Western Michigan Focuses on Livability—and Millennials on the Move

Published on May 1, 2018
URBAN LAND MAGAZINE
By Nicole Bopp

Western Michigan—which includes Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland, and Kalamazoo—has a long history in agribusiness. The area is the nation’s top grower of blueberries, and since 1869, Kalamazoo-based A.M. Todd has been a global leader in natural mint extracts for the oral care, confectionary, food, and beverage industries. The region also leads the state in poultry, dairy, squash, and carrot production.

But the region also has rapidly growing life sciences clusters specializing in everything from medical equipment and surgical devices from Kalamazoo-based Stryker Corporation to over-the-counter health care supplies and infant formula from Allegan-based Perrigo Company. It also has a robust manufacturing sector, focused on metals, plastics, biopharmaceuticals, and automotive products, as well as office furniture, including three big names in furniture manufacturing—Herman Miller, Steelcase, and Haworth.

Read the full article.

New Seven-Story Mixed-Use Building to Bring More Jobs & Housing to Downtown Kalamazoo

Published on April 16, 2018
Kalamazoo, Mich., April 12, 2018 – Catalyst Development Co., LLC (Catalyst) plans to break ground in July 2018 on a $70 million, 290,000-square-foot mixed-use building in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo. The building is slated for a June 2020 completion date.This development will be located at the southwest corner of North Edwards and Water Streets, overlooking Arcadia Creek Festival Place.

Catalyst is transforming part of the city-owned Parking Lot 9 into a seven-story building with two floors of residential housing (41,000 square feet), four floors of Class-A office space (55,000 square feet), and a multi-level 300-plus space parking deck.

In addition to residential units, employment opportunities, and parking, features and highlights of the development will include: The Kalamazoo Promise, The Kalamazoo Promise Institute, Communities in Schools, Warner Norcross and Judd, LLP, and Southwest Michigan First.

View the Press Release

SELECT Products Limited locks down site in Oshtemo Township

Published on April 16, 2018
SELECT Products Limited received final approval for its Brownfield plan which will enable the consolidation of its current operations in a newly constructed facility on property located at the end of Stadium Park Way in Oshtemo Township. The manufacturer of commercial continuous geared aluminum door hinges for the architectural hardware industry plans to invest $3 million in a new 42,000 to 50,000-square-foot facility. The rapidly growing company plans to relocate 30 employees from its current leased facility in Portage and add four more to its workforce. The new facility will accommodate light machining and assembly work, with the potential for future expansion including an aluminum anodizing facility.

Passionate About Protein

COMPANY
Proteos

WEBSITE
proteos.com

LOCATION
4717 Campus Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

REGIONAL FOOTPRINT
8,000 square feet in Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Innovation Center

YEAR FOUNDED
2003

A Conversation with Tim Cane

WHAT DOES AN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN MANAGER DO?

I am in charge of the design department for the architects and interior designers; we work together with the engineering team to get the job done. We are an eclectic group. We work on designs of all sizes, but our focus is healthcare at the moment. It’s my job to coordinate the efforts of the interior designers and architects and spearhead any collaboration between them all the way through to final design.

WHAT ORIGINALLY SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN DESIGN?

I was encouraged as a child to draw and explore with a pencil. I also love art and history, so those two things melted together when I started architecture school. I earned a scholarship to study in Chicago and fell in love with that city and the architecture there. Met my wife there, and we ended up in Kalamazoo when I was lucky enough to find this company.

EVERYONE HAS TO START SOMEWHERE. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?

The first job I ever got was working in the printing department for Shell Oil to help me pay for architecture school. My hometown, Aberdeen, is big in the oil industry. I was in the basement every day copying blueprints. It opened my eyes to the real world of industry and how much time and effort goes into any kind of large-scale project. When you see thousands of blueprints a day and have to copy them, it can be a mundane kind of job, but you also get experience.

It Takes a Village (in Moso Village)

GT Independence, a fiscal intermediary agency headquartered in Sturgis, is seeking 53 new employees.

CEO John Carmichael describes the company’s services. “We help elderly and disabled people stay in their homes and communities by administering Medicaid funding for the Self-Determination Program. Our clients get to choose who comes into their home to help with activities and allow them to remain independent.”

About 250 GT employees serve nearly 15,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in nine states. And their footprint is growing in 2018 with plans to extend services to five more states.

On the surface, these employees possess customer service, payroll, and technical skills, but their roles are much deeper.

Engineering the Future

Matt Bruinsma

EDUCATION
Western Michigan University (WMU)
Mechanical Engineering, B.B.S. ‘15

HOMETOWN
Wayland, Michigan

EMPLOYMENT
Research and Development Engineer, Flowserve Corporation

BUILDING JOB SKILLS

NAME
TATUM CULHANE

HOMETOWN
Kalamazoo, Michigan

EDUCATION
Western Michigan University (WMU)
Advertising and Promotion Major, Management Minor

Expected Graduation: Spring 2019

POSITION
Sales and Marketing Intern at AVB

A Coming of Age

Southwest Michigan and its wine country are very much coming of age in the last couple of decades. This area, now known as the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail, isn’t only producing your grandfather’s wine—wine which were mainly fruity styles from French-American hybrids with high residual sugar. Many are shocked to find full bodied reds and lovely dry style acid driven whites that make one reminisce about wines of the old world. There is a wind of change in the Southwest Michigan which gives one much to get excited about.

