517 Magazine Presents: The 26th Annual Greater Lansing Entrepreneurial Awards

Notable News for September 2020

Widigan Appointed as Lansing Finance Director

Robert Widigan was appointed as finance director for the city of Lansing. He will manage the finance department, oversee short-term and long-term fiscal planning and operations of the city, prepare revenue projections and debt service requirements, and evaluate department operations, among other tasks related to the city’s financial health.

“I’m proud to welcome Robert Widigan as the city of Lansing’s finance director,” said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. “I am confident that his prior experience working in both state and municipal government finance will allow him to hit the ground running here at the city of Lansing. Rob has expertise in developing creative strategies, both financial and operational, to maximize available budget resources for municipal governments, and this is a critical skill to have on our team.”

Widigan worked at the Michigan Department of Treasury as a department analyst, identifying financial and operational stresses within local government units. In that role, he analyzed budgets and evaluated internal processes, as well as strategic planning. Widigan also served as the village manager for the village of Shelby in Oceana County.


Allegra Recognized with Multiple Business Awards

Allegra Marketing Print Mail of Lansing was recently honored with multiple sales awards and recognitions from a leader of the franchise network, Alliance Franchise Brands.

The Allegra Lansing team members were recognized with a total of seven awards, including top 10 systemwide sales growth, overall sales volume, professionalism and client satisfaction. For the second consecutive year, Allegra of Lansing was also voted Supplier of the Year by its clients.

“I am so proud of all our team is doing to support our community during this challenging time, and I feel this award is evidence of our commitment to serving our clients,” said Brad Naghtin, Allegra owner.


Food Bank Welcomes New Board Members

Greater Lansing Food Bank announced that Deborah Leblanc, chief nursing officer of McLaren Greater Lansing, and Alan Vierling, president of Sparrow Hospital, have been elected to its board of directors for three-year terms.

“We are pleased to welcome Deborah and Alan to the Greater Lansing Food Bank Board,” said Leslie Brogan, board chair. “Their prominence in the health community and their new perspectives on food and health will drive growth at GLFB. We are excited about their commitment to supporting the mission of the food bank and of those we serve every day.”

Reelected members on the board of directors include Lavon Dennis, Carrie Waggoner and Kevin Zielke.


MiDEC Officer Slate Announced

The Michigan Diversity Education Center announced its 2020-2021 board officers.

  • Carrie Rosingana, chair, Capital Area Michigan Works!
  • Richard Howard, vice chair, Big Brothers Big Sisters Capital Region.
  • Kimberly Raiford, secretary/treasurer, Lansing community advocate.
  • Cindy Whittum, at-large, Davenport University.

Rosingana appointed Kellie Blackwell of Disability Network Capital Area as the 2020-2021 chair of the Michigan Disability Action Council and Stacy Hickox of Michigan State University as chair of the Michigan Employment Clinic Steering Committee.


Christensen Takes Position at Tri-Star Trust as Vice President Relationship Manager

Tri-Star Trust Bank has welcomed Bill Christensen to its Lansing office. Christensen joins the Tri-Star team as vice president, relationship manager with over 32 years’ experience in the banking industry and 24 years’ experience as a trust officer. Christensen provides asset management and trust services for individuals, foundations and business owners.

“I’m very excited to welcome Bill to the Tri-Star team,” said Gene Pickelman, president and CEO of Tri-Star Trust. “His extensive knowledge and expertise in trust servicing and asset management will make an immediate impact in the lives of Tri-Star’s clients. As we continue to grow in the Lansing community, Bill will be instrumental in strengthening our ability to bring unparalleled service to the clients we serve.”


Arts Council Receives Relief Funding

The Arts Council of Greater Lansing received $50,000 in funding through the coronavirus relief bill from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Grants of $50,000 were offered by the NEA to 846 organizations to support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel and facilities costs, and they were distributed across the United States to small, medium and large arts organizations that are facing extreme losses and tremendous struggle during this time.

“Artists and arts and cultural organizations are so important to the culture, livelihood and well-being of our Greater Lansing region; and they have been hard hit by COVID-19 fallout, losing much, if not all, of their income as they canceled festivals, musical performances, gallery openings, art fairs and more,” said Meghan Martin, executive director of the arts council. “All of these activities and the institutions and artists that create them are extremely important to our communities’ continued economic growth, and they need everyone’s support.”


Christman Listed Among Top National Contractors

The Engineering News-Record, a media outlet known for tracking the construction industry, has placed the Christman Co. at  No. 88 on its 2020 “ENR 400” list of the top 400 contractors nationally, a jump from the company’s 2019 No. 93 ranking. Overall rankings were calculated according to 2019 construction revenue. Based in Lansing, Christman also landed at No. 90 on the 2020 ENR list of Top 100 Contractors by New Contracts.

“It is an honor to again be named in ENR’s top 100 national contractors, this year rising to No. 88. We are fortunate for continued growth in today’s ever-changing environment,” Christman President and CEO Steve Roznowski said.

Significant projects from the company’s Lansing office contributing to the top-contractors ranking include the McLaren Greater Lansing replacement hospital, the city of East Lansing’s biosolids handling project, the Lansing School District’s bond program projects, Michigan State University’s Billman Music Pavilion and the Auto-Owners Insurance Co. south campus expansion.


Keller Williams Announces Staffing Changes

Keller Williams has announced five new hires. Christina Tamburino, associate broker; and James Denbrock, Jami Barr and April Putnam have joined Keller Williams Lansing.

Keller Williams Lansing has named Deborah Henry as new CEO team leader.

“As the new CEO team leader, I look forward to joining the leadership team at KW Lansing and shaping our strategic vision and growth for the future, while serving the real estate needs of the 517 community with outstanding customer service,” Henry said.


Treasury: Deadline for Michigan Home Heating Credit in Two Weeks

The Home Heating Credit helps cover utility expenses, leaving more money available for other critical needs.

Staying A Cut Above Through Crisis

Scott Weaver has led his teams through the novel coronavirus pandemic for both the Douglas J. Institutes and the Doug…

Coronavirus 101

517 Magazine spoke with some local leaders about what they learned from COVID-19.




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