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Displaying items by tag: Crystal Ball

Sunday, 23 December 2018 16:01

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Toni Sperlbaum, Health Plan Advocate

The past year confirmed to Toni Sperlbaum that workplace wellness is beginning to move in a new direction. Rather than focus on diet, exercise, and financial incentives for increasing participation and progress toward health goals, some employer wellness programs locally now take a broader approach. They encompass mental health, financial well-being and intrinsic motivation to encourage employees to maintain or improve their health, said Sperlbaum, the vice president of wellness at Health Plan Advocate in Grand Rapids. She expects that trend to pick up, albeit slowly, in West Michigan during the next year.

Published in Health Care
Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:57

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Tina Freese Decker, Spectrum Health

Tina Freese Decker became president and CEO at Spectrum Health on Sept. 1 following the retirement of Rick Breon. She leads West Michigan’s largest health system as the industry adapts to a combination of forces driving change, including greater consumerism and personalizing care to individual patients. As well, the industry has shifted to focus on keeping people healthy rather than treating them when they’re ill or injured, an economic model that rewards quality and pays care providers for outcomes rather than volume. Spectrum Health in 2018 moved into the Southwestern Michigan market with the merger of Lakeland Health in St. Joseph, and this fall formed a new partnership with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

Published in Health Care
Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:47

Crystal Ball 2019 Michigan Economic Outlook: Forecasts show continued but slower growth as Michigan nears record period of expansion

Michigan’s economy will see slower economic and employment growth in 2019 amid the ongoing tight labor market and less U.S. economic growth, economists say.

Published in Economic Development

Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:38

Crystal Ball 2019 Michigan Policy Outlook: Amid new political dynamic, business groups focus on talent, road funding

Michigan business groups say a transition of executive power from a Republican to a Democrat brings policy uncertainty, but they expect a continued focus from Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer on at least two topics: road funding and talent.

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:25

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Birgit Klohs, The Right Place

Change is inevitable in government and in business. Just ask The Right Place President and CEO Birgit Klohs, who next year will have worked in economic development during the terms of five different Michigan governors. Still, with all the uncertainty surrounding international trade and politics, now is not the time to wreak havoc on the state’s economic development policies, she said. 

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:22

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Al Vanderberg, Ottawa County Administrator

Multiple initiatives and projects in Ottawa County next year will focus on retention and attraction of people to the area, according to County Administrator Al Vanderberg. With the lowest unemployment rate in Michigan (2.5 percent in December), the talent shortage is affecting companies on the lakeshore. Most projects Vanderberg is watching have some tie to the future prosperity of the county.

Published in Economic Development


Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:18

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Tami VandenBerg, MiLegalize

Years of mobilization around the movement to legalize marijuana in Michigan bore fruit in 2018. Now, Tami VandenBerg, a board member of the organization that helped bring the legalization initiative to voters, predicts the ways the ‘green rush’ will start to reshape the region’s economy. 

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:14

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Justin Winslow, Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association

Justin Winslow leads the newly formed Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association created through the merger of the Michigan Restaurant Association and Check In Michigan, formerly known as the Michigan Lodging & Tourism Association. Winslow previously led the MRA. The merger created one of the largest trade groups in Lansing that represents businesses statewide that collectively employ more than 595,000 people and generate $40 billion in annual sales. That’s 12.5 percent of the state’s total workforce and nearly 10 percent of Michigan’s GDP, respectively.

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:10

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Doug Rothwell, Business Leaders for Michigan

Infrastructure and education remain at the top of the policy agenda for 2019 for Business Leaders for Michigan, a statewide roundtable of top business and higher education executives. Led by President and CEO Doug Rothwell, the group this year created a broad coalition of business, labor, philanthropy and civic leaders across the state that in 2019 will look at ways to improve K-12 education. The organization will continue to advocate as well for state investments in infrastructure.

Published in Economic Development

Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:04

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss

As the top city official in Michigan’s second-largest city, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss is hopeful to continue the momentum heading into 2019. Bliss, who is entering the last year of her first term in office, says encouraging collaboration to tackle complex community issues remains one of her top concerns. 

