Notable News for April 2020
GLCVB Touts Positive Growth, Changes
The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau held its annual meeting Feb. 25 and had findings for the hospitality industry of the area and the local economy.
The regional hospitality agency reported a strong 61.6% occupancy rate for 2019, and the overall hotel room demand increased to over 1.06 million hotel room nights, according to Smith Travel Research data.
“The Greater Lansing community experienced another very strong year,” said Jack Schripsema, former president and CEO of the GLCVB. “For the ninth consecutive year, the GLCVB destination sales department exceeded its room-night goal, the Greater Lansing Sports Authority once again broke the century mark for events hosted and, despite new hotel inventory in the community, demand for rooms increased.”
The GLCVB also recognized the Certified Tourism Ambassador of the year. The Greater Lansing Certified Tourism Ambassador program aims to equip residents in frontline hospitality- and tourism-related positions – such as hotel, local attraction and restaurant employees – with a more in-depth knowledge of the area’s many assets so they may help create a more positive and memorable visitor experience. The meeting concluded with the announcement of the GLCVB’s new president and CEO, Julie Pingston, CDME, CMP, CTA.
Judge Announces Retirement
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Janelle A. Lawless will step down from the bench at the conclusion of her current term at the end of this year. At the time of her retirement, she will have served the people of Ingham County for over 30 years.
Lawless received a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University in 1977 and continued to a law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School in 1981. She went into private practice as a licensed attorney in Lansing.
In 2002, Lawless was elected to an open seat on the Circuit Court bench and began her service as a judge in January 2003. She has since been reelected twice, with her current six-year term expiring at the end of 2020.
During her entire tenure on the Ingham County bench, Lawless has been assigned to the family division of the Circuit Court, hearing cases relating to child protection, juvenile justice, adoption and other matters involving families. Lawless also served as Circuit Court chief judge from 2012 to 2017.
The successor to Lawless on the bench will be decided in the November general election.
LAFCU Wins 5 Marketing Awards
LAFCU has won five marketing awards in the 17th annual Service Industry Advertising Awards competition, with two entries winning the top awards in their categories.
The advertising work was produced in partnership with Harvest Creative Services in Lansing; the public relations project was executed in partnership with Publicom in Okemos.
“In offering quality financial products to our members statewide, we are also competing with national entities,” said Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU chief marketing officer. “Our goal is always to represent LAFCU as a cutting-edge financial organization. This SIAA recognition is validation that our marketing is competitive on a national scale.”
The entries that have earned gold awards and their SIAA categories were “Here to Help” for the Total PR Campaign and the “Go Vertical” video for the TV Advertising-Single.
The Merit Award winners and their SIAA categories are the “Go Vertical” billboard in the Outdoor Advertising category, the “Go Vertical” campaign in the Total Advertising Campaign category and the “Jumbo CD” video for the TV Advertising-Single.
The SIAA competition recognizes advertising excellence of service industry providers. Of the more than 1,600 entries, about 15% were recognized, receiving 121 gold, 74 silver and 54 bronze awards. Judges reviewed entries for execution, creativity, quality, consumer appeal and overall breakthrough content.
Origami Rehabilitation Center Recognizes Peer-Nominated Awards
Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center congratulated this year’s recipients of its annual peer-nominated awards. The individuals were recognized for bringing unmatched creativity, innovation and care to their roles. The awards and recipients are Tori Richards for the Business Operations Award, Kara Christy with the Clinical Excellence Award, Drew Doubleday for Employee of the Year, Lauren Wesolowski with the Client Care Award and Amanda DeForke for the Client Support Award.
Douglas J Opens School of Barbering
Douglas J announced the opening of its School of Barbering in Greater Lansing. This will be the first barbering program to come to Greater Lansing that will be accredited. The headquarters will be in the Marriott East Lansing and the school will soon welcome its inaugural class.
“Our School of Barbering is a highly anticipated addition to our education offerings, which is why we’re so proud to see it come to fruition,” said Scott Weaver, president of Douglas J Aveda Institutes and Salons. “Our first class of students is already full, proving there’s a real demand for this career path.”
This school will provide a yearlong, 1,800-hour curriculum in skills that include precision cutting, shaving, color, chemical treatments, skin care and business management. The program will be similar to Douglas J’s Aveda Institute, where students will provide services that they have learned to clients.
“Urban barber shops are experiencing a modern revival, creating a demand for barbers in the state of Michigan,” said T.J. Weaver, vice president and co-owner of Douglas J Institutes and Salons. “This is a great opportunity for people who are passionate about hair care, grooming and skin care, but don’t necessarily want to work in a salon or spa.”
Lugnuts Announce New Hires
The Lansing Lugnuts has announced the hiring of three new employees to the team’s front office staff. Greg Kigar is the director of stadium events, Kaitlyn Reed is the box office manager and the Paul Kuhna is the head groundskeeper.
“We are thrilled to welcome Greg, Kaitlyn and Paul to our team here with the Lugnuts,” said Lansing Lugnuts General Manager Tyler Parsons.
“Greg brings an incredible amount of experience and is well-respected in the sports industry. We’re fortunate to add someone of his caliber to our staff. Kaitlyn impressed us immediately with her enthusiasm, and she brings a terrific background that will translate well to our box office. She’s a rising star in the industry and will make a tremendous addition. And Paul is someone we were well-acquainted with, as he worked with us during the 2017 season. He did an amazing job the last few years in West Virginia, and when we had an opening, we immediately thought of him. I have no doubt that our field will continue to rank among the best in MiLB under his guidance.”
