Business News

Kathy Fries named to Sterling Society

ESCANABA — Kathy Fries, of Nahma, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Pro Realty, has been honored as a member of the company’s 2016 International Sterling Society. This distinguished membership was awarded to the top 17 percent of all sales associates worldwide in the Coldwell Banker ...

Michigan retailers boost sales forecasts

LANSING — Michigan retailers’ spring sales forecasts grew even stronger after their March sales rose, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Four of every five retailers (80 percent) expect ...

Average 30-year mortgage rate rises

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for the first time in five weeks. The benchmark 30-year rate pushed back above the key threshold of 4 percent. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans increased to 4.03 percent from 3.97 ...

Small businesses can feel much bigger effects from a PR disaster

By Joyce M. Rosenberg AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Halfway through Valentine’s Day, florist Ajay Kori realized he was in the midst of a disaster. His company wasn’t going to be able to deliver many of the promised roses and other flowers by the end of the day. Angry customers ...

VanAire expands ownership to Lamber, Miller

GLADSTONE — VanAire, Incorporated announces Tony Lambert and Eric Miller have been added as owners of the Gladstone-based manufacturing company. The two join Bill VanDeVusse, who has owned the company since 2014. Lambert is a graduate of Bay College and has been with the company since ...

Upper Michigan Safety Conference is April 28

ESCANABA — The 17th Annual Upper Michigan Safety Conference will be held on Friday, April 28, at Bay College in Escanaba. The keynote address for this year’s conference will be provided by husband and wife, Russ and Laurel Youngstrom of Washington. They will share their story of how one ...

Hiawatha Chef wins Excellerator Award

ESCANABA — Hiawatha Chef Supply of Escanaba and Appleton has won an Excellerator Award from the Denver-based Excell Marketing & Procurement Group. The award recognizes the company for doing at least $500,000 worth of business with Excell member vendors in 2016, and for increasing its ...

Sundquist named business specialist

ESCANABA — OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group announces Amy Sundquist has been named the new business development specialist/analyst. Within this role, she will act as the key resource and liaison for business development, communication, information and problem solving and will ...

Culture shock: Business owners see need to change their ways

By Joyce M. Rosenberg AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) — The results of a staff survey jolted Alex Slater into realizing how drastically his business needed a culture change. About half the 19 employees at his Clyde Group public relations firm said they planned to leave in one to two ...

US wholesale inflation slides, energy falls

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level slid last month, pulled down by plummeting energy prices. The Labor Department said that its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, fell 0.1 percent in March, the first drop since August. ...

Average 30-year mortgage rate falls

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for a fourth straight week, with the benchmark 30-year rate marking a new low for the year. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans declined to 4.08 percent this week from 4.10 percent last week. That ...

US jobless aid applications fall to 234,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, which is evidence of a stable job market and greater security for workers. THE NUMBERS: Weekly applications for jobless aid dipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000, the Labor Department said. Requests for ...

Advanced Blending Solutions honored

MENOMINEE — Advanced Blending Solutions (ABS) has been recognized as one of the 2017 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. ABS will be honored at an awards ceremony during the 13th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business ...

Banks merge as Northern Interstate Bank

NORWAY — On March 31, Northern Interstate Financial, Inc., the parent company of First National Bank of Norway, completed its previously announced merger with C.F.C. Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of First National Bank of Crystal Falls. In connection with the merger, the bank subsidiaries ...

VanAire names Soderman CEO, quality manager

GLADSTONE — VanAire, Incorporated of Gladstone announces that Steven Soderman has joined the company’s leadership team as CEO and quality manager. Prior to coming to VanAire, Soderman spent 13 years with Engineered Machined Products, Inc. of Escanaba, most recently holding the position of ...

Kewadin Casinos names Olson as new CEO

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Ron Olson has been named the new CEO of Kewadin Casinos, five gaming properties with slot machines, table games, two hotels, convention and meeting facilities, and other amenities in the Upper Peninsula. Olson was selected to lead the casinos after a national ...

Credit union honored as top performer

ESCANABA — Peninsula Federal Credit Union of Escanaba announces it is once again a top performer, earning a coveted 5-star rating from BauerFinancial, the nation’s premier bank and credit union rating firm. A five-star rating indicates that this institution excels in areas of capital ...

Larson appointed as new CEO of UPPCO

MARQUETTE — Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) announced that utility industry veteran James Larsen has been appointed as its new CEO, effective April 3. Larsen comes to UPPCO from the SEMCO Energy Gas Company in Port Huron, where he served as president. SEMCO provides natural gas to ...

Hurkman named Employee of the Year

ESCANABA — North Woods Place Senior Living, of Escanaba, announces Lisa Hurkman, life enrichment coordinator, has been recognized by its parent company Enlivant as the divisional “Mission, Vision, Values Employee of the Year” (MVV Employee of the Year). She was nominated for the award by ...

Amy Dyer named to President’s Elite

ESCANABA — Amy Dyer, of Gladstone, associate broker/sales associate with Coldwell Banker Pro Realty, has been named to the company’s 2016 International President’s Elite. Only the top 2percent of all sales associates worldwide in the Coldwell Banker system qualified for this distinguished ...