Encore Magazine May 2021

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Rescued Metals: Heaven for DIYers

Yes, Those Adults Are Playing Wiffle Ball

Five Natural Signs of Summer

Meet Megan Yankee

‘The Best Army’

Behind Schupan & Sons’ success


Dr. Paula Termuhlen The Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed) is proud to welcome Dr. Paula Termuhlen as its new President, CEO and Dean. Dr. Termuhlen took over as the new dean on May 1st. Her selection follows an extensive national search to find a replacement for Dr. Hal Jenson who retires after 10 years as founding dean. “Dr. Termuhlen is recognized as a brilliant surgeon and academic leader who will deliver the quality of medical education that is needed to take WMed to new levels of national distinction,” said Dr. Edward Montgomery, President of Western Michigan University. Dr. Termuhlen joins WMed after a distinguished tenure as the regional dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Duluth Campus. She is a graduate of St. Louis University School of Medicine and completed her general surgery training at the University of Texas Health Science Center and a surgery oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

Let’s Start a Conversation! Dr. Termuhlen is looking forward to talking with business, civic, healthcare, non-profit and philanthropic leaders from across Southwest Michigan. She invites discussion on developing new partnerships to advance Kalamazoo’s national leadership in medical research, inclusive healthcare delivery, community initiatives on diversity, equity and inclusion, the reduction of healthcare disparities, and innovations in medical education. So let’s start a conversation and see where it will lead. Please contact Dr. Termuhlen and the staff of the Office of the Dean by e-mail at office.dean@med.wmich.edu or by phone at (269) 337-4400.

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From the Editor O

ur community has an abundance of good people, and the Encore staff gets a reminder of that with every story we work on. Take this month’s cover story on Schupan & Sons, a company that started more than 50 years ago as a metal recycler with six employees and now has five divisions in 15 locations in the Midwest, employing more than 500 people. CEO Marc Schupan suggested to me that a small offshoot of his company called Recycled Metals & Equipment might be a good story (it is, see page 23), but when I asked him to let Encore expand on that and also do a bigger story about the business success of Schupan & Sons, that took some convincing. Marc didn’t want the story to be about him. He thought we should focus on the other people who have made this company thrive. He went to great pains to make sure writer John Liberty had access to the people running the company’s divisions, and he spent most of his own interview time talking about everyone but himself. When he did share personal details — including the death of his 23-year-old son and in-laws in a tragic car accident — it was, again, with the caveat that his experience might help other people through such a loss. Another dynamic individual you’ll meet in this issue is Megan Yankee, the executive director of the Stulberg International String Competition, which takes place this month, and the subject of our Back Story interview. Her enthusiasm and passion helped this annual competition for talented young string musicians pivot on a dime last year to become virtual when Covid-19 restrictions made it impossible to hold the live, in-person competition in Kalamazoo. Amid that chaos, she found a silver lining and is propelling the Stulberg forward with more of an international presence than before. Around the office, we’ve jokingly called this “the John Liberty issue” because our intrepid writer and beer guru has two other stories this month: a profile of Shay Schupan and his Recycled Metals & Equipment, a fun sidebar to our main story, and a piece on the Kalamazoo Wiffle League, which features adults trying to capture those golden summers of their childhoods and be the backyard athletes they once were by playing Wiffle ball. We hope you enjoy getting to know the people and places we feature in this month’s issue. We sure did.

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Rescued Metals: Heaven for DIYers

Yes, Those Adults Are Playing Wiffle Ball

Five Natural Signs of Summer

Meet Megan Yankee

‘The Best Army’

Behind Schupan & Sons’ success


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Photographer brian k. powers

Contributing Writers

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Correction: In the Back Story feature on Kevin Ford in Encore’s April issue, it was mistakenly reported that Kevin Ford’s mother died of diabetes. It was, in fact, his grandmother, who died of diabetes. It also was reported that Ford earned a master’s degree from WMU; he is currently working on obtaining his master’s degree. We regret and apologize for these errors. Encore Magazine is published 12 times yearly. Copyright 2021, Encore Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation and advertising correspondence should be sent to:

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The staff at Encore welcomes written comment from readers, and articles and poems for submission with no obligation to print or return them. To learn more about us or to comment, visit encorekalamazoo.com. Encore subscription rates: one year $36, two years $70. Current single issue and newsstand $4, $10 by mail. Back issues $6, $12 by mail. Advertising rates on request. Closing date for space is 28 days prior to publication date. Final date for print-ready copy is 21 days prior to publication date. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by those interviewed and published here do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Encore Magazine or the official policies, owners or employees of Encore Publications.


Marc Schupan says people are the secret behind Schupan & Sons' growth and success


DEPARTMENTS 3 From the Editor 6 Contributors 7 First Things A round-up of happenings in SW Michigan

10 Five Faves

Natural Signs of Summer — SWMLC staff highlight their favorite places to find summer

23 Enterprise

Proving Their Metal — Rescued Metals & Equipment is heaven for repurposers and DIYers

Lifestyle 28

A Whiff of the Past — Wiffle ball league is serious fun for adults


Back Story

Meet Megan Yankee — She’s behind innovations at the Stulberg International String Competition


Events of Note



On the cover: Marc Schupan outside Schupan Alumiminum and Plastics Sales, one of the five divisions of his Kalamazoo-based company. Photo by Brian K. Powers.

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John Liberty

Evaluation & Care of Trees and Shrubs Kalamazoo, MI • 269-381-5412 • www.arboristserviceskzoo.com

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Downtown Kalamazoo | Kalamazoo West | Portage 6 | ENCORE MAY 2021

John was rather prolific for Encore this issue, putting his journalistic prowess to work for three stories. His first is a profile of Schupan & Sons Inc. This story looks at how this Kalamazoo company has grown exponentially since CEO Marc Schupan took it over in 1974, at the age of 26, following the death of his father. “When Marc took over, the metal recycling company had six employees and one building. Now there are 500 employees and five divisions that do much more than just metal recycling,” says John. “I enjoyed hearing about how the company would see an opportunity and create a business around it.” One of those businesses, Rescued Metals & Equipment, is featured in a second story by John. This company finds reusable materials at Schupan & Sons’ scrap facilities and offers them for sale to businesses, artists and do-it-yourselfers. Rescued Metals makes metal sign art as well. Finally, John gives us a story about the Kalamazoo Wiffle League, in which adults play Wiffle ball competitively. John started playing baseball at 8, and his venture into backyard Wiffle ball wasn’t far behind. When he stumbled on the Kalamazoo Wiffle League in 2009, he knew he needed to learn more about it. He started the PF Flyers team, joined the league in 2010 and continues to compete in the league despite “being old and slow,” he says. When not writing stories for Encore, John shares his deep knowledge of the local craft beverage scene as general manager of West Michigan Beer Tours.

Marie Lee For this month’s Back Story feature, Marie interviewed Megan Yankee, executive director of the Stulberg International String Competition. Not only did Marie learn about how Yankee helped convert the annual competition to an online event for the first time last year, but she found out that in her off hours Yankee likes to go exploring in a vintage camper and had restored the same model of Shasta trailer that Marie’s family had when she was a child. “It is great to find another person who loves the coziness and quaintness of these trailers,” says Marie. “I also like knowing that her kids will grow up and remember that trailer and the adventures they had in it as fondly as I remember ours.” Marie is the editor of Encore.

First Things

Something Fun

Event celebrates WMed’s first decade

Something Musical

Stulberg Competition to be held virtually For the 46th year, talented young string musicians will compete in the Stulberg International String Competition for monetary awards and opportunities to perform with symphony orchestras. But for the second year, due to Covid-19, the competition will be conducted online instead of in person at its usual location at Western Michigan University’s Dalton Center Recital Hall. Beginning at noon May 22, the competition judges will view submitted digital videos from the 12 semifinalists and decide the winners of this prestigious competition. Audience members at home will be able to see and hear all 12 of these young artists compete and hear the winner announced. On May 23, the public will be able to observe master classes. To view this livestreamed event, visit stulberg.org for details.


is good medicine: The WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine will celebrate its first 10 years and the retirement of its founding dean, Hal B. Jenson, in a live virtual gala starting at 3:30 p.m. May 27. The event will feature special guests, including Dr. Mehmet Oz, TV host Tom Bergeron and Grammy Award-winning artists Paula Abdul and Ne-Yo. The event, hosted by Kalamazoo philanthropists William D. Johnston, Ronda E. Stryker and William and Barbara Parfet, will also feature speeches by internationally recognized medical professionals as well as Kalamazoo business, civic and philanthropic leaders. To join the virtual event, register at med.wmich. edu/WMedLive2021. No tickets are being sold, but donations are being accepted at registration.

Something Vintage

Rally features vintage travel trailers If you are a Tin Can Tourist or just dream of being one, you can check out restored and retro vintage campers at the Vintage Travel Trailer Rally from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. May 15 at the Gilmore Car Museum. Those with retro trailers that are 25 years or older are invited to display them and camp overnight on the main show fields at the museum. (On-site camping for those with modern trailers and RVs will also be available in a separate area on the Gilmore grounds.) In addition, vendors specializing in vintage campers will be part of the rally. The rally coincides with the outdoor Corks & Crafts Wine and Beer Festival, which will also be held on the museum grounds and will feature wine and beer sampling, food and live music. To register or purchase tickets for these events or for more information, visit gilmorecarmuseum.org. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 7


Something Fresh Farmers markets open

Something Delicious

Virtual Baking Show to raises funds for scholarships

Get your baskets and eco-friendly bags ready because the area’s outdoor farmers markets open for business this month. The Kalamazoo Farmers Market, which begins its season May 1, will be held at a new temporary location, Mayors’ Riverfront Park, 251 Mills St. The market’s usual location, on Bank Street, is undergoing a major renovation, which is expected to last the duration of the 2021 season. The market will be open from 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturdays, and the layout will be similar to that of the Bank Street location but have room for 30 additional vendors. Starting in June, it will also be open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays and noon-5 p.m. Thursdays. The popular night market, held the third Thursday of the month, will also begin in June at the new location. For more information, visit pfcmarkets.com. The “Fresh on Q” Farmers Market in Texas Corners begins its season May 8 at 7110 West Q Ave. The market is open from 8 a.m.–noon Saturdays through Oct. 16 and 4–7 p.m. Tuesdays from June 1–Aug. 3. The Portage Farmers Market will open for the season on May 9 at Portage City Hall, 7900 S. Westnedge Ave. The market is open from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. every Sunday until Oct. 24. All three markets will be taking precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including requiring masks, providing hand sanitizer at entry points and practicing social distancing.

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Dough won’t be the only thing getting raised in Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Virtual Baking Show May 13. The online program will also raise funds for student scholarships at KVCC. Chef Cory Barrett, co-director of KVCC’s culinary arts and the 2019 Food Network Spring Baking Champion, and KVCC President L. Marshall Washington are teaming up to make a chocolate sweet potato tart during the 30-minute baking demonstration. The program will also include messages from past scholarship recipients and members of the KVCC Foundation Board. The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at kvcc. edu/foundation.

