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JUNE 2018

LOCAL PRODUCE, LOCAL DOLLARS Amanda Shreve, executive director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, helps share the impact of mid-Michigan farmers markets IN THIS ISSUE • Dale Carnegie and Lansing Chamber Take on Talent Development • Nine Communities Across State Look Forward to U.S. Opportunity Zones Program • MSU Women empowHER Next Generation With Annual Retreat


JUNE 2018 ON THE COVER Dale Carnegie and Lansing Chamber Take on talent development.......................................................... 6 Nine Communities Across State Look Forward to U.S Opportunity Zones Program.......................................... 8 MSU Women empowHER Next Generation With Annual Retreat......................................................................... 16 Local Produce, Local Dollars......................................................... 22

JUNE 2018

22 NEWS The Stars Come Out in Lansing.........................................................................................................10 Anime Ambitions.......................................................................................................................................12

FEATURES LOCAL PRODUCE, LOCAL DOLLARS

The Inner Sanctum .................................................................................................................................. 14

Amanda Shreve, executive director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, helps share the impact of mid-Michigan farmers markets

Michigan Manufacturing Association Provides Tools, Advocacy for Industry Prosperity ...................................................................................... 18

IN THIS ISSUE • Dale Carnegie and Lansing Chamber Take on Talent Development • Nine Communities Across State Look Forward to U.S. Opportunity Zones Program • MSU Women empowHER Next Generation With Annual Retreat

Visual Breakdown .................................................................................................................................... 20 Legislative Corner.................................................................................................................................... 29 Business Calendar ................................................................................................................................... 30 Notable News ............................................................................................................................................ 32

Cover photography by Mary Gajda

Greater Lansing Business Monthly | Volume 31, Issue 6

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Greater Lansing Business Monthly is published monthly by M3 Group at 221 West Saginaw Street, Lansing, MI 48933. Periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Michigan USPO. USPS number 020w807.

Subscriptions: Subscriptions are available at $22 per year for postage and handling or $38 for two years. Call (517) 203-3333 or visit lansingbusinessnews.com to subscribe. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Greater Lansing Business Monthly, 221 West Saginaw Street, Lansing, MI 48933. Send additional subscription requests and address changes to The Greater Lansing Business Monthly, Inc., 221 West Saginaw Street, Lansing, MI 48933. Copyright © 2016 The Greater Lansing Business Monthly, Inc. All rights reserved. Editorial Office: 221 West Saginaw Street, Lansing, MI 48933 lansingbusinessnews.com 2

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COMMENTARY

BECOME A COMMUNITY LEADER FOR OUR REGION Whose job is it? Have you ever asked yourself this question? In business, this happens all the time. But, have you wondered about how community organizations, associations and other tax-based entities manage to carve out the roles they claim? Publisher: Tiffany Dowling tiffany@m3group.biz Sales Manager: Jennifer Hodges jhodges@m3group.biz Editor: Kelly Mazurkiewicz kelly@m3group.biz Media Manager: Jill Bailey Account Managers: Megan Fleming Liz Reno-Hayes Communications Director: Ami Iceman-Haueter Art Director: Mark Warner Publication Designer: Heather Thielking Graphic Designers: Jeanette Wummel Quandrel Ollie Cody Fell Photographer: Mary Gajda Web Manager: Jeanette Wummel Videographer: Michael Cagney Event Calendar Manager: Jaime Hardesty

GLBM Editorial Board: April Clobes — President and CEO, MSU Federal Credit Union Calvin Jones — Government Relations Director, Lansing Board of Water & Light Lisa Parker — Director of Alumni Career and Business Services, Michigan State University Alumni Association

I believe that community organizations are derive from the needs that a region has demonstrated. When the business community determines that there is a need for a combined effort in an area like economic development or lobbying a particular law that affects them, an organization forms. This is good. These organizations continue to grow as the community defines additional needs like professional development, networking, etc. Utilizing these organizations to work on issues that most businesses can’t dedicate time to create or form is needed. There are times in a community, when conditions are right and optimism is high, that enable public problem-solving to truly moves things forward: A bottom-up or grass-roots effort where people with no political or governmental power come together at the local level to address issues that matter to them. Recently, I spoke with a community group about the need for our region to collectively go through a rebranding effort. I was prepared to receive pushback and provide numerous reasons why they should be involved, but I observed heads nodding and smiles around the table. What I heard from this community group is that we deserve to have a region that is uniquely us and represents the people who live here. I want that too. It’s imperative that we begin an effort to understand how our community should be represented, messaged and promoted. Our region has had a self-esteem issue, and it is apparent to me that it’s going to take work – not only in messaging, but also in solving problems that exist. I’m hoping there are individuals in our amazing community that want to be a part of this change. Community leadership work should start with these questions: • • • • •

What is desired now, in this place, by the people in our community? What does success look like in one year? Five years? Under what conditions is improvement possible? Who should be involved? How can we establish and sustain conditions for effective community problem solving? • How would we know it? • How do we sustain the momentum? I’m looking forward to meeting with our community ambassadors willing to help drive our region forward. Why are we waiting to start? There’s no time like the present. Who’s with me?

Deb Muchmore — Partner, Kandler Reed Khoury & Muchmore Tom Ruis — Vice President, Fifth Third Bank Doug Klein — Executive Director, Mason Area Chamber of Commerce Tiffany Dowling | Publisher

Mark Hooper — Partner, Andrews Hooper Pavlik Diontrae Hayes — Supervisor Charter Township of Lansing

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GREATER LANSING’S NEW DEAL An exciting opportunity for local business professionals BY ARIK HARDIN

As the private sector continues to grow and become more competitive, it is imperative that businesses hire and retain the best employees possible. Whether they are working in sales, customer service or any other field, employees must be able to perform at their peak in order to do the best work they can for their companies. It is critical that businesses foster that growth so that they can build a trustworthy, well-trained team. However, that growth does not come easily for many businesses, especially for those with smaller budgets. Thankfully, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) is working to make those lessons more accessible to all Greater Lansing businesses. The LRCC, which was founded in 1901, has spent over a century partnering with Lansing business owners to increase economic development in the city. Its efforts have been vital to the growth of the city’s economy, and the group has been responsible for many monumental changes in Lansing’s history, including the creation of the original airport that is now known as the Capital Region International Airport. The 6

LRCC has proven itself to be a wonderful support for all businesses in the Greater Lansing area, whether large or small. And, its support continues to this day. In an April 11 news release, the LRCC announced a new partnership with Dale Carnegie, a renowned talent-development agency. Through that partnership, LRCC members will gain access to the organization’s internationally recognized course for talent development that has been lauded by professionals for decades. Dale Carnegie was founded in 1912 by its namesake. Carnegie was a well-known and respected writer and lecturer, who developed training for business professionals who wished to face their fears of public speaking and learn to grow their business by better communicating with others. Through his courses, Carnegie was able to improve the lives of his students, helping them grow more confident both in business and in their own lives. Through these courses and his best-selling novel “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Carnegie left a legacy of talent development that is still felt today.

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In fact, the course that Carnegie originally created is still being used by professionals across the globe, boasting more than 8 million graduates including neurosurgeon and medical reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta as well as business leaders like Warren Buffet. There is no doubt that Dale Carnegie is a prestigious opportunity for Lansing businesses, and the LRCC is excited to offer the company’s services to its clients. But what exactly will LRCC members gain from the new partnership. The Dale Carnegie course focuses on the five main aspects of a worker’s personal skills in order to make him or her a stronger, more effective professional. Those skills, as listed by LRCC’s news release, are “building self-confidence, developing enhanced people skills, improving communication skills, developing leadership abilities and teaching how to control one’s attitude while dealing with worry and stress.” While those skills are certainly not revolutionary, they are vital to the success of burgeoning professionals. Without those lessons and the growth that follows them, the businesses of Lansing, and thus all of its citizens, could easily suffer.


NEWS

Michelle Rahl, LRCC director of business development Photo provided

knowledge from the course that they can use for the rest of their lives, but it also has the potential to have profound impacts on the businesses and people of Lansing. As Michelle Rahl, LRCC director of business development, said, the LRCC and Dale Carnegie “recognize the tremendous impact that high-performing employees can have on their respective business. Talent attraction, retention and development will continue to be a key component of business growth, and we are excited to add Dale Carnegie to our leadership and talent-development offerings.”

The new partnership is extremely valuable to the city, and the LRCC knows the impact that it can have on the local economy – as does Dale Carnegie itself. In LRCC’s news release, Matthew D. Anderson, executive in residence with Dale Carnegie, said he has “seen firsthand the dramatically positive impact this program has on a company’s culture and the behavior of Fortune 500 employees. Through the leadership of the chamber, this talent-development

opportunity will be transformational for our region.”

For more information on the Dale Carnegie partnership, visit the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce website at lansingchamber.org. For more information about Dale Carnegie, its course and its history, visit dalecarnegie.com/en.

Thanks to the partnership between the LRCC and Dale Carnegie, the chamber will be able to offer its members reduced prices for the company’s teachings. It is a wonderful opportunity for local businesses that wish to invest in developing talent. Not only will it help the individuals, who will gain valuable

Arik Hardin has a BA in English from Michigan State University. As he works towards a career in publishing, he spends his time reading voraciously, re-watching his favorite movies and cuddling his two beloved dogs.

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NEWS

CREATING OPPORTUNITIES New zones spur job creation, reduce tax burdens for businesses BY TERESA FRITH

Last month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service approved nine new Opportunity Zone designations that are expected to induce investments in new job creation, attract new businesses and reduce tax burdens on existing businesses. "Opportunity Zones were strategically identified by local communities to help spur investment in areas that could benefit most," said Kris Klein, economic development specialist at the Lansing Economic Area

Partnership. "Investments directed through ‘Opportunity Funds’ could help with redevelopments and reinvestment within the designated zones, potentially creating new jobs through expanding current businesses or attracting new ones." Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, with help from the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority and Michigan Economic Development Corp., nominated 288 eligible communities in the state. Of the nominees, nine were selected, including four municipalities in Ingham County: Lansing, East Lansing, Delhi Charter Township and Meridian Charter Township.

