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Southwest Michigan First and Kzoo Regional Chamber Teaming Up



Ron Kitchens

Chief Executive Officer

Southwest Michigan First

241 East Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI  49007        



Jeffrey Hawkins, Chairman

Blaine Lam, Interim President

Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce

346 West Michigan Avenue | Suite 100

Kalamazoo, MI 49007


Gazelle Sports Ranked Top Four

Gazelle Sports Ranked Top Four

Gazelle Sports store in West Michigan has received national recognition from Competitor Magazine for being one of 2012's "50 Best Running Stores in America," placing in the top four.  Gazelle has stores locally in Holland, Kalamazoo, and Kentwood.  This is the seventh year in a row that it has made the list.

Each store that is nominated is put through an evaluation process that includes mystery shopping to assess customer service, credit ratings from vendors, and assessments about local programs and community commitment.

Gazelle Sports Co-Owner Chris Lampen-Crowell says, "We are very proud to be recognized as one of the best running stores in America. It is a tribute to the Gazelle Sports staff. It means that they are living our mission to pursue, encourage and celebrate a healthy lifestyle, and providing the best customer care in the world.

Kalamazoo Beer Week is coming soon

Kalamazoo Beer Week, January 12-18, 2013, known fondly as KBW, is all about building a relationship with craft beer. Some of us already share this passion: an affinity for hand-crafted products, made by people who care about an enriching brew experience and carefully fashioned flavor profiles. But some are newer to their understanding of how amazing craft beer can be. Kalamazoo Beer Week is a weeklong series of events that support the craft beer experience through special tastings, dinners, and interactive events.

Launch MI Lab seeks lean bioscience startups

Launch MI Lab seeks lean bioscience startups

Written by  Mike Brennan

KALAMAZOO — Richard West developed his expertise in clinical flow cytometry as he worked for several big employers, including Spectrum Health and Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids. He also helped build the stem cell engineering lab at DeVos Children’s Hospital.

But in 2010, West caught the entrepreneurial bug and founded his self-described dream company, West Labs Scientific LLC.

In his new venture, West and a part-time assistant perform flow cytometry, vet hematology and blood chemistry, DNA content analysis, cell imaging and whatever it takes to keep his customers happy.

ART HOP and the HOLLY JOLLY TROLLEY: A perfect combo

ART HOP and the HOLLY JOLLY TROLLEY: A perfect combo

From: http://www.downtownkalamazoo.org/

With over 60 Art Hop locations throughout Central City, it makes perfect sense to consider hopping on the trolley to explore all the sites and the art that'll be on display this Friday. It will be a magical night - one of the really "cool" evenings that define what we do around here. For a listing of all the locations, click ART HOP & MORE.

Popular women's store founders next up in Entrepreneurship Forum

Popular women's store founders next up in Entrepreneurship Forum

The co-founders of one of downtown Kalamazoo's most popular retail stores for women's clothing will be the next presenters in a Western Michigan University speaker series that focuses on entrepreneurship.

Patti Reinholt and Susan Terranella-Hoffman, co-founders of Cakes Boutique, will speak at 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, in 2150 Schneider Hall as part of the Haworth College of Business Entrepreneurship Forum. The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Kayla Hunt at (269) 387-6059 or kayla.j.hunt@wmich.edu. Free parking is available in the nearby Fetzer Center parking lot.

Downtown Movie Theater Rave Motion Pictures to Change Ownership

Downtown Movie Theater Rave Motion Pictures to Change Ownership

From: http://www.downtownkalamazoo.org/

As a follow up to the recent flurry of media reporting on the changes affecting RAVE MOTION PICTURES relating to it closing the downtown Kalamazoo facility, Downtown Kalamazoo Inc. is able to make the following statements:

We know that: 

  • Rave is not renewing its lease.
  • A NEW MOVIE THEATER OPERATOR is in negotiations with Rave, and the property owner. The property owner is very confident that the lease agreement will be signed within weeks.
  • We know that part of the negotiations are to make sure the theater does not go dark over the holidays.
  • The intention is to go dark early January for major renovations to meet the NEW MOVIE THEATER corporate footprint.
  • The NEW MOVIE THEATER OPERATOR will offer a unique movie experience.

Stay tuned for developments.