the publication’s website ( includes listings for events extended beyond those printed in the weekly publication that are limited by space restrictions.


Selected mortgages filed with Kent County Register of Deeds OBERLIN, Mark P. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Cascade Twp., $1,160,000 MURETCEHAJIC, Admir et al, Flagstar Bank, Bryon Twp., $1,160,000 LAMBERT, Eric et al, Rocket Mortgage, Cascade Twp., $796,000 SHEPARD, Thomas, Northpointe Bank, Lowell, $420,000 STUCKHARDT, Ryan J. et al, Macatawa Bank, Algoma Twp., $548,250 ROSENDALL, Dean et al, Independent Bank, Parcel: 411412251006, $541,600 LOWING, Scott et al, United Wholesale Mortgage, Rockford, $454,900 A&S LEASING LLC, Level One Bank, Walker $1,100,000 BD BIG RAPIDS LLC, Mercantile Bank, Parcel: 411422300047, $5,593,000 JW FAMILY LLC, State Savings Bank, Parcel: 411336151011, $2,000,000 WHITNEYVILLE INVESTORS LLC, Macatawa Bank, Caledonia, $975,000 BCG LAND HOLDINGS LLC, Horizon Bank, Lowell, $480,000 ABRO BROTHERS INC., United States Small Business Administration, Wyoming, $1,543,100 YANDA GROUP LLC, Key Bank, Kentwood, $1,900,000 DANBURY APTS LLC et al, Sandia Area Federal Credit Union, Parcel: 411817102009, $3,249,200 WEST MICHIGAN LODGING INC., Union Bank, Walker, $6,000,000 4099 CEDAR ROCK VENTURES LLC, ChoiceOne Bank, Algoma Twp., $648,750 AZ INVESTMENT PROPERTIES LLC, Consumers Credit Union, Kentwood, $565,000 HILLARD INVESTMENTS LLC, Huntington National Bank, Algoma Twp., $2,000,000 6840 WHITNEYVILLE LLC, ChoiceOne Bank, Caledonia, $1,018,200 BUTH DAIRY VILLAGE LLC, Huntington National Bank, Walker, $1,735,000 WOMBAT LLC, Horizon Bank, Parcel: 411327127061, $1,537,500 SUNSET PARK MHP LLC et al, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Alpine Twp., $65,000,000 FIORENZO, Michael S. et al, Rocket Mortgage, Cascade Twp., $413,000 SOSTECKE, Lisa Trust et al, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Parcel: 411233226008, $400,386 MAIER, Michael A. et al, Mercantile Bank, Parcel: 411413303021, $500,000 GORLINE, Scott J. et al, Huntington National Bank, East Grand Rapids, $616,800 BROWN, Alexander et al, Independent Bank, East Grand Rapids, $760,000 MPHC GRANDVILLE PROPERTY HOLDING LLC, Oxford Finance, Parcel: 411717351018, $1,000,000 MPHC GRANDVILLE PROPERTY HOLDING LLC, Oxford Finance, Parcel: 411717351018, $7,000,000 JAMAL, Rabih et al, Bank of America, East Grand Rapids, $456,000 FEYEN, Paul M. et al, Fifth Third Bank, Parcel: 411429455023, $509,000 SHURTS, Justin K. et al, Fifth Third Bank, Ada Twp., $650,000 MCINNIS, Devin A. et al, ChoiceOne Bank, Algoma Twp., $540,000 BKGDOMINON 9 LLC, ChoiceOne Bank, Wyoming, $11,177,600 FIKE, Rustin et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Rockford, $376,000 SCHULTZ, Robert M. Jr. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Parcel: 411425102038, $524,800 FOX, James D. et al, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Cannon Twp., $506,000 HANENBURG, Seth et al, Churchill Mortgage Corp., Byron Twp., $400,000 MOSES, Jeremy et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Courtland Twp., $374,000 SPINNEY, Shana, Federal Savings Bank, Caledonia, $779,000 DURNWALD, Henry J. et al, Neighborhood Loans, Parcel: 411415370009, $391,500 GOFF, Jeremy et al, Neighborhood Loans, Parcel: 11401351006, $428,000 ADAMS, John C., Lake Michigan Credit Union, Algoma Twp., $432,859 FULTON GALLERY APARTMMENTS LLC, Lakeside Bank, Parcel: 411325448005, $8,827,000 POTES, Kelly J. et al, ChoiceOne Bank, Sparta, $435,000 KOOLE, Jason B. et al, Neighborhood Loans, Parcel: 411810179005, $394,500 MORRIS, Kevin J. et al, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Oakfield Twp., $403,750

GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL SCHARP, Brian S. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Gaines Twp., $480,375 KULIKOWSKI, Craig, Northern Mortgage Services, Kentwood, $396,000 COOPER, Stephan J. et al, United Wholesale Mortgage, East Grand Rapids, $1,224,000 BURKE, James et al, Old National Bank, Plainfield Twp., $433,600 LAM, Anthony A. et al, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Cannon Twp., $532,000 DANIAN, John M. et al, Rocket Mortgage, Parcel: 411414227004, $569,819 JTB HOMES LLC, Huntington National Bank, Algoma Twp., $12,000,000 CRE BKG GR4 LLC, American United Life Insurance Co., Kentwood, $20,500,000 PRECUP, Hannah et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Parcel: 411414227004, $356,200 INTERRA HOMES LLC, Huntington National Bank, Lowell, $7,000,000 HERNANDEZ, Adam et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Byron Twp., $548,250 NORBY TRUST, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Kentwood, $386,250 ROSENBAUM, James, Northpointe Bank, Byron Twp., $548,250 GEIGER, Jason, Guardian Mortgage, Caledonia, $388,000 HERREMA, David et al, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Parcel: 411316377057, $350,000 DZINGLE, Jared N. et al, First United Credit Union, Ada Twp., $374,000 WILLIAMS, Neil et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, East Grand Rapids, $1,000,000 RIDGE, Justin et al, Rocket Mortgage, Wyoming, $387,850 BUI, Brian et al, Independent Bank, Gaines Twp., $364,103 MUNN, Joshua et al, Neighborhood Loans, Cascade Twp., $358,633 ALHYARI, Mohammad M., Lake Michigan Credit Union, Byron Twp., $672,000 WATTS, Nicholas et al, United Bank, Byron Twp., $471,000 KNIBBE, Todd E. et al, American Internet Mortgage, Cascade Twp., $371,000 TIMMER, Jonathan, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Courtland Twp., $2,456,000 PATTEN, Michael J. et al, Independent Bank, Tyrone Twp., $791,809 BRADFORD, Marvin W. et al, ChoiceOne Bank, Sparta, $350,000 MARINO, Nick et al, Sovereign Lending Group, Parcel: 411309377038, $465,000 BLIEDEN, Andrew et al, Old National Bank, Cascade Twp., $600,000 ERVOOD, George et al, HUD, Kentwood, $363,000 ULRICH TRUST, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Tyrone Twp., $441,000 MCCARTY, Lindsay et al, Neighborhood Loans, Parcel: 411810104003, $413,250 VASIU, Jeffrey et al, Old National Bank, Cascade Twp., $355,000 SMITH, Nathan B. et al, Mortgage 1, Parcel: 411809253024, $460,750 READY, Matthew M. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Ada Twp., $440,500 MASKILL, John D. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Cannon Twp., $949,000 TIMMER, Jonathan, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Ada Twp., $1,105,000 MAGOLAN, Nicholas J., Lake Michigan Credit Union, Parcel: 411206226010, $765,000 BERGER, Carson et al, First Community Bank, Cannon Twp., $647,200 MAHORO, Claude et al, Primelending, Parcel: 411435376045, $427,500 VETTER TRUST, Huntington National Bank, Ada Twp., $380,200 VANDERLENDE TRUST, Bank of America, Cannon Twp., $620,000 LEDBETTER, Eric et al, Independent Bank, Courtland Twp., $380,000 CHAPKO, Richard et al, Success Mortgage Partners, Parcel: 411403329013, $439,800 ATKINS, Sonya et al, Mercantile Bank, Byron Twp., $430,000 GREEN, Julie et al, Crosscountry Mortgage, Cannon Twp., $473,099 CASTORA, Andrew R. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Cannon Twp., $473,000 NAUSIEDA, Edward J. III,, Ada Twp., $365,000 MCVAY, Nickolas et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, East Grand Rapids, $900,000 DELVAUX, Darren J. et al, Ruoff Mortgage Co., Ada Twp., $479,499 HILL, Thomas et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Cascade Twp., $1,000,000 KNOLL, Jordan et al, Hometown Lenders, Wyoming, $361,000