The remaining five areas are Bingham Township and St. Johns in Clinton County as well as the Eaton County communities of Charlotte, Carmel Township and Eaton Township. Opportunity Zones were decreed in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and were created to incentivize patient-capital investments in low-income communities cut off from capital that have seen little or no business growth. The chosen communities must also be either a low-income area with 20 percent or more people at the poverty level or be contiguous; meaning they are directly next to a low-income community and have income levels less than 125 percent of the adjacent low-income community. One of the most attractive parts of an Opportunity Zone to existing and potential newly attracted businesses is the potential tax benefits of the program. These include the following: Temporary deferral of inclusion in taxable income for capital gains. A business reinvests into a fund. The deferred gains must be documented on the date an Opportunity Zone investment is disposed of or by Dec. 31, 2026, whichever comes first.

NINE OPPORTUNITY

ZONE

DESIGNATIONS

Clinton County • Bingham Township • City of St. Johns

Eaton County • Carmel Township • City of Charlotte • Eaton Township

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A reduction for any capital gains reinvested into a fund by 10 percent if the investment is held five years, and they get 5 percent more for holding it two more years, so a possible 15 percent tax savings is possible. Permanent elimination of capital gains from the taxable income of the gains, if they sell or Ingham County exchange an • Delhi Charter Township • City of East Lansing investment • City of Lansing in a fund and • Meridian Charter Township it was held for at least 10 years; the gains must be


NEWS

accrued after investment was made in the fund."The tax incentive is a reduction, and possible full exemption, in federal capital gains tax for investing capital gains in an Opportunity Fund," said Klein. "This is a federal program, so utilizing this program will not reduce local or state tax obligations. However, investments by a fund could ultimately increase local tax revenue by financing new development and reinvesting in existing businesses and buildings, leading to the creation of new jobs and property taxes in our region." She added that the Opportunity Zone program could reduce the tax burden of businesses if they participated in an Opportunity Fund or were the recipient of investments through a fund. These funds could be from new local investments, though most are likely to be through funds financed via regional or national sources. The tax incentive thereby provides the most benefit to those businesses that hold onto investments for at least 10 years. Michigan was one of 18 states the Treasury Department approved in the first round of the Opportunity Zones program. Another aspect of the Opportunity Zones program is the investment incentives for businesses. If a business decided to take advantage of the program, it can use the fund resources as a primary investment in several ways. The money could help start a new business, or it could be used to build new commercial or residential real estate or infrastructure. In addition, it could be used to invest in an already existing business if they double the investment basis over the next 30 months.

OPPORTUNITY ZONES WERE DECREED IN THE 2017 TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT AND WERE CREATED TO INCENTIVIZE PATIENT-CAPITAL INVESTMENTS IN LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES CUT OFF FROM CAPITAL THAT HAVE SEEN LITTLE OR NO BUSINESS GROWTH. massage parlor, hot-tub facility, tanning studio, gambling or racetrack facilities, or anywhere that the main venture of the business is selling alcoholic beverages to be consumed elsewhere. Klein said that the main reason the Opportunity Zones are a positive for Michigan is because "the program can open up new sources of capital to our region and state to assist with the financing of projects in areas (zones) that communities have determined to be in the most need of investment."

The bottom line is that the funds and tax incentives via the Opportunity Zones program will help the chosen areas make improvements that will continue to help Michigan thrive and prosper so its residents can do the same. Teresa Frith is a Navy veteran now residing in Nashville, Mich. She's been writing and editing as a freelancer since retiring from the Navy in 2011, where she was a military journalist. She holds a BA in English from Western Illinois University. Her hobbies include reading, writing and working to help stray and feral cats.

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Plus, the fund incentive can be combined with existing incentives like the New Market Tax Credit program, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits or tax credits for historic rehabilitation. Additionally, funds could be used for such things as job training, which could assist an area in attracting new businesses. “We are awaiting further guidance from the IRS and U.S. Treasury on how Opportunity Funds are to function and how we can start utilizing this new source of capital to invest in Opportunity Zones,” Klein said. There are, however, limitations on the use of the funds. An Opportunity Fund cannot engage in any of the following “sin” businesses: any private or commercial golf course, country club,

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Cooley Law School Stadium Photo provided

THE STARS COME OUT IN LANSING Lugnuts hosting Midwest League All-Star Game BY NICHOLAS IAN ALLEN

The boys of summer have returned to the Capital City – and as luck would have it, it’s an all-star summer for the Lansing Lugnuts. The club is set to host the Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 19, at Cooley Law School Stadium. The game is presented by LAFCU.

will be shut down in front of the stadium to accommodate an assortment of games, vendors and tents open to. There are even plans for a Ferris wheel. Inside the stadium, attendees will be treated to a classic home-run derby, featuring Midwest League All-Star sluggers.

“It’s a chance for us to not only showcase our organization and our team, but the city of Lansing,” new Lugnuts general manager Tyler Parsons said while overlooking the playing field from one of the team’s 20 luxury suites. “We’re excited about it.”

“I hope all the windows out there are shatterproof,” said Parsons, pointing to the Outfield Ball Park Lofts overlooking the stadium.

Tuesday nights are challenging for Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams, with weekends typically more convenient for families planning a trip to the ballpark. Nevertheless, the Lugnuts prepared to pull out all the stops to entice fans and Lansing residents to attend the event, which will be the first of its kind in the city in 16 years. Not only will tickets be available to Lugnuts Ballpark Pass holders – the club’s membership ticket model that allows fans to pay by the month, which Parsons summed up as “Netflix for tickets” – the team also has a full day of activities planned to celebrate. In the hours leading up to the All-Star Game, fans and residents will have an opportunity to enjoy a festival atmosphere downtown as the Lugnuts host a block party along Michigan Avenue, which 10

The first residential development built inside a professional baseball park, the modern, brightly colored building certainly won’t be the last. Parks in Greenville, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia, are among the early adopters according to Parsons, and Midwest leaguer rival South Bend is also jumping on board to continue the trend of downtown revitalization projects using the minor leagues as a major component. “It’s crazy to think about: Five years ago, there were only 100 residential apartments within walking distance of this ballpark, and now there’s 4,000,” Parsons said. “Downtown keeps cultivating around it, and we’re really starting to see the fruits of the labor of why the stadium was built here and what it was meant to do downtown.” Five years ago, Parsons was far away from Lansing. A native of Dansville, Michigan Parsons attended Central Michigan University and worked

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as a ticket sales coordinator before leaving the state for his first job in baseball. “I told people I was leaving Michigan and I was never coming back,” he said with a laugh. Parsons worked for the Forest City Owls, a collegiate summer league team in North Carolina, holding the job title “director of fun.” He later took a position as the general manager of the Martinsville Mustangs in the Coastal Plain League. After two years, Parsons moved to the Johnson City Cardinals, a rookie-level affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. While running the day-to-day operations of the club in Johnson City, Parsons saw the community embrace outdoor recreation and finally allow beer sales at its ballpark in a measure approved by a narrow 3-2 vote by the city commission. Parsons helped the team set its single-season attendance record in back-to-back years, as well as set its record single-game attendance in 2017. Minor league baseball is a small fraternity, and front-office executives from one team are often friendly with others. Parsons and Lugnuts President Nick Grueser have known each other well over the years. When they ran into each other at the MiLB Promotional Seminar in Greenville last fall, Grueser was in the midst of a talent search for the managerial role with the Lugnuts.


NEWS

“He had never really given any thought at looking for someone that was a No. 1 at a lower level. He and I sat next to one another at a seminar and just started talking, started to connect the dots a little bit, and he started to recruit me,” Parsons said. Grueser convinced Parsons to visit Lansing with fresh eyes. “I was blown away by how much this area has changed,” Parsons said. “I saw an opportunity with a staff and leadership here to take on a larger role and reconnect with some family. We have an amazing stadium here with a ton of potential and a town that gives me the quality of life I’m looking for.” Convinced, Parsons signed on for the GM role. He also opted to live downtown, which allows him to walk to work and provides a wealth of options for entertainment in his free time. Those same options and opportunities are available to fans who attend Lugnuts games, Parsons noted, pointing to the nearby museums, trails, bars, restaurants and shops as destinations for fans before and after games. “The day and age where people just come to a baseball game is over,” he said.

The stadium doesn’t shut down during the year – even in the dead of winter. Parsons said the Lugnuts plan to host a Christmas lights show and will turn the field into a winter wonderland with everything from sledding hills to Santa Claus.

All-star summer is in full swing in Lansing. And while the Midwest League All-Star Game presented by LAFCU is the most prominent event on the calendar in 2018, it’s just one of countless opportunities for the Lugnuts to showcase the city.

“We’re not just a ballpark,” he said. “We’ll do just about anything – within reason. We’ll do anything that doesn’t make my groundskeeper quit.”

“What we really want to convey to local business leaders is that we do everything in our power to use our facility and our venue to be a community asset,” Parsons said. “We want to bring as many people here to this ballpark as possible and pack the stands and have a great time here and help ourselves, but we also know we have a duty to the city of Lansing and to the businesses around here to bring people here to see downtown Lansing, to see other parts of Lansing, and to support it and spend their money, enjoy it and build this entire community up.”

That open mindset extends to corporate partnerships. Nearly every weekly promotion, theme night, giveaway and outside event at the ballpark is made possible with help from businesses that support the Lugnuts. The club has 26 corporate partners, 18 of which have been with the team since its first season. That longevity is a point of pride for Parsons and his staff, as is the fact that the sales force doesn’t rely on prepackaged options when working on new partnerships. “Every partnership we have here is different,” Parsons said. “We don’t have an A, B or C package we pitch people. Everything we do is customizable and it’s all goal-oriented. We’ll sit down with businesses and say, ‘What are your goals? What are you trying to achieve?’ … Developing those relationships and hitting their goals is the No. 1 goal we have.”

Nicholas Ian Allen is a freelance writer with a focus on baseball and college football. His work has appeared at Athlon Sports, FanSided, SI.com and other print and online media outlets. He and his wife Catlin currently live in Lansing.

