eMailMax 04/22/17 : Page 1
ECRWSS Local Postal Customer C HECK I NSIDE P AGES FOR H OME I MPROVEMENT I DEAS FOR S PRING ! P AGES 9-16 April 22, 2017 Paper. News Good Your www.MailMaxOnline.com POSTMASTER: Please deliver on April 22, 2017 Printed with soy ink on recycled paper Volume 18, Ver. 16 Moody on The Market M oody Pat T he award-winning change agents at Kinexus of Benton Harbor may well have just scored their most prestigious honor to date. The team ensconced along Main Street in downtown Benton Harbor has been named one of the 2017 Best Nonprofits To Work For in the entire nation. That’s rare company — with only 50 organizations on the entire list nationwide. The Nonprofit Times has partnered with Best Companies Group to identi-fy nonprofit organizations that have excelled in creating quality workplaces for employees. The prestigious survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best employers in the entire nonprofit industry, bene-fiting the industry’s economy, workforce and businesses. The list is made up of 50 organiza-tions, and Kinexus is ranked 28th overall out of those 50. When broken down into their size seg-ment, they jump up to 15th overall in the Medium Sized Organizations category with their staff of 62 employees. Chris Randall is Chairman of the Board at Kinexus. Randall says, “The remarkable organizational culture at Kinexus pays important dividends for our community,” adding, “It’s great to see others recognize the intentional work by Todd and the Kinexus team to create this cul-ture.” Nonprofits from across the United States entered the two-part survey process to determine Best Nonprofits To Work For. The first part con-sisted of evaluating each nominated organiza-tion’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. This part of the pro-cess was worth approximately 25-percent of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee expe-rience. This part of the process was worth approx-imately 75-percent of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top nonprofits and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey pro-cess, analyzed the data and determined the rank-ing. There was only one other nonprofit organiza-tion in Michigan to make the list, Cinnaire of Detroit , a community development financing agency, which ranked 36th overall and 20th in the Mid-Sized Organization category with 80 employees. To be considered for this award, organiza-tions were evaluated by the following criteria: Leadership and planning…Corporate culture and communications…Role satisfaction…Work envi-Continued on page 6 Toss Winter OUT. Fresh Carpet In Stock. 234 room size remnants up to 50% Off Retail Rolls and roll balances 20-40% OFF Retail M,T,W,F 9-5, Thursday 9-7, Saturday 10-3 Be proud of your ﬂoor. New arrivals of Shaw nylon patterned & plush carpet Tile • Stone • Carpet • Remnants • Area Rugs • Hardwood • Glass Tiles • Laminate Flooring 269.925.2900 www.FloorArtWorld.com 2467 S. M139 Benton Harbor 1/4 Mile N. of I94 Exit 28 Located in the former Tile Mart Building Pour Me! Who I am? Who we are? P odjan Bud Distributing Jenna Happy MailMax day loyal readership! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jenna Podjan and I am the Sales and Marketing Manager for Bud Distributing, located in Dowagiac, Michigan . Some of you might know me from a few radio seg-ments I participate in weekly; “The Breakfast Brew Crew” with Matt Malone, “The Weekend Mixer” with Lindsay Kay airing on 97.5 Y-Country or “Hey Bud “with Hunter Stephens on 107.1 WIRX. These segments typically air on Fridays, and if you haven’t heard any of them or haven’t guessed, it’s all about what’s new in the beer and wine industry! Now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you a little about the compa-ny I work for. Bud Distributing is a family owned and operated company with genera-Continued on page 2 Inserts & Promotions • Martin’s Super Markets • Harding’s Friendly Markets • Ace Hardware • Tractor Supply Inserts may vary by Zip Code
Moody On The Market
The award-winning change agents at Kinexus of Benton Harbor may well have just scored their most prestigious honor to date. The team ensconced along Main Street in downtown Benton Harbor has been named one of the 2017 Best Nonprofits To Work For in the entire nation. That’s rare company — with only 50 organizations on the entire list nationwide. The Nonprofit Times has partnered with Best Companies Group to identify nonprofit organizations that have excelled in creating quality workplaces for employees. The prestigious survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best employers in the entire nonprofit industry, benefiting the industry’s economy, workforce and businesses. The list is made up of 50 organizations, and Kinexus is ranked 28th overall out of those 50. When broken down into their size segment, they jump up to 15th overall in the Medium Sized Organizations category with their staff of 62 employees. Chris Randall is Chairman of the Board at Kinexus. Randall says, “The remarkable organizational culture at Kinexus pays important dividends for our community,” adding, “It’s great to see others recognize the intentional work by Todd and the Kinexus team to create this culture.” Nonprofits from across the United States entered the two-part survey process to determine Best Nonprofits To Work For. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated organization’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25-percent of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75-percent of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top nonprofits and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process, analyzed the data and determined the ranking. There was only one other nonprofit organization in Michigan to make the list, Cinnaire of Detroit, a community development financing agency, which ranked 36th overall and 20th in the Mid-Sized Organization category with 80 employees.