Something Theatrical

Civic offers livestreamed performances

Those who’ve been missing live theater will be glad to know the actors at the Civic Theatre are treading back onto the boards with two livestreamed plays. Performances of Almost, Maine, which began April 30, run through May 6. The play, by John Cariana, explores love and loss in a remote, mythical town through nine loosely connected stories. Show times this month are 7:30 p.m. May 1, 5 and 6 and 2 p.m. May 2. Later in the month, you can romp along with Robin Hood and the Heroes of Sherwood Forest, as the Civic Youth Theatre presents three livestreamed performances, at 7:30 p.m. May 14 and 2 p.m. May 15 and 16. This Randy Wyatt adaptation of the well-known story combines characters and elements from several medieval texts and gives them a modern twist. Tickets for each play are on a name-your-price basis, beginning at $5. For tickets or more information, visit kazoocivic.com.

Something to Crow About

Encore stories, photos win MPA awards The Father of

20 | ENCORE MAY 2020

Helen and Bob Coleman, of Portage, encourage togetherness .

Martin Chilcutt helped make marijuana mainstream


hen Encore photograp her Brian K. Powers saw an item on the news about a Wisconsin national television photographer taking porch portraits during the COVID-19 stay-athome restriction by CHRIS KILLIAN s, he knew he wanted to do the same thing in our community. He immediately set up a Facebook page and website, invited nder cover of darkness on a Sunday evening, when police his friends to be photographed and asked them presence was at its lowest, Martin Chilcutt pulled his car into a to invite others. He expected a dozen or two to take him up North Denver shopping center parking lot, turned off the engine on it. Instead, he shot more than 130 portraits in and waited for his contact to arrive. two weeks. For The Porch Portrait Project, Powers offered When he did, the man told Chilcutt to give him his keys and then to take pictures of families or individuals the front porches instructed him to head inside the store for at least a half hour — to on of their homes. He asked the subjects to make buy a few things, pretend to browse, anything really, as long as he signs with messages to hold, and he photograp didn't draw attention to himself. Chilcutt emerged from the store hed them holding the signs. Once the picture with the signs was at the agreed-upon time, took back his keys, started the engine and taken, he had the subjects drop the signs, drove into the night — carefully. posed them and created a more traditional family portrait. Powers says he shot all of the photos a long lens so that with he could stay 20 feet away from the subjects. “It was a very safe distance,” he says. “There was no physical contact whatsoever between the subjects and me.” Powers encourage d people from multiple houses in various neighborhoods to take advantage of his offer, and many did. “I would take a portrait, jump in the car, drive to the next house, take the portrait, and jump in the car to go to the next house,” he says. Powers ended up taking shots of people from all over Kalamazoo and Portage and all walks of life. from He didn’t take the Martin Chilcutt on the deck of his Kalamazoo home. photos for profit. Instead, he gave all of the participants the digital images for free. But when more strict stay-at-ho me orders were issued on March 23, Powers put the project on hold, but says 20 | ENCORE FEBRUARY 2020 lifted, he will complete when the order is the project and take portraits of the remaining registered families. “It is so fun to do,” Powers says. “People loving it, and I loved were it. It them some joy during just felt good to bring this time.” To see more of Powers’ portraits, The Porch Project visit Group on Facebook bit.ly/2VLpvb5. at


Brian Powers

Por Portraitchs

Legal Pot

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Encore was the recipient of several awards in the Michigan Press Association’s HERE’ 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, including four first-place honors. The contest recognizes quality journalism by media across the state. As a monthly magazine, Encore competes in the Class D category for weekly news media. In the Feature Story category, writer Chris Killian took home first place for “The Father of Legal Pot,” which explored Martin Chilcutt’s lifelong effort to legalize marijuana. It was published in the February 2020 issue. Kara Norman earned third-place honors for her piece “‘We’re Still Here,’” which looked at Kalamazoo’s indigenous roots. It was published in November 2019. Photographer Brian K. Powers’ poignant “Porch Portraits” of families during the Covid-19 lockdown in the spring of 2020 nabbed first place in the Photo Story category. It was featured in Encore’s May 2020 issue. The Homefront: Confronting Kalamazoo’s Homelessness Crisis, a deep-dive, solutions-oriented journalistic collaboration of Encore and Now Kalamazoo, won several top awards as well. With reporting by Ben Lando, Chris Killian and Miranda Drake, The Homefront won first place in the Special Section category, first place for News Enterprise Reporting, and third place for Government and Education Reporting. The Homefront even did well competing with the state’s major media, including the Detroit Free Press and MLive, snagging an honorable mention in the Public Service Award Open Class. Lando was the lead editor and publisher on the project, with Encore providing photography, design, editing and production as well as initially hosting the content on encorekalamazoo.com (it can also be found at nowkalamazoo.com/the-homefront). The Michigan Press Association has 320 members, including print and digital media outlets across the state. The 2020 Better Newspaper Contest recognized work published between August 2019 and July 2020. You can find Encore’s winning stories at encorekalamazoo.com. w w w.encorekal


‘We’re Still


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left, splitting into the road veers while back o Country Club, at Oakland Drive, past the Kalamazo and ahead, ending on Whites Road after the curve raveling west continues straight straightens out n. Whites Road Avenue, which a triangular intersectiomain road becomes Parkview n the but at the intersectio Township. switch in roads, neat line to Oshtemo think little of this continues in a documents may Kalamazoo’s r with historic Avenue follows of Those unfamilia Parkview line behind the concrete. Road was once the boundary there’s a story Band of line, while Whites Be-Nash-She-Wish is now Match-Eoriginal boundary the to Tribe, which that belonged as the Gun Lake a reservation otherwise known Pottawatomi Indians, 30 miles away. located less than


of Recognition indigenous Kalamazoo’s ‘a long roots has been time coming’

Wish Band of Lake Match-E-Be-Nash-SheMembers of the Indians, also known as the Gun are i the Pottawatom at the tribe's annual pow wow,who here people Tribe, pictured the original indigenous photo. descendants of Michigan. Courtesy lived in Southwest

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Five Faves

Summer retreats abound in area preserves by


After months of being cooped up, socially distanced and quarantined, many people are ready to embrace the coming summer and the great outdoors. The 18 public preserves of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy offer abundant opportunities for you to do just that. These are some of the “sweet spots” that we, the staff of the conservancy, recommend:

Jeptha Lake Fen 49000 block of County Road 380, Grand Junction

Corey Lake North Bay Preserve 58000 block of West Clear Lake Road, Three Rivers


time I drive through St. Joseph County, I make a point to swing by Corey Lake North Bay Preserve, either to eat my lunch or just to take a five-minute break. While I sit amongst a carpet of Pennsylvania sedge, I close my eyes and hear the sound of the breeze off the lake rustling the oak leaves above. Without fail, I forget my binoculars but still manage to spot eastern wood-pewees, eastern phoebes, red-bellied woodpeckers and northern flickers. This preserve is small but mighty, with beautiful towering oak woods overlooking the north side of Corey Lake. No matter what time of year you visit, it always has exactly what you need to realign yourself with the natural world. — Dave Brown, Stewardship Specialist 10 | ENCORE MAY 2021

Jeptha Lake Fen, halfway between Kalamazoo and South Haven, offers a onemile hike through a unique and fascinating habitat. Trails include rustic two-track roads, mowed paths, and a boardwalk out into the wetlands. Summer is a spectacular time of year to visit this preserve with its blazing purple wildflower displays, birdcalls overhead and 49 acres of fen and forest to explore. I recommend visiting Jeptha in July, when wildflowers are at their peak and summer is in full swing. — Hilary Hunt, Director of Land Protection

Bow in the Clouds Preserve 3401 Nazareth Road, Kalamazoo

Bow in the Clouds is the quintessential

“summer in the city” retreat from the heat and hubbub. Tucked into the northeast corner of Kalamazoo, these 60 acres will make you feel like you’re 60 miles from the city grind. A wide, accessible trail meanders into the preserve, taking you to a breezy and breathtaking overlook. Then you can head to the narrower foot trails that lead into the cool shade of oaks older than the city itself. Stop to admire a clear and cold creek and you’ll be cooled down enough to step out onto the sunny wetland boardwalk. Visit the preserve in August and your “welcoming committee” along the boardwalk will be a stand of stunning pink Joe Pye weed as far as the eye can see. — Mitch Lettow, Stewardship Director


Wolf Tree Nature Trails 8000 block of West KL Avenue, Kalamazoo

Here you can wander through a tallgrass prairie dotted with

Wau-Ke-Na, William Erby Smith Preserve South and North Tracts 1500-1900 block of Lakeshore Drive, Fennville

You know summer is here when you stand in an ocean of grass and flowers at Wau-Ke-Na, William Erby Smith Preserve’s South Tract with your face to the sky and green scents on the soft breeze. All around, birds sing love songs and throw insults at one another. The season’s first dragonflies go zigzagging by on urgent insect errands. You can stretch your legs on the preserve’s long trails, but eventually the hot sun may send you back to your car for a short drive up the road to the North Tract. Here, a shady path through the woods leads to a small Lake Michigan beach. The waves are a whisper on an early summer day and, for the moment, all is right with the world. — Amelia Hansen, Communications Specialist About the Authors

the yellow, purple and white blossoms of native wildflowers and fluttering with visiting butterflies, dragonflies, and gently buzzing bees. You can duck under a cool canopy of towering oak trees that rise from the ancient depressions, or “kettles,” left by retreating glaciers tens of thousands of years ago. Wolf Tree’s rare black oak savanna offers glimpses of many native species of plants and insects as well as native and migratory birds like indigo buntings and blue-winged warblers. Located just west of Kalamazoo in Oshtemo Township with approximately two miles of trails, Wolf Tree is the perfect place for a fun and relaxing summer walk for you, for kids and even for dogs (on leash, of course). — C. Miko Dargitz, Development Associate

The Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy staff works with dedicated volunteers and willing landowners to protect endangered and threatened habitats and species, rural character and open space, agriculture and passive recreation, and extraordinary vistas in nine counties of Southwest Michigan. Since its inception in 1991, the conservancy has protected more than 15,000 acres of dunes, wetlands, forests, savannas, prairies, farms and vineyards that give our region its distinctive character. Learn more at swmlc.org.

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‘THE BEST ARMY’ Don’t even try to give Marc Schupan credit for his company’s phenomenal growth and success. He won’t let you.

