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Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

Editor, covers craft beverage industry.
Twitter: @jboomgaard
Email: [email protected]

Tuesday, 17 May 2022 16:09

Gun Lake Investments taps former deal partner to run operations

After a seven-year career in tribal economic development at Waséyabek Development Co. LLC for his tribe, Jimmy TenBrink now finds himself heading up operations for a familiar tribal partner. 

Monday, 11 April 2022 20:27

Newly promoted Gun Lake Casino CEO outlines vision for continued expansion

WAYLAND — In his four and a half years running Gun Lake Casino, Sal Semola has been an architect of growth in helping the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians strategically expand and solidify its gaming enterprise.

Monday, 04 April 2022 12:24

Michigan Economic Development Corp. seeks deeper relationships with state’s tribes

When the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians sought to establish its first 8(a) certified contracting company, the tribe’s economic development arm turned to a key partner within the state of Michigan for help. 


Sunday, 27 February 2022 18:28

M&A Awards: Mitchell helms Waséyabek through M&A-fueled growth spurt

Deidra Mitchell looks back on 2021 as a pivotal year in many ways for Waséyabek Development Co., the Grand Rapids-based investment arm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi.

Sunday, 27 February 2022 18:42

M&A Awards: Sale to Lion ensures legacy of Bell’s Brewery continues

Throughout his more than 35-year career at the helm of Bell’s Brewery Inc., Larry Bell was known for being one of the most outspoken proponents for independently owned craft breweries in the United States. 

Sunday, 19 December 2021 19:05

EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: Definitions matter.

For generations, Grand Rapids was known as the Furniture City, a nod to the area’s legacy industry that specialized in employing craftsmen to turn lumber plucked from the state’s hardwood forests into high-end furnishings. 



Sunday, 18 July 2021 17:56

After 27 years, Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians continues fight for federal recognition

GRAND RAPIDS — One would be hard pressed to deny the existence of the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians, whose ancestors were signatories of numerous agreements with the federal government, starting in 1795 with the Treaty of Greenville.

Thursday, 10 June 2021 10:05

Former Michigan tribal leader faces Senate questioning for top Bureau of Indian Affairs job

WASHINGTON — Former Bay Mills Indian Community Chairperson Bryan Newland told a Senate committee how his firsthand experience growing up on a reservation in Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula would shape his perspective if confirmed to lead the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021 09:04

Rockford Brewing to open new brewery, distillery, pizzeria concept Malph’s Pizza Pub

ROCKFORD — Rockford Brewing Co. LLC has unveiled plans to renovate a nearby historic building and expand with the new Malph’s Pizza Pub concept. 


Friday, 23 April 2021 14:53

Biden administration taps former U.P. tribal leader to head up Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Biden administration on Thursday nominated former Bay Mills Indian Community Chairperson Bryan Newland to the top leadership position for the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

Sunday, 14 March 2021 17:45

Sault Tribe EDC celebrates entrepreneurship, offers resources via Sault Tribe Thrive

Growing up in the rural eastern Upper Peninsula, David Goodreau saw his father and grandfathers support their families by starting and operating small businesses. 

Sunday, 14 March 2021 17:30

Tribe’s partnership with Lume Cannabis ‘performing well’

Part of Sault Tribe Economic Development Corp.’s push with Sault Tribe Thrive is to find ways to leverage the advantage of tribal sovereignty within the business community. 



Sunday, 14 February 2021 18:00

Tribes leverage similar investment philosophies in McKay Tower transaction

The seeds for the joint purchase of the iconic McKay Tower building in downtown Grand Rapids took root years ago when the CEOs at Waséyabek Development Co. LLC and Gun Lake Investments started talking about doing deals together. 

Sunday, 20 December 2020 19:40

Crystal Ball 2021 Letter from the Editor: Keep on fishing.

The experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic and helping manage a small business during a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime crisis has me leaning heavily on lessons I learned decades ago chasing winter steelhead with my dad on the Manistee River. 

Friday, 18 December 2020 09:25

The Right Place selects Randy Thelen as new CEO

GRAND RAPIDS — Former Lakeshore Advantage CEO Randy Thelen is returning to West Michigan to lead regional economic development firm The Right Place Inc.


