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John Wiegand

John Wiegand

Staff writer

[email protected]

Sunday, 27 November 2016 15:44

Business as usual, for now: West Mich. automotive suppliers adopt wait-and-see approach

After one of the largest political upsets in recent history, West Michigan automotive suppliers have started assessing how a Donald Trump presidency could affect their industry. 

Friday, 18 November 2016 10:05

Central Interconnect enters next phase of ownership with sale

After 35 years under the ownership of founder Arlen Smith, Central Interconnect Inc. has been sold to new owners at the culmination of an 18-month-long process.

Sunday, 13 November 2016 13:49

‘Collaborative enterprise’ New engineers need soft skills, business acumen to succeed, execs say

For today’s engineering graduates, technical expertise remains paramount, but companies are asking more of their young workers, especially when it comes to so-called soft skills and the basics of business. 


Sunday, 13 November 2016 13:47

Starting Block diversifies model to offer training, services to existing food companies

HART — After operating for a decade, The Starting Block has helped the West Michigan craft food movement grow from an idea into the fledgling industry it is today.

Sunday, 13 November 2016 13:27

Cento Anni bets on custom furniture, woodworking craftsmanship to grow

HOLLAND — Stepping into the showroom at Cento Anni LLC is a sensory experience. 

Sunday, 13 November 2016 13:16

Coastal Competition? Industry experts believe Michigan can compete in medical device space through manufacturing

While West Michigan may lack the depth of resources and talent that some regions of the country possess when it comes to the medical device industry, it may have one key advantage: the affordability of its contract manufacturing. 


Friday, 11 November 2016 10:38

West Michigan veterans find solace, opportunity in agriculture

After several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Jed Welder knew that he needed a change. The 14-year military veteran grew up on a family farm but left at a young age for a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps before later transitioning into the U.S. Army. As his military career came to an end, Welder yearned for the freedom, challenge and accomplishment that comes through farming.

Friday, 28 October 2016 10:50

East West Brewing Co. opens in heart of Eastown

The Eastown Business District is poised to get its second brewery.

Sunday, 30 October 2016 16:48

Geological mapping could spur economic development, protect water quality

KALAMAZOO — Researchers at the Michigan Geological Survey hope a state grant will better position government, businesses and other stakeholders to understand the natural resources that lie under the ground. 


Sunday, 30 October 2016 16:45

Addressing a market vacuum: Investment firms pivot to hold companies longer, focus on legacy to court manufacturers

As waves of baby boomers continue to reach retirement age, many have faced the prospect of selling the manufacturing companies they’ve built over the years. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016 16:43

Impact Label Corp. takes on next stage of growth with new Galesburg facility

GALESBURG — After more than 50 years operating in the same building, Impact Label Corp. has relocated its headquarters from Kalamazoo to Galesburg. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016 16:00

Blu Perspective brings new model to employee training

ZEELAND — The talent crunch has created a conundrum for many West Michigan manufacturers. 


Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:58

Steeple skirmish? SW Mich. brewery locked in trademark dispute with Pittsburgh company

NEW BUFFALO — A trademark dispute between two craft brewers has turned into a holy war of sorts. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:55

Commerce derailed: Fight over 3.3 miles of railroad track hampers business in West Michigan

When Brink Farms Inc. began construction on a rail yard off Turner Avenue in northwest Grand Rapids in 2014, the Hamilton-based bulk transportation firm hoped to alleviate capacity constraints and better serve customers shipping cargo south through the city. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 17:11

Whirlpool reports flat earnings for third quarter

Citing a “challenging external environment,” Whirlpool Corp. reported flat earnings for its third quarter ending Sept. 30.


Thursday, 20 October 2016 09:52

International mirror sales drive Gentex’s Q3 results

Despite relatively flat light vehicle production globally, Gentex Corp. generated double-digit sales growth in its third quarter, continuing a trend the company has maintained since the beginning of the year.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 16:09

‘Tepid’ retail market hinders Wolverine World Wide in third quarter

An ongoing saga of volatility in the global retail market has continued to drive down performance at Wolverine World Wide Inc.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 12:15

DeBoer tackles deals with engineer-like precision, focuses on human element

It’s been a busy year and a half for David DeBoer.


Tuesday, 18 October 2016 12:01

A family affair: Crystal Flash opts for ESOP to pass business to employees

When Tom Fehsenfeld decided to retire from the family business he led for the past 40 years, he found himself in a position familiar to many manufacturers exploring succession options. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 11:58

Honoring founder’s legacy drove inaugural deal for Tillerman & Co.

When Remos Lenio and Philip Blanchard set out to acquire their first company under a newly formed firm, the partners knew they had one chance to confirm what they saw as an unexplored market niche. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 11:51

Bloem Living ‘swallows whale’ with carve-out acquisition from Fiskars

While Bloem LLC had been hunting for in-house production capacity that would allow it to grow, the company found its solution in an unlikely place: an unsolicited email from one of its largest competitors.


Sunday, 16 October 2016 19:24

Legislation hopes to bolster urban farming, but challenges remain

When urban farming entered the mainstream thinking of community and economic developers, many prospective farmers envisioned a quick payday selling their products to high-end restaurants and other retailers. 

Sunday, 16 October 2016 19:05

New facility to propel Koops into next stage of growth

HOLLAND — As robotic technology continues to improve, manufacturers of automation equipment are finding their customers demand larger, more complex systems.

Sunday, 16 October 2016 19:03

Q&A: Tom Lyons, Director, Michigan State University Product Center

After 25 years with other institutions, Tom Lyons is returning to Michigan State University, where he first began his tenured career, to lead the Michigan State University Product Center. The Product Center provides coaching and mentoring services to entrepreneurs in the food processing and agribusiness sectors. Fresh into his new role, Lyons spoke with MiBiz about his long-term plans for the organization, which includes greater integration of services for entrepreneurs and expanding the capability of MSU Extension’s innovation counselors. 


Sunday, 16 October 2016 19:01

U.S. Postal Service prototype contract could aid Spartan Motors’ profitability

CHARLOTTE — Spartan Motors Inc. has landed on the short list for a potentially large government contract to make the next generation of delivery vehicles for the United States Postal Service. 

Sunday, 16 October 2016 00:01

Former Blackford Capital partners split to form new private equity firm

After leaving their positions at Blackford Capital earlier this year, Jeff Helminski and Jack Kolodny have launched their own private equity firm with a goal to fill a gap in the market.

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 11:21

Zeeland Farm Services invests $130M in new expansion in Central Michigan

Zeeland Farm Services Inc. plans to invest $130 million into a new soybean processing facility in Ithaca, 45 miles north of Lansing.


Sunday, 02 October 2016 14:10

As Bayer-Monsanto deal materializes, West Michigan farmers brace for consolidation

major player in Big Agriculture is poised to expand its influence in the industry.

Sunday, 02 October 2016 13:28

Porous Pave taps golf courses, municipalities to drive next stage of growth

GRANT — When Porous Pave Inc. began in 2008, the manufacturer of permeable paving technology had trouble tapping into the commercial market. 

Sunday, 02 October 2016 13:26

Aerospace suppliers eye possible missile defense project at Fort Custer

BATTLE CREEK — Concerns over national security could spark wider access to a $100 billion industry for West Michigan manufacturers.


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