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Notable News for November 2019

Attorneys Recognized as 2019 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC has announced that eight of its lawyers have been named 2019 Michigan Super Lawyers and Michigan Rising Stars. Only 5% of Michigan attorneys are recognized as Super Lawyers, and only 2.5% are named Rising Stars.

The Super Lawyers are Mark J. Burzych for franchise/dealership law; William K. Fahey for state, local and municipal law; Stephen J. Rhodes for energy and natural resources law; and Stephen O. Schultz for employment and labor law.

The Rising Stars are Ross K. Bower II for state, local and municipal law; Michael J. Cole for franchise/dealership law; Helen E. R Mills for state, local and municipal law; and Christopher S. Patterson for state, local and municipal law.


Holman Recognized as Volunteer of the Year

The Michigan Works! Association has honored Chris Holman, the director of Michigan Business Network, for his dedication to the growth and promotion of Michigan Works!.

Holman was named the Michigan Works! Association 2019 Volunteer of the Year. He was given the award at the association’s annual conference in Kalamazoo.

“In addition to his long-standing service to the Workforce Development board, Chris has served on a number of committees and executive committees,” said Luann Dunsford, CEO of the Michigan Works! Association. “Through his role with the Michigan Future Business Index and Michigan Business Network, he has ensured our team members are connected with businesses and has worked to educate the business community of the role and value of Capital Area Michigan Works! in talent attraction and growth in the region. Chris’ hard work and dedication make him the perfect choice for the Volunteer of the Year Award.”


Dunkin’ Returns to DeWitt

DeWitt’s newest Dunkin’ and Sunoco gas station has almost been completed. It will feature a Tailgaters convenience store. The 8,200-square-foot building will be host to this new “next-generation” Dunkin’.  The Dunkin’ will be one of the first in the nation to have an additional drive-thru lane designated exclusively for those using Dunkin’s mobile app for on-the-go ordering, which puts customers in a hurry first in line inside or at the drive-thru.

The Tailgaters convenience store will house a wall of liquor, a huge wine selection, a full lineup of craft beer and all the tradition brands customers expect.


East Lansing Fire Department Receives FEMA Grant

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded a $462,500 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant to the East Lansing Fire Department.

“We are very appreciative of FEMA, Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Sen. Gary Peters and our councilmembers that support this public safety grant program,” said East Lansing Fire Chief Randall Talifarro. “We are grateful to receive this funding, as it will help us support our mission and our community.”

The SAFER grant will be awarded in increments over a three-year period, which the Fire Department will use to pay the salary and benefits required to hire and retain three additional firefighters.

“This will enhance our emergency response capabilities as the city grows and becomes more densely populated. We hope to retain this modest increase of full-time firefighters after the grant ends if it is economically feasible and projected income tax revenues are realized,” said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas. “This is a responsible and strategic move by our administration. Our community will be beneficiaries of enhanced safety due to this grant.”


Gordmans Home Décor and Apparel Debuts

On Sept. 17, Gordmans debuted its new Michigan stores with ribbon cuttings in Bad Axe, Caro, Charlotte, Fremont, Hillsdale, Houghton Lake, Ludington, Manistee, Petoskey and St. Johns.

As part of its commitment to the communities, Gordmans presented a $1,000 check to a local high school in each city.

The new stores were part of the Gordmans Grand Opening Tour Celebration, which included 17 new Gordmans stores that opened in September across the country. By the end of the year, there will be over 150 Gordmans across the country.


Highfields Golf Outing Benefits Children, Families

On July 29, Highfields Inc. hosted its 39th annual golf outing, Putt for a Purpose, at Forest Akers West. It is one of the longest-running charitable golf outings in the Lansing area and has raised a net income of over $58,000 for children and families involved in counseling and support programs. Lyman & Sheets Insurance Agency was the title sponsor for the event.

The golf outing was followed by a live auction that gave guests the opportunity to participate in “Fund-a-Need,” which raised over $7,000 toward camperships for children involved in Highfields’ programs.

“We are thankful to everyone who participated in the outing, making it possible for children and families to have the opportunity to learn and grow. Camperships enhance treatment for children who have special needs, giving them a chance to participate in positive therapeutic activities,” said Brian Philson, president, and CEO of Highfields.


