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Nick Manes

Nick Manes

Staff writer

nmanes@mibiz.com

Thursday, 09 May 2013 16:15

Companies embrace workplace play

Stuffy is out, fun is in. That general trend in office culture has been taking shape for a couple of decades, but it’s becoming more pronounced as companies struggle to attract young creative talent and inspire their workforce.

Office-furniture supplier Knape & Vogt Manufacturing Co. plans to add more than 100 new jobs in West Michigan as it consolidates production from an Ontario plant to its facilities in Grand Rapids.

It comes as no surprise that West Michigan shares a substantial cultural heritage with the Netherlands, but the two regions also have significant business and agricultural ties.

Canada might be Michigan’s closest international neighbor and largest trading partner, but it also found itself at the center of a fierce political battle last fall.

American-made, high-end furniture has a future, and Grand Rapids-based Kindel Furniture Co. has a plan to grow in that market. 

With an economic impact that exceeds $91 billion, more people are taking note that Michigan’s agricultural industry is a large driver of growth for the state.

It’s undeniable that the emphasis on entrepreneurship in Grand Rapids is on the rise. But along with that culture shift of valuing growing young companies, many entrepreneurs have also embraced a much different view of their rivals. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Despite being fairly complicated to brew, the ingredient list for most beers is pretty small. It’s as simple as water, hops and malt.

While Amway’s culture is built off its founding principles of freedom, family, hope and reward, it’s also added another focus, at least on its charitable giving side: children.

GRAND RAPIDS — When restaurateur Johnny Brann of the regional Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille chain decided he wanted to open a restaurant, he envisioned a concept that went beyond Brann’s traditional casual dining experience and sports bar aesthetic.

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