s e l i f o r P s s e n i s u B l l e t o t y r o t s iness has a
2 | News Advocate • Business Profiles
Filer Credit Union By DaviD yarnell For the news aDvocate
Not too many years ago Filer Credit Union added the Parkdale branch to serve the northern part of the Manistee area after having the Filer City branch south of Manistee for many years. Soon the credit union will reach even further north, with a brand new office at 7685 Lake St., Bear Lake. “We’ve been the trusted financial home for individuals and families of Manistee County community since 1951,” said Merri Nixon, Filer Credit Union human resource manager. “With our origins as a small employee-owned credit union inside American Box Board, now Packaging Corporation of America, we are proud to have grown with our employees and their families into Manistee County’s largest financial institution. She added that the
credit union has members in Manistee, Mason, Benzie, Wexford, Grand Traverse and Lake counties. Filer Credit Union currently has 31 full time and two part time employees. The management team besides Nixon includes CEO Patty Preuss, CFO Kaci Kamalowski, loans manager Kim Malstrom, operations manager Jennifer Jans and branch managers Sara Ferguson and Brian Mckie. Nixon said Filer offers a wide selection of personal, business and wealth management products including free business and personal checking and savings accounts, personal loans, home mortgages, student loans, car loans, recreational loans and VISA credit cards. Investment opportunities include certificates of deposit, money market accounts
and IRA options. “Products we offer that really shine for us are our Visa Rewards program and First Time Visa program,” Nixon said. “Our rates are some of the lowest of any credit card you can find and they are perfect for balance transfers and consolidating high interest rate credit card debt.” Through the years, Filer Credit Union has been involved in the community by working with its members and nonprofit organizations, festivals and events. “We take pride in our participation with youth programming, and our efforts to support seniors and service groups,” Nixon said. She added that all Filer employees work to keep customers coming back by showing them that it’s all about them having a great
experience each time they walk through the door. “Many large banks seem to be trying to keep their customers out of the lobby, but we work hard to welcome our members into our lobbies. We make every effort to make sure our members know that we appreciate them each time we see them.” One of the challenges of the business is keeping pace with the financial world as it rapidly changes and evolves. “The constant changes in regulations, rates and policies make it difficult to keep on top of things, but we have a great team that is dedicated to doing just that,” said Nixon.
Business Profiles â€¢ News Advocate | 3
REMEMBER WHEN IT WAS CALLED AMERICAN BOX BOARD? and since, we have expanded!
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28th Street in Filer Township South of Manistee
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PHOTO CREDIT : Special Thanks to the Manistee Co. Historical Museum
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BEAR LAKE BRANCH Downtown Bear Lake
CHECKING | SAVINGS | LOANS | BUSINESS Filer Credit Union has been the trusted financial home for individuals and families of the Manistee County community since 1951. With our origins beginning as a small employee owned Credit Union inside American Box Board (now Packaging Corporation of America -PCA), we are proud to have grown with our employees and their families, as we are now the largest financial institution in Manistee County. Contact us today to learn why 1 in 4 people in Manistee County trust Filer Credit Union as their financial institution.
4 | News Advocate • Business Profiles
Peterson McGregor & Associates By DaviD yarnell For the news aDvocate Manistee Insurance Agency, a company whose roots go deep into Manistee history, is an even stronger business today as a part of Peterson McGregor & Associates Insurance that also serves Traverse City, Cadillac, Lake City, Petoskey and Grand Rapids. “Peterson McGregor and Associates is a locallyowned, independent insurance agency committed to offering excellence in customer service through personal communication with our clients,” the owners say. “We offer customized and competitively-priced insurance products, superior risk
management and innovative technology solutions. “Our experienced and personable staff will see to your needs, whether homeowners or auto insurance, workers comp or commercial liability, employee health benefits or life insurance. We’ve got you covered.” The company strives to maintain an exemplary company culture with employees at the center of a cohesive, family oriented team. “We promote excellence by encouraging and supporting continuing insurance education for our team,” the owners said. “We
know we can offer every client the best service when we have the best expertise to back it up. “No matter the insurance product, Peterson McGregor & Associates works to provide elite customer service to clients concerned with value, relationships and professional advice.” The agency also relies on state-of-the art technology to promote best office practices. An innovative paperless workplace utilizes advanced software that allows electronic filing and customer access to insurance documents and health insurance records. “The net result is a more
efficient office, automated turnaround on customer requests and lower operating costs that directly benefit customers,” the owners say. Peterson McGregor and Associates started in Traverse City in 2000 as an independent insurance agency focused on serving quality commercial customers. Since then the company expanded to offer personal lines of insurance. The company also supports its communities. “Our staff readily participates in area volunteer opportunities and we are honored to support local events and a variety of nonprofit organizations.”