So, too, is the day and age where a baseball club only offers baseball. In addition to the games, the Lugnuts have a promotional schedule packed with theme nights as well as the largest number of giveaways in team history. Among the activities the team is hosting is Harry Potter Night on June 23, sponsored by MI Student Aid. The evening features a TriWizard Cup giveaway followed by the LAFCU fireworks. In August, the same sponsor will help the team host Backyard Baseball Night to honor the popular “Backyard Baseball” video-game series and its standout character, Pablo Sanchez, who will be immortalized in bobblehead form. Fans will also have the opportunity to rechristen the Lugnuts with a“Backyard Baseball” team name for the evening, and then root, root, root for the Mighty Melonheads, or perhaps the SuperDuper Socks. Plus, Cooley Law School Stadium hosts a long list of events that have nothing to do with America’s pastime. Earlier this year, the Lugnuts hosted the fifth Beerfest at the Ballpark, which featured dozens of brewers from around the state. In October, the ballpark will be the new site for the 23rd annual BWL Chili Cook-off. Other events on the schedule include a food-truck festival and a Michigan State University rugby match against the University of Michigan.

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In just a few short years, Shuto Con has drawn upon a growing regional interest to make its mark on Lansing. The annual anime convention pays tribute to the style of animation that originated in Japan and is especially popular with children and young adults. Since hitting the scene eight years ago, Shuto Con has lit up the town with color and youth – not to mention hefty infusions of cash – at the Lansing Center and Radisson Hotel. It’s a three-day happening with a focus on the artistic, including a phenomenon new to a lot of people outside the realm of anime: interactive cosplay. People who are into cosplay tend to be passionate about it. Cosplay at Shuto Con means dressing up as a favorite character, and interactive cosplay includes behaving like that character while you’re in costume and sometimes participating in mock battles in an arena. It can be an adventure in fabric glue, safety pins, hem tape, prayers and crossed fingers, but innocent wardrobe malfunctions come with the territory at Shuto Con. The convention’s dealers, artists, panelists and attendees from out of town have to eat and sleep somewhere, so from the perspective of hotels, restaurants and maybe even Uber drivers, Shuto Con makes good business sense. That is partly because Shuto Con makes the most of its weekend run, opening at 9 a.m. Friday and closing at 6 p.m. Sunday. The convention utilizes several large meeting rooms available to attendees 24 hours a day, and it hasn’t been unusual for Shuto Con’s website to announce the addition of overflow hotels for those who might need to look elsewhere for lodging. The Radisson can get sold out quite early.

Cosplayers look forward to dressing up for the event Photo provided Shuto Con Press Staff

ANIME

The service industry isn’t the only sector that stands to financially benefit from Shuto Con every year. On Feb. 13, Shuto Con announced details of its charity ball, including word that its 2018 charity designee would be End Violent Encounters (EVE), a Lansing-based nonprofit working on behalf of domestic abuse and sexual violence survivors in the greater Lansing area.

Shuto Con brings creativity, cash to Lansing

My 19-year-old daughter, Sydney Aronin, attended Shuto Con in 2015 with a friend. She likes anime from having grown up with it. During Shuto Con 2015, her favorite character was Misty from “Pokemon.” My daughter said she liked Misty because the character was tough and “didn’t take any crap,” traits my daughter aspired to at the time.

AMBITIONS BY TEECE ARONIN

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Shuto Con was founded by Stefanie Shall. Attendance the first year was about 1,300, a big surprise to Shall and her helpers who expected roughly 300 people to show for what was a somewhat impromptu offering back in 2010. In 2017, attendance was close to 6,500.


NEWS

“As a cosplayer, I go to multiple comic conventions throughout the year and Shuto Con is steadily rising to become one of the biggest – and it’s right here – but it’s also something the whole family can get into and enjoy,” Turner said. “Every year, my son and I try to outdo our costumes from last year. Shuto Con is definitely one of the high points of living in Lansing.” Cosplayers Photo provided Shuto Con Press Staff

Sydney participated in cosplay that year by dressing up as Mabel from the cartoon series “Gravity Falls,” which ran on the Disney Channel for two years and is not rooted in anime. According to Sydney, participants can dress up as any animated, fictional character, not just those from anime, which was a confusing distinction for me to grasp. Sydney’s favorite part of Shuto Con was a voice-acting panel that provided a humorous, in-depth look into the field. She also enjoyed the vendors, which offered everything from fashion accessories to art. She attended all three days. Sydney’s 17-year-old brother, Jon, attended this year’s Shuto Con as well as the 2017 convention. He went with four friends, some of whom dressed up. Jon, who attended one day of this year’s event, declined to participate in cosplay. Jon said he and his friends are big into “Super Smash Bros. 4,” and Shuto Con held a tournament of the video game this year. They attended the tournament and then walked through the shops. Jon said the tournament wasn’t crowded but everything else was, with lines to get into the art gallery and crowds of people in the halls. Video game room Photo provided Shuto Con Press Staff

Jon said he would attend Shuto Con again, adding that he was very impressed with the galleries and venues and found the staff and attendees to be friendly. Putting a lot more thought and effort into Shuto Con than my kids did are 38-year-old Joen Turner and her 13-year-old son, Terrell. They’ve been attending Shuto Con since 2015, and Turner said it seems to get bigger and better every year when it comes to attendees and vendors. She said the guest lists for artists and celebrities are expanding as well.

How long Shuto Con continues to prosper remains to be seen, but it seems to be impressing the crowds. As long as people are fascinated by anime and the fantastical characters outside that realm, it’s likely to continue doing well for the economy and doing good for area nonprofits.

Teece Aronin is a blogger and columnist. Teece writes a humor/ health and wellness column for the Oakland Press and is the Featured Writer for October at TrueHumor. com. Her artwork is available at the Redbubble.com store, phylliswalter, and Teece seriously considers any request for workshops, coaching, and speaking engagements. Read her blog at ChippedDemitasse.BlogSpot.com, contact her at paronin1@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter @ taronin.

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FEATURE

THE INNER SANCTUM A little piece of the past BY KEN GLICKMAN, PHOTOS BY MARY GAJDA

Finding Jim Herbert’s office is a bit challenging. Although he is founder and CEO of Neogen Corp., one of Lansing’s greatest corporate success stories, his office is stuck away in the corner of the first floor of the Center for Microbiological Excellence, which used to be the Allen Street School on Kalamazoo Street. There is no easy entrance to the building, but the persistent visitor can find a door that leads to the building’s interior. No receptionist is in sight. Founded in 1982 with a $50,000 investment from Michigan State University, Neogen’s 2016 revue reached $321.27 million, with a market cap of $1.52 billion. Twelve-hundred employees work for Neogen around the globe. Certainly Neogen has the resources to build a flashy corporate headquarters somewhere in the Lansing area. Instead, they have chosen to buy old Lansing schools, warehouses and other abandoned structures. In total, the biotechnology company owns 15 buildings and 307,000 square feet. The 77-year-old Herbert has no plans of retiring. He grew up on a Tennessee farm where the Memphis International Airport now stands. He has an easy, folksy sense of humor and speaks with an aw-shucks drawl. He even has a history with a certain superstar who some people say never died. Because of his down-home style, no one would

guess the fortune Herbert has accumulated from the company that few people in Lansing even know about. Some savvy folks may see that his name is the same one that is on the front of Sparrow Health System’s new and impressive cancer center. Herbert, along with Dr. James Herman, donated $2.5 million for the state-ofthe-art facility.

Neogen certainly can afford to build a big, fancy skyscraper as its corporate office. Why did you choose to be housed in old Lansing schools? When we started out, we didn’t have the money to do anything else. We wanted something to call our own without renting for our labs and offices and things. We figured an old school would work, because they have good, hard surface floors. The classrooms are about the right size for our labs, and they have plenty of plumbing because little kids had to go the bathroom all the time. So that led us to look at schools, and the first one was the Oak Park School, which was decommissioned. We had the opportunity to buy that one with nothing down on a land contract. We paid about $200K for it, because no one wanted it. They asked us what kind of interest rate we’re thinking of paying on the land contract, and I said we weren’t thinking of paying any interest rate. Well, we ended paying some crazy small interest rate.

Cabinets in Herbert’s office are filled with certificates, gifts and memories.

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We started to fall in love with these old schools, so now we own this one, the Oak Park, another on South Cedar. One of the buildings on the main campus was built with money by Ransom Olds for the care of needy children. We bought it from the county, and the county gave the money to the women’s shelter and we matched the funds, so they built a better and more suitable space across town.

Tell us about some of the items on your walls and bookshelves. That rope in the corner is from Argentina. I have a ranching operation in Texas and I own many Western artifacts. My ranch is south of Dallas and is about 1,000 acres. There’s a copy of a (Frederic) Remington sculpture and that huge longhorn cow skull is from my ranch. That’s a photo of the first car I ever owned. It’s an old Chevrolet, 1953. The old Philco radio dates back to the 1930s. Someone gave it to me, and it ended up here. Like so many things, someone brought it in: “I saw this, and I thought you oughta have it.” That’s where the stuffed animal came from. His name is Neon. All this stuff kind of piles up.

When you decide to retire, what are you going to do with all this? More importantly, what is my successor going to do with all this? That’s a painting of the Hill Country of Texas near my ranch. I’m there not near enough –

A replica of the first car Herbert owned


about four to five weeks a year. It’s pretty close to (former President George W.) Bush’s place.

How many buildings does Neogen own in Lansing? Fifteen buildings.On the main campus, there were houses in the neighborhood; and over time, when one became available, we bought each house, cleaned it up and fixed it up. We have a travel department in one, our marketing department in another. When you look at 15 buildings, several of them are houses. The houses are side by side, and the people work together well. They have a little kitchen, which is now their break room. Years ago, we’d bring people together to have what we call “hallway meetings.” It was started when we had one building and few enough employees where we could, at the end of a quarter, have everybody come down, stand in the hallway and Herbert could talk about how good we did in the quarter and where we are going. They became known as hallway meetings. Now the hallway meetings have outgrown any hallway, and we go to the Lansing Center for our corporate meetings.

