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Last year, Larry Zeiser answered a phone call that would forever change the way he perceived drug abuse in West Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — In the three years since Peter Jones moved from Los Angeles to Grand Rapids, he’s helped to more than double the amount of federal research funding that Van Andel Institute receives.

In Michigan and two neighboring states that passed Right to Work laws, wages have grown slower than in three other Great Lakes states that have preserved collective bargaining rights.

Regardless of industry or audience, providing a customer experience that is both valuable and exceeds service expectations remains a top priority in business. While the introduction of new technologies continues to enhance the customer service experience, there is much to be said for genuine, face-to-face interaction that is personalized and solution-oriented. 

After years of leading the market for its signature technology, Fleetwood Electronics realized it let its position slip away.

GRAND RAPIDS — What started as a business serving a niche of natural food aficionados has moved into the mainstream.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Greenleaf Trust recently expanded their services in the West Michigan market with a new office in historic downtown Grand Rapids. The Kalamazoo‐based company opened its new 4,500‐square‐foot space in the 25 Ottawa building in late 2016.

As the city of Grand Rapids considers selling publicly-owned land, it hopes to use a new method of engaging would-be developers looking to redevelop the parcels.

GRAND RAPIDS — Michigan State University Federal Credit Union’s plan for a downtown office brings another player into the market as Michigan credit unions enjoy a period of strong growth.

KALAMAZOO — A $40 million venture capital investment in a company spun out of a Kalamazoo-based drug development firm comes with a new executive management team based across the country.

MUSKEGON — After more than six years of operating under increased regulatory scrutiny, CEO Heather Brolick wants people to know that Community Shores Bank Corp. is “back on track” and growing again.

EAST GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health plans to relocate long-term acute care to Blodgett Hospital through a partnership with a major national provider in the field.

To date, nonprofit leaders have looked skeptically at the concept of compensating board members for their “volunteer” service.

Driven by relatively affordable real estate and a diverse workforce, the West Michigan region has become a growing hub for call centers, administrative back offices and — to a lesser extent — data centers.

About 20 years ago, energy experts predicted a major challenge with producing the amount of electricity needed to accommodate the huge growth of the internet and storing companies’ data on energy-intensive servers.

Noto’s taps reality TV chef ahead of expansion

Written by | Sunday, 16 April 2017 13:00 |
Q&A

As it turns 20 years old this year, Noto’s Old World Italian Dining has plans to grow. The longtime Italian eatery and banquet center in Cascade Township has brought on self-proclaimed celebrity chef Robert Hesse to assist with that growth strategy. A veteran of reality television show Hell’s Kitchen with fellow chef Gordon Ramsay, Hesse is open about his past as a drug addict and drug dealer who also suffered two heart attacks and eventually lost approximately 400 pounds. Hesse spoke with MiBiz about what he believes he can lend to the food culture in West Michigan.

A veteran executive from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce will join the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder.

MiBiz Growth Report: April 17, 2017

Written by | Sunday, 16 April 2017 14:07 |

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for April 17, 2017.

• M&A: Dallas-based America’s Auto Auction has acquired West Michigan Auto Auction of Wayland and Parma-based Interstate 94 Vehicle Auction as part of the company’s larger acquisition strategy. The Texas company closed on the deal April 1. Both West Michigan Auto Auction and Interstate 94 Vehicle Auction were owned by Carl Miskotten, who will remain as the general manager of both facilities, according to a report in Auto Remarketing. Prior to the deal, America’s Auto Auction acquired seven facilities from Baton Rouge, La.-based Auction Broadcasting Co. in January 2017. The company operates a total of 21 auction locations across the U.S. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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