WMU to break ground on economic-development engine

Published on December 12, 2018
KALAMAZOO, Mich., – The region’s newest job and business development initiative is slated to help kick off 2019. Western Michigan University will begin development of the Business Technology and Research Park 2—BTR 2—in the next few months thanks to a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The grant will help pay for site development in the form of roads and utilities.

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2018 Wonderful Workplaces Named by 269 MAGAZINE

Published on December 10, 2018
KALAMAZOO, Mich., – Fifteen companies from throughout Southwest Michigan have been selected by 269 MAGAZINE as 2018 Wonderful Workplaces. This award celebrates the outstanding efforts made by local businesses in the region to make their organizations great places to work. Winners are recognized in the Holiday 2018 issue of 269 MAGAZINE.

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Extended Family

The year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Schupan & Sons family of companies.

In reaching this milestone, President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Schupan credits the company operations, which he compares to how hockey great Wayne Gretzky skated on the ice. “We ‘skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been,’” Marc says.

Now some argue that quote is more attributable to Gretzky’s father offering advice to his young son. And this potentially paternal advice seems fitting for Marc, who took over company leadership when his own father passed away.

LEADER2LEADER: Steve Hessen and Caitlin Carey


Steve Hessen: Leaders must be willing to say and see what makes others uncomfortable. Without this, a leader is simply preserving the status quo. It is also important that the team knows our goal is to get better every day.

Caitlyn Carey: A leader is someone who’s actively engaged, takes pride in their work, and goes out of their way to set goals and be involved. Anyone can be a leader. Your actions throughout the day are what make you a good leader.

A Career Under Construction

South Bend, Indiana

Western Michigan University
Civil Engineering Major, Mathematics Minor; Expected Graduation: Spring 2020

Project Management Intern at Miller-Davis

My role is to support the project management team. Our purpose is to coordinate office communications to make sure that our construction team is well-informed so they can do their job. Clear communication and understanding what we need to accomplish on site are the most important aspects of my role. I enjoy that some days I am out on the construction site, and other days I am in the office putting together the paperwork that will keep the project moving.

Industry Evolution Seeds Growth of Excel Ag Solutions

Barry Mumby took a leap of faith in 1979 with four partners to launch Mendon Seed Growers.

Paying 18 percent interest on borrowed capital and adding customers a single digit at a time, he had no idea then what the seed corn venture would spur in St. Joseph County and the region.

Make It the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Searching for the perfect complement to your seasonal feast? For your holiday wines, look to Northern Italy for everything from big reds for holiday feasts to lively bubbles for ringing in a new year.

When selecting, arguably the two most important regions in Northern Italy are Piedmont in the Northwest and the Veneto in the Northeast. In Piedmont, the ice-cold Alps and the warm Mediterranean affect the weather by creating a tug-of-war that produces happy wine grapes and great wine.

Banking on Culture

Grand Valley State University (GVSU)
Finance, B.B.S. ’17

Kalamazoo, MI

Credit Analyst, Huntington Bank

Getting Down to Business
I work at Huntington Bank, a leading regional bank, as a credit analyst for the commercial middle market. I work closely with clients to determine if a company is doing what it needs to be doing to be successful. Then, my team decides how the bank can help our clients reach their business goals in each case individually. We want to make people’s lives better, help businesses thrive, and strengthen our communities.

Building the Idea Factory

Imagine the office of the future.

What pops into your mind? Maybe it’s an artificial intelligence system that reminds you of your schedule as soon as you step foot in your workspace. Or virtual reality technology that allows you to be “in” the meeting room while working remotely. Or perhaps it’s something simple, like a coffee maker that always has a fresh cup waiting because it can sense when you’re on your way.

Schupan & Sons expanding in Kalamazoo, investing $10.1 million and creating 80 jobs

Published on November 13, 2018
LANSING, Mich. – Metals and plastics recycling company Schupan & Sons Incorporated is expanding at two locations in Kalamazoo with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today. The project is expected to generate total private investment of $10.1 million and create 80 jobs. Michigan was chosen for the expansion over competing sites in Indiana and Ohio.

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Find Your Dream Job with OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work

Published on November 1, 2018
Santa Fe, NM (November 1, 2018) —OUTSIDE, America’s preeminent active lifestyle brand, reveals the top 50 best places to work in the U.S. and 50 honorable mentions in 2018. Winning companies provide great workplaces for employees and encourage a balance between work and enjoying life in the great outdoors, while also respecting the environment. Southwest Michigan First, the catalyst driving economic growth in Southwest Michigan, earned top honors.

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Ka-Zoo Angels Contributes to Regional Economy in its First Year

Published on October 19, 2018
KALAMAZOO, Mich., – Ka-Zoo Angels has had an active first year of contributing capital funding to help grow Michigan’s entrepreneur community. In the fourteen months following its inception, Ka-Zoo Angels has seen 19 startup companies pitch for capital and has invested $435,000 in eight companies.

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Kalamazoo Industries Adds Three Jobs in Comstock Charter Township

Published on October 17, 2018
COMSTOCK CHARTER TOWNSHIP, MI — Kalamazoo Industries, Inc., a local manufacturer of industrial saws, grinders and dust extraction equipment is growing in Comstock Charter Township.

The company will add three new job as part of its $150,000 investment in an expansion that will increase space for finished goods warehousing, the number of incoming and outgoing loading docks to improve process flow, and manufacturing capacity. The company was recently awarded a 12-year tax abatement within the township’s Industrial Development District.

Learn more about the company at www.kalamazooind.com.

WKZO: Business Outlook for Southwest Michigan

Published on October 10, 2018
KALAMAZOO (WKZO-AM/FM) — WKZO’s Ken Lanphear is joined by Southwest Michigan First’s senior partner & ceo, Ron Kitchens, to talk about regional job announcements and Western Michigan University’s impact on the regional economy.

Listen here.

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Brings New Jobs and Investment to MI

Published on September 27, 2018
LANSING, Mich. – Two business expansions and a community revitalization project that will generate a total of $69.5 million in private investment and create 66 jobs have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, LLC, headquartered in Chicago, is the leading manufacturer of premium grills, pizza ovens, cabinets and luxury outdoor cooking equipment for residential outdoor kitchens. Kalamazoo is experiencing consistent growth in North America and is positioning itself to expand further into global markets. As a result, the company plans to expand its operations in Comstock Charter Township by investing $3.1 million in its facilities and boosting its workforce by creating 31 jobs. As a result, Kalamazoo has been awarded a $200,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the expansion over competing sites in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Nevada.

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