12 | ENCORE MAY 2021

story by



f you’re the 73-year-old leader of a massive company that you have built over more than 50 years, the tendency may be to look back. Not Marc Schupan. Inside a small room in a nondescript office building on Covington Road in Kalamazoo, the Schupan & Sons Inc. president and CEO sits in a recliner surrounded by framed photos of family, friends and famous athletes and coaches. This is no “I Love Me” wall. It’s a shrine to people Schupan has known, loved and admired through his life, and sitting

Marc Schupan’s family is very involved in the business, from left: sons Jacob and Jordan, Marc’s wife Jeanne, Marc, daughter Shayna Schupan-Barry and son-in-law John Barry.

by this wall he makes it clear he’s not nearly as interested in talking about himself or his career as about what’s next for his company. “I’m excited about the future because of the people we have,” says Schupan, who turned 73 in late March. “I think we’re going to be creative. We’re never going to bet the farm on anything, but I think w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 13

we’ll try some things. Maybe some won’t work, so you move on to other things. The world is changing all the time.” In 1974, at the age of 26, Schupan took over what was then simply a metal recycling company after the sudden death of his father, Nelson. At the time it employed six people from a heatless building on Lake Street. Now Schupan & Sons is one of the leading metal and plastic recycling and manufacturing companies in the Midwest, with 500 employees and 15 facilities in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana. Schupan is a walking, talking motivational poster — he always seems to have an inspiring quote handy to preach honesty, loyalty, agility or tenacity. Fittingly, sports had a major role in his youth and nearly became part of his professional calling. He is a member of the Loy Norrix High School Sports Hall of Fame for basketball and football. After graduating from Michigan State University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, he earned a teaching certificate and taught and coached baseball, basketball and football in Caro, just east of Saginaw. Schupan says he was veering toward becoming a lawyer or college basketball coach when, in the summer of 1974, his father asked him to join his scrap metal company, then called Konigsberg Co., which Nelson had purchased in 1968. Marc took a sabbatical from teaching and coaching. A few weeks later, his father died of a stroke. He was 53. “People say, ‘As an entrepreneur, did you plan any of this?’ Not really,” Marc Schupan says. “When my dad died, it was like failure wasn’t an option. So you did what you had to do. You worked as hard as you needed to. We were never wealthy growing up. We worked. We had good values. “I wish my father had been around a lot longer to see things. He’d be pretty amazed. We’ve come a long way.”

Marc Schupan is also a principal in UBCR (Used Beverage Container Recovery), the company that collects, transports, and processes empty beverage containers for Michigan’s largest retailers, and the Norwegian-based Tomra, which provides reverse vending machines used for bottle and can returns at large stores. Still, say company leaders, most folks in Kalamazoo know the company for its scrap metal yard on Miller Road. Each day steady streams of property owners and contractors drop off all sorts of metal at Schupan Industrial Recycling Services, or SIRS. Staff weigh and grade the material and pay customers for the metal. They primarily see aluminum. Occasionally, the staff will spot a unique item that may go to Rescued Metals & Equipment, another limb of the Schupan company tree, instead of heading to a mill for recycling (see story on page 23).

More than scrap metal For the first four decades or so, Schupan & Sons branded itself a metal recycling company. But it has moved far beyond the scrap processing yards of its infancy, now boasting five divisions that specialize in industrial scrap recycling, electronics recycling, aluminum and plastic fabrication and distribution, beverage container processing, and materials trading. 14 | ENCORE MAY 2021

At SIRS, shipping trucks move between a series of warehouses and several large cubes of bundled metal. Most of the facilities are open-air, meaning temperatures can soar during the summer and plummet in the winter. This is the domain of Gary Curtis, president of SIRS, and his team. Consistent with other Schupan leaders, Curtis constantly

Clockwise from top right: CNC milling machines produce custom aluminum and steel products for customers; precious metals extracted from electronics; a sampling of the different product lines available through Schupan & Sons; and employee Nolan Waddell monitors the progress of a product being milled by a Mazak CNC machine.

work for me.’ It took almost 20 years, but it finally happened.” Curtis joined Schupan & Sons seven years ago.

Making the most of metal

monitors metal prices and other industry trends. His geographic reach is all of Michigan, northern Ohio and northern Indiana. “We are putting equipment at a manufacturing facility for them to collect the scrap,” says Curtis during a facility tour, amid beeps, bangs and thumps. “We are picking it up, bringing it back here, grading it, processing it, aggregating it and shipping it to a mill that is going remelt it. They are making raw materials that’ll go back to those same industrial accounts that we’re picking up (from). It’s very much a closed loop.” Curtis, who grew up in Battle Creek, started working at a metal trading company in Baltimore more than 25 years ago. Schupan & Sons was a major trading partner of the company, and as part of his training Curtis returned to Kalamazoo to learn about the operation here. “Marc, being the kind of guy he is, spent the whole week with me personally,” Curtis says. “He used to joke around (when) we’d see each other at trade shows — ‘Someday you’ll come back home and come to

About three miles away from SIRS is Schupan’s Electronics Asset Management building, on Peekstock Drive. It’s a relatively new arm of Schupan & Sons, which purchased a company specializing in mining valuable bits of metal from outdated electronics in 2013. One passes through a metal detector before entering the warehouse. Immediately to the left is ITAD, or IT Asset Disposition. Police departments, law firms, hospitals, schools and others bring their hardware here to be wiped clean and, in some cases, shredded. In another section of the building, employees review a variety of electronics coming through a “triage lane.” Items in good condition are cleaned, tested and resold in the online refurbished electronics store, Fresh Tech Direct. If the electronic item is deemed unusable, it moves to another portion of the building to be dismantled, with its components separated into a series of bulk-sized corrugated boxes. Hard drives. Steel. Plastic. Batteries. There are thousands of circuit boards here that Operations Manager Drew Beekman and his staff carefully mine to extract gold, silver, platinum and palladium. “The precious metals content in each board varies. You might have a board worth $8 a pound and then one worth 20 cents a pound,” Beekman says. In 2020, the division successfully recycled 3,500,000 pounds of electronic devices, extracting the precious metals while keeping the hazardous waste embedded in the devices from reaching landfills. At the other end of the company spectrum is the 140,000-squarefoot Schupan Aluminum & Plastic Sales, or SAPS, located along Davis Creek Court. General Manager Pete Gildea, whose father, Mike Gildea, was a longtime executive at SAPS, winds a tour past a wall of framed, autographed hockey jerseys and uses the Schupan-made hands-free door opener to access the sprawling facility housing dozens of highend metal cutting and bending machines, CNC equipment and row after row of stacked metal and plastic inventory. Forklifts and delivery trucks rumble through the property, which was expanded in 2019. “SAPS really started in the late ’70s and early ’80s selling out of our scrapyard,” Gildea says. “Someone would want a little piece of this and a little piece of that. Well, then we didn’t have it, so we’d order it from another distributor company. One thing led to another and it evolved” into the manufacture and distribution of aluminum and plastic products for customers in industries including office furniture, outdoor furniture, aerospace, and medical equipment. SAPS is on track to fill 100,000 orders this year. Schupan & Sons also has a global reach through its Materials Trading division, started in 2017 and led by Andy McKee. The division trades both scrap and new aluminum, used beverage containers, PET plastic and ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The group operates across the U.S., doing business with 350-plus scrap suppliers in more than 30 countries. In 2020, amid the pandemic, Schupan Materials Trading moved 350 million pounds of material, roughly 40 semi-truck loads per day. And if you’ve ever wondered what happens to the billions of bottles and cans brought back to retailers for deposit in Michigan each year, w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 15

look no further than to Schupan’s Beverage Container Recycling division. Led by Tom Emmerich, who has been with Schupan for 27 years, the division has developed one of the nation’s most efficient systems for recycling these beverage containers. Schupan processes about 80 percent of Michigan’s beverage containers generated from the state’s deposit law — 3.6 billion containers annually — helping make Michigan the top U.S. state for beverage container redemption and processing. Pivotal in this division’s work are the efforts of Shayna Schupan-Barry, the company’s director of legislative affairs and strategic partnerships and Marc’s only daughter, who works with lawmakers and environmental groups, providing education and outreach about beverage container recycling. The restrictions and lockdowns created by the Covid-19 pandemic had a profound effect on all of Schupan’s operations, but in particular the Beverage Container Recycling unit, as can and bottle returns were halted in the early months of the lockdown. SAPS President John Barry says that the diversified nature of the company as a whole and the experience of its leadership team were key in bringing Schupan & Sons through the pandemic. Barry, who has been with Schupan & Sons since 2005 and is married to SchupanBarry, says the pandemic sparked a lot of innovation at the company. “The lesson we learned there was we have sophisticated capabilities and an employee base that can do so much more than we envisioned,” Barry says. For example, Barry thought collapsible intubation boxes for Covid patients would be a major need. He ordered thousands of pounds of clear acrylic plastic that were shaped into boxes that could cover a patient and protect hospital staff from catching the virus. Schupan began producing the boxes and received media attention for its creation. “It was a great idea and worked for a little while, but as science caught up we learned it wasn’t doing what we thought it was doing,” Barry says. As a result, the company ended up with about 100,000 pounds of plastic inventory it couldn’t use. Barry and his team pivoted again and used the material to make large plastic dividers, which became hugely important in schools, voting booths, bars and restaurants. “We have become the sneeze guard capital of Southwest Michigan,” Barry jokes.

Leaving a legacy As the company and the country slowly emerge from the pandemic, the tight-knit group of executives and family members leading Schupan is looking to the future. Marc Schupan is proud of his family’s continued involvement and success at the company. When his father died, he renamed the company Schupan & Sons in his father’s honor, a name that became prophetic as Marc’s children became involved in the company. In addition to Schupan-Barry and Barry, Schupan’s son Jacob, 38, works in the electronics recycling division after careers in the medical community and the transportation industry in Chicago. His other son, Jordan, lives in Los Angeles, and has been the general manager of sales and trading at Schupan since 2017. Jordan is also the co-founder of the clothing company HNLY, which was launched in 2019. Other relatives are also involved. Marc’s brother Dan, who turns 65 this summer, has been at the company since he was 18. And Marc’s 16 | ENCORE MAY 2021

Top: John Barry runs the Schupan Aluminum and Plastics Sales division. Bottom: Schupan and Sons teamed up with Fabri-Kal to open a health center to serve both companies’ employees.

nephew, Shay Schupan, manages the Rescued Metals & Equipment, a subdivision of Schupan Industrial Recycling. In late June, Marc and Jeanne Schupan will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. They met when Marc lived in a 10-foot-by-50foot trailer in a field a few miles outside of Caro. Schupan says he didn’t even have front-door steps to the trailer — just a wooden ramp. Marc credits Jeanne’s stability and support as key reasons the Schupan family remains close, especially after suffering an unthinkable loss.

What Schupan & Sons Does The company has 15 locations in four Midwestern states employing more than 500 people; here’s a look at each division and some of its locations in Kalamazoo and elsewhere:

Aluminum & Plastic Sales About: Takes custom aluminum and plastic orders and fabricates metals and plastics, with customers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and northern Kentucky.