There have been many firsts that we have experienced over the last 45 plus years. There are two very important American Viticultural Areas (AVA) in Southwest Michigan. Fennville The Fennville AVA was founded with the establishment of the Fenn Valley Winery and the Welsch family being the driving force in this area. The Lake Michigan Shore AVA followed in 1983 anchored over the years by producers such as Tabor Hill and St. Julian. These viticultural areas still stand, but continue to grow and evolve with many new vineyards and wineries dotting the landscape.

For Battle Creek’s Vince Pavone

Vince Pavone’s passion for Southwest Michigan goes far beyond how local customers drive the balance sheets of Lakeview Ford Lincoln, the Battle Creek dealership he owns. Vince and his wife relocated from Birmingham, Michigan in 2010 at the time he became dealer principal. The move encouraged Vince to fully commit to his new home by focusing on the key needs facing the Battle Creek community.

If you have the chance to meet Vince personally in his office, you learn a lot about him and what he cares deeply about just by looking at his desk.

“I have a lot of passion for the cities of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo,” said Pavone. “These smaller Midwest communities afford all of us the opportunity to make a difference that we couldn’t otherwise make in larger communities. We can make a difference in Battle Creek. We can make a difference in Kalamazoo. We can make a difference in this region. There are opportunities to do things here that you wouldn’t have if your company were headquartered in Tampa, Chicago or Detroit.”

LEADER2LEADER: Kevin McLeod

WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY?

Don’t stand still. I think leaders should do something, even if it’s wrong. My leadership style has always been a lot of doing and not a lot of talking. I have absolutely no problem with failure. I just want people to move forward.

 

WHAT IS ONE CHARACTERISTIC THAT YOU BELIEVE EVERY LEADER SHOULD POSSESS?

Vision—far and away. And the ability to communicate it. That way you can have a clear view of where you’re going. The first ships sailing from Europe to the U.S. knew which direction they were going. A lot happened along the way, but they stayed the course, and that’s what matters.

 

LEADER2LEADER: Kate Tillotson

WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY?

The three P’s: passion, purpose, and people. You don’t inspire people with what you do, but why you do it. My role is to be the pacesetter. I lead by example and try to exemplify the work ethic that I expect in others.

 

WHAT IS ONE CHARACTERISTIC THAT YOU BELIEVE EVERY LEADER SHOULD POSSESS?

Humor. Many things can go wrong in life, and in the newsroom, you never know what’s going to happen. An effective leader should have a good sense of humor and the ability to laugh at themselves.

A CAUSE WORTH MARCHING FOR

ORGANIZATION: MARCH OF DIMES

EVENT: MARCH FOR BABIES

DATE: MAY 20, 2018

TIME: 10:00 A.M.

LOCATION: CELERY FLATS, 7335 GARDEN LANE, PORTAGE, MI

JULIE RUEL

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT MARCH OF DIMES

WHAT MAKES THIS EVENT SO SPECIAL TO YOU?

I have a personal connection to the mission. I was a premature baby, which for me, also meant that I was born with a congenital heart defect. The March for Babies helps raise money to educate people and medical professionals to make sure that moms and babies get the best possible care. It also helps to fund research to find solutions to the biggest risks premature babies face. More than that, the March for Babies brings our mission to life, connecting with those most affected in the community.

Catalyst Education Awards honor Southwest Michigan educators

Published on January 26, 2018
Kalamazoo, MI – Educators from Southwest Michigan were recognized yesterday with Catalyst Education Awards during Catalyst University, a daylong leadership event hosted by the regional economic development organization Southwest Michigan First at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo.

The Catalyst Education Awards received applications from teachers, principals and entire schools from across Southwest Michigan, competing in each of the three categories—school, principal and teacher— to be recognized for innovations and achievements in K-12 education. The 2018 winning educators recognized were:

SCHOOL—Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency, Kalamazoo, MI
PRINCIPAL—Mike Barwegen, Principal, Tobey Elementary School, Vicksburg, MI
TEACHER—Amy Cummings, Dowagiac Middle School, Dowagiac, MI

Midwest Opener wins Catalyst University’s annual Makers’ Mart competition

Published on January 26, 2018
Kalamazoo, MI – Midwest Opener earned the coveted Makers’ Mart title yesterday at Catalyst University, a daylong leadership event annually hosted by the regional economic development organization Southwest Michigan First at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. Midwest Opener was selected by the 2,800 event attendees from a pool of five finalists—all regional product makers based in Southwest Michigan.

Midwest Opener (midwestopener.co) located in Kalamazoo features custom-manufactured, stainless-steel bottle openers that let customers show off their unique pride.

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