eMailMax 1/2/2016 : Page 1

ECRWSS SEE OUR AD ON PAGES 6 & 7 67% OFF Local Postal Customer Paper. News Good Your www.MailMaxOnline.com POSTMASTER: Please deliver on January 2, 2016 January 2, 2016 Volume 17, Ver. 01 Moody on The Market Southwest Michigan’s Retina Specialist, Pat M oody Ben Nicholson, M.D. wants you to know: A Stevensville manufac-turer founded 25 years ago along Red Arrow Highway that is currently enjoying a record year in sales has changed its name in the wake of the company’s acquisition last spring by a New York equity firm. The change for Dane Systems to JR Automation Technologies stems from the desire to unify Crestview Partners teams and streamline processes for both employees and customers alike. JR Automation Technologies has a co-CEO leadership team of Bryan Jones and Scot Lindemann . They and Dane Business Unit Managers Korey Manning and Al Bass informed the rest of the team at an employee luncheon last month. Jones tells us, “We hope to continue to capi-talize on the success of project collaborations between JR and Dane.” He adds, “Unifying our names in this way will simply make things easier and more efficient for our customers going for-ward.” Dane was established in Stevensville in 1990 and has become a recognized industry leader, pri-marily serving the automotive and consumer prod-ucts industries. The company employs 68 talented associates and celebrated another record sales year in 2015. Dane has been operating as a business unit of JR Automation Technologies for the past five years, anyway...so progression to the JR name became a natural. The unification marks the eighth operating location under the name of JR Automation, which designs and builds custom-made automated machinery for a host of industrial sectors. JR employs more than 600 people across the eight loca-tions with annual sales in excess of $200-million dollars. Back in March, Dane Systems was sold to Crestview Partners as part of the deal that sent JR Automation of Holland from the Huizenga Automation Group to Crestview. At that time, Dane’s Bryan vonDorpowski characterized the new relationship as being “off to a great start,” and a move that provided the infusion of capital to drive the next phase of growth for the entire system. Seven years after coming onto the scene in 1990, Dane became a part of the Huizenga Manufacturing Group in 1997. JR Automation was also acquired by JC Huizenga in 1995 when it had a crew of less than 100 employees. The company has clearly grown into an automation juggernaut with their combined workforce of more than 600 and increas-ing sales. The Dane, now JR Automation, team in Stevensville is a highly skilled workforce of top flight engineers and technicians continually in search of new skilled talent. The company has become a regular sponsor of multiple teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition in Michigan’s Great Southwest . The company was also the Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Manufacturing Sector in 2010 when they increased employment levels by 73-percent and saw a 340-per-cent increase in sales. The name change for the sprawling plant along Red Arrow Highway in Stevensville has already been made. Next time your daily commute is held up brief-ly by a freight train traversing Michigan’s Great Macular degeneration is the lead-ing cause of blindness in older adults. Symptoms include blurred, wavy or dis-torted vision and a blind spot in the cen-ter of vision. Dr. Nicholson is specially trained to treat diseases of the retina. His specialized care allows patients to have treatments performed close to home. Please call our office today if you think that you might benefit from an evaluation. 1-800-424-2393 Convenient locations in St. Joseph, Niles and South Haven Clinical Research Site Inserts & Promotions MailMax is a publication of Far Ahead Advertising, Inc. 2202 Plaza Drive Benton Harbor, MI 49022 269.428.3300 www.greateyecare.com Phone: 269.934.7522 FAX: 269.934.3297 email: publisher@farahead.com www.MailMaxOnline.com •www.facebook.com/eMailMax • Martins Super Markets •Hardings Friendly Market • Pater True Value • Ace Hardware • Save-A-Lot Inserts may vary by Zip Code Continued on page 10

