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How investments in solar energy make for better business plans in West Michigan

How investments in solar energy make for better business plans in West Michigan

by Anya Zentmeyer
This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

My Town Plainfield Township: Supporter of Michigan Titanium challenges employees to compete

My Town Plainfield Township: Supporter of Michigan Titanium challenges employees to compete

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PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Want to work for a company that embraces healthy living? Here is one amazing example.

Ryan Leestma, owner of ISI, the new title sponsor of the Michigan Titanium,  truly embraces this philosophy. He has not only committed to support Michigan’s only full iron distance triathlon for years to come as a sponsor, but also walks the talk when it comes to his employees.

Leestma has encouraged his employees to get involved with the ISI Michigan Titanium, Michigan’s only full iron distance triathlon. If they do, he will not only purchase a bike for them, but will provide other equipment and personalize training to ensure they have a great race. Why? He knows that triathletes rank among the top earners, driven, successful personalities out there, according to a recent study by USA Triathlon.

My Town: Local brewery among best in the U.S.

My Town: Local brewery among best in the U.S.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  Grand Rapids is home to the best craft brewery in the nation, according to The Daily Meal.

Founders Brewing Co. took the most votes during the food and drink publication’s online survey. Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo also made the cut, coming in at No. 5. More than 13,000 votes were cast nationwide. 

The contest started with 118 nominations by a panel of craft beer experts with The Daily Meal; online voters helped narrow down the list to 50 finalists, which included several of last year’s winners.

To see the entire list, visit The Daily Meal’s website here.

My Town: Michigan Works employment support center closing Aug. 21

My Town: Michigan Works employment support center closing Aug. 21

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Michigan Works is closing its service center in My Town Grand Rapids North.

The facility at 1560 Leonard NE will shut down at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21.  Michigan Works says a new service center opening in the Westside Complex, at 215 Straight Ave. NW, will provide limited services beginning at 8 a.m. Friday Aug. 22.  The new facility will begin offering a full array of free employment support services beginning Thursday, Aug. 28.

The facility changes are part of Michigan Works restructuring plan.

“The Service Center relocation will reduce our overhead costs substantially,” said Jacob Maas, executive director for ACSET. “That’s in addition to an anticipated $1 million savings due to a recent change to our service delivery model. That’s money that will be invested directly into our employment and training programs. As federal funding decreases, we are tasked with being more creative and flexible.”

My Town: West Michigan home to 'Coolest Hardware Store'

My Town: West Michigan home to 'Coolest Hardware Store'

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OAK BROOK, Ill. (Ace Hardware Corp.) – Whether in need of hardware, housewares or sporting goods, residents of Grand Rapids, Mich., know they can rely on Rylee’s Ace Hardware.

For offering these unique products, services and more, Ace Hardware Corporation has recognized Rylee’s Ace Hardware with a 2014 “Coolest Hardware Store” award. Of 4,850 locally-owned and operated Ace Hardware stores worldwide, Rylee’s Ace Hardware is one of just six stores honored with this year’s award.

“We are honored,” said Lori Terpstra, the third-generation owner who co-owns the store alongside husband Todd Terpstra. “There are a lot of cool Ace Hardware stores out there. For us to be chosen is an honor.”

In West Michigan's booming tech scene, talent is the final piece of the puzzle

In West Michigan's booming tech scene, talent is the final piece of the puzzle

By Stephen Thomas Kent
This story originally appeared in Rapid Growth

If you talk to West Michigan technology employers and entrepreneurs frequently, as we do at Rapid Growth Media, you’ll hear one refrain that pops up again and again: “Talent.” As in, “we need more of it.”

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Dozens of nonprofit organizations that are close to the hearts of Consumers Energy employees are getting a financial boost.

The Consumers Energy Foundation recently awarded 78 grants worth $38,350 to organizations in Michigan where Consumers employees and retirees volunteer.  Last year, nonprofits in the state received more than $8 million from Consumers Energy and its employees, retirees, foundation and parent company, CMS Energy.  

The 2014 second quarter grant recipients include:

Allegan County

  • $450 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Baseball (Loren Barnes)
  • $550 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Football (Loren Barnes)

Ionia County

  • $550 to Portland Public Schools Wrestling Club (Chad Miller)

Kalamazoo County