NAI/TMN Update Name, Launches Website
NAI Mid-Michigan and TMN Commercial have served the Greater Lansing area’s commercial real estate needs for decades. In 2013, the two companies merged together under the name NAI Mid-Michigan/TMN Commercial, but have now streamlined the brand under NAI Mid-Michigan. They will continue with the same comprehensive services and organizational structure as before.
“This tremendous growth hasn’t changed how we conduct business. We look at commercial real estate as a person-to person business relationship, and our new website highlights this,” said Jeff Shapiro, principal. “We want to deliver the very best services and outcomes for our clients, and we want to reach new clients by providing meaningful online information and resources. We knew in time the name would be simplified as the two operations became one.”
The new website, naimidmichigan.com will include a link to easily access the tenant portal for all of the company’s client properties.
Investment Specialist Joins NAI
Frank Woronoff has joined NAI Mid-Michigan as its commercial adviser.
Woronoff specializes in investment real estate and represents clients in the sale and purchase of investment opportunities in the mid-Michigan region. He has accrued more than 20 years of real estate and investment experience, primarily in office and multifamily properties. He will be focusing on the acquisition and disposition of investment-grade properties for individuals, developers, partnerships, corporations, financial institutions and investors.
“Frank is held in high regard in the Greater Lansing area,” said Jeff Shapiro, principal for NAI Mid-Michigan. “His decades of experience and his knowledge of positioning real estate assets for investors heightens our capabilities in mid-Michigan.”
Woronoff lives in Okemos and is engaged to be married. He has two children, with one starting college at Michigan State University in the fall. Prior to joining NAI Mid-Michigan, he was the director of commercial at Coldwell Banker Hubbell Briarwood.\
Sparrow Health System Honored with Impact Award
Sparrow Health System has been selected as a 2020 Michigan Works! Impact Award winner, honoring the finest achievements in workforce development statewide. Sparrow was nominated by Capital Area Michigan Works! for being a leader in the Mid-Michigan region in the development of apprenticeship programs.
“It is an honor to receive this award, which would not have been possible without the hard work of many people at Sparrow and our partners in the community, Capital Area Michigan Works! and Lansing Community College,” said Sherry Pfaff-Doody, talent acquisition director Sparrow Health System.
Among Sparrow’s highly successful apprenticeship programs is a collaboration with Lansing Community College to train medical assistants. The program addresses a major need in health care. Sparrow worked with LCC on addressing this need by creating a program for current caregivers in which the college would provide classroom time while students would get clinical experience at Sparrow. The caregivers continue to get paid by Sparrow while in the program.
NAI Announces Expansion Lease for Blooming Minds Therapy
NAI Mid-Michigan announced that Blooming Minds Therapy has entered in to a long-term expansion lease for 3,500 square feet at 3496 E. Lake Lansing Road in East Lansing. Anna Scates, and Jacqueline Newsome, will more than double their space, growing their practice of clinicians. According to Scates, “We have been very pleased with the location but quickly outgrew our original 1,400-square-foot suite. NAI Mid-Michigan worked diligently to provide a solution by relocating us within the same building with an attractive tenant package.” Blooming Minds Therapy will be in their new space in early May.
LEAP CEO Recognized as North American Top 50 Economic Developer
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership has announced LEAP President and CEO Bob Trezise was selected as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers for 2020 by Consultant Connect.
Consultant Connect is a leading consulting agency focused on bridging the gap between economic developers and site consultants, a key relationship that defines the success of business attraction efforts. The economic development professionals selected for this list were nominated by their colleagues in both the economic development industry and the site consultant community for excellent practices, innovation and success in building the communities they serve.
During Trezise’s tenure with LEAP, private sector investment projects have totaled over $3 billion, resulting in the creation of more than 7,100 direct-private jobs through a wide variety of award-winning projects.
Trezise has also pushed LEAP to create a robust entrepreneurial business startup program, corporate innovation subsidiary (PROTO Accelerator), a placemaking program that has resulted in 35 pieces of strategically placed public art across the region and the creation and support of the Lansing Poet Laureate program.
“I’m honored to be selected for this award and to be recognized with top colleagues from across the country,” said Trezise.
“While it certainly feels good to be identified as a leader, it’s even more fulfilling to have LEAP’s relentless pursuit of excellence in all we do validated on a national stage. Our investors and our region are receiving the best there is, in the entire country, when it comes to economic development.”
Neogen Lab Services Earns Accreditation
Neogen announced that its Laboratory Services Group in Lansing has received ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, the highest recognized quality standard in the world for testing laboratories.
Receiving the accreditation means that test reports and certificates generated from Neogen’s laboratory in Lansing can now be generally accepted from one country to another without further testing. In addition, the accreditation means that companies seeking to comply with the recommendation of the Food Safety Modernization Act to only use ISO/IEC 17025-accredited laboratories for third-party testing can now use Neogen’s Laboratory Services Group.
“This prestigious accreditation confirms the quality and competency of our laboratory’s personnel and processes,” said Tony Lupo, Neogen’s senior director of technical services. “The Neogen Laboratory Services group was determined to consistently produce precise, accurate and valid testing data for the analysis of mycotoxins and food allergens. The ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation demonstrates Neogen’s commitment to quality, competency and reliability through implementation of a rigorous quality management system.”