Why did you choose to have your office hidden away like this? I moved from the main headquarters because, when I was there, everyone who was standing in the lobby wanted to know what Herbert thought – my office was in the main corridor. I felt managers needed to do daily operations by themselves. I felt if I was going to run the main company, I’ve got to give the guys a chance to run the day-to-day operations over there. I’ve got to give the guys room to run the place right.

Herbert has fond memories of Elvis, and remains humble about his experience with the King.

Jim herbert's office is full of memories, antiques and collectibles.

As you notice, we don’t maintain a receptionist here. It’s not really open to the public. When we first bought this building, we wanted to move microbiologists, (research and development), tech services and people dealing with live cultures – we’ll put them all in one place and we’ll put them in the old Allen Street School. Microbiologists can be irreverent, and they need adult supervision, so I’ll just move my office over there. It keeps me off the beaten path. There were problems when we moved into the new building. Everybody got upset – they didn’t want to move to the ASS, the Allen Street School. They didn’t like the implication. So I said, “I’ll solve that. Put a sign outside that calls it the Center for Microbiological Excellence.” Soon they were saying, “Do you get to move to the new center?” Aha! It became a center and everyone loved it. Words are everything.

Why do you like this office? I wanted this room for my office, but it was entirely too big. I wanted a wall in the office but didn’t want to cut it down the middle because it would destroy the cabinets. Well, we have some good carpenters in our facilities group, and they did the work. This table works well for two or three to use. And if the meeting is larger, we just move over to the conference room on the other side of the wall. I travel internationally a good bit – probably 30 percent of my time. And I keep up with all my 250 people in Scotland and England, and that group reports directly to me, so that’s how we’re growing that part of the business. We just had an opening in Australia. We’re also in Brazil, Mexico and China.

Who is that in that old picture over there? Oh, that’s me and Elvis when I was growing up in Memphis. He was a few years older than me. I grew up on a farm where the Memphis airport now sits, so when I was a kid we used to bail hay on land that became Graceland. It was called Graceland because of Dr. (Thomas) Moore, who we knew owned it, and his wife was named Grace. He named the place Graceland and sold it to Elvis. The first time I met Elvis, I was a junior in high school and he came in from a tour. He had just moved into that house and it had a lily pond. Elvis said, “Let’s shoot bullfrogs on the lily pads.” So that was the first time I met him, shooting bullfrogs with a 12-gauge shot gun. Elvis was out on the road after that, but he always had somebody on the gates guarding the property. By this time people started to come to the gates and stand around a lot. We knew his cousins and the guys around the gates and Elvis was seldom ever there. But the guards knew us and they let us in, and everyone else was looking at us. We promised the guards we wouldn’t get out of the car so we’d enter the gates, drive around the Omega Circle and drive out. We had more fun during those years, it’s no big thing, just a little piece of the past. Ken Glickman has been a free lance writer for many years, writing for national magazines as well as music and theater pieces for the Lansing State Journal. Also, Ken has been Sr. Talent Manager for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) and now runs his own executive search and coaching business, Glickman Associates. k.samuelglickman@gmail.com L

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EmpowHER retreat Photo by Mathew Mitchell

EMPOWHERING YOUTH Annual retreat gives girls passion and purpose BY CHRISTOPHER NAGY

For the past three years, an annual event in the Greater Lansing area has helped promote positive personal and professional change in girls and young women. Suzy Merchant, head coach of Michigan State University (MSU) Women’s Basketball, and MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business have partnered since 2016 to provide girls from divergent backgrounds with the tools needed to bolster self-confidence and instill purpose in their lives. The two-day empowHER Leadership Retreat at East Lansing’s Breslin 16

Center showcases expert speakers on topics ranging from nutrition to self-defense for fourth to ninth graders. "We hear amazing stories and, you know, that's the thing, I just want to save one girl. … If we make a difference and save one girl from making a tough decision or going down a path that she shouldn't go, then we've done our jobs – and that's what it's all about," Merchant told WILX-TV at this year’s retreat.

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According to attendees and their parents, lives have indeed been changed by the experience. “EmpowHER provided a unique experience for my fourth-grade daughter,” said Lansing resident Bernadette Terranova. “Especially during a time in her life when cliques and bullying gather strength, creating an allfemale, all-positive environment surrounded by girls and women supporting each other … I am so thankful for the opportunity for my daughter to be part of this incredible leadership retreat.”


FEATURE

Julie Dombroski helps lead the group activities Photo by Mary Gajda

second year and a one-night program aimed toward parents was added. This year, organizers raised $80,000 for the retreat and expanded the offerings to fourthgraders. In all, about 450 girls attended the 2018 event from April 27-28 at the Breslin Center; 100 spots were made available this year at no cost for at-risk youth. St. Marie said about 90 percent of attendees come from Greater Lansing, however, some girls have come from Traverse City, Detroit, Grand Rapids and even out of state. Girls are divided into groups of 10 by grade levels and are paired with one or two collegeage mentors for the weekend. The retreat kicks off with a keynote speaker; this year, it was MSU graduate and female sports agent Molly Fletcher. Several general workshops for everyone are held throughout the weekend, such as sessions on yoga and self-defense.

IN HONOR OF AN ATHLETE Although empowHER is designed to elicit inspiration at an early age, the triumphs of the retreat were born from tragedy. After suffering years of debilitating depression, April Taylor Bocian – an 11th grade student at Kennedy Catholic High School in Pennsylvania – committed suicide in 2015, one week after her 17th birthday. “Suzy Merchant was recruiting her. MSU was one of the many schools that were recruiting her,” said Kristin St. Marie, retreat co-chairwoman and assistant director of open-enrollment programs for the College of Business’ Department of Executive Development Programs. “When Suzy heard about the fact that she had taken her own life, it really hit her hard, and she thought, ‘I’m in a position to do something.’” After running into some financial roadblocks to honor Bocian and empower young girls, Merchant turned to St. Marie and the Eli Broad College of Business for help. “Suzy and I had worked together on some programs in the past, and she knew I had done a lot of educational programming,” St. Marie said. “What she didn’t know is that I am very passionate about women and leadership.” Formulating a plan to host a weekend of educational and interactive workshops was the easy part, so organizers focused on the bigger obstacle of fundraising to pull it off. Organizers generated $30,000 in donations

and sponsorships in the first year, paying for expert instructors to host the workshops and providing each attendee with some swag. At the same time, the cost to attend empowHER was held to $25 per child for both days of the event, and that price continues to this day. St. Marie noted that it costs organizers roughly $200 per child to put on the event, which makes annual fundraising a top priority. Bocian would have turned 20 this year, and the empowHER retreat has always fallen on or around Bocian’s April 28 birthday. “Our deepest gratitude to coach Suzy Merchant, guest speakers and the numerous volunteers and sponsors that honored April's life with such a meaningful and enriching event … April's beautiful soul is reaching more people than ever imagined,” the Bocian family posted on the website for the April T. Bocian Memorial Foundation after the first year of the retreat.

There are also age-specific sessions held each day. The format that organizers have found the most successful includes sessions on nutrition and bullying for fourth- and fifth-graders, sessions on addressing aspects to build confidence for sixth- and seventh-graders, and sessions on building healthy relationships and social media for eighthand ninth-graders. “We have an executive committee, and we thought these would be topics that would help the girls at those ages,” St. Marie said. Expanding below fourth grade isn’t because it would require a different programming format; empowHER won’t be expanding past the ninth grade because girls in high school have more programs and options available to them, and the retreat could be a conflict with their already-established schedules.

BUILDING A COMMUNITY There is one word that frequently returns when discussing empowHER: community. “We’re trying to create a community where the girls stay engaged,” St. Marie said. “Ideally, we want to build leadership and confidence and get them feeling good about who they are.” In its first year, roughly 150 girls took part in empowHER. That number doubled in the

Suzy Merchant at the empoweHER retreat Photo by Mathew Mitchell L

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FEATURE

EMPOWHERING THE FUTURE Although the basic blueprint behind empowHER is set, St. Marie noted that there are still openings for change. The executive committee holds its own retreat each year to lay the foundation for the coming year’s retreat. For now, the program works because it lets girls advance through the sessions as they get older, allowing them to have a new empowHER experience each year – and, they do come back.

20 20 girls participate at a Dewpoint event featuring empowHer Photo by Mary Gajda

“Some girls have been for all three years,” St. Marie said. One potential change could be the implementation of a special gathering for empowHER alumnae, and St. Marie hinted that tickets to an MSU women’s basketball game could be a part of that event. She also noted that she would like to mine the Lansing area for resources, hopefully bringing in the expert speakers and instructors from a local base. Yet, as some things change, others stay the same. St. Marie noted that fundraising is and

always will be key, and it will be vital to expanding the program locally or even to other communities.

information can be found on the web at empowHERretreat.com or by emailing stmariek@broad.msu.edu.

“The bigger we get, the more money we need through grants and sponsorships,” St. Marie said. Like the girls who attend, there will always be room for the empowHER to grow. More

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Equal Opportunity Lender

Christopher Nagy is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and has more than 20 years of experience in journalism. He rarely misses a Motor City Comic Con or Michigan Renaissance Festival.


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Lansing Over the Years VISUAL BREAKDOWN

ollege, gricultural C Michigan A all Williams H s,

n was surveyed and marked as In 1825 a dense forest area in Michiga Few settled initially in the area the birthplace of Lansing Michigan. w substantially until 1848, when and the population didn’t begin to gro ed into law an act that made then-Governor William L. Greenly sign . A lot has changed since: Look at Lansing Township the state’s Capitol sing and what things look like today. the moments that have defined Lan

Archive rest Parke Library & Photo provided by Fo ea District Libraries Capital Ar

ate In 1855, Michigan St ded as the University was foun of the State Agriculture College e-member of Michigan and a fiv udents. faculty taught 63 st ,996 In the fall of 2017, 38 ents were undergraduate stud the university. actively enrolled at

First Stea

m Car Bu ilt by R. E. O lds

Ransom E. Olds experimented w ith steam-powered "horseless carriages" in the late 19th centur y. In 2004, the last Oldsmobile was made in Lansing.