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:47

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Rich Studley, Michigan Chamber of Commerce

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, with more than 6,000 members that collectively employ 1 million people, stands as one of the more influential advocacy organizations in Lansing. As Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer prepares to take office in January with a legislature remaining in control of the Republicans, Michigan Chamber CEO Rich Studley says it’s unfair to pre-judge her as a friend or foe of business. Although the new governor and her party historically have been on the other side of business issues from the Michigan Chamber, Studley believes “she has the potential to keep our state moving forward with a different view than the current administration.” 

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:44

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Roger Martin, Martin Waymire

As a new governor and state Legislature prepare to take office in January, Roger Martin, a partner at the advocacy firm Martin Waymire Inc., is among the people who remain hopeful for a new spirit of bipartisanship in Lansing to address some of the major issues facing Michigan. That includes deteriorating infrastructure across the state that goes beyond the roads. How well Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-controlled legislature work together remains the big unknown, although Martin sees her experience as a legislative leader as a big plus coming into office that predecessors Rick Snyder and Jennifer Granholm lacked.

Published in Economic Development


Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:39

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Deanna Rolffs, Inner City Christian Federation

Since 2011, median home prices have increased by nearly 70 percent while per capita income went up by only 11 percent. Now, Deanna Rolffs, vice president of housing and family services at ICCF, has a waitlist of more than 700 families who are in need of safe, affordable housing. Going into 2019, she thinks community leadership and collaboration could be the key to solving the region’s housing crisis. 

Published in Nonprofits
Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:32

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Carrie Pickett-Erway, Kalamazoo Community Foundation

The nonprofit sector must be focused on serving needs in their communities, even if that means taking big steps and thinking outside of the box, according to Carrie Pickett-Erway, the president and CEO of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. 

Published in Nonprofits
Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:26

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Teri Behrens, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at GVSU

Teri Behrens took over as executive director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University on Oct. 22. She previously served as the director of strategy and programs at the Johnson Center and worked to integrate an applied research mission with the needs of the changing nonprofit sector. 

Published in Nonprofits

Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:22

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Todd Jacobs, Community Foundation for Muskegon County

Todd Jacobs becomes president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County on Jan. 1. The Muskegon native succeeds Chris McGuigan, who has run the foundation since 1999 and plans to retire. Jacobs moves to the Community Foundation for Muskegon County from the Fremont Area Community Foundation, where he’s worked as vice president and chief philanthropy officer. 

Published in Nonprofits
Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:15

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Edwin Collazo, City Built Brewing Co.

In 2019, City Built Brewing Co. hopes to add a rooftop bar and a street parklet so it can offer outdoor seating during the warmer months at its location in Grand Rapids’ Monroe North neighborhood, according to co-founder Edwin Collazo. “We’re right on the river. We’re going to take advantage of those things that bring people to this area anyways.” 

Published in Food/Agribusiness
Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:10

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Jim Sheppard, Tillerman Seeds

After completing the acquisition of Legacy Seeds Inc. in August 2018, Tillerman Seeds LLC aims to continue executing on its growth strategy and supporting its portfolio of seed companies. President Jim Sheppard said the goal is to find the right fit when acquiring new companies. 

Published in Food/Agribusiness

Sunday, 23 December 2018 13:59

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Mark Guzniczak, Strata Business Services

Strata Business Services LLC is a “specialized small business solutions company” that focuses on investments in the medical marijuana sector in Michigan and other states. As of Dec. 6, adult-use recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan after voters approved Proposal 1 during the midterm election. 

Published in Food/Agribusiness
Friday, 21 December 2018 11:53

Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer

On Jan. 1, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer will take the oath of office to become the 49th governor of Michigan, succeeding Republican Rick Snyder, who was term-limited after eight years in office. Whitmer spoke with MiBiz Editor Joe Boomgaard earlier this week as the contentious lame-duck legislative session came to a close. 

Published in Economic Development
Tuesday, 27 December 2016 13:09

West Michigan executives share outlook for 2017

For the annual year-end Crystal Ball edition, MiBiz asked executives from around West Michigan to share their outlooks for 2017, both for their industry and their companies.

Published in Economic Development

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