Entries by Ron Kitchens

High Technology and Great People

Scott McIntyre
Director Engineering Project Management & Processes / Site Leader
Bosch Automotive Aftermarket / Automotive Service Solutions
6400 Technology Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Where are you originally from?
My wife, Madeline, and I are natives of Carpinteria, California—a beautiful beach community, very close to Santa Barbara. I had been working with a small private health firm in Santa Barbara for 20 years. It was acquired by Bosch in 2003. My wife and I raised our three daughters in the Santa Barbara area. Finally our youngest got to a point, three years ago, where we said to ourselves, ‘Let’s try something new.’ I volunteered to take a position overseas, if one became available within Bosch. A position was created for me in Germany.

Investing in family culture yields dividends

With the war for talent raging on, employers are continually reminded about the importance of developing and keeping valuable team members. Turnover interrupts productivity, causing quality and service challenges. It’s also expensive. An independent analysis by the W.E. Upjohn Institute has determined in the cost of turnover in Southwest Michigan is approximately $3,500 per lost employee.

Everyone matters as companies continue to grapple with possible solutions for workforce challenges. In their book, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family, co-authors Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia detail the experience of Chapman himself, Chairman and CEO of the manufacturing technology and services company Barry-Wehmiller.

Ride on! It all started with a Schwinn Typhoon…

Mike Wood
Founder of Team Active
22 Michigan Ave W
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Mike Wood, of Team Active located on Michigan Avenue in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan, first fell in love with bikes growing up in Jackson, Michigan. Even with the many increasingly sophisticated bicycles available to him today, the Schwinn Typhoon Mike got in 1969 still holds a special place in his heart. “It gave me the freedom to go places…to venture outside of my yard, outside of my block. I didn’t need a driver’s license to do it, and I could go places that my parents didn’t even know I went.” That feeling of freedom led him to pursue the dream of doing something he loves for a living.

(269) Reads May/June

Bonnie Jo Campbell, a graduate of Comstock High School and Western Michigan University from which she earned a master’s degree in mathematics, headlines our top picks with Mothers, Tell Your Daughters. Campbell weaves a fictional tale set in our own backyard—Kalamazoo, Michigan—of the intricacies of female relationships in an area populated by country folk, farmers and blue-collar workers. If you’re looking to count your blessings next, why don’t you dive into Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist in which the author genuinely shares her recipes both for your soul and your table throughout its cleverly crafted pages. Then to heat up things up as we head in summer, treat yourself to some tales of secrets both past and present in The Truth According to Us: A Novel by Annie Barrows set in 1930s West Virginia or Deep Blue by Randy Wayne White in present day Sanibel Island, Florida.

(269) Reads March/April

Looking to Spark Your Inner Genius? You have to be in the right place for lightning to strike when it comes to inspiration. While you can’t control nature, you can control putting yourself in the right spot to let those creative juices flow. For those of you who are not physicists, the CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research, near Geneva, Switzerland might be a bit out of your league. Other places though like a park, bookstore or car ride just might work instead. Adventure seekers looking to spread their wings might want to pick up a copy of Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Genius for some good ideas for different places to go. With all this talk about regionalism, get this: great regions create great innovations. And, hey, while you’re visiting your spot, why not try the local food? According to Adam Smith, founder of the late 18th century Oyster Club in Edinburgh, Scotland and the science of geology, you can never have enough of it —especially if it’s oysters!

(269) Reads January/February

Leaders are readers. Yes, President Harry S. Truman reminded us of that important fact when he said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Great leaders continually update their skills by exposing their hearts and minds to the works and thoughts of others. This is the perfect time to do it: There is simply no better time to catch up on your reading than on an evening or weekend during the winter months in Southwest Michigan. Grab a blanket and a place by the fire ’cuz the team at 269 MAGAZINE invites you to enjoy these books for your own development. Let this be the year in which you say “Yes” to reading!