May Donor Spotlight WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Proudly Recognizes Kalamazoo Philanthropists and Medical School Benefactors

Where: 4200 Davis Creek Court, Kalamazoo, and Dayton and Toledo, Ohio

Industrial Recycling About: Operates several scrap processing yards, primarily involving aluminum. Where: 2225 Glendenning Road, Kalamazoo, and Elkhart, Indiana

Asset Management About: Recycles metal from a variety of electronics and provides IT asset disposition (cleaning/wiping of computer hardware). Where: 216 Peekstock Ave., Kalamazoo

Beverage Container Recycling About: Largest independent recycler and processor of used beverage containers in the U.S. Where: Wyoming and Wixom

Materials Trading About: Purchases and brokers aluminum and used beverage containers. Where: Worldwide, with representatives across the U.S.

Mr. Steve McKiddy & Mrs. Amy McKiddy We salute Mr. Steve McKiddy and Mrs. Amy Mckiddy for their active involvement with the medical school. Steve and Amy’s work with the WMed Dean’s Circle Leadership Giving Society has played an invaluable role in growing the engagement of Kalamazoo philanthropic leaders in becoming actively involved in the life of the medical school. We proudly recognize Steve and Amy McKiddy for their leadership, active involvement, and generous financial support in advancing the mission of the medical school. Thank you, Steve and Amy!

On Nov. 27, 2002, the couple’s oldest son, Seth, was driving Jeanne’s parents, Phyllis and Clarence Gettel, to Kalamazoo for Thanksgiving. Their car was involved in an accident in Gilford Township, near Saginaw, and all three were killed. Seth was 23. Marc w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 17

says he couldn’t sleep consistently for two years after the accident. For years, he says, he wrote letters to Seth and essays about coping with grief. He’s thought about using them to shape a book. “Nobody can write about this if you haven’t experienced it,” he says. “I don’t care what kind of psychologist you are. If you know someone who can say, ‘Here’s where you are and here’s what you’re going to experience,’ you can come out of this better. It will never be OK, but to think there are better days ahead I think would be a good book for people who lost children.” Marc Schupan says he wears his heart on his sleeve, while Jeanne can be more controlled. “How many people can go through that and not have your family implode?” he asks. “She’s amazing. She’s pretty amazing. “The hard part is you never stop missing him. As you get older, you look at what’s important. He was just a great kid. What would life be like today if he was still alive? If he was alive today, my life would be perfect, so to speak. I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do, within reason. Although, I want those boys married so we can have more grandkids. Those knuckleheads.” Family members aside, Schupan says repeatedly that the company’s employees

are its most important assets, and he has put money behind that assertation. In a highly competitive labor market, the company has invested in retaining and motivating its workforce. In 2018, the company partnered with the manufacturer Fabri-Kal to open a joint health care center on Covington Road for their employees and their families. Schupan also offers tuition reimbursement for employees who want to take courses toward a degree or professional certification. And, yes, Schupan & Sons still gives its employees a turkey every Thanksgiving. In 2020, the company was recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by the National Association for Business Resources. “The man with the best army wins,” Schupan says, noting that the quote came from Rich Holtz, a former vice president at Schupan’s Beverage Container Recycling division. As Schupan & Sons has flourished, the company has put an emphasis on its philanthropic efforts. Schupan has been heavily involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Kalamazoo for more than 35 years and played a major role in the construction of its current Covington Road building, located a stone’s throw from Schupan headquarters. A few weeks after its opening, the building was

Ask ASK Please send your questions to:

Michael J. Willis, J.D., C.P.A. Willis Law 491 West South Street Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.492.1040 www.willis.law

Michael J. Willis, J.D., C.P.A.




My husband is going into a nursing home. I’ve been told it is possible for me to create a trust and protect my assets from the spend down at the nursing home. Is that true?


my children as LAWYER beneficiaries of A. Q. my IRA, or my A.revocable trust? A.

Yes. Most often when folks talk on trust planning, they are referencing a revocable trust. In fact, that is the case probably more than 99% of the time. A revocable trust under Michigan law generally is set up only to avoid probate--that’s its only benefit. However, there Please send your questions to: husband going into a nursing home.that I’ve told it is is anMy irrevocable trustisfor persons in your circumstances can been be established withtoyour assetsatotrust the extent they exceed protected possible for me create and protect my the assets from the spend Willis Law amount (which under Michigan law will cap at a little over $125,000). down at the nursing home. Is that true? 491 West South Street If the trust is irrevocable and the assets are effectively established in an Kalamazoo, MI 49007 MICHAEL J. WILLIS, J.D., C.P.A., WILLIS annuity LAW income stream back to you per the terms of the trust, then in 269.492.1040 such Yes. a circumstance the trustwhen will no folks longer talk be considered Most often on trusta countable planning, they are www.willis.law asset, but instead an income stream and thereby exempt for Medicaid Please send your questions to: referencing a My revocable trust. Ingoing fact, that case probably more intois atheand nursing purposes. This is husband a sophisticatedis planning technique, I highly home. I’ve been told it is thanencourage 99% of you the time. counsel A revocable trust underthisMichigan law generally before implementing or possible toforseekme to create a trust andtechnique protect my assets from the spend anyup other Medicaid planning. is set only to avoid probate--that’s its only benefit. However, there Willis Law MICHAEL J. WILLIS, J.D., C.P.A., WILLIS LAW

Michael J. Willis, J.D., C.P.A.


Willis Law 491 West South Street Michael J. Willis, J.D., C.P.A. 491 West South Street Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.492.1040 www.willis.law 269.492.1040 www.willis.law


at thetrust nursing home. Is that true? is an down irrevocable for persons in your circumstances that can be established with your assets to the extent they exceed the protected amount (whichYes. under Michigan law will cap folks at a little Most often when talkover on$125,000). trust planning, they are If the trust is irrevocable and the assets are effectively established in an referencing a revocable trust. In fact, that is the case probably more annuity income stream back to you per the terms of the trust, then in than 99% of the time. A revocable trust under Michigan law generally such a circumstance the trust will no longer be considered a countable up only to avoid probate--that’s its only benefit. However, there asset, isbutset instead an income stream and thereby exempt for Medicaid purposes. is a sophisticated I highly is an This irrevocable trust forplanning personstechnique, in your and circumstances that can be encourage you to seek this technique or the protected established withcounsel your before assetsimplementing to the extent they exceed any other Medicaid planning.

Michael J. Willis is the Managing Partner of Willis Law, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, is licensed to practice law in Florida and Michigan, and is registered as a certified public accountant in the state of Illinois. Attorney Willis is rated as an A V -Preeminent Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell. This rating, according to Martindale, which has been rating lawyers for over a century, signifies that an attorney has reached the heights of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America.






Please send your questions to:

named the “Seth Nelson Schupan Mentoring Center.” The United Way, Kalamazoo Covenant Academy (a public charter high school for students 16-22) and several scholarships have also benefited from the company’s penchant for giving. Schupan & Sons has long been a significant underwriter of the annual New Year’s Fest in downtown Kalamazoo, partners with the Blue Dolphin restaurant to provide free Christmas dinners for more than 1,000 people each year and funds an annual social justice award for youth. And during the pandemic, the company has donated 1,000 refurbished Google Chromebooks from its Electronics Asset Management division to Kalamazoo Public Schools and Kalamazoo Covenant Academy for their students’ use during the study-at-home restrictions. Upon hire, every Schupan employee gets eight hours of paid time off for community service work. And those Thanksgiving turkeys? Last year, many Schupan employees donated their gift birds to Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes and the Salvation Army to feed the hungry. “When you look back at what you do, it’s not what you take with you, it’s what you leave behind,” says Schupan. “Are you going to leave a legacy of something that makes a difference?”


amount (which under Michigan law will cap at a little over $125,000).

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such a circumstance the trust will no longer be considered a countable asset, but instead an income stream and thereby exempt for Medicaid

A. This is a question requiring review of your specific family facts and your

intentions in your estate plan. That being said, after implementation of the SECURE Act on January 1, 2020, planning with Trusts and IRA assets became much easier. Under the current paradigm, whether you make your IRA payable directly to your children, or to a revocable trust established for your children, the assets must, generally, be drawn down from the IRA over a 10-year period after you have passed away. The prior laws were much more complex and often left planners and financial professionals alike frequently working through contingency scenarios. Of note, if the assets pay to a Trust for your children, and you intend that Trust to last for longer than 10 years after you die, have no fear. The SECURE Act will only require the assets be taxed within 10 years of your death, and it is your Trust that will determine timing of distribution of the IRA assets to your children.

Michael J. Willis is the Managing Partner of Willis Law, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, is licensed to practice law in Florida and Michigan, and is registered as a certified public accountant in the state of Illinois. Attorney Willis is rated as an A V -Preeminent Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell. This rating, according to Martindale, which has been rating lawyers for over a century, signifies that an attorney has reached the heights of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America.

18 | ENCORE MAY 2021


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WMed Turns 10!

WMed’s First Decade of Innovation, Education, and Community Collaboration

March 22, 2011, was a monumental day for the greater Kalamazoo community.

Not only was it Founding Dean Dr. Hal B. Jenson’s first day on the job, it was also the day that a $100 million gift to Western Michigan University (WMU) to provide foundational funding for the new medical school was announced. The new school would be named Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed) in memory of Dr. Homer Stryker, a WMU alumnus and founder of the Stryker Corporation.

Kalamazoo’s long, rich history of excellence in education, healthcare, research, and life science exploration were assets in the development of a new medical school. Through the collaboration of WMU, Ascension Borgess, and Bronson Healthcare, the private medical school was founded and is currently funded through charitable gifts, clinical revenues, research activities, tuition, and endowment income. “It is a challenging opportunity to create a new medical school, but the odds of successfully creating a great medical school are signifi-

Inside The Community Impact of WMed Founding Dean Hal Jenson Retires Welcoming New Dean Paula Termuhlen Celebrate With WMed Live



cantly increased when the community is a partner alongside,” said Dr. Jenson. WMed made another leap forward when Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies merged into WMed in 2012. The experienced personnel and resources offered by this merger significantly contributed to the development of the undergraduate and graduate medical education programs. Additionally, William U. Parfet, chairman and chief executive officer of MPI Research and a greatgrandson of W.E. Upjohn, donated a 330,000-square-foot building in downtown Kalamazoo to serve as the medical school’s flagship campus, named the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus. A $78 million renovation and expansion of that building created a 350,000-square-foot educational facility with two laboratory research floors, a forensic pathology lab, and a state-of-the-art simulation center. WMed’s reach goes beyond the borders of its downtown campus. The medical school provides clinical ser-

vices in Kalamazoo County at WMed Health on Oakland Drive and Mall Drive, the Ascension Borgess Hospital Campus, and the Family Health Center. In Calhoun County, WMed has family medicine services at Bronson Battle Creek and Grace Health. The Innovation Center on the Parkview Campus is a life science, technology, and engineering incubator serving early start-ups and maturing companies.