Photo provided Archives, Capitaby Forest Parke Library & l Area District Li braries

Construction of Sparrow Hospital,1912

Photo provided by Forest Parke Library & Archives, Capital Area District Libraries

In 1912, Sparrow Hospital opened and was supported by one doctor and one nurse out of a rented house. In 2008, a 10-story addition, the Sparrow Tower, was completed. The hospital has grown to become the region’s largest health system today. er

Olds Tow

e by Forest Park Photo providedhives, Capital Area Library & Arcict Libraries Distr

Knapp’s Depar

tment Store

Photo provided by Forest Parke Lib Capital Area District Library & Archives, raries

Boji In 1931, the ally Tower (origin er) the Olds Tow d te was comple and was the ing tallest build . g in Lansin In 2018, the l 23-story stil t a holds th distinction.

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In 1939, the main department store of the J.W. Knapp Co. open ed on South Washington Street in downtown Lansing. In 2010, the Eyde Development Co. announced the renovatio n of the landmark building. Among major tenants is technology provider Dewpoint.

Compiled by Mary Gajda | Graphics by Heather Thielking | Sources: msu.edu, lcc.com, wikipedia.org, lansing.org, ushistory.org


VISUAL BREAKDOWN

munity College

Lansing Com Photo provided by La

nsing Community Co

llege

The Great Blizza rd of ’78 came in February of that year. In Apr il 2018, resident s were noting what felt like th e longest winter on record.

munity In 1957, Lansing Com It now College was founded. campuses. has four additional for The college is known ominent placemaking with pr more than sculptures, including art gracing 600 pieces of public wn campus. the 48-acre downto

Downtown L

ansing,

1985 Photo provided by Caterino Real Esta Collection, Forest Pa te Image rke Library & Area District Libra Archives, Capital ries

The 1980 census sa w Lansing’s population decline for the first time. The city reco rded 130,414 residents, a 989-pe rson drop from the 1970 cens us. Current estimates have th e city’s population at 114,29 7.

tors Delta

o General M

Photo provided by

Great Bli

zzard of '78

Plant

General Motors

me for the was developed as a ho rk Pa ile ob m ds Ol , 96 Feb. 22, In 19 gue baseball team. On lea r ino m s ut gn Lu Lansing nounced that yor Virgil Bernero an 2010, then-Lansing Ma Cooley Law School renamed Thomas M. be d ul wo ium ad st e th agreement. rk's new sponsorship pa e th of lt su re a , Stadium

General Motors The 2000s saw lity of-the-art faci opening a state- uto-Owners p, A in Delta Townshi its Lansing nding Insurance expa g d Kipliger namin headquarters an 0 Great Cities the “1 Lansing one of s.” lt for Young Adu

Portrait of a Dreamer Photo by Kyle Dowling

In 2017-2018, new businesses and developments popped up in downtown Lansing: Strange Matter Coffee opened, the Gillespie Group brought its Marketplace Apartments to the Stadium District, placemaking sculptures like “Portrait of a Dreamer” were added and Lansing welcomed new Mayor Andy Schor.

Big Lug

Photo by Joel Dinda

We don’t know what’s next for Lansing, but we know to expect a mo re vibrant downtown, greater walka bility and continued growth. The fut ure looks bright.

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FARMERS' MARKETS AND WHAT THEY DO FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY

BY ALICIA FINCH

As we are near the end of spring, many farmers markets are emerging to the city to share their bounty of hearty goods with the local community. Mid-Michigan is home to many farmers markets where locals can go to purchase fresh produce and delicious baked goods. “Farmers markets are a unique incubator of small local businesses that allow for shoppers to circulate dollars within their community,” said Executive Director Amanda Shreve on behalf of the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA). Many Lansing residents can be found filling up their shopping bags with a diverse selection of both fresh and local products. There are more than 30 different farmers markets available in the mid-Michigan area. Residents of Lansing and surrounding areas have the Lansing City Market and the Allen Market Place that keep their doors open all year round to purchase seasonal produce and artisanal crafts. Farmers markets are a sure way for the local consumers to connect and engage with farmers and vendors about 22

their products. Not only is this an excellent opportunity to meet up with friends, spend the day in the sun and share the diverse resources Michigan has to offer, but shopping is a sure way to help support the local economy. “If every Michigan family spent just $10 each week on local produce, more than $37 million would be invested in Michigan’s economy each week,” Shreve explained. Many benefits come from shopping at the local farmers market like, fresher foods that are more affordable and nutritious. The foods sold at the local farmers market are more than likely freshly picked, rather than sent across the U.S. or from another country. This helps save on natural resources and keep costs down. “Farmers markets are also important because they expand access to fresh, healthy and locally grown food which is especially important in communities where low-income residents have low access to healthy foods,” Shreve said. Since produce tends to lose

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nutrients right after harvest, farmers markets tend to have more nutritious foods available. MIFMA has been working with the local community and farmers for almost 11 years. This organization is a member-based, statewide association with a mission to advance farmers markets to create a thriving marketplace for local products and foods. MIFMA manages one farmer’s market, the Farmers Market at the Capitol. According to Shreve, the events usually host 70-75 vendors and sets up in the outdoor space in front of the capitol building. This year’s markets will be on July 26, Aug. 23 and Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. “This is a special event market meant to demonstrate all of the impacts that communitybased farmers markets can have across the state,” Shreve said. “MIFMA acts as a resource to all of the more than 300 farmers markets in the state. Information about these markets can be explored using MIFMA’s Find a Farmers Market feature available at mifma.org/ findafarmersmarket.”


COVER

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Farmers markets in the area: South Lansing Farmers Market Allen Farmers Market East Lansing Farmers Market Holt Farmers Market Meridian Township Farmers Market Peckham Farms Dimondale Farmers Market Mason Area Farmers Market Michigan Farmers Market Association Farmers Markets at the Capitol Eaton Rapids Community Farmers Market Eaton Rapids Medical Center Farmers Market DeWitt Farmers Market Westside Farmers Market c/o Initiative Charlotte DDA Farmers Market Old Red Mill Farmers Market Bellevue Farmers Market Charlotte Artisans and Farmers Market Open Air Market of Stockbridge Howell Farmers Market Grand Ledge Farmers Market Potterville Farmers Market and Craft Fair Hartland Farmers Market St. Johns Farmers Market Westside Farmers Market Williamston Farmers Market Dansville Farmers Market MSU- Student Organic Farm Perry Dream Park Farmers Market Bath Township Farmers Market Horrocks Farm Market For more information about local farmers markets, check out the Michigan Farmers Market Association at mifma.org.

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Some farmers can be found selling more than the average fruits and vegetables, and bakery goods that one would think of when thinking of a farmers market. Depending on what is in season at the time, the farmers market usually has a vast variety of different produce, artisanal products and homemade goodies. Some handmade items that one may see on vendor tables include cheeses, meats, soaps, preservatives, flower arrangements, bakery goods and many other crafts. “One way that farmers markets expand healthy food access is by accepting food assistance benefits to ensure all Michigan residents can make purchases,” Shreve explained. Vendors are now accepting food assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) making it a bit easier for everyone to enjoy their local farmers market. “In Michigan, over 190 farmers markets have the ability to accept between one and six different food assistance benefits including SNAP Bridge Cards, Double Up Food Bucks,

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Project FRESH and Senior Market FRESH,” said Shreve. According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the nation next to California. There are a wide variety of crops that come from Michigan. Some include tart cherries, cucumbers, apples, blueberries, squash, cranberries and dry beans. So, it's not surprising that farmers want to share these delicious treats Michigan has to offer with their local community. Farmers rely on the support of their community just as much as the community relies on farming.

“Buying local enables customers to contribute to the local economy while supporting small farm businesses,” Shreve explained. Whether it’s your local farmers standing down the street or a large market at the capitol, take a few minutes out of your day to taste some of Michigan’s favorites from your area.

Alicia is a 2016 journalism graduate of University of Akron. She is a Mason, MI resident. She enjoys all things fitness related and has a yorkie poo named Oscar Mayer.

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KNAPP’S APARTMENTS View all of our available properties at eyde.com or call us at 517-351-2480.

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BY ANDREW DOMINO | PHOTO BY MARY GAJDA

SAMANTHA HARKINS Chief of Staff for Lansing Mayor Andy Schor

Samantha Harkins is chief of staff for Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. She joined his staff before his inauguration in January and previously worked with Schor for four years at the Michigan Municipal League, a collaboration of officials from municipalities across the state. Harkins also worked in government in Norfolk, Virginia, and in the Michigan House of Representatives.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE THE ROLE OF CHIEF OF STAFF? Chiefs of Staff are often referred to as “gatekeepers,” and that’s certainly a part of the role. But I really am the mayor’s right-hand person: I’m a sounding board, manager of city staff, person who ensures things get done. 26

FOR YOU, WHAT’S THE APPEAL OF WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES IN GOVERNMENT? The key to a great elected official is surrounding oneself with good people. Mayor Schor is everywhere: at city hall, at community meetings, at business events. He has to have people around him that he trusts to ensure things are done. I love being one of those people. It’s the best of all worlds. I get to help make the decisions. But, unlike the mayor, people don’t recognize me everywhere.

YOU GREW UP AND WENT TO SCHOOL IN WEST VIRGINIA AND WORKED IN GOVERNMENT THERE BEFORE COMING TO MICHIGAN.

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WHAT STANDS OUT TO YOU ABOUT LANSING AND MICHIGAN — WHAT MAKES IT DISTINCT FROM OTHER PLACES YOU’VE WORKED AND VISITED? Having worked and lived in other states really provides me with an interesting perspective. Michigan has a very unique local government structure, and we have a lot of local government units. In other states in which I’ve worked, there was sometimes conflict between other local units, but the sheer number in Michigan makes it a different challenge. We’re surrounded by three urban townships and a city here in Lansing, and the city actually lies in two counties. It certainly makes regionalism more challenging, but I would argue more necessary.


