Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: July 19, 2020

BY MIBIZ STAFF Sunday, July 19, 2020 11:31am

Here's the MiBiz Growth Report for July 19, 2020.


  • An affiliate of Grand Rapids-based wood products company UFP Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: UFPI) has acquired Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based T&R Lumber Co. With the asset deal, UFP Industries, formerly known as Universal Forest Products Inc., also acquired T&R Lumber’s affiliates, Sullivan & Mann and Kelmar Creations, according to a statement. A manufacturer and distributor of products for the nursery industry, including growing containers, pots, trays, wooden stakes, trellises, tree boxes and other supplies, T&R Lumber generated $31 million in sales for 2019. The company will be incorporated into the UFP Industrial business unit and will continue to be managed by President Phil Guardia, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • A long-standing partnership has turned into the sale of a significant business unit for Blue Medora Inc., a venture capital-backed Grand Rapids-based software developer. After partnering with software virtualization giant VMWare Inc. (NYSE: VMW) for several years, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based software company recently acquired Blue Medora’s True Visibility Suite team and products. The deal was finalized on July 7 for an undisclosed sum. Blue Medora’s True Visibility Suite contains solutions that easily integrate into, and enhance the performance of, VMWare’s vRealize platform, which is an AI-driven product that gives I.T. teams the power to implement self-driving capabilities to facilitate hands-off, hassle-free operations. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Grand Rapids-based FormulaFolios Investments LLC plans to merge with Brookstone Capital Management in Chicago in a deal that will create an investment adviser firm with more than $6.5 billion in assets. The merged firm will keep the Brookstone name and retain the Grand Rapids-based FormulaFolios brand for continued oversight of its asset management division. Brookstone intends to maintain both headquarters in Chicago and Grand Rapids. Formed in 2011, FormulaFolios serves hundreds of financial advisers and thousands of clients nationwide. At the end of 2019, the firm managed $3.64 billion in assets. FormulaFolios also maintains an office in Costa Mesa, Calif. A year ago, Clearwater, Fla.-based AmeriLife Group acquired a majority stake in Brookstone. AmeriLife is backed by Boston, Mass.-based private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P.
  • Lansing-based food safety company Neogen Corp. (Nasdaq: NEOG) plans to acquire the U.S. rights to StandGuard Pour-on, which combats horn fly and lice within domestic beef cattle, according to a statement. StandGuard Pour-on belongs to global animal products supplier Elanco Animal Health Inc., which has proposed a $7.6 billion acquisition of Bayer Animal Health GmbH. The Federal Trade Commission stepped in to order Elanco and Bayer to divest from three animal product lines as they prove to be anti-competitive in their respective markets. The rights to the product will fall to Neogen, which entered the agricultural insecticide market in 2014 when it acquired Chem-Tech. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


  • Kalamazoo-based mechanical contractor R.W. LaPine Inc. is expanding its Custom Metal Fabrication Division with a new $2.5 million, 26,000-square-foot building at its main campus near the intersection of Sprinkle Road and ML Avenue. Company President Kirk LaPine said the addition resulted from the division expanding and outgrowing its existing facility in recent years. The company also plans to invest $1.2 million in advanced fabrication equipment for the new facility, which is being built by Vicksburg-based Frederick Construction Inc. As well, R.W. LaPine is planning for another expansion involving a 20,000-square-foot building to house its HVAC sheet metal duct fabrication. The company is working with Kalleward Group Inc., a Kalamazoo-based contractor, for that facility, with an expected ground breaking in spring 2021. 
  • Grand Rapids-based Vos Glass LLC has expanded with a second location in Lansing, according to a statement. Glazing industry veteran Kenneth Emrich will lead the new office. The Lansing location will focus on all sizes of commercial projects.
  • Walker-based supercenter retailer Meijer Inc. opened five new stores spanning a four-state territory in July. The new 159,000-square-foot facilities are located in Bad Axe, Mich., Manitowoc, Wis., Sycamore, Ill. and Brimfield and Lorain, Ohio, according to a statement. The company now operates 253 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. 
  • Ann Arbor-based C3 Industries LLC opened its High Profile branded dispensary on July 15 in Buchanan, just north of the Indiana border in Berrien County. In Buchanan, company officials expect to draw customers from surrounding counties and northern Indiana while offering in-store and curbside sales. C3 is a vertically integrated cannabis company with retail stores in Grant in Newaygo County, Ann Arbor and a location in Detroit that is temporarily closed. It also has operations in Oregon and plans to launch soon in Massachusetts and Missouri.


  • Sparta-based ChoiceOne Bank named Ryan Wolthuis as senior vice president and Grand Rapids market executive. Wolthuis joined ChoiceOne with nearly 20 years of commercial banking and executive management experience. He previously worked for 11 years at Grand River Bank in Grandville, most recently as senior vice president leading all loan departments.


  • Sports betting is now live at the three Four Winds Casinos in Southwest Michigan. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi earlier this month formally launched its sportsbooks, which will be available at Four Winds locations in New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac. The tribe partnered with Kambi Group plc, an independent sportsbook partner with clients around the globe. The new interface allows patrons to scan a QR code with the camera of their smartphone to access the Four Winds betting website. Once they make their bets, they will be provided with an additional QR code to be scanned at the sportsbook or guest services counters of all three Michigan locations, where bets will be placed. The New Buffalo location will feature 18 self-service kiosks and Hartford and Dowagiac will both feature six kiosks each. 

Health care

  • Priority Health President and CEO Joan Budden plans to retire at the end of 2020 after 12 years with the health plan, the last five as its chief executive. Budden’s retirement takes effect Jan. 1, 2021. She’ll remain active as CEO until then to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership. Spectrum Health, which owns a 93.9-percent stake in Priority, has retained Furst Group, a Rockford, Ill.-based executive search firm, for an internal and external national search for the next president of Priority Health, the second-largest health plan based in Michigan with nearly 1 million members, double that of a decade ago.
  • Spectrum Health partnered with Commerce Bank to offer Health Services Financing, which allows patients to pay the out-of-pocket balances of their medical bills over time with no interest. Spectrum Health can offer extended payment arrangements up to 60 months interest free.
  • Metro Health-University of Michigan Health began offering a laser treatment for kidney stones, providing faster, easier relief for patients. Metro Health teamed with Olympus America to offer the Soltive SuperPulsed Laser System that pulverizes kidney stones in half the time it takes other laser systems and provides precise soft-tissue cutting and an improved ability to stop bleeding.
  • Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy opened its 16th location with the Pelvic Rehabilitation Center in Hudsonville. Lisa Vis, co-owner of Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy, leads the center as its manager. The center specializes in treating a variety of men’s and women’s health issues, including pelvic floor dysfunction, complex pelvic pain issues, bowel and bladder issues, incontinence, urinary frequency, and pregnancy-related pain and postpartum care.
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