Our network

Business

Crowley, Fuller Earn Endorsement of the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber PAC

Crowley, Fuller Earn Endorsement of the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber PAC

The Kalamazoo Regional Chamber Political Action Committee (PAC) endorses Pat Crowley for Drain Commissioner and Richard Fuller for Sherriff in this fall’s general election, Tuesday, November 6.

"The decision to endorse these two candidates is based on their history of well-run and fiscally responsible departments,” said Greg Dobson, Chamber PAC chair. “Pat Crowley has maintained a professionally managed Drain Department since elected in 2008. She champions the protection of our community resources and strives to balance development with common-sense policies and procedures. Her PhD in soil and water physics coupled with her management approach made Pat our choice.”

Concert Planned to Help Reopen Sarkozy Bakery

Concert Planned to Help Reopen Sarkozy Bakery

It's a go, almost.

Judy Sarkozy is negotiating with a property owner in downtown Kalamazoo in hopes that Sarkozy Bakery will reopen after their former location was destroyed by fire earlier this year. "There was no way we could have rebuilt in the same location," says Judy, "and the insurance settlement didn't leave us with enough to do this alone."

At the same time, she is looking for creative ways to fund the cost of the bakery. "In 1978, we opened with $11,000 and 5 bread recipes," she explains, "and over the years we made many investments, some of them significant, and now we need to replace all of that at one time with limited funds."

Landscape Forms opens up design culture with HQ project, new products

Landscape Forms opens up design culture with HQ project, new products

By Joe Boomgaard | MiBiz

KALAMAZOO — People that know about Landscape Forms Inc. often respect the company for its designs and innovation in the niche landscape furnishings industry.

But it's not the people familiar with the company's work that it wants to reach as part of an evolution in its corporate mindset. Rather, Landscape Forms wants to leverage its design-led culture to be more at the forefront of design in West Michigan. It wants people to take notice.

That shift will become evident as the company renovates is headquarters in Kalamazoo and opens itself more to the community — and as it uses some leading-edge behavioral research to inform its product design.

Chamber Board Announces Stephanak As Transitional Leader

Chamber Board Announces Stephanak As Transitional Leader

The Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced the temporary appointment of Jim Stephanak to serve as the organization’s transitional leader. The move has been formally approved by the board of directors, and is effective immediately. Stephanak will retain his seat as immediate-past chair of the board of directors. In this newfound capacity, Stephanak will serve through the end of August to lend support and management continuity to the organization’s fourteen staff members. During this span, Stephanak also plans to assist the board with the selection of a full-time interim-president and solidify a search process for a permanent leader. Steward Sandstrom, CCE, who had served as president and CEO since 2006, departed on July 13 to assume duties as the leader of the Springfield (IL) Area Chamber of Commerce.

A Q&A with Tim Surprise as Arcadia Brewing goes to work on its new Kalamazoo location

A Q&A with Tim Surprise as Arcadia Brewing goes to work on its new Kalamazoo location

With the 16-year-old Arcadia Brewing Co. running out of capacity and room at its longstanding downtown Battle Creek location, founder Timothy C. Suprise went looking for a new location. He shopped around all of West Michigan before settling on a key location in downtown Kalamazoo. The company and partners Enmar LLC, a real estate firm, secured $1 million in grants from the Michigan Strategic Fund to support the $5.5 million project, which could create 42 jobs. Suprise, a native New Yorker who started Arcadia after walking away from a career in the paper industry, spoke with MiBiz to discuss the strategy behind the move.

Why did you need a new location?

First and foremost we ran out of space in our Battle Creek location. It has been a space challenge for the better part of two years there and it became clear to us that we needed to go through a process of due diligence to find a new space.

Arcadia Brewing expands to Kalamazoo's downtown riverfront

Arcadia Brewing expands to Kalamazoo's downtown riverfront

Arcadia Brewing Company has announced the construction of a new facility on Kalamazoo's downtown riverfront – a $5.4 million investment in developing a mixed-use facility that is to include a Packaging microbrewery, Company office space, riverfront pub/eatery, and a riverfront beer garden 

"Arcadia's expansion into Kalamazoo is an important and exciting milestone, not only for our company, but for the greater Kalamazoo and Battle Creek communities,” says Arcadia President and Founder, Tim Suprise. “ Arcadia is reinvesting in our Battle Creek operation and locating a new production and pub facility in downtown Kalamazoo will that will bring dozens of quality jobs and vitality to a strategically-important section of the city (River's Edge), while reclaiming a part of the Kalamazoo River."

In other words, Arcadia isn't relocating; Arcadia is expanding.

Kalamazoo Chamber President Resigns

Kalamazoo Chamber President Resigns

Steward Sandstrom, president and CEO of the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce, has announced his resignation, effective Friday, July 13.

Sandstrom, who has served at the helm of the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce since July of 2006, will be leaving to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer for the Greater Springfield (IL) Chamber of Commerce.

“My service with the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce has been a very rewarding experience and leaving the relationships within our membership and the community will be difficult,” said Sandstrom. “I am extremely proud of my team and our accomplishments over the past six years. I look forward to the opportunities and challenges that are sure to come with my newfound role in Springfield.”