BEHIND THE SCENES

NOW THAT THE SCHOR ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN UNDERWAY FOR SEVERAL MONTHS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?

I love the challenge of communicating on Twitter (@sjharkins) with a limitation of characters. Social media is a great way to connect with the community, and I think it’s a critical part of my job (and I’d argue most jobs).

The River Trail is the easy answer, and I’ve run many, many training miles on the trail. But my absolute favorite place is Mount Hope Cemetery. It has the best hills in the city, and it’s a beautiful place where I can reflect peacefully.

Communicating during the flood in February. It was overwhelming to have a state of emergency six weeks into the new administration, and our team stepped up. Communication is extremely important to the mayor, and he set that tone early on. I’m proud of our communication both internally and externally. While communication doesn’t stop flood waters, I think it helped our residents and businesses understand all the work we were doing to mitigate damage.

IN YOUR BLOG YOU’VE TALKED ABOUT TRYING TO FIND THAT ELUSIVE WORK/LIFE BALANCE. ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR OTHER WORKING MOMS TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING?

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

WHAT CAN LANSING RESIDENTS EXPECT NEXT FROM THEIR GOVERNMENT? They can expect to be heard. The mayor created the Department of Neighborhoods and Citizen Engagement to work with our many neighborhoods and ensure that we are engaging everyone in the city. We created a Citizen Advocate in our office, who is the point person for those in the community. We know we won’t always make everyone happy, but we can promise that we will actively engage everyone, even those who don’t agree with the mayor.

I’m still figuring it out, but thus far it’s been so important to find quiet time to reset. It might be getting up early to do yoga, going for a run or having a quiet cup of coffee while my husband and son are still sleeping. The pace of this job is blistering and having a few moments of quiet makes all the difference.

YOU’RE ALSO A DEDICATED RUNNER. WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE TO RUN IN LANSING, AND WHY?

I love working for this city, and I am dedicated to making it a better place. It is a dream to work for the city in which I’ve lived for 11 years and to work for someone whom I believe in. This conversation with Samantha Harkins has been edited for space and clarity. Andrew Domino writes about finance, culture and hobbies for publications in Lansing, across the U.S. and online. He was surprised to learn how often software is patched and resolves to back up his own computer more regularly. Andrew is also a freelance writer and blogger, bridging the gap between “nerds” and the rest of the world. You can see more of his writing at www.dominowriting.com.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY FOR RESIDENTS TO BE HEARD BY THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS? I can only speak for the mayor’s office, but reach out to our Citizen Advocate with any concerns. Participate in regular events such as our Walking Wednesdays (neighborhood walking tours), quarterly Housing and Resource Summits and other community meetings. Also, be positive. Not every issue is positive, but I believe a positive or proactive approach resonates more than negativity.

YOU’RE VERY ACTIVE ONLINE BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY. HOW DOES TWEETING AND BLOGGING PLAY A PART IN YOUR JOB? If it doesn’t happen on social media, did it actually happen? I’m only being slightly facetious. I started my running blog (irunthesetowns.blogspot.com) seven years ago, and it’s morphed into a bigger thing. I wanted to be a journalist most of my life (changed majors my junior year of college), and I love writing. My blog is a form of therapy, and

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LEGISLATIVE CORNER

THEY SERVED YOU, NOW YOU CAN HELP SERVE THEM BY CHRISTOPHER NAGY

There are plenty of benefits available to employers who hire veterans. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers a Special Employer Incentives program that can save business owners money by providing reimbursement of a portion of a veteran’s salary as well as coverage for certain supplies and equipment. There are also tax incentives available to employers who hire veterans. However, the biggest benefit a business might receive by hiring a veteran is what it gets in an employee. Pure Michigan Talent Connect notes that veterans bring unique mind and skills sets to an organization, and it lists a variety of positive qualities a veteran can bring to an organization. • Leadership: The military trains people to accept and discharge responsibility for activities, resources and one's own behavior. • Teamwork: Veterans understand how teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one's colleagues and how diverse groups can work together to achieve objectives. • Diversity: Veterans come from and have worked alongside every walk of life. • Core values: Core military values revolve around accountability, commitment, integrity and service before self. • Self-direction: Military members are trained to understand and solve difficult and complex issues. • Ability to meet deadlines and handle stress: One definite characteristic of military service is that servicemembers must perform. • Time management: Military members know how to accomplish tasks on time and to multitask. • Specialized advanced training: All military members receive advanced training in their fields. • Safety standards: Veterans understand the importance of health and safety standards that help in the protection of people and property. • Planning and organization: Military operations require thorough planning and workload management where organization, evaluation and adjustment are continuously assessed. • Ability to conform to rules and structure: Individuals in the service have learned and followed rules every day in their working environment. • Respect for procedures: Veterans understand

how policies and procedures yield stability, safety and productivity. • Rapid learning skills: Veterans have the proven ability to quickly learn new skills and concepts. • Technology knowledge: Today's military relies on some of the most cutting-edge technology in the world.

Businesses that make a practice of hiring veterans can also be certified as a veteranfriendly employer by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. Job opportunities by certified veteran-friendly employers are posted on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect website alongside a flag icon to let veterans know that business values them.

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CELEBRATING

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BUSINESS CALENDAR

JUNE 2018 JUNE 5

JUNE 7

CONNECTIONS AND COFFEE, LANSING Connections and Coffee, presented by Greater Lansing Business Monthly, is a free networking breakfast for all local business individuals. The Q2 event will be hosted at the offices of M3 Group. Meet people from diverse industries to add to your network, reconnect with friends and find local resources. Visit lansingbusinessnews.com/ connections-and-coffee for more information, .

9TH ANNUAL DAPPER DADS CHALLENGE AND FASHION SHOW, LANSING The Dapper Dads Challenge and Fashion Show consists of a campaign for online votes from the community. Each vote costs $5 and is 100 percent tax deductible. All proceeds support the mission of women's health. Visit sparrowfoundation.org/ page.aspx?pid=421 for tickets and more information.

JUNE 6 HOW TO STOP UNPAID CONSULTING: ARE YOU GIVING AWAY VALUABLE BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE?, LANSING Business owners and sales professionals can learn how to share ideas with clients and close the deal. Contact greg.coyne@sandler.com for more information. Visit bit.ly/LansingUnpaid to register.

JUNE 11 - 23RD ANNUAL PAC II GOLF OUTING, LANSING Michigan Chamber PAC II is a long-established committee that makes expenditures to educate and inform the public regarding ballot proposals placed before voters. This election cycle, voters will likely be asked to consider several economically damaging ballot initiatives. With your support, we can be prepared to defend the great gains we have made in Michigan. Attend or

sponsor (or both!) at the beautiful Country Club of Lansing. Visit michamber.com/events/23rdannual-pac-ii-golf-outing for more information.

JUNE 12 QUICKBOOKS AND COMPLIANCE FOR SBIR/STTR RECIPIENTS, EAST LANSING Whether you are anticipating an SBIR/STTR award or have already been funded, understanding the fundamentals necessary to manage your government dollars and stay compliant is key to organizing your business for success and proving your credibility for future funding. Visit bbcetc. com for more information.

JUNE 12 THE PATH TO A BRILLIANT BUSINESS, LANSING The continuing series of seminars takes place at the Urban Beat Event Center. The title of the June seminar is “YOU are the Engine – Get a Tuneup” and focuses on your personal development

Driving greater Lansing. Dean Trailways and Dean Black Car. The premier transportation choice to comfortably and safely get you where you need to go. Whether traveling to the airport or to a special event, arrive in style and leave the driving to us.

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and vision as an entrepreneur. Visit eventbrite. com/e/the-path-to-a-brilliant-business-tickets43639818873?aff=es2 for more information.

JUNE 14 2018 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LUNCHEON FEATURING DR. CLAES FORNELL, BATH Dr. Claes Fornell will be the keynote speaker for the International Business Luncheon at Eagle Eye Golf Club from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. As founder and chairman of CFI Group, Fornell is the world’s leading authority on customer satisfaction as well as its measurement and analysis. He regularly appears in broadcast and print media, and he is responsible for the development and design of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a monthly economic indicator of the quality of economic output. Visit michiganbusinessnetwork.com for more information.

JUNE 19-22 TABLEAU TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION, LANSING Learn the basics of data visualization; establish

connection with the data set; learn to manage extracts and Metadata; perform data granularity on aggregated data; and learn about graphs including bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, dual-axis graphs and area graphs with dual axis. Courses include 30 hours of interactive class time, mock exams and projects, real-world examples and 24/7 customer support. Visit trainerkart.com for more information.

JUNE 26 CHAMBER UNIVERSITY: MANAGING YOUR INBOX, LANSING The seminar by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce helps guests learn the importance of a clean email inbox. The event takes place in the chamber’s Insurance Boardroom from 8-9:30 a.m. Contact Travis Richardson at tricharson@ lansingchamber.org for more information.

JUNE 27 TARIFF CLASSIFICATION SEMINAR, LANSING The class is for importers and exporters. The classification and valuation of goods must be

done correctly for a successful international trade transaction. If you classify or value your products incorrectly, your shipment may not reach its destination, and you may be subjected to severe penalties. You will also learn how to determine whether goods are subject to quotas, restraints, embargoes or other restrictions. The course will give you the tools you need to properly classify your imported and exported goods. Visit globaltrainingcenter.com for more information.

JUNE 29 IMPORTING 201 SEMINAR, LANSING As an experienced importer, your company has a grasp on the basic procedures to manage the importation of your goods into the United States. It seems, however, that is all you do: manage the process. Despite your best efforts, the process doesn’t appear to get any better. You experience the same errors and delays at the border, and the specter of a customs audit or other customs enforcement is looming on the horizon. Visit globaltrainingcenter.com/lansing-miinternational-trade-seminars for more information.

A health plan that works for Your employees depend on you for their financial and physical wellbeing. And the success of your business depends largely on happy, healthy, and productive employees. At Physicians Health Plan we get it. We’ve been locally owned for over 35 years and our business is to help your business… partnering to provide quality, comprehensive coverage for your employees at an affordable price.