A Decade of Innovation It has been an impressive decade of achievement for WMed, which has 144 faculty, 241 residents and fellows who train in 10 residencies and five fellowships, 517 staff, and 816 community faculty in 18 academic departments and programs. Its comprehensive, patient-centered, fouryear M.D. curriculum seamlessly integrates basic science and clinical applications. WMed also has master’s degree programs in Biomedical Sciences, Clinical Informatics, and Medical Engineering and several dual degrees with 337 students enrolled

WMed Impact: Benefitting Southwest Michigan During its decade of growth and development, the impact of the medical school on the greater Kalamazoo community is truly evident: • WMed Health, the medical school’s clinical practice, offers more than 36 primary care and specialty services in Kalamazoo, Portage, and Battle Creek, providing 63,000 outpatient visits per year. • The school’s Department of Pathology faculty serve as the Office of the Medical Examiner (coroner) for counties throughout Michigan and northern Indiana, completing more than 1,000 autopsies each year. 20 WMED SPECIAL SECTION 2021

• Through the active citizenship curriculum, medical school students integrate into more than 30 community agencies to learn and grow from community members of diverse backgrounds. • During the Annual Day of Service, WMed students give back through community service projects that contribute to the needs of the underserved. • In 2020, WMed organizational, employee, and student spending resulted in a $353 million economic impact in Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties.

on the campus. Because of their roles in creating and developing the innovative curriculum, medical school faculty are recognized nationally and internationally as thought leaders in medical education. The inaugural medical student class graduated in May 2018. The school’s exceptional success in preparing medical students for residency training is demonstrated by its 99-percent or better match rate into a nationwide network of competitive residency programs. All slots in WMed’s residency programs are consistently filled and the school is experiencing impressive growth in its graduate medical education. WMed has also achieved accreditation — external validation that the school’s programs meet the highest standards for quality and excellence — for its medical degree program, residencies and fellowships, simulation center, and more.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Medical Education and Healthcare Delivery From the beginning, WMed has aimed to create a welcoming environment to learn and work that embodies the medical school’s values of inclusiveness. The medical school has also drawn on the diversity of the Kalamazoo community to attract and retain students, residents, faculty, fellows, and staff underrepresented in medicine. During its first decade, this commitment has been evident in the development of a master’s degree program in Biomedical Sciences that helps aspir-

ing physicians underrepresented in medicine to successfully transition from undergraduate education to medical school. Preferred relationship programs with other educational institutions, intentional recruitment of faculty and students, and student scholarship programs have contributed to the diversity of WMed. Additionally, the Early Introduction to Health Careers pipeline program and the new Student Athlete to Medical Careers pipeline program will enhance the diversity and

inclusiveness of the medical school community. Creating programs that demonstrate the core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical in preparing medical students to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population and helping to eliminate health disparities within our national healthcare system. Much important work remains to be done.

Founding Dean Dr. Hal B. Jenson to Retire After a Decade of Success It’s fitting that one of Dr. Hal B. Jenson’s favorite pastimes is mountain climbing, because his career at WMed has been about striving for and leading the medical school to achieve new heights of success. Dr. Jenson was appointed founding dean in early 2011 and has spearheaded the medical school’s development and outstanding achievements over the past ten years. In addition to being the founding dean, Jenson is a professor in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the founding dean of WMed,” Dr. Jenson says. “Together we have accomplished significant milestones as a new medical school and I want to thank everyone for the privilege of being able to serve as this medical school’s founding dean. The opportunity to work with and lead such a talented group of faculty, researchers, residents, staff, and students has been the honor of a lifetime.“ “At the core of our collective success has been the unwavering involvement and financial support from our community and donors. Without the active involvement, vision, and generous contributions from our community benefactors, WMed could have never accomplished all that it has in our first decade,” said Dr. Jenson. “Kalamazoo is an extraordinary community.”

New Dean Dr. Paula Termuhlen Brings Wealth of Experience Dr. Paula M. Termuhlen takes over as the new dean of WMed on May 1. Her selection follows an extensive national search to find a successor for Dr. Hal B. Jenson, who is retiring after 10 years as founding dean. “We are confident Dr. Termuhlen will be an exceptional leader for WMed,” said WMU President Dr. Edward Montgomery, who chairs the WMed Board of Directors and led the search committee to hire the medical school’s new dean. “She is a brilliant surgeon and academic leader who will deliver the quality of medical education that is needed to take WMed to new levels of national distinction.” "I am truly honored to have been selected to serve as the next dean," Termuhlen said. "I’ve greatly enjoyed working with Dr. Jenson and the faculty and staff in preparation for the beginning of my work as WMed’s new dean. My first task will be to launch a listening tour to gather feedback, input, and suggestions from all of WMed’s key stakeholder groups. I believe this process will help to guide and inform my understanding of the medical school’s tremendous potential for the future.

Dr. Termuhlen is a graduate of the St. Louis University School of Medicine and completed her general surgery training at the University of Texas Health Science Center and a surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She is widely published in surgical oncology and surgical education. Prior to coming to WMed, Dr. Termuhlen has been the regional dean for the Duluth Campus at the University of Minnesota Medical School since 2015. Prior to that, she was a member of the faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. She served as a general surgery residency program director at Wright State University and at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She was also vice-chair of the Department of Surgery at Wright State University. WMED SPECIAL SECTION 2021 21


It’s a celebration, a big thank you, and a welcome the new dean event! The medical school will celebrate its first ER STRYK 10 years of achievement and the retirement E OM H of Founding Dean Dr. Hal B. Jenson at its live virtual gala, WMed Live: A First Decade Celebration, on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Our local community, along with medical educators from across the country, are invited to this live, virtual event featuring special guests, national celebrities, internationally recognized medical professionals, and keynote speeches from Kalamazoo business, civic, and Pictured above are WMed Live co-chairs are William D. Johnston and philanthropic leaders. Tune in to watch special messages Ronda E. Stryker (left) and Barbara A. and William U. Parfet (right). from Association of American Medical Colleges President Dr. David J. Skorton, acclaimed TV host Tom Bergeron, Grammy Award-winning singers and songwriters Paula Abdul and Ne-Yo, and a special musical performance by American smooth jazz saxophonist Kenny G. This cuttingedge virtual celebration will be co-hosted by Kalamazoo philanthropists and medical school benefactors William D. Johnston and Ronda E. Stryker and William U. Parfet and Barbara A. Parfet. A live virtual event celebrating a decade While WMed Live is taking the place of the annual inperson Imagine Gala for 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions of achievement and Founding on public gatherings, it is a star-studded event that is sure Dean Dr. Hal B. Jenson’s retirement to please. In addition to recognizing Dean Jenson for his 10 years of innovative leadership and highlighting the medical Thursday, May 27, 2021 school’s impact and accomplishments, the event will include 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. a special welcome to new WMed Dean Dr. Paula Termuhlen and showcase giving opportunities to advance the misRegister at sion of the medical school. As a private medical school, med.wmich.edu/WMedLive2021 financial contributions are key to the institution’s financial sustainability. R

. M.D


Celebrate with Us!

Register now for WMed Live: A First Decade Celebration

You Can Support WMed’s Next Decade and Beyond The WMed Philanthropy Team extends a special invitation to our community partners to show their support for the medical school’s tenth anniversary by making a gift. “Philanthropic donations allow WMed to continue its mission to educate future physicians, serve patients in the community, and create new knowledge that makes a difference in the world,” shared Jack Mosser, WMed associate dean for development. “The medical school strives to educate and inspire lifelong learners to be exceptional clinicians, leaders, educators, advocates, and researchers of tomorrow through programs that promote health equity and advance community values of diversity and inclusion,” said gala co-chair, William D. Johnston. “These activities and the strong engagement of WMed with the community underscore how transformative a


medical school can be for a community like Kalamazoo,” said gala co-chair William U. Parfet. “This degree of collaboration also represents the spirit of WMed — the spirit of authentic collaboration and service. Philanthropic partnerships enhance the collective power of WMed to do good,” William U. Parfet also shared. Through a VIP Sponsorship of WMed Live, you can: • Play a leadership role in supporting health equity, diversity, and inclusion activities in Kalamazoo. • Expand the reach of medical education, research, and healthcare delivery across Southwest Michigan. • Showcase your commitment to health education, research, and patient care. • Connect with other community leaders to support the mission of the medical school for the future. Your financial support for WMed Live will extend the reach of the medical school by helping to sustain medical student scholarships and growth in medical resident opportunities in the region, fund programs to remove barriers to health equity, and advance the health and wellbeing of everyone in the community. For more information about WMed’s giving programs contact Lori Larsen, manager of annual giving, at (269) 337-6575 or visit med.wmich.edu/giving.


Proving Their Metal

Rescued Metals is heaven for repurposers and DIYers by


photography by



it’s known as “Shay-Mart.” Officially, it’s Rescued Metals & Equipment, the brainchild of Shay Schupan, another member of the Schupan family who is turning discarded materials into a viable business. Housed inside an understated storefront and warehouse along Miller Road, Rescued Metals & Equipment is like the Island of Misfit Toys for metal. Schupan, a nephew of Marc Schupan, scours Schupan & Sons recycling facilities for antique items, odd decorative pieces, and metals that can be given a second life by being sold to businesses or repurposed by artists and do-it-yourselfers. The company also produces a series of metal art items, including custom signs for campers and beer lovers, among others. Rescued Metals, which opened in 2018, is a unique enterprise in the world of recycling, says Shay Schupan. “Other recycling centers that tried to do something like this did it like a sideshow-attraction-type thing, to where they might have a rack at the recycling center where they’d put a couple nice pieces

Right: Shay Schupan is the brainchild behind Rescued Metals and Equipment. Above: A detailed bass is an example of the metal art created by the Rescued Metals staff. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 23


up,” he explains. “We wanted to see if it could be a whole business — not just a sideshow attraction — where we could divert material from all our recycling centers but also deal with all the mills and manufacturers through all our divisions. If they have surplus material or even equipment, we could funnel it through this business as an industrial retail thrift shop.” For decades, artists and self-repair aficionados have frequented recycling centers, combing through them looking for their desired materials. The practice became too much of a liability for recycling center operators, says Schupan, but the thirst for that kind of metal and disposed-of items remained. Items dropped off by residents or businesses for recycling at any of the Schupan & Sons divisions can find their way to “Shay-Mart.” On a recent visit, the shop’s antiques section displayed vintage teapots, old silverware, jet parts and more. Highly collectable or rare pieces often end up in the company’s eBay listings. Schupan says he works with the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, local artists and other craftspeople who seek very specific items. “I’ve got a guy who makes barstools out of crankshafts from cars,” he says. “We go there (to recycling centers), and when we see crankshafts, we pull them out for him.” Most items stay on the shelves at Rescued Metals about 90 days. If no one wants an item, it is returned to the recycling process. “We’re giving it one more last chance to get back out there to be reused before it gets recycled,” Schupan says. The art of metal Schupan and employees J.D. Rowan and Mike Hoffman have also found a niche repurposing material into metal art. They produce garden art, monograms, campingand-outdoor-themed signs, beer-related pieces, patriotic displays and more. Recently, they started powder-coating metal art to give the pieces vibrant colors and incorporating patinas that give steel the appearance of 24 | ENCORE MAY 2021


Clockwise from bottom left: Metal pipe of all diameters ready for repurposing; a custom sign created by Rescued Metals; Shay Schupan working on a custom metal art project; vintage teapots and other salvaged metals for sale; and metal art pieces ready for painting. Photos by Brian K. Powers.

copper or bronze. The items have been popular enough that Rescued Metals now has a vendor booth at the new Kalamazoo Kitty location at 581 Romence Road, in Portage. “It’s become a big part of the business,” Schupan says. “We’ve done a lot of custom stuff, not only just signs that we’ve made for people on their request, but for about anything you can think of.” You know you’ve arrived at Rescued Metals when you see a 1971 Ford fire truck from Kalamazoo’s Westwood Fire Department in the parking lot. Schupan, who is also a firefighter for Kalamazoo County/ Cooper Township, bought the vintage truck because “it fit the rescue theme” of the business’s name. The 26-acre site of the operation, at 2900 Miller Road, was purchased in 2016 by Schupan & Sons primarily for the industrial building on the site. That building is another rescue story.

