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John Wiegand

John Wiegand

Staff writer

jwiegand@mibiz.com

COMSTOCK PARK — One West Michigan manufacturer of stamping dies hopes to leverage a self-funded automation business into its primary money maker in the years ahead. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Over his storied career, John Berry has advocated for the benefits of incorporating design principles outside of traditional creative industries. Now, Berry is taking that vision one step further at Grand Valley State University with the new Design Thinking Academy, where he serves as director. The academy spun off from the university’s Design Thinking Initiative that launched in 2014.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has struggled in recent years amid budget cuts, staff reductions and a breach of public trust after an automated computer system falsely accused 20,000 residents of fraud over a two-year span. Michelle Beebe aims to change that. Beebe was appointed to lead the UIA in late April, following the state’s decision to reassign the former director Sharon Moffett-Massey in the wake of the false-fraud allegations. Beebe comes to Michigan from Utah where she led that state’s unemployment agency since December 2014. After three weeks on the job, Beebe spoke with MiBiz about the challenges the UIA faces in Michigan and how she plans to help improve the agency.

As demand for engineering talent continues to intensify, some West Michigan liberal arts colleges are partnering with larger state-funded institutions to add niche programs to their curricula.

NEWAYGO — One West Michigan entrepreneur hopes to use data science to make users of medical oxygen systems safer with a handful of new products.

As a business consulting firm, O’Keefe & Associates Consulting LLC has increasingly seen a need to advise its clients on the best ways to invest in automation equipment. Tim Thompson, the firm’s managing director at its Grand Rapids office, spoke with MiBiz about how investing in automation equipment can affect an organization’s long-term investment strategies.

GRAND RAPIDS — One West Michigan electronics manufacturer plans to leverage a recent deal in Europe to further capitalize on the growing electronics manufacturing market.

When Siliconature Corp. examined potential sites in West Michigan for its North American headquarters, the company knew finding an existing building that fit its specific needs would be challenging.

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