To be considered for this award, organizations were evaluated by the following criteria: Leadership and planning…Corporate culture and communications…Role satisfaction…Work environment... Relationship with supervisor... Training, development and resources...Pay and benefits...Overall employee engagement...and, Survey average. Arnie Redsicker is Vice Chairman of the Kinexus Board. He says, “It’s an honor to serve on the Kinexus Board of Directors and to watch the culture evolve. Kinexus promotes a team atmosphere with both internal staff and external partners, which makes a difference in the work we do in Southwest Michigan.” You can imagine the huge pride for Kinexus CEO Todd Gustafson who says, “We are extremely honored to be awarded one of the Best Nonprofits To Work For by The Nonprofit Times, the nation’s preeminent business publication for nonprofit management.” He adds, “We recognize that in order to solve the complex challenges our communities are facing, we must have a culture of attracting and retaining the best talent.” While the first public announcement of the entire list and rankings of the annual Best Nonprofits To Work For was published by The Nonprofit Times on April 1st, it was anything but a joke to those who made the list. Click this link for the April 2017 magazine file: 4-l-17_BestNonprofits_LR. For more information on The Nonprofit Times9 Best Nonprofits To Work For, go to the link below: www.BestNonprofitsToWorkFor.com. Kinexus is an organization that invests its time and resources into creating integrated solutions for business, workforce, and community challenges to promote economic vitality in the Southwest Michigan region. For more information, you can visit www. Kinexus.org, follow them on Twitter @ KinexusGroup or “like” them on Facebook @ KinexusGroup.
The steady drumbeat of questions wondering aloud when The Chicken Coop Restaurant in Southtown St. Joseph will re-open for business has finally been answered. The fire which struck three months ago has kept the facility closed for repair and renovation work by owners Jason & Amy Variell. Recently, they also took ownership of The Chicken Coop on M-139 in Benton Harbor and at the same time revealed that assuming the work continues on the rehabilitation on their St. Joe property it should be open “by June.” Brisk winds the night of January 10th threatened to make the damage to the popular restaurant worse than it ended up being, but because the fire began in the ventilation system and impacted the integrity of the roof, the reconstruction work has taken longer than they would have liked. The good news for Chicken Coop fans is that Variell and his team are offering the same traditional recipe at the M-139 site, and will continue to work to satisfy your craving for their fried chicken, fish and other menu items that have left a gap in the St. Joe marketplace since the fire in January. Until the St. Joe Coop re-opens for business just ahead of the busy summer season, you’ll find the Variells and their team in the house at the M-139 Coop from 11am until 9pm every Monday through Wednesday, from 11am until 10pm on Thursdays through Saturdays and from noon until 8pm on Sundays. Enjoy your trip on M-139 across from Belle Tire and we’ll keep you posted when Jason, Amy and their staff get St. Joe back up and running along Washington Avenue across from Chili’s.
