eMailMax 3/14/15 : Page 1

Moody On The Market

Pat Moody

Jeff & Debbie Pallas share multiple passions, but the current driving force for this dynamic couple is the all-encompassing effort to put the finishing touches on their new winery and event venue on Kerlikowske Road in Benton Harbor. The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail is gaining another eclectic stop for eager visitors this spring in the form of Vineyard 2121, handcrafted by the Pallas family just down the road from Lake Michigan Hills Golf Club. Jeffery & Deborah are targeting a May launch for the colorful new winery which has been rising from the tundra all winter long. The Pallas’ have a shared passion for entertaining friends in addition to their deep and abiding love for Michigan’s Great Southwest and everything it has to offer. The two collaborate with a set of skills that complement one another to make for an exciting future. They have the perfect idyllic spot for this new destination attraction with easy access to Interstates 94 and 196, and an atmosphere to keep you enchanted throughout your visit or event. Jeffrey has designed and has been building a first-class wine tasting room and winery at 2121 Kerlikowske Road (thus, the 2121 name). He brings to the table many years of landscape design, as he molds the perfect setting for many weddings and events. In fact, the first wedding at Vineyard 2121 actually took place last August, and they are currently scheduling events beginning in August of this year featuring multiple areas to set the stage for wedding vows including a Beautiful Event Tent or a Rustic Pergola, with accommodation options ranging all the way up to 250 guests. Deborah brings her management and public relations skills into every planning aspect of creating an establishment that is inviting and offers guests the experience of a lifetime. In May the couple plans to launch their getaway destination and winery, preparing to serve hand-crafted local wines and a light menu highlighting fresh local produce from a Tasting Room overlooking the vineyard. Some of the produce will come directly from the Pallas’ own award-winning farm. The inaugural menu includes things like cheese boards, hummus plates, charcuterie boards, seasonal salsas, dipping breads, desserts and many more. If you’d like to contact Vineyard 2121 regarding hosting an event on the grounds, please contact Deborah at 269-429-0555. As part of the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation, Vineyard 2121 will present many varietal wines, blends and even some fruit wines. Just last month, Jeff & Deborah were presented with the 2014 Conservation Farm of the Year Award by the Berrien County Conservation District, in recognition of their efforts and commitment to implement environmentally friendly conservation practices on their farm.<br /> <br /> When veteran real estate broker Anson Lovellette launched Pier Realty seven years ago as a sole practitioner, he likely did not envision ballooning his fledgling firm into a decent little juggernaut housing 20 agents and anchoring four individual branch offices. Nevertheless, his expertise and the talent assembled in those nearly two dozen agents proved rather prolific, leading to more than $23-million in real estate transactions of all types for clients and customers throughout Michigan's Great Southwest last year alone. Nearly half of the Pier Realty team are Associate Brokers and several have owned or managed other real estate companies before signing on with Lovellette and his colleagues. Now, Pier Realty is embarking on its next chapter, as Anson steps back into a role as Associate Broker and turns over leadership of the agency to fellow veteran performer Michelle Alger. Michelle is assuming the new leadership role as Broker/ Owner at Pier Realty, as Lovellette will increase his focus on client service at the firm.<br /> <br /> Addressing the transition Lovellette says, "I am delighted to be handing off the baton to Michelle.She is hard working, positive, knowledgeable, and genuinely fun to work with." Lovellette notes that Michelle has had ownership and leadership roles in prior companies, and has served on the Education & Finance Committees for the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors, and served there for three years as a Director-at-Large. Additionally, she has taught Ethics & Orientation classes for new agents over the years. For her part, Michelle tells us, "My goal is to continue to grow the company and provide the highest level of services and integrity to our agents and our customers."It was Alger's vision and considerable hard work that led to the launch of the Berrien Springs Branch a year ago. Now she has earned the opportunity to plot the future strategy for Pier Realty going forward. Pier Realty's main office is located at 1100 Main Street in St. Joseph with branch teams in Berrien Springs and Galien. Reach Michelle at 269-876-2713 or email at <br /> <br /> The multi-talented man who anchors the tennis program at the South Shore Health & Racquet Club keeps adding to his resume, no doubt to the delight of management, his fans and friends everywhere. Mark Ficks, who is the Director of Tennis at South Shore has been certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association for the past 19 years. He's not one to rest on his laurels however, and last month he headed to Chicago to take the exam to become a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise. Armed with the goal of enhancing South Shore's Tennis Program by blurring the line between coaching tennis and training, Mark is hopeful that they can literally become one-and-the-same going forward. His philosophy is, "If a high level player truly wants to Mail Max for Michigan's Great Southwest be the best tennis player that they can be, they should also be striving to the best 'athlete' that they can be." Last month colleagues at the United States Professional Tennis Association elected Mr. Ficks to serve as the Michigan USPTA President. As such, he will also serve on the Midwest Board of Directors, facilitating conference calls with tennis professionals all across the state as well as assisting in the Midwest Summer Conference at the Western Southern Financial Open, a Professional ATP Tournament, in Cincinnati, Ohio in August.