Russell Named New Mason Chamber Executive

Sarah Russell was selected by the board of directors of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce as its new executive director. She began work Sept. 30.

Russell has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship and small-business management. She also has a post-graduate certificate in counseling.

Russell will join the other chamber staff members – Victoria Bowerman as the administrative assistant and Hannah Warvel, as the program assistant. The chamber office and Hometown USA Visitors Center is at 148 E. Ash St., across from the Ingham County Courthouse in downtown Mason.


Emmons Promoted to Vice President at Personnel World

Paige Emmons was promoted to vice president at Personnel World. Emmons joined Personnel World in 2006 as a recruiter in the Lansing office, where she continued her career until 2013. After a brief separation from the company, Emmons rejoined the team in 2015. In 2016, she became a staffing manager and was put in charge of the Holt location. Since joining Personnel World, Emmons has helped thousands of people in the community find jobs, and she has been an integral part of helping businesses find the best candidates to hire.


MSUFCU Named Best and Brightest in Wellness for Fifth Year

Michigan State University Federal Credit Union has earned the designation of one of Michigan’s Best and Brightest in Wellness. The Best and Brightest Program honors organizations that make their workplaces and community a healthier place to live and work. MSUFCU has received this award in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

So far this year, the credit union’s internal CU Healthy committee has sponsored 340 employee registrations in quarterly CU Healthy challenges, 176 race registrations, 123 sports league registrations, 52 donations to area blood banks and 135 employee flu shots.

“This recognition reinforces our commitment to encourage our employees to be healthy by providing a workplace that supports a variety of health-minded activities,” said Silvia Dimma, MSUFCU’s chief human resources officer. “Delivering superior service to our members can best be accomplished by a strong and healthy workforce, so we will continue to make wellness a priority for employees.”

The Best and Brightest in Wellness is an innovative initiative recognizing and celebrating quality and excellence in health awareness. MSUFCU has been selected for this recognition based on its culture of wellness and efforts in employee wellness to make the organization and community a healthier place to live and work.


Physicians Health Plan to Launch Medicare Advantage Plan

Physicians Health Plan announced that it will offer a Medicare Advantage plan across 12 counties. Physicians Health Plan, which is part of Sparrow Health System, will offer the new plan in partnership with Saginaw-based Covenant HealthCare, providing seniors with local access to affordable wellness services and confidence that they will remain with their physicians and other community care providers they have come to know and trust.

Sparrow Advantage will be available in Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Montcalm and Shiawassee counties. Covenant Advantage, partnered with Covenant HealthCare, will be available in Saginaw, Bay and Tuscola counties.

In Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties, seniors will have access to care through PHP Advantage.

Eligible enrollees can begin to sign up for the new plan during the Medicare annual enrollment period that started Oct. 15. Coverage for beneficiaries will begin Jan. 1.

“For nearly 40 years, PHP has served as a locally managed, community-based health plan delivering best-in-class customer service,” said Dennis Reese, president and CEO of Physicians Health Plan. “We are excited to extend our personal care and service through a new Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare-eligible seniors will be able to access a broad network of physicians and providers and enjoy a comprehensive approach to their health care from trusted health systems such as Sparrow and Covenant.”


Farm Bureau Acquires Cincinnati Equitable Companies

Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan has acquired Cincinnati Equitable Companies. Cincinnati Equitable Companies is the parent company of Cincinnati Equitable Life Insurance Co. and Cincinnati Equitable Insurance Co.

“Cincinnati Equitable offers Farm Bureau insurance an exciting opportunity to both expand our area of service and provide several new products to our customers, as well,” said Farm Bureau Insurance CEO Don Simon. “We are pleased to welcome President Greg Baker and his associates to our family of companies.”

Cincinnati Equitable Life provides pre-need and final expense life insurance solutions in the states of Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee. Cincinnati Equitable Insurance Co., founded in 1826 and headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, is licensed to sell property-casualty insurance in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Baker and his associates at Cincinnati Equitable will continue to operate from their home office in Cincinnati.