RINNE, David et al, Allen Edwin Home Builders, Kentwood, $369,949 8250 Pfeiffer Farms LLC, Mercantile Bank, Byron Twp., $1,800,000 ELLIS, Albert et al, NBKC Bank, Caledonia, $571,900 LAPENNA, Patrick M., Lake Michigan Credit Union, Parcel: 411430430022, $404,000 BUTTON, Robert J. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Cannon Twp., $431,250 TIDEY, Kevin et al, Benchmark Mortgage, Caledonia, $647,200 CPG GRAND RAPIDS LLC, Feehan Trust, Wyoming, $2,000,000 JELTEMA, Jeffrey S. et al, Macatawa Bank, Cascade Twp., $548,000 IRVINE, Douglas A. Jr. et al, Macatawa Bank, Cannon Twp., $647,000 OLSON, David et al, Northpointe Bank, Caledonia, $390,500 810 BENSON LLC, Mercantile Bank, Parcel: 411419279010, $675,000 HUEGLI, Jeffrey T. et al, Keybank, East Grand Rapids, $520,000 CHO, Ellen et al, Armed Forces Bank, Parcel: 411429480006, $372,000 JW’S RENTALS et al, Adventure Credit Union, Reynolds & Franklin Sub., $690,000 BORDOLI, Stefano et al, Rocket Mortgage, East Grand Rapids, $599,999 KROPIEWNICKI, Aaron et al, Independent Bank, Courtland Twp., $351,111 ALVAREZ, Tyler W. et al, Rocket Mortgage, Cascade Twp., $353,000 VANSOLKEMA, Tim et al, PNC Bank, Gaines Twp., $550,000 CAMPIONE, Frank et al, American Financing Corp., Parcel: 410628452011, $446,000 RADOWSKI, Matthew J., Fifth Third Bank, East Grand Rapids, $374,300 BEHAN, Paul D. et al, American Financing Corp., Parcel: 411413226015, $588,147 KING, Timothy et al, Rocket Mortgage, Vergennes Twp., $384,000 SZILAGY, Nicholas S. et al, Fifth Third Bank, Cannon Twp., $360,000 STEMPLE, Justin W. et al, Huntington National Bank, Caledonia, $525,000 VANDYKE, Jeff et al, United Bank, Byron Twp., $513,000 LEWCHANIN, Peter C. et al, Northern Mortgage Services, Parcel: 411425102048, $446,125 WILLARD, Brandon E. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Plainfield Twp., $576,000 OSTERINK, Charles E. et al, Mercantile Bank, Ada Twp., $737,160 HALVORSON, Jeffrey P., Mercantile Bank, Cannon Twp., $800,000 VANERMEN TRUST, Old National Bank, Ada Twp., $548.000 ALISKOVIC, Almir et al, Mercantile Bank, Cannon Twp., $580,000 WALKER, Brandon, MiMutual Mortgage, Cannon Twp., $373,395 WALL, Andrew B. et al, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Plainfield Twp., $472,500 5TH STREET PROPERTIES LLC, Old National Bank, Parcel: 411324331001, $425,251 STRATTON, Brandon et al, Neighborhood Loans, Byron Twp., $398,400


Co-Partnerships filed with the Kent County Clerk ABSOLUTE NAIL & SPA, 5751 Byron Center SW, Wyoming, John Nguyen, Mimi Thai BEUKEMA SHOW CATTLE, 5686 Myers Lake, Belmont, Joseph Beukema, Joshua Beukema GLAMOUR NAILS, 3535 Plainfield NE, Hong Tran, Ngoc Thi HOLLADAY PHOTOGRAPHY, 6504 28th St., McCann Holladay, Erik Davol MINH, 1964 Crystal View Court SE, Caledonia, Nghia Nguyen, Lyn Tran SYDNEY EXOTIC STYLEZ, 1452 42nd St. SE, Spencer Harris, Dezirre Sheliah