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NOTABLE NEWS

Lansing-based The Christman Company and Southfield-based Barton Malow will be the construction managers of McLaren Greater Lansing’s new hospital adjacent to Michigan State University. Detroit-based Harley Ellis Devereaux and the Chicago office of CallisonRTKL will be the architects of the acute-care hospital, officials announced.

TV6 News anchor Sheri Jones joined Kellie Johnson at the grand opening event

Kellie's Wooden Skate celebrates grand opening with a ribbon cutting

KELLIE’S WOODEN SKATE CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING On Friday May 4, Kellie Johnson and team celebrated the Grand Opening of Kellie’s Wooden Skate. Kellie’s Wooden Skate features new and consignment inventory with vintage and antique items while keeping the appeal and well-known history of Wooden Skate, which closed its storefront in 2012 after a near 40-year run. “I’m super excited to bring

the Wooden Skate back to life,” said Johnson. “Generations of people went there. It will be a perfect complement to Kellie’s Consignments.” The iconic space is located at 1259 W. Grand River Avenue.

DESIGN-BUILD AND CONSULTANT TEAMS ANNOUNCED FOR MCLAREN’S NEW HOSPITAL PROJECT

“McLaren is honored to be working with such a talented team to create a hospital that exceeds the expectations of clinicians and staff, improves safety, and transforms health care for patients and their families,” said Daniel Medrano, vice president of facility management for McLaren Health Care. “By combining the talent of companies in Lansing and throughout Michigan with national expertise, we have assembled a unique team to design and build the health care campus that will care for our community for generations to come. McLaren Greater Lansing is also working with the following Michigan-based companies on the new hospital project: • Kramer Management Group, of Lansing,

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is providing program management services as an extension of the hospital. • Pace Howe Design, of Lansing, is serving as a consultant to the hospital to guide the selection and design of interior finishes. • C2AE, of Lansing, is providing civil engineering consulting services to the hospital related to off-site infrastructure. • PEA, of Troy, is providing the civil engineer design services for the new development site. • Thermal Tech, of Richland, is providing consulting and commissioning services related to the oversight of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems on the project. • IMEG, of Wixom, is providing consulting and coordination services related to medical equipment planning and technology planning for the project. More information about the project can be found at mclaren.org/redesignhealthcare.

utilized Ele’s Place services.

ELE’S PLACE LANSING HOLDS ANNUAL HEALING HEARTS SOCIETY FUNDRAISING BREAKFAST Ele’s Place held its annual Healing Hearts Society Fundraising Breakfast on April 24 at the Eagle Eye Banquet Center. More than 480 community members attended and raised $450,000 during the event, with the goal of supporting the mission of Ele’s Place to heal grieving families. This year’s breakfast was sponsored by Clean Team USA and Auto-Owners Insurance. “The unparalleled support Ele’s Place receives stems directly from the community around us, the same community our families come from,” said Kate Powers, managing director of Ele’s Place Lansing. “Everyone – volunteers, donors and families, and listening ears alike – we appreciate you, and this Healing Hearts breakfast is a special time to recognize that.” Attendees enjoyed a light breakfast while listening to inspirational stories from Ele’s Place board members, staff and families who have

“Grief is a unique process for everyone, but it often stirs all too relatable frustrations and mixed feelings. This is a place that has touched us all at some point in our lives after a person we cared for has died,” said Powers. “That’s why Ele’s Place provides support, resources and programming for grieving children, teens and their families at no charge. We’re only able to accomplish such a feat thanks to the community, and at every community’s heart is its people.” For more information visit elesplace.org.

WESLEY SALISBURY OF MANER COSTERISAN EARNS HIS CERTIFIED MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT DESIGNATION

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NOTABLE NEWS

Maner Costerisan, a full-service public accounting and advisory firm, announced that Wesley Salisbury has earned his certified management accountant (CMA) designation. Salisbury, a financial accounting software

SALISBURY

consultant, demonstrates through this globally recognized credential a mastery of almost a dozen core practice areas in management accounting. More than 50,000 professionals have earned their CMA since the program’s inception in 1972. In addition to a two-part exam, CMAcertified professionals meet educational and work experience requirements as well as commit to continuous learning.

“At Maner Costerisan, we believe in setting the bar higher and higher for ourselves at every corner, which propels us forward right along with the goals of our clients,” said Jeffrey Stevens, CPA, CITP and president of Maner Costerisan. “Wes’ commitment to self-improvement has only been sharpened in his time at Maner Costerisan, and we could not be happier to know sharp minds like his are leading the charge for our business solutions.” In his current role, Salisbury streamlines client processes, trains organizations in fully leveraging financial technologies such as Sage Intacct and serves on the Social Media Subcommittee.

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MCLAREN CAREGIVER RECEIVES 2017 OUTSTANDING HISPANIC/ LATINO AWARD

SERVICES JUST GOT BETTER

Stoneham recognized as one of the Lansing Latino Health Association’s 2017 Outstanding Hispanic/Latino Caregivers

Jorgieann Stoneham, a registered nurse at McLaren Greater Lansing, has been recognized as one of the Lansing Latino Health Association’s 2017 Outstanding Hispanic/ Latino Caregivers.

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This award is given annually to a caregiver who has made a significant difference in the life of a patient, exceeded expectations in carrying out his or her responsibilities and demonstrated professionalism in the workplace. Stoneham, a 14-year employee of McClaren Greater Lansing, started out as a nursing assistant before obtaining her RN degree. She worked as a stroke and ICU nurse before finding her way to the quality improvement department. She has been part of two Blue Cross Blue Shield quality collaboratives that focus on improving patient outcomes. Although she no longer is a bedside nurse, she still works hard to keep patients safe with the creation of prehabilitation kits that consist of educational materials, incentive spirometer, pedometer,


NOTABLE NEWS

mouthwash and an antibacterial soap. This kit is designed to instruct patients on actions they can take preoperatively to improve postoperative complications such as pneumonia, surgical site infections, emergency department visits and readmissions.

CEOS MOVE MICHIGAN UP NINE SPOTS IN CHIEF EXECUTIVE MAGAZINE SURVEY Michigan gets second-largest gain among other states

CEOs moved Michigan up nine places from last year in Chief Executive magazine’s 14th annual Best & Worst States for Business survey. Released in May, Michigan landed at No. 27 on this year’s list. Last year, Michigan created more than 47,600 new private-sector jobs, improved its competitiveness with business tax incentives like Good Jobs for Michigan and Michigan Thrive, and reduced its unemployment rate for the eighth consecutive year to the state’s lowest point since 2010.

OFFICIAL MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION CAMPAIGN REINTRODUCES SPOKESPERSONS Now that the Michigan State Board of Canvassers has approved the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s petition to place its marijuana legalization initiative on the state’s November

ballot, the campaign would like to reintroduce its official campaign spokespersons: Josh Hovey, campaign communications director and spokesperson Hovey is the senior vice president at Lansingbased strategic communications firm Truscott Rossman. He serves as the campaign’s day-to-day point person for the campaign’s media relations and communications needs.

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Since 2011, Michigan has created more than 540,000 private-sector jobs. “This new survey shows Michigan has come a long way in a short amount of time,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “It also proves we are moving in the right direction and laying the foundation for sustainable, long-term success.” State leaders anticipate the Marshall Plan for Talent will move the state further faster, knowing it will have more than 800,000 jobs to fill through 2024 in high-demand career fields like manufacturing and information technology. “Michigan is not letting up, nor will it sit on the sidelines. This survey reaffirms we’re headed up the right path, but there’s still more work to be done,” Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan Director Roger Curtis said. “Through efforts like the Marshall Plan for Talent, we will continue to push Michigan even further in the race for the best place to do business and find talent.”

Matt Waligorski

2213 E Grand River Ave #1 Lansing MI, 48912 517-482-2211 Lymansheets.com

Michigan’s improvement was the second-largest gain among states this year, next to Rhode Island which jumped 10 spots to No. 32. L

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Office: 517-487-9320 Cell (personal): 517-712-5829 Cell (campaign): 517-295-3496 Email: jhovey@truscottrossman.com | josh@regulatemi.org

John Truscott, campaign spokesperson Truscott is the CEO and principal of Truscott Rossman. He supports media relations and communications strategy for the campaign. Prior to starting his own communications firm, John served as communications director for former Michigan Gov. John Engler. Office: 517-487-9320 Cell (personal): 517-712-5829 Email: jhovey@truscottrossman.com

CBRE|MARTIN SECURES SALE OF FORMER HARTMANFABCO LOCATION FOR SITE OF FUTURE CATA TRANSPORTS CBRE|Martin announced the sale of a 30,000-square-foot facility at 1415 Lake Lansing Road in Lansing to Transdev Services Inc. The Lake Lansing Road property was long

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home to Hartman-Fabco, a construction equipment manufacturer previously owned by Bob Duniec. The family business gave that part of Lansing a vitality that many people remember to this day. Bob Duniec’s son, Tim Duniec, said, “The sale of the property was bittersweet, having been in our family for so long. However, we are excited about what Transdev brings to the property and the Greater Lansing community. Further, we couldn't have managed through the entire process without the services and assistance of CBRE|Martin.” Transdev Services Inc. is the largest private provider of multiple modes of transportation in North America. The company announced in late-January that it will begin providing a portion of the Captial Area Transportation Authority’s (CATA) Spec-Tran and supplemental rural services effective April. As a result, Transdev sought a location to serve as a base of operations to fulfill its partnership with CATA and ensure world-class operations and maintenance. “Our goal was to find a location that not only worked for our needs in servicing CATA, but

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also could be a reference to the positive growth and continuing development in the Lansingarea,” said Derrick Breun, of Transdev Services Inc. “Transdev very much appreciates the opportunity provided by the CATA Board of Directors and their CEO, Brad Funkhouser. We also want to thank the township of Lansing, in particular Supervisor Diontrae Hayes and Clerk Susan Aten, without whom we would not have been able to bring this facility back into commerce.” CBRE|Martin’s Julie O’Brien, senior associate, represented the seller, D.L. Holding Co. CBRE|Martin closed the sale April 18, with an early occupancy consideration.