Business Profiles • News Advocate | 5
Locally Owned | Locally Minded Serving the insurance needs of businesses and individuals in Northern Michigan
Home • AUTo • UmBReLLA • BUSINeSS
330 River Street, Manistee www.petersonmcgregor.com
6 | News Advocate • Business Profiles
By DaviD yarnell For the news aDvocate
In 2003 Sharon Monnot needed a job. So she took the bold move of starting her own small business. “After some intense research, I saw a need for another screen print and embroidery shop in Manistee, so I took the leap in starting my own business, knowing I could depend on my hard work and also the help of my family and friends to accomplish this dream.” Monnot herself was surprised at the rapid growth of Sports Ink Screen Printing, necessitating a move from the original location – the two car garage at her home – to the current commercial location at 316 Parkdale Ave. in 2009. Today the business includes the original four-color manual screen printer along with a six-color manual printer, six-color automated printer and a commercial embroidery machine along with five employees to keep up with the demand. Sports Ink’s products and services include custom apparel, graphic design, embroidering, picture transfers, corporate apparel, digitizing, team discounts and school fundraisers. “It’s our business philosophy to provide the best customer service and quality work possible,” Monnot said. “Our customers would rather talk to a real person than shop online. We have a great reputation for the quality of our work and our fair pricing.” Sports Ink is keeping up with the times with a brand new website, sportsinkmanistee.com, and at that site customers have the convenience of creating designs for their own personalized clothing, hats and accessories. Monnot says from the start Sports Ink has stressed giving back to the community. “We are always willing to help any community function,” she said, adding that they are proud supporters of Tight Lines for Troops and Paint the Town Pink. Her community involvement and business success was recognized in her induction into the Manistee Catholic Central Schools Hall of Fame in 2012. She also received the Charles E. Schoedel Award from the Manistee Recreation Association in 2008, the Chippewa 350 Club Business of the Year award in 2007, Small Business of the Year award in 2012 and was nominated as Business Person of the Year in 2019. What’s the most satisfying aspect of running her own business? “Being able to employ people and not only work with them, but call them my friends,” she said. “Also, I enjoy seeing my customers satisfied when they pick
up their apparel. She also enjoys the fact that her daughter, Lynn Vasquez, has her business, Lucky Lizard Awards and Gifts, at the same location. “When the business was still in my garage I was getting requests for engraved items, so Lynn started her business in 2007.” Monnot enjoys bringing her dog Sadie to work and watching her interact with the children who come in.
Business Profiles • News Advocate | 7
Sports Ink in 2003
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8 | News Advocate • Business Profiles
Linke’s Body Shop By DaviD yarnell For the news aDvocate Harlen Linke. The busiFor more than twothirds of the years that ness has lasted nearly there have been auto- 80 years because the owners and employees mobiles in Manistee, four generations of the offer quality, friendly Linke family have been service. “We treat people specializing in restoring vehicles to pre-collision how we would like to be treated,” Nicky said. condition. “People really don’t Rudy and Evelyn (Cookie) Linke remain want to come here, but when they do, we do the “senior” owners our best to accommoof Linke’s Body Shop date their needs.” while the day to day Harlen started the operations are handled by third generation Rick business as a one man shop and since it has and Nicky Linke and grown to 11 employees, fourth generation Michael and Rudy Linke. most of whom have been with the company The business was started 78 years ago, in for over 15 years. “Our certified techni1941, by Rudy’s father
cians and paint specialists have the experience and knowledge to repair your vehicle to exact manufacturer specifications,” Nicky said. “We take tremendous pride in our work and even offer the added-value of a lifetime warranty.” The most senior employees of the company in addition to the members of the Linke family are Dirk Olson, Charles Mack, James Morris and Steve Edgington. Linke’s Body Shop is a proud member of the Automotive Service Association.
“We happily work with all insurance companies and remind our customers that it is their right to choose their own repair facility.” Through the years the business has been deeply involved with the community, currently donating to the big flag program and the Vogue Theatre. “The best part of the business is being able to meet new people,” Nicky said. “We do our best to take an unfortunate situation and make it the best situation.”