Tuesday, 27 October 2020 17:33

DeVos-backed spirits brand Jos. A. Magnus & Co. relocates from D.C. to West Michigan

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP — An award-winning spirits brand backed by the DeVos family is relocating to West Michigan from Washington, D.C.

Thursday, 22 October 2020 16:43

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians inches closer to $180M Muskegon casino

FRUITPORT TWP. — Federal action expected tomorrow will move the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians one step closer to being able to develop a $180 million casino on land it owns in Muskegon Country.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020 17:41

Old Mission wineries allege local ordinances unconstitutionally prohibit speech, commerce

PENINSULA TOWNSHIP — A group of Northern Michigan wineries and a trade group representing them have filed a federal lawsuit against Peninsula Township alleging that their businesses are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars per year because of the municipality’s allegedly unconstitutional ordinances.


Wednesday, 26 August 2020 15:57

Inability to refinance short-term debt pushes SW Michigan meat processor, cattle farm into bankruptcy

SCOTTS — The owners of a Southwest Michigan meat processing company and cattle operation say the businesses have fallen victim to the tight credit market brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Monday, 24 August 2020 12:38

Tribally owned firm acquires Re-source Industries Inc. of Muskegon

GRAND RAPIDS — Waséyabek Development Co., the non-gaming economic development arm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians, continues to build out its portfolio of companies with the acquisition of a Muskegon-based manufacturer. 

Sunday, 23 August 2020 18:58

With vertically integrated cannabis startup, U.P. tribe forges own path to economic diversification

BRIMLEY — The Bay Mills Indian Community views the marijuana industry as a key way for the tribe to diversify its economy, which has been devastated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Sunday, 02 August 2020 19:31

Leveraging tribal sovereignty gives cannabis firm entry to off-limits Michigan markets

SAULT STE. MARIE — Lume Cannabis Co. has figured out a way to open retail marijuana dispensaries within communities that have blocked businesses that participate in Michigan’s adult-use market. 

Sunday, 19 July 2020 17:24

Pandemic deals major financial, cultural blow to Michigan tribes

More than four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan’s 12 federally recognized tribes have fared better from a health care perspective than many other Native American tribes nationally.

Sunday, 19 July 2020 17:20

Michigan tribes face ‘circular exclusion’ from key minority business certification

As a citizen of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians and CEO of its non-gaming enterprise, Kurtis Trevan wants to leverage other corporations’ diversity and inclusion goals to the economic benefit of his fellow tribe members, as well as further the tribe’s own inclusionary spending. 


Sunday, 19 July 2020 17:28

Casino closures make case for Michigan tribes’ further economic diversification

In mid March of this year, all 24 of Michigan’s tribally operated casinos fell silent, their more than 22,280 slot machines spitting out their final paydays for lucky patrons or taking one last injection of cash for the house.

Friday, 17 July 2020 12:47

N.Y. group acquires 21 Goodrich Quality Theaters locations out of bankruptcy

GRAND RAPIDS — A partnership of Mason Asset Management and Namdar Realty Group has acquired the majority of the assets of Goodrich Quality Theaters Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. 

Wednesday, 08 July 2020 16:29

State fines liquor distribution agent $3 million over violations that led to booze shortages

Republic National Distributing Co. has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a dispute with the state over dozens of violations that led to widespread liquor shortages in November and December of 2019. 


Wednesday, 08 July 2020 04:46

Michigan’s tribes add $288.8 million to state economy via non-gaming businesses

As they’ve taken steps to diversify their revenues away from casinos in recent years, Michigan’s Native American tribes have built growing business ventures that in 2019 contributed nearly $288.8 million to the state economy. 

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 12:28

Ohio developer buys Knoll manufacturing plant, plans renovations

KENTWOOD — A Cleveland-based developer with properties elsewhere in Michigan has made its first entry into the greater Grand Rapids market with the purchase of an industrial complex from office furniture maker Knoll Inc. 

Friday, 19 June 2020 06:00

Short’s to revive Arcadia Brewing brand

After a brief hiatus from the market, one of the pioneering brands in the Michigan craft beer industry will once again be back on store shelves. 


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