Moody On The Market

Pat Moody

A Stevensville manufacturer founded 25 years ago along Red Arrow Highway that is currently enjoying a record year in sales has changed its name in the wake of the company’s acquisition last spring by a New York equity firm. The change for Dane Systems to JR Automation Technologies stems from the desire to unify Crestview Partners teams and streamline processes for both employees and customers alike. JR Automation Technologies has a co-CEO leadership team of Bryan Jones and Scot Lindemann. They and Dane Business Unit Managers Korey Manning and Al Bass informed the rest of the team at an employee luncheon last month. Jones tells us, “We hope to continue to capitalize on the success of project collaborations between JR and Dane.” He adds, “Unifying our names in this way will simply make things easier and more efficient for our customers going forward.” Dane was established in Stevensville in 1990 and has become a recognized industry leader, primarily serving the automotive and consumer products industries. The company employs 68 talented associates and celebrated another record sales year in 2015. Dane has been operating as a business unit of JR Automation Technologies for the past five years, anyway...so progression to the JR name became a natural. The unification marks the eighth operating location under the name of JR Automation, which designs and builds custom-made automated machinery for a host of industrial sectors. JR employs more than 600 people across the eight locations with annual sales in excess of $200-million dollars. Back in March, Dane Systems was sold to Crestview Partners as part of the deal that sent JR Automation of Holland from the Huizenga Automation Group to Crestview. At that time, Dane’s Bryan vonDorpowski characterized the new relationship as being “off to a great start,” and a move that provided the infusion of capital to drive the next phase of growth for the entire system. Seven years after coming onto the scene in 1990, Dane became a part of the Huizenga Manufacturing Group in 1997. JR Automation was also acquired by JC Huizenga in 1995 when it had a crew of less than 100 employees. The company has clearly grown into an automation juggernaut with their combined workforce of more than 600 and increasing sales. The Dane, now JR Automation, team in Stevensville is a highly skilled workforce of top flight engineers and technicians continually in search of new skilled talent. The company has become a regular sponsor of multiple teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition in Michigan’s Great Southwest. The company was also the Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Manufacturing Sector in 2010 when they increased employment levels by 73-percent and saw a 340-percent increase in sales. The name change for the sprawling plant along Red Arrow Highway in Stevensville has already been made. <br /> <br /> Next time your daily commute is held up briefly by a freight train traversing Michigan’s Great southwest, Rob Cleveland hopes you’ll welcome the chance to watch the wheels of commerce chugging past your windshield and the private sector development it represents. Depending on the length of the train or your degree of urgency, you might find that to be a bit of a stretch, but the new Cornerstone Alliance President reminds us all that rail access is a major plus for any market working to attract new business and industry. Cleveland hopped a plane to join economic and industrial development colleagues near Charleston, South Carolina recently as the only economic development professional from the entire state of Michigan invited to take place at the Norfolk & Southern Railroad Industrial Development Conference there. The Cornerstone chief was one of about 100 of the top economic development officials and professionals in the nation on hand for the conference. He was invited by Dayne Tate, Industrial Development Manager for Norfolk & Southern for Michigan and Indiana. Rob tells me that roughly ten U.S. states were represented at the key industrial conference which included project developers from all sizes and types of communities. Each day of the conference was spent in morning meetings on a variety of topics with afternoons given over to networking. The conference focused on case studies of real projects and how the railroad collaborates with local communities and industrial customers to meet project needs and timelines. A bonus came when the group heard a keynote address from Bernard Swiecki of the Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research. Rob says Swiecki’s presentation focused on the competitive nature of Mexico in attracting current and future automotive-related investments. Cleveland and the Cornerstone Alliance team are well versed in the understanding that the railroad, just like water, electric and other utilities is a necessity in the realm of economic development. He reminds us all that quite simply when an industrial customer or any other project client needs rail service in a community, there is no substitute. Rob is grateful for being included in the Norfolk & Southern rail conference, saying, “Having a more complete understanding of railroad operations helps Cornerstone Alliance meet the needs of both current and future businesses.” Cleveland came aboard as the new President of Cornerstone Alliance at the end of October and has hit the ground running following his transition from a three-year stint in economic development for Indiana Michigan Power Company. He is a Certified Economic Development Professional who lives with his family in Royalton Township. <br /> <br /> Barring a Christmas miracle in its own right, the end is at hand for Eco-Logical Cleaners of St. Joseph and Coloma. The popular dry-cleaning business blazed a new trail by changing the dry-cleaning business in the region with environmentally safe cleaning techniques, but a neighboring business made them an offer they simply couldn’t refuse for the main plant in Coloma and they have exited the business. Dave and Nancy Baiers launched their “professional wet cleaning” business about half a dozen years ago, beginning first in Coloma where their processing plant is, and then later adding a St. Joseph satellite pick-up and delivery point for customers closer to the metro area of St. Joseph, Benton Harbor and Stevensville. When the increasingly popular Family Dollar Store in Coloma outgrew its location, they approached the Baiers’ seeking to buy their property and building to relocate to that site in the central business district of downtown Coloma. Dave & Nancy elected to take the