Assumed names filed with the Kent County Clerk ABLE PARKINGLOT MAINTENANCE, 2820 Dean Lake NE, Timothy T. Bolen BARBARA WILLIAMS LPC, 1422 Wealthy SE, Barbara Williams BURCH AUDIO, 7050 Mick, Clarksville, Matthew D. Sobie C&B VENTURES, 49 Southeast St., Kent City, Connie K. McVicker DIAMOND ENTERPRISES, 8726 Algoma NE, Rockford, Rodney L. Diamond DOLLY WEAR, 5480 Alpine NW, Valorie Sheler EURO CLEANING, 15 Fox Point, Ada, Indira

Hoxha HIDDEN COTTAGE PRESS, 3241 Barrett SW, Grandville, Joseph Roper HUB COFFEE & CO., 20 Lake, Sand Lake, Victoria L. Merlington INVESTAX RESOLUTION SERVICES, P.O. Box 307, Belmont, James A. Watts INVESTAX RETIREMENT SERVICES, P.O. Box 307, Belmont, James A. Watts KURT HULLINGER BUILDER, 13300 Harvard NE, Cedar Springs, Kurt Hullinger LOOSE ENDZ, 2449 Borglum NE, John A. Bell MADISON OFFICE FURNITURE, 332 Bellevue SE, Wyoming, Paul J. Madison MARK ANDRUS WOOD WORK, 14224 Pine Lake, Cedar Springs, Mark Andrus MT DESIGN, 6856 Rosecrest SE, Caledonia, Michael F. Thornell NEXT TRIP RESET TRAVEL AGENCY, 5110 28th St. SE, Cesaylee J. Reed NY’RIZE’, 1244 Northfield NE, Andre S. Soule ORCO HEATING & COOLING, 35 Freedom SE, Wyoming, Michael Orcutt PLAN A HOMES, 969 Sydney NW, Walker, Nicholas S. Johnson PLOW SERVICES, 1846 Prairie Pkwy. SW, Wyoming, Albert L. Koewers POEMA HANDMADE GOODS, 3913 Leland NW, Comstock Park, Kiosha Jeltema SENIOR FINANCIAL SERVICES, P.O. Box 307, Bemont, James A. Watts STRAWBERRY APARTMENTS, 2226 29th St. SW, Wyoming, James V. VanSoest STYLES SALON, 2750 Birchcrest SE, Danny E. Lewis THE GOODZ, 1141 Alger SW, Wyoming, Rolland W. Buscher Jr. TOM’S ALL SEASON LAWNCARE, 3552 Richmond NW, Thomas L. Stricklen VIBRANT APPEAL, 142 Carrier NE, Carlos E. Blackmon VINTAGE BY VALERIE, 834 4th NW, Valerie L. Holstege WILLIAM BOS GREENHOUSE E FARMS, 1674 Spaulding SE, Bill Bos WILLIAMS AUTO DETAILING, 2112 Cleveland SW, Wyoming, William Williams ALL CAR AUTO PARTS, 10331 Northland Drive NE, Rockford, Erin Leech ALLSURE SALON BY ANNIE, 1606 Leonard NW, Anjeanette Wilcox AMY MINER ACCOUNTING SERVICE, 1295 Pine Lake NE, Amy J. Miner ATLAS COMPUTER SERVICES, 2060 Highbluff NE, Stephen D. Poling BLACKNIFFICENTLY, 19 Colrain SW, Vermont Taylor BLESSINGS MULTIPLIED, 1150 Bayshore SW, Byron Center, Katie J. Zuidema CHARLES, DIANE & CO., 7695 Cascade SE, Diane Helmholdt COVER ME-FRANK J. STAPLEN JR., 415 Jefferson SE, Victoria A. Stepleton DAL, 556 Michigan NE, Dominic A. Lopez DER TOPPER, 3096 Dean Lake NE, J.C. Trabka FORDE TECHNOLOGY SERVICE, 3096 Dean Lake NE, Adam Trabka FRIAR CHUCKO, 5669 Leisure South SE, Kentwood, Charles Osborn GEERLING NOTARY SERVICES, 1130 Tree Bark SW, Byron Center, Megan T. Geerling GR HOME DECOR, 100 Wealthy SE, Rafael Hernandez Jr. GRAND RAPIDS PALLETS CO., 1450 Hamilton NW, Ricardo Ramirez Soria GT DESIGNS, 1422 Van Auken SE, Michael S. Stebbins HEART AND SOUL, P.O. Box 9626, Wyoming, Pamela L. Jackson HOEKSTRA TOWN PLANNING, 315 Benjamin SE, Jay Hoekstra HONOR & INTEGRITY HOME INSPECTIONS, 12486 Blinton Road, Sand Lake, Timothy S. Magoon Jr. INTEGRITY AUTOMOTIVE, 8847 11 Mile NE, Rockford, Jerry Wineland J.J. CUSTOM BUILDERS, 3024 Chicago Drive SW, Grandville, Jacob Jorgensen MILLER RESIDENTIAL CLEANING, 431 Prospect SE, Tatiana M. Hogeterp MULTIPLE BLESSINGS, 1150 Bayshore SW, Sarah E. Garrett MYSTERY INK, 524 Leonard NW, Dominque A. Siwulich OLA PROPERTIES, 1971 E. Beltline, Graciela Anchante