<br /> <br /> Mark's really big news of late, however, is that the South Shore Health & Racquet Club has been selected by the LTSPTA to host a Tennis Conference on November 14, 2015. He says it will be billed as part of the USPTA's "National Day of Education." He is decidedly pumped up for the event inasmuch as tennis professionals and high school coaches from all over the Midwest will converge on St. Joe to attend this important conference at South Shore. It marks the first time that South Shore has been tabbed to host a USPTA Conference. Mark will be a keynote speaker along with his brother Scott from Milwaukee and other top-notch presenters. He brings a considerable pedigree to the conference having been USPTA Michigan Professional of the Year in 2007 and again in 2010. Incidentally, if you're not a tennis player or fan and still recognize Mark Ficks from the photo that accompanied the story on Moody on the, there's an excellent chance you've seen him performing musically at a local venue like The Livery or Mail Max for Michigan's Great Southwest Santaniello's among the many places that he has played. He is an outstanding musician in his own right, and just keeps building that resume every day. The day job keeps him plenty busy at South Shore which is located at 3630 Tennis Court in St. Joseph.<br /> <br /> Over the last sixty years, the Wolf family of Benton Harbor has evolved a start-up marine supply business from a private home along the waterfront into the Midwest's largest marine accessory store in existence. This month, they launch their 60th year in business as a powerhouse provider of everything imaginable for on-the-water and in-the-water enthusiasts far and wide. Wolf's Marine, Inc. began from a single room in the Wolf family home to what is now a 50,000 square foot retail store in downtown Benton Harbor. They are regularly recognized and applauded as the Midwest's largest marine accessory store. As has become tradition, the big anniversary will kick-off the boating season with their Annual Spring Open House Celebration. Hie party is slated for next Saturday and Sunday, March 21st and 22nd. Hours of the big show will range from 9am until 5pm on Saturday and again from noon until 5pm on Sunday. You can find the celebration going on at 250 W. Main Street in Benton Harbor. The huge 50,000 square foot showroom presents to you the Midwest's largest selection of inflatable boats, boating gear, motors, wake & ski equipment, pontoon furniture, dock items including floating docks, service parts, clothing and shoes at discounted pricing. You will also find pre-season special deals on items throughout the store including Zodiac and AB inflatable boats. Additionally, Wolf's Diver's Supply will offer the latest in diving equipment at special pricing. Open House guests also have the opportunity to register to win more than $1,000 in door prizes. Boating enthusiasts will have face-to-face time with manufacturer's reps who have just returned from the gigantic Miami and Detroit Boat Shows, as they showcase new products, offer up advice and answer questions about various products. Wolf's Marine and Wolf's Diver's Supply have everything necessary for fun on or in the water including sailboats, electronics, scuba gear, clothing, accessories and more. For more information you can contact Wolf's directly at 269-926-1068 or click the link below to their website: <br /> <br /> If your company could use a cash infusion to finance a building, acquire new equipment, or even working capital...Jeff Hannan just might have the answer for you. Or, at least 20 some lenders might have the answer, and Jeff is convening those lenders in partnership with the SBA and Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce. More than 20 commercial lenders, loan guarantors and service organizations will come together on Wednesday, March 25, from 9:00 am until noon to meet with business owners and entrepreneurs seeking financing to expand an existing business or start a new business. The event will take place at Kinexus, which is located at 499 W. Main Street in Benton Harbor. Brian Picarazzi is Senior Area Manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). He says, "Whether a small business is looking to finance a building, a piece of equipment, or is in need of working capital, we will have lenders on hand who have the ability to finance these types of transactions independently or through SBA loan programs."<br /> <br /> Picarazzi notes that, "In this environment it is important that business owners speak with more than one lending institution when looking for funding."The most recent event of this kind resulted in over $10 million in capital formation, several business starts, and significant job creation in Southwest Michigan. In addition to lenders, multiple federal, state, and nonprofit small business program providers will also be on hand to answer questions, including representatives from SCORE, the Women's Business Center at Cornerstone Alliance, Kinexus, and the Michigan State University Extension. There is no cost to attend Meet the Lender thanks to sponsorships by Kinexus, the SBA, and Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce.However, registration is required by contacting Kinexus Business Consultant Jeff Hannan at or (269) 927-1064, x1171. It is recommended that attendees pitching startups meet with Hannan for one-on-one counseling before the event to ensure all business plans are in order.<br /> <br /> The Whitcomb Warblers...a vocal group comprised of both Whitcomb residents and local folks will bring a delightful slice of Ireland to Michigan's Great Southwest next Tuesday, March 17th in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. They will be performing in the Living Room at The Whitcomb Senior Living Community at 509 Ship Street in St. Joseph beginning at 6:30pm. The oldest member of the group is 96-years old and going strong. Admission is free, the event is open to the public, and refreshments will be served.<br /> <br /> The Getaway Grille and Cubbie Bar is hosting a giveback event for Therapeutic Equestrian Center (TEC) tonight, Saturday March 14th titled St. Patty Saturday. The restaurant will be donating 20% of the evening's sales back to TEC from 4 pm to close. The theme is a pre-St. Patty's Day party with live music by SW Michigan Rising Star, Taylor Winnell. Taylor will start singing at 9 pm and there will be food and drink specials all evening. TEC thanks Tom Ackerman and 97.5 Y-Country's Wild Bill for putting together a great night to support therapeutic horseback riding opportunities for people with special needs. The Getaway is located at 9489 Red Arrow Highway in Bridgman.<br /> <br /> That's it for this week, folks. See you Saturday right here in MailMax and online 24/7 at<br /> <br /> Pat Moody<br /> Morning Radio Personality<br /> WSJM Radio<br /><br /> (269) 925-1111

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