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With the exception of a dozen raccoons, the building sat abandoned for about 25 years, Schupan says. “It probably could’ve been knocked down, to be honest with you,” he says. “It was filled with water and 3 inches of dirt.” Schupan spent six months getting the building and retail frontage suitable for the public, doing the hard labor of pulling down old insulation and adding new flooring.

The building illustrates Schupan’s ability to squeeze a lot of juice from every lemon. The space is filled with surplus or secondary metals — pieces ideal for building a dock or deck, repairing a trailer or adding an affordable flagpole to the yard. “Rescued Metals opened up to fill a niche of either the do-it-yourselfers, the weekend repair guys, guys fixing trailers — smaller Business Coverage

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Top to bottom: Mike Hoffman puts the finishing touches on a work of metal art; Rescued Metals sells its metal art and signs at the Kalamazoo Kitty store on Romence; and colorful valve handles await a creative mind to repurpose them.

projects where maybe they don’t need fullsized material or maybe they don’t need prime, perfect shiny material,” Schupan explains. Ingenuity at repurposing is on full display at Rescued Metals. Schupan spotted old shipping containers at a recycling center and turned them into additional workrooms, including the room where the powder coating takes place. The Rescued Metals team built its own welding table from scrap metal. After noticing that welding was a growing hobby among his customers, Schupan and his employees developed a welding table kit so customers could assemble their own welding tables at home. Even the wheeled hanging racks that look like something out of a 1950s dry cleaner came from a Schupan scrapyard and are now used to dry painted metal art. “The whole ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ (theme) — we asked, ‘Can we do any more with that ‘reuse’ part?’” Schupan says. “You get all the value you can out of it. Recycling is obviously great, but it still takes energy and a lot of resources to recycle. Really, the only thing better than recycling is reusing. That’s really where our hearts have been with some of this stuff.”


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A Whiff of the Past

Wiffle ball league is serious fun for adults by



n certain summer nights in Oshtemo Township, amid the green backdrop of fairly well-manicured fields, one can glimpse flashes of yellow and white plastic as adults give new life to their athletic pasts by resurrecting their childhoods. They are playing Wiffle ball. The Kalamazoo Wiffle League includes a broad assortment of folks, from legitimate athletes to people who can barely tie their shoes without gasping for air. It’s what would result if the Bad News Bears and The Sandlot 28 | ENCORE MAY 2021

kids grew up and traded in their baseballs and bats for Wiffle ball equipment, since those other things are heavy and hard and no one wants to get hurt. But behind all the nostalgia and fitness jokes is a rather serious group of individuals who have created a funky community that’s as cathartic and supportive as it is competitive. “It reminds most of us of our youth and the simple enjoyment of simple fun,” says KWL Commissioner Brian Lewis. “Whether

you talk to our oldest players or our youngest players, they’ll each say they played Wiffle ball in their backyards as kids. They can each share specific details like hitting certain parts of your house was a double, triple or home run, and hitting the neighbor’s house was an automatic out.” Since the KWL started in 2006 as a backyard pickup game by four Kalamazoo friends — Brian Meyers, Andy Ross, Jim Moe and Daryl Hutson — it has grown to become a nonprofit organization with more than 12


“There is a low level of skill needed to participate,” Lewis says. “Most players, even if they played softball or baseball growing up, need half a season to figure out how to be effective. By effective, I mean able to pitch, hit, play defense in a way that makes them feel they’re contributing to their team and leave the game with a few stories to tell about awesome plays.” What’s with the Wiffle?

Clockwise from left: Mike Hogan of team Wiff That swings at a pitch from Diablos' pitcher Kyle Owen during a scrimmage between the teams at Flesher Field; plastic bats and balls used in the game; Lance Owen of the Diablos throws a warmup pitch as teammate Nate Thompson looks on; and Kyle Owen throws a pitch to a teammate.

teams and 70 players, competing on three fields on Kalamazoo’s west side. Its season is highlighted by a raucous All-Star Game at Mayors’ Riverfront Park, an intense playoff bracket and a thorough set of statistics — per baseball tradition — on its website. The league went viral in 2011, and CBS News dedicated a segment to its brief internet fame. Some of the league’s top players competed in a national tournament in Ohio in 2020, notching an emotional, come-frombehind win to help the squad take second place.

The Wiffle ball is a hollow, lightweight plastic ball about the same size as a regulation baseball, and it’s rather vulnerable to wind. The primary difficulty of the game lies in the ability of the ball to dip, rise, curve and dance. Against the league’s best pitchers, who can make the ball hit the “strike board” with remarkable velocity and accuracy, players occasionally engage in the bat chuck, a dramatic throwing of the bat perfected by Mason Everett, among many others. Even a standard fly ball becomes a potentially embarrassing disaster for a fielder should the slightest breeze pick up. The team rosters of the KWL — a coed, competitive fast-pitch recreational league — are composed of insurance agents, marketing managers, bankers, college students and others, ranging in age from 18 to 58. Teams field three defenders — a pitcher and two fielders — and a minimum of three players is required, but most teams have six or seven players. Teams compete on Monday and Thursday nights at Flesher Field and Oshtemo Township Park, on fields professionally constructed for the sport in collaboration with the Oshtemo Township Parks and Recreation Facilities department. Two of the league’s premier players — Grant Miller and Lee VanStreain — played college baseball. A starting infielder for Western Michigan University from 2014-2017, Miller ranks fourth all-time with 223 career hits. He also holds the school record for career hit-bypitch (52). VanStreain, a graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School, played infield for Grand Valley State University from 2004-2007. He batted .435 in 2006 to lead the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and helped the Lakers to multiple deep playoff runs. In addition to those with serious athletic prowess, KWL Vice President Justin Gregory also mentions the league’s “colorful characters,” including Mike Seigel, whose announcing skills during w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 29



Kalamazoo Wiffle League Basics • Teams must use the standard yellow bats and white Wiffle balls with eight slots on each half of the ball. the league’s annual All-Star Game are a kitschy baseball-comedy blend of Ernie Harwell and Zach Galifianakis. “Mike missed his calling as a sports announcer but honors the KWL with his gift for our All-Star Games,” Gregory says. “If you came out to see the league play, you might notice Mike by looking for the guy with the cigarette hanging from his lip, (his) pre-1990 team ball cap, (his) questionably short shorts, and a graphic tee that seldomly disappoints.” Lewis says the KWL works closely with Oshtemo Township to maintain the fields, which are open to the public when official games aren't underway. There’s some talk about adding a community Wiffle ball field near Homer Stryker Field, in Mayors’ Riverfront Park, where the Kalamazoo Growlers play. Lewis collaborated with the city of Kalamazoo in September to renovate a seldom-used softball field at Upjohn Park into a Wiffle ball field aimed at encouraging kids and families to take up the sport. “It was a pretty fun day. Hopefully, everyone will enjoy it (the new field),” says Patrick McVerry, deputy director of Kalamazoo’s Parks & Recreation department. 30 | ENCORE MAY 2021

• The field dimensions are about 90 feet wide at the corners and 100 feet in centerfield, with 45 feet between bases. • There is a 30-inch-by-20-inch “strike board” behind home plate.

• Fielders can also throw the ball at base runners for an out. • Fielders can also hit the strike board before the runner touches home plate for an out. • Games are usually six innings, but there are mercy rules if one team’s score far exceeds another’s and extra innings if there is a tie.

• Five balls are a walk; three strikes are an out; fouled third strikes into the board For more information on the KWL, are a strikeout. follow its Facebook page, facebook.com/ • A “pitcher’s circle” is painted around the kzoowiffleball. To donate or participate mound. Fielders must try to get the ball in events benefiting the Josh Whitfield to the pitcher inside the circle before the Memorial Athletic Fund, go to jwmaf.org. batter reaches first base. The lead runner, if there is one, is then out.

There are some tentative and informal conversations involving the KWL and other community partners about hosting a Wiffle ball tournament in Kalamazoo in the near future, Lewis says. “Anytime we can combine a leisure activity with a sports event of some kind and it draws visitors into the community, that’s something that we’re always going to get excited about,” says Brian Persky, director of Sports Event Development at Discover Kalamazoo.

A connected community As its longevity grows and its roster of current and former players expands, the KWL is developing into its own community, whose connectivity can reach surprising levels. Lewis pointed out the league’s healing aspects. In May 2015, Lewis’s teammate and friend Josh Whitfield died unexpectedly from collapsed lungs. He was 33. In his honor, family and friends created the Josh Whitfield Memorial Athletic Fund, which provides financial assistance and support services for Comstock-area youth seeking to participate

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

Courtesy WMU Athletics


Opposite page, left to right: The trophy for the first place team in the Kalamazoo Wiffle League; and Wiff That's Ira Cohen throws a pitch to Diablos' Kyle Owen during a scrimmage. Above: Prior to playing in the KWL, Grant Miller played infield for Western Michigan University's baseball team. Bottom: Lee VanStreain fields a ground ball while playing infield for Grand Valley State University.

in sports. To date, the fund has helped cover activity fees and physical exam costs for more than 600 local elementary, middle school and high school students. On Sept. 11, 2020, longtime KWL player Joshua Rhoton died in his sleep unexpectedly, of natural causes. The married father of two children was 30. Less than two weeks later, the players representing the KWL in the National Wiffle League Association tournament wore a No. 2 on their jerseys in remembrance of Rhoton. The team lost early in the tournament but managed to claw back. In the tournament semifinals, the underdog team was propelled to the championship thanks to a walk-off home run in extra innings by Rhoton’s longtime teammate and friend Nate Thompson. Final score: 2-1. Three days later, family and friends held a celebration-of-life event for Rhoton at one of the KWL fields. “While each of these are tragedies, we found that, each time, Wiffle ball was used as a way for family and friends to cope with the loss,” Lewis says. “They would come to league games and tell stories of their spouses, children or parents and how they loved to play in the KWL each week. Wow, I’m getting teary-eyed talking about it again.” Because of the Covid pandemic, the league’s 2020 season had safety rules in place and a limited number of games, but that didn’t dampen enthusiasm, Lewis says. “Unexpectedly, though not surprising in hindsight, we saw a huge upswing in player morale,” he says. “Those who might have been on the fence about playing another season were super-excited to get outside and have a good time. We had zero conflicts around players who were more or less cautious about Covid. All players followed the league’s safety rules, and each player thanked us for making sure we had a season.” The KWL’s 2021 regular season is scheduled to start May 10.

w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 31

EVENTS ENCORE recording, accessible through kalamazoosymphony.com.