For most of his life Boby Testini of Stevensville has worked in businesses that took advantage of his ability to do great things with his hands. From his early role as a die cast machine operator for ICG Castings of Bridgman before they closed up shop, to his recent two year stint as a Technician with Ravitron of Benton Harbor, Boby has worked his magic, and now he’s taking on the role of business owner and operator as a new franchisee with Mr. Appliance. His lifelong dream of owning his own business is now being realized and Boby chose Mr. Appliance in part because of the great incentives they provide to former servicemen and women. Testini is a veteran of more than five years in the United States Marine Corps where he served as a Communications Technician and Armed Sentry. After ICG closed up shop he worked for nearly three years as a Youth Specialist for the Berrien County Juvenile Center before heading to a four year run with Signature Automotive Group. When he was honorably discharged from his Marine Corps duties, he was also part of a crew that performed repair and maintenance on communications equipment mounted in field utility vehicles. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and an Associate’s Degree in Information Technology from Westwood College of Technology in Denver. Now he has launched his franchise with Mr. Appliance, billed as “North America’s leading appliance repair franchise system.” He opened officially for business a week ago on Monday, April 3rd. Mr. Appliance of Stevensville now offers expert residential and light commercial appliance repair and maintenance service for all appliances for both the kitchen and the laundry room. Testini says he’s glad to be a part of the system and serving our community, he says, “The customer’s needs are important to us, and we are here to give the Stevensville area the best quality service possible.” His franchise service area includes calls in Baroda, Buchanan, Berrien Springs, New Buffalo, Sawyer, Three Oaks, Union Pier, Lakeside, Galien, Niles, Stevensville, Bridgman, and St. Joseph. Testini also was impressed with the franchise business model and core values of Respect, Integrity, Customer Focus, and Having Fun in the Process. Mr. Appliance has more than 190 independently owned and operated franchise locations throughout North America. For more information about Mr. Appliance of Stevensville you can call Boby at (269)408-9500 or click the link: www.MrAppliance.com/Stevensville. Mr. Appliance was established in 1996, its franchises provide full-service residential and light commercial appliance repair. Mr. Appliance has more than 150 locations throughout the United States and Canada and is consistently ranked among the top home service franchises by Entrepreneur magazine and other industry experts. Mr. Appliance is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc.
It’s been said that a community is only as good as the parks available for you to visit, play in, and enjoy the great outdoors. With that in mind, the City of St. Joseph — which takes great pride in the parks system it provides — would like to get your feedback regarding what you would like to see in the major parks of the community. Best of all, since many visitors also use the city’s park system, you don’t have to be a resident of St. Joseph to participate in the process. The city has begun the process of developing Park Master Plans for Dickinson Park, Whirlpool Centennial Park, and Riverview Park. The Master Plan process will help guide the city in its development and management of these three parks in the short term and on into the future, as well. St. Joseph officials have hired Landscape Architects and Planners (LAP Creative) based out of Lansing, to assist the city commission and staff with the project. LAP Creative has been working as a consultant for master plan projects for over 25 years and has extensive experience working with communities throughout Michigan’s Great Southwest, including the City of New Buffalo, the Village of Three Oaks, the Village of Sawyer and even the Chikaming Open Lands organization. Where you and I get involved is through our input and involvement in developing the three Master Plans. Three separate online surveys — one for each park — have been established in order to gather input from all of us — the public at large. Again, you do not have to be a city resident in order to complete the surveys. City staff welcomes input from anyone who has used any of the three parks in the past, or plan to in the future. Anyone can access the survey on the city’s website at www.sjcity.com or directly through the following links — To go directly to the survey for Dickinson Park, go to this link: www.survevmonkev.com/r/RDYF6MK. To take your browser directly to the survey for Riverview Park, go to link: www. survevmonkey.com/r/RY86M2X. To deliver input on the future of Whirlpool Centennial Park below the bluff, go to this link: www.surveymonkev.com/r/RY9MWTN. You are free to complete one survey, or complete all three if you desire. The online survey links will be available through Monday June 19, 2017. In addition to giving comment through a survey, the public is invited to attend either or both of the following community workshops in order to participate and provide input in person: Community Workshop #1: Tuesday May 2nd 6:00pm to 8:00pm at St. Joseph City Hall, 700 Broad Street, 2nd floor. Community Workshop #2: Wednesday May 31st, 6:00pm to 8:00pm also at St. Joseph City Hall, 700 Broad Street, 2nd floor. For more information about the process of completing Master Plans for these three city parks, you are welcome to contact Deputy Director of Public Works, Greg Grothous, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling him at (269) 985-0309. The City of St. Joseph greatly appreciates your willingness to play a role in the future of the community’s parks system in these ways.