opportunity to pursue other interests, and elected to close up shop in St. Joseph as well, especially in light of the fact that it has no cleaning equipment in the house. So, effective December 23rd, Eco-Logical Cleaners ceased to exist...unless. Unless somebody with an entrepreneurial spirit dreaming of owning their own business would like to keep the business alive. Dave & Nancy would be delighted to see the business carry on with a new owner or owners to continue their drive for a more ecologically friendly methodology of cleaning clothing for customers. In the meantime, they kept busy up to the holiday,thanking customers for their business and the staff of the two establishments for their dedicated support and service. For interested parties, Eco-Logical Cleaners has been offering a professional garment cleaning technique that uses water and specialized, non-toxic, non-allergenic detergents instead of cleaning solvents. They offered a safe alternative to traditional dry cleaning. The European-developed technique of Professional Wet Cleaning, has been proven effective in many places around the world. Garments that are treated in the process come out cleaner, with a sharp finish, a fresh smell, and a softer feel, all without the risk of affecting human health or the environment. Eco-Logical Cleaning’s computerized systems, together with highly trained staff have allowed the company to safely wet clean any material, including silk, woolens, linens, rayon, suede, and leather. If you are interested in taking over the business, contact the Baiers’ by emailing Nancy at nbaiers@comcast.net. <br /> <br /> A Grand Rapids-area vendor of electronic cigarettes and vaping supplies will burst onto the scene in Benton Harbor in the very near future as they fast-track creation of their ninth shop in West Michigan along M-139. Joost Vapor of Grand Rapids has established eight other shops over the past two years since arriving on the scene, and Slumberland Furniture owner Jim Paul has signed a lease agreement for them to set up shop soon on the front lot of the Fairplain Plaza in the last remaining space in his strip center in front of Target. Paul says that the owners of Joost Vapor have told him they’d like to be up and running very soon in the space between Batteries Plus Bulbs and Game Stop. Joost has shops on Chicago Drive in Grandville, West River Drive in Comstock Park, Fuller Avenue in Grand Rapids, N. Beacon Boulevard in Grand Haven, W. Shore Drive in Holland, Kalamaoo Avenue in Grand Rapids, Lake Michigan Drive in Standale, and on M-43 in Hastings. The new shop on M-139 in Benton Harbor will be their ninth venture selling “Premium Vapor for a Premium Lifestyle” as their slogan promises. The 1,300 square foot shop is located at 2061 S. M-139, in the strip that is also home to Allied Cash Advance alongside Burger King. Joost Vapor stores in each market typically operate on a schedule from 9am to 9pm Monday through Saturday and noon until 5pm on Sundays. The company hand-crafts e-liquids for use in electronic cigarettes right here in West Michigan, offering “competitive pricing” on the devices, e-liquids, starter kits, tanks, batteries, and more. The corporate website says they “strive to bring you the most pure e-liquid on the planet with our ISO 6 Class 1000 certified cleanroom, ensuring that every bottle is made in a particulate free, sanitary environment.” Each shop in the corporate stable offers device sales and their patented Joost Vapor Taste Wall of flavors. The corporate website also offers its line-up for sale online through their e-store at the link below. You must verify your age to be at least 18 to access the site. Www.JoostVapor.com <br /> <br /> In a world of big companies getting bigger through acquisition and consolidation activity in a broad array of industries, auto parts guy Bill Nichols says joining forces with a sizable Grand Rapidsbased retailer was likely the best solution for everybody involved. With that in mind, Chet Nichols, Inc. -- operators of half-a-dozen auto parts stores throughout Michigan’s Great Southwest, has been acquired by the Auto-Wares Group of Companies. Nichols has been owner of Chet Nichols, Inc., a company founded by his family back in 1930. He told Aftermarket News reporters,”After 85 years in the automotive parts business, we have decided the best way for our company to move to the next level would be for us to join forces with Auto-Wares.” He added, “We look forward to an exciting future for our company, our people, our customers and the community we serve.” Auto-Wares Group of Companies has acquired Chet Nichols, Inc. and added it into the mix of 144 company-owned stores with over 900,000 square feet of warehousing space. They are a distribution company headquartered in Grand Rapids, providing complete parts needs for jobbers since 1976, servicing more than 600 auto parts stores with annual sales of approximately $275-million. Chet Nichols Auto Parts stores are located on M-139 in Benton Harbor, E. Main Street in downtown Benton Harbor, Red Arrow Highway in Coloma, M-51 in Dowagiac, W. Monroe Street in Bangor, and E. Main Street in Hartford. Auto-Wares carries more than $100-million in inventory throughout their 10 distribution centers and 144 company owned stores. They have more than 850 product lines available, with several choices on major lines, more than 500,000 parts numbers and 350,000 interchanges. They also feature more than 100 lines of private label products, and re-order all major lines every 3 to 5 business days. Auto-Wares boasts the very best names in the automotive aftermarket industry from hard parts to foreign parts, from heavy duty and industrial capacity to tools and equipment. The company has more than 1,700 customer service oriented employees, 15 warehouse salesmen and 8 specialty sales reps. Fred Bunting is Chairman of the Board at Auto-Wares, a third generation auto parts person dedicated to the business. He told Aftermarket News reporters, “This acquisition fills in the Southwest Michigan area very nicely for Auto-Wares. We are excited to add these quality locations to our group.” The company has enjoyed a growth pattern in excess of 10-percent every year from $1.5-million in the first year to more than $275-million this year. Auto-Wares serves all of Michigan including the Upper Peninsula, northern Ohio, northern Indiana, Illinois and all of Wisconsin. <br /> <br /> That’s it for this week. Happy New Year! See you Saturday right in MailMax!<br /> <br /> Pat Moody<br /> Morning Radio Personality<br /> WSJM Radio<br /> moody@wsjm.com<br /> (269) 925-1111<br />

Great Lakes Eye Care

 

Loading