First National Promotes Padgett to Vice President

The First National Bank of Michigan board of directors recently promoted Shaunna Padgett to vice president, strategic and operating manager.

Padgett joined First National Bank of Michigan in 2010 as a personal banker and was promoted to office manager in 2013. She was later promoted to branch administration manager in 2017.

“Shaunna is a tremendous asset to the bank,” stated Dan Bitzer, president and CEO. “We like to promote from within. Shaunna is an excellent example of that philosophy; we are very fortunate to have her on our team.”

Padgett holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University. She is an active member of the Rotary Club of Kalamazoo. In addition, she sits on the Capital Campaign Cabinet for the Hospital Hospitality House of Southwest Michigan and regularly volunteers for Kalamazoo County Ready 4s.


Helinski and Preuss Join Triterra

Triterra, a Lansing-based environmental consulting firm, has announced that it has hired two new staff members.

Carter Helinski has joined as an environmental scientist. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies and sustainability from Michigan State University. His work will be focused on environmental due diligence and natural resource management.

Caitlin Preuss has joined Triterra as an environmental scientist, as well. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies and sustainability from Michigan State University. Her work will focus on environmental due diligence, and she will perform records search with risk assessments and Phase 1 environmental site assessments. Her responsibilities will include historical research, site investigation, data interpretations, coordinating fieldwork, and preparing technical reports.


Burcham Hills Names New Executive Director

Kari Rennie, who was the former associate executive director at Henry Ford Village in Dearborn, was named director of Burcham Hills and has replaced Pam Ditri, who retired.

Rennie brings more than 10 years of experience in long-term care management, including more than five years with Life Care Services, Burcham Hills’ management company.

“Kari Rennie will continue Burcham Hills’ path of success,” said James Savage, president of the Burcham Hills board of trustees. “Her experience will guide us as we serve our clients and families and move forward with expansion plans, including Stonebriar of Burcham Hills.”


Guzman Recognized as Collaborator of the Year

The Michigan Works! Association honored Rey Guzman, talent development liaison for the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and Workforce Development, for his commitment to workforce and economic development. Named the Michigan Works! Association 2019 Collaborator of the Year, Guzman received the award at the association’s annual conference in Kalamazoo.

“Rey always works hand-in-hand with his local Michigan Works! partners,” said Luann Dunsford, CEO of the Michigan Works! Association. “He has a commitment to excellence and drive for getting the job done that not many people possess. Rey epitomizes the definition of leadership by inspiring others and influencing outcomes through his service-based leadership skills.”

In his role as talent development liaison, Guzman is responsible for engaging employers and educators to comprehensively address talent needs focused on mid- and long-term development skill gaps in key industries in each region statewide.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award and to be recognized by the Michigan Works! Association and all the Michigan Works! agencies that are our most valued partners,” said Guzman.



Hospital Names August Caregiver of the Month

Sparrow Carson Hospital has recognized emergency department registered nurse Nora Ryan as the August Caregiver of the Month for going above and beyond to help an elderly woman find comfort.

Ryan found the woman lost near Palo, a small village southwest of Carson City. The woman was disoriented and was from out of town. Ryan assisted her by driving to the Sparrow Carson emergency Department so she could be evaluated and sat with her for over an hour until her family arrived.

Ryan demonstrated the ICARE values inside and outside of work. She went above and beyond to provide care for patients every day.



Merger Expands Care in the Charlotte Area

Sparrow Eaton Hospital has formally joined the Sparrow Health System, which has expanded and enhanced the patient care and service to Charlotte and the Eaton County area.

The announcement capped a three-year transition of the former Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital into becoming a Sparrow Community Hospital. This transition has seen numerous successes, from improved care for patients who have presented chest pain or stroke symptoms to implementing Sparrow’s electronic medical record system at the Charlotte hospital so that providers from throughout the region can better collaborate on care.

“We’re extremely proud and excited to formalize this relationship, but ultimately it’s about patients and patient care,” said James Dover, Sparrow Health System president and CEO. “We will continue to expand upon the history of service and patient care that the former Hayes Green Beach already provided, but there will be greater resources so that Sparrow Eaton can grow in line with the growth of the Charlotte-area community.”