Dudok Quartet — An ensemble playing Bartok and Brahms string quartets, available for viewing online through May 16, fontanamusic.org. Glenn Zaleski Trio — An acclaimed trio with an eclectic mix of jazz works and original compositions, livestreamed from the Wellspring Theater as part of Please Note: Due to the Covid–19 virus, The Gilmore’s Rising Stars series, 4-5 p.m. May 2, some of these events may have been with viewing accessible for ticket holders through cancelled or changed after press time. Please check with venues and organizations May 31, thegilmore.org. for up-to-date information. Avery Gagliano — The pianist plays Chopin in a program that includes the composer’s Mazurka, Op. PERFORMING ARTS 56, livestreamed from the Wellspring Theater as part THEATER of The Gilmore’s Rising Stars series, 4-5 p.m. May 16, with viewing accessible for ticket holders through Plays June 15, thegilmore.org. Almost, Maine — Nine loosely connected stories explore love and loss in a remote, mythical 46th Stulberg International String Competition town in this play by John Cariana, livestreamed — An internationally recognized competition performances, 7:30 p.m. May 1, 5 & 6; 2 p.m. May that promotes excellence in string instrument performances by gifted artists under 20 years old, 2, kazoocivic.com. presented online, with competition starting at noon Robin Hood and the Heroes of Sherwood Forest May 22 and master classes starting at 12:30 p.m. — A fresh adaptation of the well-known story May 23, stulberg.org. combines characters and elements from several medieval texts and gives them a modern twist, Peter and the Wolf — Ballet Arts Ensemble livestreamed performances, 7:30 p.m. May 2, 2 p.m. of Kalamazoo joins the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf in a May 15 & 16, kazoocivic.com. virtual concert suitable for all ages, 7 p.m. May 28, Water by the Spoonful — A moderator for an online kalamazoosymphony.com. addiction support group battles her own addiction while trying to keep her family together, May 20-23, DANCE Nelda K. Balch Playhouse, 129 Thompson St.; show Regional Alternative Dance Festival Recordings times and ticket information at festivalplayhouse. — View recordings of RAD festival performances kzoo.edu. through June 1, midwestradfest.org. I Am Grace — Face Off Theatre presents this VISUAL ARTS play by local playwright Vickie G. Hampton about Kalamazoo Institute of Arts forgiveness and redemption as seen through the 314 S. Park St., 349-7775, kiarts.org eyes of the Lloyd family, a Black family in the 1940s dealing with the aftermath of a violent event, 7:30 Framing Moments — An exhibition highlighting p.m. May 21 & 22, 2 p.m. May 23, Dormouse Theatre, how photographers create images that preserve moments, people and places, featuring photos from 1030 Portage St., faceofftheatre.com. the mid-19th to the 21st century from the KIA’s MUSIC permanent collection, through May 15. Bands & Solo Artists From Earth and Fire: Contemporary Japanese State on the Street — Outdoor concert events at 5 Ceramics from the Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz p.m. Fridays, with music starting at 5:30: Blue Veins, Collection — Some of the most cutting-edge works May 7; Jazz & Creative Institute’s Student Large & the Boston-based collectors have acquired in the Small Ensembles, May 14; Minny Niiche with special past three years, through June 17. guest Charlie Mench, May 21; outside Kalamazoo Unveiling American Genius — Abstract and State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick, kazoostate.com. contemporary works from the KIA’s permanent Satsang — Montana-based quartet offers a collection emphasizing stories that African American, soulful reggae-infused blend of music and poetry Latinx and other artists have told about our culture, with a message of strength, growth and resilience, art and history, ongoing. 8 p.m. May 13, Bell’s Eccentric Café; tickets at Richmond Center for Visual Arts bellsbeer.com. Western Michigan University, 387-2436, Gun Lake Live Summer Series Kickoff — Lakefront wmich.edu/art concerts through the summer on Wednesday nights, Studio Life: Ken Freed’s Gift to the University with Brena kicking off the season, 5–10 p.m. May Art Collection — This exhibition honoring Professor 26, Lakefront Pavillion, Bay Pointe Inn, 11456 Marsh Emeritus Curtis Rhodes features a suite of 10 intaglio Road, Shelbyville, 888-486-5253. prints that Freed created when he was a graduate Orchestra, Chamber, Jazz, Vocal & More student at WMU and Rhodes was his mentor; A New Concerto for Piano — Composer and Monroe-Brown Gallery, through May 2. pianist Michael Brown premieres his Concerto Eyes on Ukraine — Works by five contemporary No. 1 for Piano and Strings with the Kalamazoo Ukrainian photographers, Monroe-Brown Gallery, Symphony Orchestra in this virtual performance through May 2. 32 | ENCORE MAY 2021

Recent Gifts — Selections from the University Art Collection, Netzorg and the Kerr Gallery, through May 2. Other Venues

The Paintings of Anna Barnhart — An online exhibition of acrylic paintings by the Southwest Michigan artist, through May 31, nwsvirtualgallery.com. The Illustrated Accordion — An exhibition featuring books created in the accordion form, through June 18, Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Suite 103A, kalbookarts.org. Westminster Art Festival — A celebration of art, Earth care and faith, with the theme “What Country Do Rains Come From?” Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1515 Helen St., Portage, May 1-June 30, westminsterartfestival.org. Art Hop — View art at various locations in downtown Kalamazoo, presented by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, 6-8 p.m. May 7, 3425059, kalamazooarts.org. LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS Kalamazoo Public Library 553-7800, kpl.gov The Central Library and all branches are open with reduced hours and limited curbside service; see website for details. Page Turners Book Club — Zoom discussion of Eat a Peach, by David Chang, 6:30 p.m. May 3; registration required. Meet the Author — Presentations by Lizzie Copeland, author of The Lost Family, 6 p.m. May 5, and Ty McCormick, author of Beyond the Sand and Sea, 6:30 p.m. May 20; registration required. Reading Race Book Group — Zoom discussion of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, by Cathy Park Hong, 6:30 p.m. May 11; registration required. Classics Revisited Book Club — Zoom discussion of The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, 7 p.m. May 20; registration required. Urban Fiction Book Club — Zoom discussion of Sincerely, Me, by Charae Lewis, 6 p.m. May 25; registration required. For Colored Girls Book Club — Zoom discussion of For Colored Girls, by Ntozake Shange, 7 p.m. May 28; registration required. Parchment Community Library 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747, parchmentlibrary.org The library is open 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday–Friday and 9 a.m. –1 p.m. Saturday. Curbside service is also available; see website for details. Mystery Book Club — Zoom discussion of mysteries featuring flowers, herbs, or gardens, 4 p.m. May 17; see parchmentlibrary.org/mystery-book-club for Zoom link. Renovating a KVP Mill Home — Local historian Steve Rossio discusses renovating his family’s home, one of the former homes of paper mill workers from the former Kalamazoo Valley Parchment Co.,

ENCORE EVENTS presented on Zoom, 7 p.m. May 18, registration requested.

Boats at the Barns — Antique and classic boats and engines, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. May 8; tickets available online.

Portage District Library Temporary location: 5528 Portage Road, 329-4544, portagelibrary.info

Vintage Travel Trailer Rally —Display and camp overnight in your vintage (25 years or older) travel trailer or RV on the main show fields or camp overnight in a modern trailer or RV in a separate area on the museum grounds; trailers available for spectator viewing 9 a.m.–4 p.m. May 15; registration required for participants and tickets for spectators.

The library closed April 12 for construction and renovation and will reopen at a temporary location May 10. It is expected to remain there until April 2022. It will be open 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Friday and 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday; curbside service will be available 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Monday–Friday; see website for details. Seed Library Kickoff — Learn about the vegetable seeds, flower seeds, herbs and native plants the library is offering in its new seed library and about gardening programs to be offered throughout the summer, 7-8 p.m. May 19, via Zoom; to register, email jfleming@portagelibraryinfo. Richland Community Library 8951 Park St., 629-9085, richlandlibrary.org The library is open at 50 percent capacity, and appointments are no longer needed. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 1-7 p.m. Thurday and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

The H2O Show — Exhibit of 25 miniature prints by the Southwest Michigan Printmakers based on the theme of water, through July. Books with Friends Book Club — Zoom discussion of News of the World, by Paulette Jiles, 7 p.m. May 20; registration required. MUSEUMS Air Zoo 6151 Portage Road, Portage, 382-6555, airzoo.org The museum is open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Saturday and noon–5 p.m. Sunday, but there is limited occupancy because of Covid-19. Amusement rides are not available. Online ticketing is encouraged. Mondays 9–11 a.m. are for vulnerable people. Women in Air & Space Exhibits — Featuring some of the earliest women in aviation, including Amelia Earhart, Harriet Quimby, Bessie Coleman and Katherine Wright, the Wright Brothers’ younger sister and the first female licensed pilot. Also, information on Air Zoo co-founder Suzanne Parish, who was one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, and Three Oaks native Lois Phillips, a U.S. Marines corporal who used flight simulators to provide instrument training during World War II. We Did It: The Riveting Real Rosies of WWII — Learn about some of the women called to fill defense plant positions in the 1940s in this exhibit. Gilmore Car Museum 6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, 671-5089, gilmorecarmuseum.org Wednesday Night Cruise-Ins — Collector cars, oldies music and food, 5–8 p.m. Wednesdays on good-weather nights, May–September; see the website for Covid-19 guidelines. David J. Beeke Memorial Ford & Mustang Show — Spotlighting Ford Mustangs, with special emphasis on ’80s and ‘90s Foxbody Mustangs, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the West Michigan Cancer Center, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. May 1; tickets available online.

Outdoor Corks and Crafts Wine and Beer Festival — Featuring wine and beer sampling, food and live music, May 15, during Vintage Travel Trailer Rally. Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990, kalamazoomuseum.org The museum is open 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; registration required.

Filling in the Gaps: The Art of Murphy Darden — Kalamazoo resident and nonagenarian Murphy Darden explores local history, civil rights, the enduring legacy of hate, and American’s forgotten Black cowboys, kvmexhibits.org/murphy-darden. Science on a Sphere — A new permanent exhibit developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows images of atmospheric storms, climate change and ocean temperatures on an animated globe, https://www.kalamazoomuseum. org/exhibits/science-on-sphere.htm.