The Purdue Club of SW Michigan will hold its annual spring meeting on Thursday, May 11 at the St. Joseph River Yacht Club at 128 N. Pier St. in St. Joseph. The meeting will be held from 6:00-8:00pm. This year’s guest speaker is Matt Rutkin, WSBT chief meteorologist and 2011 Purdue graduate. Mr. Rutkin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Science and The American Meteorlogical Society’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal of approval, the highest distinction given to a broadcast meteorologist. He also prepares daily forecasts for the South Bend Tribune and four local radio stations. Rutkin is also an adjunct professor at Valparaiso University. The club will also announce the recipients of this year’s scholarship program and elect officers. In addition, Mr. John Sautter, retired Vice President of Housing and Food Services at Purdue and currently senior advisor to the Purdue Alumni Association, will give a Purdue update. Heavy hors d’oeuvers will be served along with a cash bar. Reservations for this event can be made through the club web site: www.purduealumni.org/SWmichigan via Pay Pal or by mailing a check payable to “Purdue Club of SW Michigan,” c/o Howard Poole, 31594 Maple Island Rd. Dowagiac, MI 49047. Cost of this event is $20 per person. Reservations must made by May 7.
That’s it for this week! See you Saturday here in MailMax!
Morning Radio Personality
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Who I am? Who we are?
Happy MailMax day loyal readership! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jenna Podjan and I am the Sales and Marketing Manager for Bud Distributing, located in Dowagiac, Michigan. Some of you might know me from a few radio segments I participate in weekly; “The Breakfast Brew Crew” with Matt Malone, “The Weekend Mixer” with Lindsay Kay airing on 97.5 Y-Country or “Hey Bud “with Hunter Stephens on 107.1 WIRX. These segments typically air on Fridays, and if you haven’t heard any of them or haven’t guessed, it’s all about what’s new in the beer and wine industry! Now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you a little about the company I work for. Bud Distributing is a family owned and operated company with generations two, three, and four of family actively working in the business today, as well as several of the hardest working employees in the industry who are like family and we all call beautiful southwest Michigan our home. We are truly proud and honored to be a part of this great community.
What we do
We serve Michigan’s Great Southwest, distributing many fine beers and wines to licensed retailers in Cass, Berrien and Van Buren counties. We represent and are partnered with several suppliers (the people that produce the goods), some very large national brands, as well as many regional and local breweries and wineries in the area. Who exactly qualifies as one of our customers that we so proudly serve? In essence, think of your favorite location to buy a 6 pack, or a restaurant where you order a glass of wine, or even a special event where beer and wine is served. Chances are that is one of our customers. From selling and keeping our retailers informed on the most trending styles or stocking them with some of the best-selling beers in the United States or even globally, to weekly deliveries and merchandising to make sure these brands are “shopable” and on the shelf ready for purchase so that you can celebrate with an old favorite or the newest seasonal for all occasions in your life. Quite frankly, it feels good to celebrate and toast with a tasty, refreshing drink, responsibly of course.
Why this column
This is such an exciting time for this industry, as we have more choices today in what we consume than ever before. It’s fascinating and ever evolving. It can also be overwhelming (in a good way). All in all though, people are wanting to learn and explore what’s out there. There is constant education in the industry today and something always to be learned. Who knew you could actually buy a local barrel-aged wine or enjoy a stout that tastes exactly like your favorite dessert? There are so many talented wine makers and brewers out there and what they are able to create is awe inspiring. We have had a huge influx of craft breweries/wineries opening hyper-locally, Michigan-locally, and many national brands hitting our great state in the past 10 years. The industry is clearly expanding and booming.
This is a great outlet to engage and explore with consumers (YOU!) about local events, new releases, fun subjects like beer and food pairings or the wine-making process. . .the possibilities are endless and let’s be honest...FUN! I hope to hear lots from you the readers about what you want to know about, or experiences you have had learning about beer and wine. By no means am I an expert but I love to keep learning and to engage conversation about one of my favorite subjects. I love to hear people’s reactions to new beers that hit the market and dive into to what they think makes a great product.
Until next time
We are very excited to be here and look forward to hearing from all of you!
“I am a firm believer in the people.
If given the truth, they can be
depended upon to meet any national
crisis. The great point is to bring
them the real facts, and beer.”
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