DBI EARNS HAWORTH’S BEST IN CLASS DISTINCTION FOR SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR Haworth Inc. has designated DBI as a 2018 Best in Class dealership based on exceptional performance in sales and customer satisfaction, operational excellence, and enterprise development. DBI is a seven-year honoree, joining an elite group. DBI is one of only a handful of dealers that have earned Best In Class


NOTABLE NEWS

DBI remains dedicated to delivering exceptional services that help create highperformance spaces.”

distinction each year of the program’s existence. Haworth works with a network of more than 250 North American dealerships – independent businesses – that provide sales and support to customers by assisting architects, designers and facility managers in the complex process of selecting, specifying, planning and purchasing furniture and workspace interiors. Each year, Haworth’s Best in Class standards become more stringent, and dealers that are multi-year Best in Class designees exemplify a commitment to high performance and the maintenance of rigorous standards over time.

“We are thrilled to accept Best in Class on behalf of our team,” said George Snyder, DBI president and CEO. “Workspaces are such an important investment for our clients, and

HGB ANNOUNCES CAMPUS REFRESH AS PART OF SPARROW AFFLIATION Construction started May 8 on a 15-month renovation project at Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital (HGB). The Promise Project is the next significant step in an initiative that represents an additional $9 million investment in local community care by Sparrow Health System. The affiliation between HGB and Sparrow also has provided for new technology, an AL!VE expansion, additional orthopedic services and the opening of a family practice location in Eaton Rapids. “We look forward to continuing to build upon the successes Sparrow and Hayes Green Beach have already achieved together as we are establishing mutually beneficial collaborations among HGB and Sparrow Health System to deliver benchmarklevel care to Eaton County residents,” said Dennis Swan, president and CEO of Sparrow Health System.

Matthew Rush, HGB President & CEO; Richard Bruner, Chair, Sparrow Health System Board of Directors; Ed Dobbs, Chair, HGB Board of Trustees; and Dennis Swan, President & CEO, Sparrow Health System

The Promise Project renovations will replace outdated facilities, move several services, expand the surgery department and create a modernized campus that will become a distinctive gateway for the Charlotte community. The project is expected to finish in October 2019, when HGB will become Sparrow Eaton Hospital, a full member of Sparrow Health System. “As we continue to merge investments to integrate,

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NOTABLE NEWS

Tops for the Association 1015 Realtor members of GLAR

optimize and grow clinical services, and achieve aspirational goals in quality and patient experience, our affiliation with Sparrow will help us create more value for those we serve and further expand our reach in Eaton County,” said Matthew W. Rush, FACHE, president and CEO of Hayes Green Beach.

The Lynne VanDeventer Team: $74 million closed sales

“Heritage Hall will be available for all to experience and celebrate HGB as a historical landmark,” said Barbara Fulton, director of community development at Hayes Green Beach. HGB will celebrate its 85th birthday, the opening of Heritage Hall and its evolution to becoming Sparrow Eaton Hospital at its annual Gala from 7-10 p.m. Sept. 13.

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BROWN

The Lynne VanDeventer Team: Lynne VanDeventer, Diadre Pagliei and Tomas Brown

Huggler, Bashore & Brooks: $43 million closed sales

BWL CELEBRATES 25TH ANNUAL ADOPT A RIVER

COLDWELL BANKER 2017 INTERNATIONAL TEAM AWARD RECIPIENTS Society of Excellence Team: Awarded to the teams in the following categories: Adjusted Gross Commission Income, Total Units

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Huggler, Bashore & Brooks: Brian Huggler, Martha Bashore and Nancy Brooks Coldwell Banker 2017 International Team Award Recipients for Excellence in Marketing:

The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) and Impression 5 Science Center celebrated the 25th annual Adopt A River event May 12 at Impression 5 Science Center, 200 Museum Drive in Lansing. Hundreds of volunteers helped make Love Lansing even more beautiful by cleaning up the Grand and Red Cedar rivers along the 10.2-mile Lansing River Trail. Admission to Impression 5 Science Center was free to those who registered and participated in the cleanup. Events included kid-friendly exhibits and a tree giveaway. In addition, free seedlings as well as 6-foot potted

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SHOULD I LEASE OR SHOULD I BUY? The age-old question: should I lease, or should I buy? There are definite advantages and disadvantages of both options. In buying commercial real estate, you are acquiring an asset that adds value to your balance sheet. It builds equity over time as the mortgage gets paid off and typically the value of your real estate goes up. It is an asset that can be borrowed against in the future or rented for income. The purchased real estate can become a large part of the business owner’s wealth and/or retirement strategies.

government backed programs (SBA) that would enable one to purchase with as little as 10 percent down, but for the majority the minimum investment required to secure a mortgage would be 25 percent to 35 percent of the purchase price.

A commercial building can provide the owners with benefits such as a feeling of stability, control and pride of ownership. A building can be your business’s largest advertising vehicle. There are no rent increases to be concerned about or any risk of eviction or non-renewal of your lease by your landlord. Also, with a purchase, you have potential tax advantages through interest deductions as well as facility and equipment depreciation.

Let’s take a look at the leasing option.

As with all things in business, there is a price to pay for these benefits.

Leasing is a win/win for anybody looking to expand their business to multiple locations, especially if the organization is experiencing rapid growth. Leasing provides flexibility to move to another location with

First, a sizable chunk of equity is required to purchase a commercial property. There are

Secondly, don’t lose sight of maintenance and repair issues. One would be wise to have funds set aside for emergencies and budget for long-term capital items that wear out over time like furnaces, roofs, parking lots, landscaping, etc.

Leasing commercial real estate can be attractive for many reasons. If you have little money to invest, then leasing might be right for you. Leasing allows you to get a premium location for a monthly payment instead of a sizable investment that would be required to secure a mortgage to purchase the real estate.

minimal time and expense at the end of the lease. Depending on your lease, you may even have the ability to expand or shrink your square footage as your company changes size. One can deduct the full amount of the rent from your taxable income, and leasehold improvements can be capitalized and expensed. Outside the positives of leasing, unfortunately there are a few downsides. The landlord could raise your rents or not renew your lease. This could have an immense impact on your business. Also, the rental monies you spend each month do not create any long-term wealth or asset value for your company. Now you can see that there are pros and cons of purchasing and leasing – every situation is different. Please contact NAI-Mid Michigan/TMN commercial for assistance from one of our trained specialists to guide you to the best solution for you and your company. This information is not intended to be legal or tax advice. Your story begins with NAI Mid-Michigan TMN Commercial.

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Association on April 28 during the association’s annual convention in Lansing. She will serve as president during the MDA’s 2018-19 administrative year.

ornamental trees were given away as part of the BWL’s Plant a Tree in the Right Place program. Since Adopt A River’s inception, volunteers have cleared tons of litter and the program has earned statewide awards for river stewardship. It has also served as a model for similar river-awareness programs in Michigan. Go to impression5.org for more information or to pre-register, .

GRAND RAPIDS DENTIST NAMED PRESISDENT OF THE MICHIGAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION Dr. Debra Peters, of Grand Rapids, became president of the 5,800-member Michigan Dental

She is the MDA’s fourth female president and has been an active member and dedicated volunteer with the Michigan Dental Association and organized dentistry for the past 25 years. Peters formerly served as president-elect and speaker of the house of delegates of the statewide dental organization, and also served on the association’s board. With the West Michigan District Dental Society, Peters served as treasurer, vice president, president-elect and finally president in 2002. She also served on the society’s Peer Review Standard of Care Committee, Public Relations Committee and as co-chair of the New Dentist Forum. For the past 20 years, Peters has been a member of the 9th District Delegation to the American Dental Association House of Delegates, serving as delegation chair in 2017. Additionally, she served on the ADA Council on Membership from 2003-2007, chairing the council in her final year. Her professional organization affiliations include the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, the

American Institute of Parliamentarians and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. Peters’ volunteer activities include serving 10 years as a Give Kids a Smile team coordinator, and a 2014 and 2016 Mission of Mercy participant. PETERS She earned her doctor of dental surgery degree in 1993 from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.

GREENSTONE REMAINS IN A STRONG FINANCIAL POSITION IN 2018 GreenStone Farm Credit Services recently released its first quarter stockholder report, detailing earnings of $45.8 million for the three months ended March 31. Comparatively, net income was $38 million for the same period last year. Owned and managed loan volume totaled $8.3 billion by March 31. “Increasing business activity coupled with internal efficiencies allows us to continue

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• The total capital ratio was 17 percent. The complete first quarter stockholder report can be viewed online by visiting greenstonefcs.com.

“Owning IMP for almost five years has been exciting and rewarding,” said Demas. “But the results of the 2016 election have convinced me that the best way I can make a difference is in political consulting and advocacy.”

INSIDE MICHIGAN POLITICS UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT to post strong earnings,” said Travis Jones, GreenStone’s chief financial officer. “Maintaining a strong financial position allows us to better serve our members in challenging times. As a member-owned cooperative, it is vital we remain in a solid position to better serve our members. This was highlighted in March when we returned $50 million in patronage dividends to our member-owners.” Other numbers of note from this quarter’s stockholder report include: • GreenStone received a one-time refund from the Farm Credit System Insurance Corp. of $4.8 million. • Operating expenses remained wellcontrolled as the efficiency ratio was 34.9 percent.

Davison, 38, is a longtime Michigan political staffer and operative. Since 2011, Davison has owned and operated Advantage Associates, a public relations and campaign consultancy he will continue to direct along with his new IMP duties.

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“Work on the next issue is already underway,” said Davison. “I’m looking forward to continuing IMP’s three decades of in-depth, non-partisan reporting.”

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• Acceptable loan credit quality remained unchanged from Dec. 31 at 94.1 percent.

Jake Davison is the new owner, editor and publisher of the Lansing-based publication Inside Michigan Politics (IMP), succeeding previous owner Susan J. Demas. Published semi-monthly, IMP has been the premier publication for anyone interested in Michigan politics since 1987.

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