PUBLIC RECORD AVAILABLE ONLINE: For the full version of this week’s Public Record, visit the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s website at

FEB 22, 2022


Stock market volatility can create indecision CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7

we could have global tensions, we could have inflationary concerns. There is always something to worry about going back hundreds and hundreds of years. “We know that volatility is normal, do not let it derail you, period. If you find yourself checking the value of your IRA (Individual Retirement Account) or your 401(k) online or on your phone app, I would suggest deleting the app, removing the URL from your favorites on your internet browser, go outside and go for a nice walk.” Because of the volatility of the stock market, Diepstra said it is important to have a diversified portfolio that represents different sectors. Although 17 of the last 19 years have been positive for S&P 500 companies or larger companies, Diepstra Diepstra said now is the time for investors to take a look at their portfolio to ensure their plan or portfolio aligns with their goals. “It is our job here to hold clients accountable to their financial and investment goals through a written plan,” he said. “The plan is obviously not a one-time event. It is a process, and the plan should change every year because life happens, the positives and negatives in life, but the core of the plan should remain consistent. We’re here as financial advisers to make intelligent recommendations that are in the client’s best interest and maximize the probability of reaching those goals.”

Economists forecast slow growth CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9

with the Grand Rapids Chamber on this event,” said Diana Lawson, dean of the Seidman College of Business. “Seidman faculty, led by Dr. Paul Isely, have compiled an outlook that will help inform the decisions made by West Michigan leaders. “The Seidman College of Business has done an annual confidence index since 1995, and by partnering with the chamber, we are able to generate three times the number of responses.” The full economic forecast is at



FEB 22, 2022

GVSU tracks Interurban Burma aid.


emnants of Interurban railway tracks on the Grand Valley State University campus in downtown Grand Rapids are now commemorated with an informational exhibit explaining the electric transportation system created in the late 1800s. The tracks, contained within a brick inlay on the Mount Vernon pedestrian pathway on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus, are the last stretch of any Interurban tracks in West Michigan, according to a GVSU historian. The exhibit placed above the tracks uses images and text to explain the Interurban system and its impact on the region. The piece also gives related historical context for the time, such as how the Grand River was a “working waterfront.” At the heart of this project is a core narrative that is important to the community, said Nathan Kemler, GVSU director of Galleries and Collections, who helped lead the effort to create and install the piece. “One reason this project is so impactful is that it was an early sustainable transportation method that was rooted in equity,” said Kemler of the themes captured in the exhibit that is part of