Beth Bradfish Sound Sculpture — Guests can manipulate wire-meshed screens and sounds for an auditory experience that blends arts and sciences.

The Walker Brothers — A virtual exhibit about Ryan and Keith Walker, who were afflicted with the rare genetic disorder Hunter syndrome, and their lasting impact on family, friends, inclusive education and civil rights in Kalamazoo, kvmexhibits.org/2020/walkerbrothers. NATURE Kalamazoo Nature Center 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574, naturecenter.org The Visitor Center remained closed at press time, but trails are open and programs continue with precautions. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, 671-2510, birdsanctuary@kbs.msu.edu The trails are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. WednesdaySunday. At press time the Resource Center was closed, but public restrooms at the back of the auditorium building were open. Mother’s Day — Moms get in free, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. May 9.

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EVENTS ENCORE Birds and Coffee Chat Online — Grab your morning beverage and learn about a new bird species in Southwest Michigan, 10 a.m. May 12; registration required.

Geo Mystery Tours — Geocaching experience with a different mystery revealed each month, May 1, various Portage park locations; registration required at portagemi.gov.

Other Venues

Mom to Mom Sale — Shop for gently used maternity wear and children’s items, including clothing, toys, books and furniture, 8 a.m.–1 p.m. May 1, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 2900 Lake St., 269-903-5820.

Binder Park Zoo — Opens May 1 for the season; for hours and Covid-19 guidelines visit binderparkzoo.org. Audubon Society of Kalamazoo — Weekly bird walks at Kal-Haven Trail, meet at the caboose on 10th Street for a 2.5-mile walk to the marsh at 8th Street, 8 a.m. Tuesdays, kalamazooaudubon.org. Garlic Mustard Pull — Learn to identify, remove and dispose of this invasive plant, 9 a.m.–noon May 2, 8, 16 & 30, Lexington Green Park, 4750 Pittsford St., portagemi.gov.

When Worlds Collide: Galaxy Collisions and Their Aftermath — Eric F. Bell, professor of astronomy at the University of Michigan, discusses recent, historical and potential galaxy collisions, presented by the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society, 7–9:15 p.m. May 7, via Zoom; register at kasonline.org. MISCELLANEOUS Kalamazoo Farmers Market – Featuring fresh produce, meats and artisan wares in a new, temporary location, 7 a.m.–2 p.m., Saturdays, beginning May 1 (additional days starting in June), Mayors’ Riverfront Park, 251 Mills St., pfcmarkets.com.

Kalamazoo Music Instrument Swap — Buy, sell, network and share, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. May 2, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 269-383-8778. Southwest Michigan Bridal Show — Vendors and resources for planning a wedding or special event, 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. May 2, Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Drive, swmichiganbridalshow.com. Friday at the Flats — Local food trucks and vendors, 4–8 p.m. May 7, Celery Flats Pavilion, 7335 Garden Lane, portagemi.gov. "Fresh on Q" Farmers Market –8 a.m.–noon. Saturdays, starting May 8, 7110 West Q Ave., texastownship.org/community/farmers-market. Autos & Eats on the Alley — Outdoor event for car enthusiasts, with music and food for purchase, 5–9 p.m. May 8, Bates Alley, 200 E. Michigan Ave., downtownkalamazoo.org. Smart Cycling — Learn to ride your bike safely, with information on maintenance, riding in traffic

and more, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. May 9, Portage City Hall, 7900 S. Westnedge Ave.; registration required at portagemi.gov. Portage Farmers Market —10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sundays, starting May 9, Portage City Hall, portagemi.gov/643/ Farmers-Market. Home-Made Marshmallows & Hot Cocoa Bombs — Cooking class for beginning and intermediatelevel cooks, 6 p.m. May 12, Stuart Manor, 7340 Garden Lane; registration required at portagemi.gov. Virtual Baking Show — Join Chef Cory Barrett and Kalamazoo Valley Community College President L. Marshall Washington in this cooking demonstration to raise funds for student scholarships, 7 p.m. May 13, kvcc.edu/foundation. Open Roads Adult Open Bike Shop — Bring your bike to tune it up and make repairs, with tools and guidance provided, 3–6 p.m. May 14, Open Roads Bike Program, 1523 Riverview Drive, Suite B, openroadsbike.org. Kalamazoo Antique Toy Show — Antique and collectible toys for sale, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. May 15, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 269-383-8778. Lanterns on the Lake — Light up the lake with a lantern honoring a loved one or float words of hope and encouragement, 8–9:30 p.m. May 15, Ramona Park, 8600 S. Sprinkle Road; registration required at portagemi.gov. Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo — Buy, sell or trade a variety of reptiles, amphibians and small mammals, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. May 22, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, kalamazooreptileexpo.com. Bike-opoly — Test your bike safety knowledge with a game-board-style interactive trail you can bike on, 1–4 p.m. May 22, Celery Flats, 7335 Garden Lane, portagemi.gov. Paddlesports Sampler — Learn about and experience a variety of watercraft, from kayaks and canoes to stand-up paddleboards, 6 p.m. May 25 (also June 8 and 22), Ramona Park; registration required at portagemi.gov.

WMed Live: A Decade of Celebration — A livestreamed, virtual gala celebrating the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine’s first 10 years and the retirement of founding dean Hal B. Jenson, 3:30 p.m. May 27, med.wmich.edu/wmedlive 2021. Adult Pickleball Clinic — A course for beginners, 5:30 p.m. May 27, Ramona Park; registration required at portagemi.gov. Movies in the Park — Watch The Goonies from your car, 9 p.m. May 28, Ramona Park; registration required at portagemi.gov. A Makers Tour: Walking Tour of a Downtown Kalamazoo Winery, Distillery and Brewery — Meet some of the colorful personalities and flavors behind downtown Kalamazoo’s craft beverages, with samples, guided tastings or tours, glassware and a goody bag, noon–4 p.m. May 29, beginning at Shakespeare’s Pub, 241 E. Kalamazoo Ave.; registration and ticket information at discoverkalamazoo.com.

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Farmers Market Stalls loaded with vegetables, herbs and fruit like wagon trains circling wheat fields. Wafting scents of ripe raspberries, purple basil and pungent rosemary. We barter for strawberries, feel fuzzy golden peaches, eye heirloom tomatoes, fresh stalks of broccoli. Bargaining with the sun, farmers become magicians pulling plums from trees, peppers from white flowers, sweet corn from flat brown earth with worn fingers and sun-bleached faces. — Norma Strong Strong lives in Kalamazoo and has been published in a number of literary journals, including Art Times, California Quarterly, The Rockford Review and Wild Goose Poetry Review. The Kalamazoo Farmers Market this year has a temporary location at Mayors’ Riverfront Park while renovations are being done at the Bank Street site.

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ENCORE BACK STORY Megan Yankee (continued from page 38) How did you get where you are today? I started out playing piano in third grade and instantly loved it. In sixth grade we had to pick an instrument for orchestra. I chose the violin and instantly loved it too. My dad is a Highland bagpiper, and I grew up playing traditional Irish and Scottish fiddle music. I got super into that in middle school and high school, touring and playing all over while also keeping up with the classical violin lessons. When I auditioned for the music performance program at Western Michigan University, my first piece was by Mozart and my second piece was Irish fiddle tunes. They were like, “Who is this person auditioning with Irish fiddle tunes?” I got in, but halfway through (college) realized I didn't want to perform for a living, so I finished with an arts administration degree. After college, I performed professionally and taught violin and fiddling. I got a job in marketing at Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings and hoped to work my way up in the arts scene, but there's just not a lot of jobs, so I branched out and went to work in fundraising for the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, a wonderful nonprofit in Grand Rapids that helps burn survivors with emotional recovery, not just physical recovery. After a while there, I went to work for the Boy Scouts of America in a new position at the state level called “innovations marketing manager,” where I had free rein to think outside of the box to make scouting more appealing to young families. One of the things I did was create a farm out at (the former) RotaKiwan (Boy) Scout Camp (in Texas Township), with chickens, a hoop house and a whole farm-to-table concept and programming. From there I went to the Community Healing Centers in fund development, and while I loved my job there, the Stulberg position came open and my goal was always to do this kind of arts administration. I got the job and have loved every minute — it's like coming home, being back working in the arts while getting to use all the knowledge I’ve learned from the other nonprofits where I‘ve worked.

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How did the Stulberg handle the 2020 competition during a pandemic? I think the timing was good for Stulberg to have somebody like me in that position. I'm an outside-of-the-box thinker and able to pivot quickly. When everything started shutting down, and everybody was canceling everything, I said, “What if we did it online?” Some people thought I was crazy and that we should just cancel it, but we did it online and had over 6,000 viewers from all over the world — the most we've ever had. What changes did you make after your experience last year? Last year we used application videos for part of the competition, and then, instead of competing live, we had the semifinalists record a solo Bach piece at home. Because we had more time this year, we wanted to even the playing field, because (last year) some students had access to really nice recording equipment and some didn’t. This year each semifinalist gets a $750 stipend to help pay for recording and their accompanist. It'll be a win-win because they get a nice recording of their playing that they can use in the future, and we get nice recordings for our competition that we can stream. How do you relax when you aren’t overseeing the Stulberg? I'm very into my kids (Rowan, 8, and Quinn, 5). My daughter is a horseback rider, so I'm learning about horses now because she's only 8. She can't do all the prep stuff on her own, so I'm the one that's saddling and lunging and doing the whole thing. I have to learn almost as much as she does. It’s been fun. I am learning something completely out of my element. We’re also outside, outdoorsy people. We (she and husband, Patrick, and their kids) go on nature hikes, snowshoeing and to the beach. We have a 1960s vintage camper that I fixed up, and we take it out all summer, just exploring and having fun together. — Interview by Marie Lee and edited for length and clarity

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Megan Yankee Executive Director, Stulberg International String Competition


he forced pivot that Covid-19 imposed on many arts organizations has been hard and painful, but the Stulberg International String Competition has found a silver lining. Last year the competition drew more than 6,000 viewers when it was streamed online, and this year participant applications soared. “We had a record-breaking number of applications this year — 226 — which is a big number for us,” says Megan Yankee, who oversees the annual, internationally recognized competition for young string musicians. “The ability to compete online also has meant we've had a lot more students from all over the globe applying.” Yankee, who took over the helm of the Stulberg a few short months before last spring’s Covid-19 shutdown, says the organization had to adjust quickly, switching plans for its live, in-person competition to be conducted online, which was a challenge she enjoyed. “We only had a month to change course, and there was no precedent for what to do,” she says. “I tend to be an innovative, big thinker and that fit really well for this, and I have been supported and encouraged to do that. Margaret Hamilton (the former executive director) left big shoes to fill, but I was able to come in and really do me, which feels good. It’s been fun.” (continued on page 37)

38 | ENCORE MAY 2021


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