Skip to main content
Advertisement for MSUFCU Student Art exhibit

Professional Highlights from the 517 Region

Elderly Instruments Named America’s Top Small Business
Lansing’s Elderly Instruments has been recognized as America’s Top Small Business at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit. The recognition highlights Elderly Instruments’ outstanding contribution to the world of music and its unwavering commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion within the music industry.   

“The rest of the country is finding out what we already know — Elderly Instruments is one of the best,” said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. “I am thrilled that this Lansing small business is being recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. After 51 years in Lansing, Elderly Instruments continues to be a leader in our community and an excellent example of small business making a big difference in the city of Lansing.” 

Matt Nobis

U-M Health Announces Regional Finance Vice President
Matt Nobis has been named regional vice president of finance for University of Michigan Health, acting as Regional President Margaret Dimond’s key financial adviser in guiding the regional system that includes Sparrow and University of Michigan Health-West.   

Nobis has served as director of finance/ controller of Sparrow Health System since April 2020. Nobis is also active in the community, serving on the board of directors of Sparrow Clinton Hospital, Sparrow Development Inc. and Ingham Health Plan, as well as on the advisory board of Mary Free Bed at Sparrow. 

ATHENA Honors Two Local Women
ATHENA International honored Julie Pingston with 2023 ATHENA Leadership Award and named Justine Bell as a 2024 ATHENA PowerLink recipient.  

Julie Pingston
Julie Pingston

Pingston is president and CEO of Choose Lansing. She will formally receive her award at the annual ATHENA Lansing Celebration.  

Bell is the owner of BeneGuides. ATHENA PowerLink is a national mentoring program that connects chosen women business owners with a skilled advisory panel. The specified panel of advisers will donate an estimated $25,000 value of business consultation services to help her business achieve the next level of success. As the 2024 recipient, Bell will have the opportunity to work with an advisory panel that is specifically tailored to meet her business goals. 

Justine Bell
Justine Bell

MSU Museum Selected for Craft Legacy Project
The Michigan State University Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, is one of four organizations selected to take part in a project through the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to expand the visibility of underrepresented local elder African American artisans. 

The project — Cultural Sustainability and Legacy Planning for Craft Artists — was conceived to assist makers in safeguarding their stories while building relationships among artists, between elders and youth, and with local cultural institutions. 

“The MSU Museum is proud to expand its robust collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution on another project aimed at advancing research and enhancing public engagement,” said Devon Akmon, museum director. “Furthermore, we’re excited to partner with the Michigan Traditional Arts Program and Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences to bring this project to fruition.”  

Capital City Apartments Gains Recognition
Recent renovations at Capital City Apartments in Lansing have earned national recognition for the Lansing Housing Commission. 

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials selected the Lansing Housing Commission project for its Award of Merit, the organization’s highest honor, in the project design category. The commission was one of eight public housing projects recognized nationally by the national association during its annual conference.  

Completed this year, the Capital City Apartments’ renovations were part of a 9% LIHTC award of over $13 million from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Since 2020, the commission has invested over $65 million in renovations to over 550 units in the city. 

DTN Celebrates 50 Years
DTN Management Co. commemorated a significant milestone of 50 years as developers and managers in the real estate industry. 

Established by Tom Kuschinski and Nick Uppal, DTN Management Co. has set the benchmark for comprehensive real estate services while exemplifying a commitment to excellence. Over the decades, DTN has transformed Greater Lansing’s landscape and expanded its reach into multiple metropolitan areas, including Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Metro Detroit. 

Mary Gardner

Sparrow Clinton Gives BEE Award to Caregiver
Sparrow Clinton Hospital Lead Phlebotomist Mary Gardner has received the BEE Award for her patience, professionalism and continuously going above and beyond.  

The BEE Award recognizes excellence among nonclinical support caregivers who contribute to Sparrow Clinton’s quality, compassionate care. The acronym BEE stands for Being Exceptional Every day. 

Gardner’s nomination reads, “Mary is by far the sweetest, most caring team leader I’ve ever known. She goes above and beyond the call to demonstrate how to care for others. Through what could be considered the hardest year of one’s life, she still manages to always show up and lead this team with patience, professionalism, understanding and the utmost concern for us all. Mary deserves to be recognized for being the best.”  

Bryan Honored by U.N. Association
Willye Bryan of Lansing has been recognized as a 2023 Global Goals – Local Leader by the Greater Lansing chapter of the United Nations Association at the U.N. Day Celebration.  

Bryan founded the Justice League of Greater Lansing in 2021 to address the racial wealth gap. The nonprofit organization created a faith-based reparations model. It builds relationships with white houses of worship and employs education to link the hundreds of years of systemic, structural racism with the need for increasing wealth equity for African Americans. 

Martin Waymire Promotes Bauer
Martin Waymire promoted Bridgette Bauer to public affairs manager. 

Bauer has grown to lead client teams such as the Michigan Library Association, Anderson Economic Group, Michigan State University Health Sciences and the Michigan Organization for Nursing Leadership.  

She also plays a role in supporting digital and communications strategies for clients including the Michigan Association of Health Plans, Michigan Health and Hospital Association, Michigan Future Inc., and the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, among others. 


Ly Wins DAISY Award for Nurses
McLaren Greater Lansing nurse Zachary Ly was honored with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the exceptional care nurses provide every day.  

Ly was recognized by hospital leadership and co-workers and received a certificate commending him for being an extraordinary nurse as well as a sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” hand-carved by artists of the Shona people in Zimbabwe.