the GVSU Art Gallery. “Anybody could ride the Interurban, and it would take you into the city or outside of it to Lake Michigan, Lake Macatawa, or farms.” Kemler noted that someone could take the Interurban from Grand Rapids to Lake Michigan, then board a steam ship for Chicago, and it was all done through electric power. Learning about the prevalence of such green technology long ago is eye-opening for students, said Matthew Daley, GVSU professor of history, who was the key researcher on the project. “Students are stunned that there was this huge integrated network of electric freight and passenger service that then tied into a citywide network of street cars,” Daley said. “You could take an Interurban that produced no soot, no dirt and at some point on West Michigan lines reached over 70 mph.” The transportation system was first developed in the 1890s, starting in West Michigan in Holland, Daley said. Around the turn of the 20th century that railway connected with Grand Rapids and the overall system saw growth in the region in the ensuing years. “It ran really well until Ameri-

cans discovered in the 1920s that they liked cars,” Daley said. Daley and Kemler both said the story of the Interurban gives important insight into fleeting economic conditions, how people come together, the environmental impact on the Grand River and how the community has evolved. “This is about the changing landscape of Grand Rapids itself and understanding this location before the Grand Valley campus was here and before downtown was revitalized,” Kemler said. DRINK UP The Plainfield Township Water Department has been recognized for having the best-tasting water in the state by the Michigan Section of the American Water Works Association. Each year, Michigan’s Best Tasting Water Award winner is determined by a panel of judges selected by the MI-AWWA and based on the water’s appearance, taste and aroma. This is the second time Plainfield Township has won the award, also earning top honors in 1991. “We are thrilled to receive this award after years of investing in innovative technology to enhance the quality of our municipal water,” Plainfield Township


Manager Cameron Van Wyngarden said. “We are incredibly proud of the quality of our water and the employees who work every day to make sure we are providing safe drinking water to our community.” Plainfield Township beat out two other regional winners for the award: Bay County and the city of Manistique. Plainfield will represent Michigan at the AWWA national competition in San Antonio on June 14, competing against other state winners. “This recognition is a testament to our team’s dedication and hard work to eliminate PFAS from our municipal water system over the past four years using granular activated carbon filtration,” said Don Petrovich, water treatment plant superintendent. Granular activated carbon, or GAC, has proven to be highly effective in eliminating PFAS, bacteria, pathogens and other undesirable elements from drinking water, according to Petrovich. It does this by using activated carbon to absorb contaminants from the water as they filter through. The township launched a pilot program in 2018 to study the effectiveness of GAC filtration in eliminating PFAS compounds in municipal drinking water. The successful study was the first of its kind in Michigan and led to the Water Department’s expansion of GAC filtration for its entire system over a three-year period. The MI-AWWA is a nonprofit, member-supported organization that includes water professionals from utilities, consultants, regulators, service companies and

manufacturers across Michigan. REACHING OUT At DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, more than 10 percent of employees are Burmese or of Burmese descent. Many still have loved ones in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, where humanitarian aid is highly needed. Wanting to support their colleagues, a DENSO production team rallied more than 400 employees to raise $36,000 of their own money to go toward assistance initiatives in Myanmar. The DENSO Burmese Network, an employee resource group dedicated to supporting Burmese employees at DENSO in Battle Creek, helped connect DENSO with the Burma Center and organize the donation. The Burma Center will use the funds to support humanitarian aid efforts in Myanmar, providing people there with vital access to housing, food, health care and other essential resources. DENSO’s Battle Creek facility and its North American headquarters in Southfield matched the employee donations, reaching the total gift sum of $72,237. “We are proud and thankful to have a strong Burmese community as part of our DENSO family. Additionally, we have a very passionate and active employee resource group,” said Kevin Carson, president of DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility. “So, when hundreds of employees stepped up to help, our culture of loving people was very evident. No matter your background, we’re always going to support and uplift our people.”

J O I N U S F O R T H E 1 0 TH A N N U A L

WINE | FOOD | AUCTIONS Benefitting Humane Society of West Michigan MARCH 9, 2022 | 6:00PM SPONSORED BY

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FEB 22, 2022

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