Business Profiles • News Advocate | 9
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10 | News Advocate • Business Profiles
Manistee News Advocate & Benzie County Record Patriot Hearst Newspapers is ushering the Pioneer Group into the 21st century of journalism and publishing. The company is investing in the Manistee and Benzie county areas with a commitment to its newsrooms and local communities with new technology, including updated websites, and a focus on hyper-local content and interactions. In January 2017, Hearst Newspapers purchased the Pioneer Group. The Pioneer Group includes the Manistee News Advocate and Benzie County Record Patriot, as well as the Pioneer in Big Rapids, the Lake County Star and the Osceola County Herald Review. On Sept. 30, all Pioneer Group newspapers launched new websites, including the News Advocate’s manisteenews.com and the Record Patriot’s recordpatriot.com. The new sites provide faster delivery of news content, a fresh clean design, interactive opinion forums and new advertising opportunities as well as an updated e-edition platform. The Manistee office currently operates on a staff of 12, which includes a news staff of six, three print and digital advertising sales consultants, two in circulation and one person in classifieds. In Frankfort, two reporters cover sports, education, county and local government, and area events while one person handles classifieds and another takes care of all customer needs for print and media sales. The Manistee News Advocate has a daily circulation of 3,500 while the West Shore Shoppers Guide is offered for free, on Sundays, with a circulation of 11,310. The Benzie County Record Patriot boasts a circulation of 3,200 each week (publishing on Wednesdays). In addition to providing quality news in print and online; the News Advocate and Record Patriot offer more opportunities for advertisers than ever before. Advertisers have a plethora of choices for print as well as digital and social media packages. Hearst Newspapers also offers website design, and the print facility in Big Rapids handles commercial printing jobs. The News Advocate is also heavily involved in the community, with staff participating in Rotary and the Manistee Civic Players. Recently staff took part in the Manistee County School Lunch Debt Challenge. Each year, the office hosts a mitten tree and has participated in shoe drives and coat drives.
Business Profiles â€¢ News Advocate | 11
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12 | News Advocate • Business Profiles
By DaviD yarnell For the news aDvocate
Over 170 years of experience has made Morton Salt Inc. the trusted authority in salt in North America. Morton has been part of the K+S Group since 2009. K+S is the world’s leading producer of salt and a supplier of standard and specialty fertilizers. The company produces salt for culinary, water softening, household and road deicing, food processing, chemical, pharmaceutical, and numerous industrial uses. Manistee product lines include culinary, water softening, swimming pool, household and road deicing salt. The Manistee plant, which employs 100, is among Morton’s more than 20 production facilities across the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas. Morton’s affiliation with Manistee began 137 years ago, in 1881, mak-
ing it Manistee’s longest continuously-running business. In April 1848 the firm Richmond & Company was established in Chicago “as agents for the distribution of Onondaga salt.” In 1879 Joy Morton, a 24 year old from Nebraska, purchased a one fifth interest in Elkins, Wheeler & Company. By that time the majority of the firm’s salt came from the Saginaw/Bay City area. The Morton company contacted Charles Rietz in Manistee as soon as he discovered salt, and by the end of the century most of Morton’s salt was from Manistee. In 1886, Joy Morton and his younger brother Mark purchased Wheeler’s interest and the firm was renamed Joy Morton and Company. Later another brother, Carl, and father, J. Sterling Morton Jr., also invested
SUPPORTING THE MANISTEE COMMUNITY SINCE 1930 180 SIXTH STREET, MANISTEE • MORTONSALT.COM
in the firm. In 1909 the name was changed to Morton Salt Company. As the primary purchaser of Manistee salt, in 1903 it purchased a Manistee fleet of three steamers to carry cargoes, especially salt from Manistee to the Chicago warehouse. The Morton Salt Company was continuously expanding by purchasing many plants and distribution and sales firms. Among these were the R. G. Peters plant in Eastlake and the Ruggles & Rademaker plant in Manistee. Because when salt exposed to humidity often caked or turned into a brick, Morton Salt developed a round package with a moisture barrier and pouring spout and added a small amount of magnesium carbonate (since changed to calcium silicate)
to assure a free flow. They soon developed the slogan “When it rains it pours.” Later they embraced the addition of iodine to eliminate goiter problems. In 1910 they developed the logo with the little girl with an umbrella with salt pouring out of a package. In 2014 the Morton Salt Umbrella Girl, at age 100, received a slight update (one of seven through the years) and was voted onto the Advertising Week Walk of Fame. The Morton family and the Morton Salt company has always been committed to community service. In Manistee the company and its employees support local schools and charities through volunteering and donation of product.