July 2016 Market Report

July 2016 Market Report

Lumberjacks Release 2016-2017 Schedule

MUSKEGON, MI (July 27th) – The Muskegon Lumberjacks are excited to announce the release of their 2016-2017 Regular Season and Preseason schedule. The Lumberjacks are poised for another run at the Clark Cup Championship following a plethora of offseason moves, including the new hire of Head Coach John LaFontaine.


The 2016-2017 Regular season will kick off a couple hours down the road from Muskegon, when the Lumberjacks travel to Plymouth, Michigan, to square up against the United States National Team Developmental U17 Program at 7:05 pm on Friday September 23rd. The Lumberjacks will travel to Illinois to complete the first weekend of the season against the Bloomington Thunder.

The home opener is set for Saturday, October 1st, at 7:15 pm, when the Lumberjacks host the United States National Team Developmental U17 Program, before heading back on the road to take on the reigning Anderson Cup Champions, the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, for a weekend series. A couple of notable matchups during the first half of the season includes the Sioux Falls Stampede (10/28-10/29) traveling to Muskegon on the for the first time since the 2015 Clark Cup Finals. Another notable game is the Hockey For Health game scheduled on November 3rd, against the Youngstown Phantoms at 10:30 am.


The Muskegon Lumberjacks will player 26 regular season games before the holiday break during mid-December, with 10 of their games set in Muskegon at L.C. Walker Arena.

Following the holiday break, the Lumberjacks will spend a lot of time in Muskegon, playing 20 of their final 34 games at L.C. Walker Arena. It will be an exciting playoff push for Muskegon, as the Lumberjacks will battle the Bloomington Thunder four times in the final 11 games, and an important weekend series in Nebraska with the reigning Clark Cup Champions Tri-City Storm.

The Muskegon Lumberjacks also released their six game preseason schedule that will feature one matchup at L.C. Walker Arena. On Friday, September 10th, at 7:15 pm, the Lumberjacks will host the Team USA U17 Program for their only home preseason game this year.



To view the Muskegon Lumberjacks Complete Schedule, please click here.

Season Ticket and Flex Ticket Packages are available now. Individual and Group Ticket Sales will be available on Friday, August 5th. To reserve your tickets, please call (231) 724-5225, or visit the L.C. Walker Box Office from 10am to 6 pm Monday through Friday.

The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud members of the United States Hockey League, the nations only Tier I junior hockey league and the leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. The Lumberjacks’organization prides itself on developing not just premier hockey talent, but also exceptional young men outside the arena of sports. For more information, visit

Join in the festivities, August 5 and 6, Supporting Harbor Hospice programs and services!

Harbor Hospice has scheduled a two-day celebration this summer, and we hope you will join in the festivities!


The festive weekend will begin Friday night, August 5th, with a gala called The Event of Events. This unique party includes an evening of food, fun, live music by the West Side Soul Surfers and silent and live auctions. All funds raised will benefit the programs of Harbor Hospice. It will be held at the Event Center at Fricano Place in Muskegon, and we expect to welcome 300 enthusiastic patrons. Auction item donations will be taken in through Monday, August 1.


The next morning, gather with hundreds of sailing fans along the shores of Muskegon Lake to signal the start of the 9th annual Harbor Hospice Regatta at the Muskegon Yacht Club. This hugely popular race is part of the National Regatta Alliance ( that has raised more than $21 million dollars for Hospice Services across the country. West Michigan sailors love this race, and in the past nine years raised over $200,000 to support local hospice care.


Open to the public, families throughout the western Michigan lakeshore communities are invited to attend the annual Harbor Hospice Regatta. Not only will guests be able to enjoy a beautiful view of sailboats on the lake, but they are also invited to participate in the family-oriented picnic as well as mingle and listen to vinyl played by Black Circle Radio. The event, which first began in 2008, will take place on Saturday, August 6th, at the Muskegon Yacht Club.


“The Harbor Hospice Regatta is a wonderful, fun-filled event for families to enjoy,” said Ammy Johnson, Harbor Hospice Director of Development. “The proceeds from this event help to ensure that all Harbor Hospice patients facing a life-limiting illness have access to expert care as well as support for their families regardless of their ability to pay.”


The Race begins with the starting gun at 1 p.m. The Muskegon Yacht Club hosts a Picnic Dinner, which is open to the public, from Noon-5:30 p.m. tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for a pick three menu for kids 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased at Harbor Hospice, Muskegon Yacht Club or on the day of the event.


Harbor Hospice is a member of the National Hospice Regatta Alliance, a nonprofit, 501 (c) 3 association of hospice regattas, which independently raises money and awareness for local hospices.


For additional information, to become a sponsor or donate a silent auction item, please contact Ammy Johnson at 231.728.6836 or

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians to Build Unique Housing Development in Fruitport Township 300 Home Residential Development will be Open to the General Public

Fruitport Twp., Mich.— The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI) announced today that it is planning to build 300 new homes in a 120-acre housing development in Fruitport Township. The development will be called Odeno, which means “a place of many hearts” or a “village” in the Tribe’s native Anisinaabe language.


On Tuesday evening, the Tribe presented its proposed plans to the Fruitport Township Planning Commission for the first stage of the approval process. The housing development is open to the general public and will feature homes ranging from starter homes of $150,000 to larger homes with walkouts and other additional features to $300,000.


Fruitport Community Schools formally owned the 120-acre parcel. The school district determined it did not need the property and sold it to the Tribe in 2016. The housing development will provide homes for 300 new families while returning the land to the tax rolls, providing additional funds to the local school district and community.


“Our goal was to work with the local community to develop a unique village that offers homes of different sizes and amenities for first time home buyers, retirees and growing families in the area,” said Larry Romanelli, Tribal Ogema of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. “We believe that people will enjoy living in energy efficient homes in a community with ponds, parks, natural areas and walkways.”


The Odeno development is a collaborative economic development investment in the Fruitport community to further help Fruitport stand out as a community of choice for people of all ages, professions and income levels.


Harmony, Fulfillment, Beauty and Connection to the Earth

The Tribe followed the guiding cultural principles of harmony, fulfillment, beauty and connection to the earth in the design and development of the housing project. Some of the unique features include:

  • Twenty-six percent of the land (31.4 acres) will remain open and include natural areas, parks with gazebos, wildlife corridors, water and walking trials.
  • Stevens Creek runs alongside the site and will be incorporated into the development design.
  • The homes will be built using the most modern energy efficiencies in their design and operation.
  • Building and construction plans will include homes for those with special needs.


Once the project is approved, the Tribe plans to begin construction by the end of the year.

The location of the site is between Sheridan Drive on the west, Stevens Creek on the East and between East Garfield Road and East Pontaluna Road. The Little River Band plans to develop the site in five phases with the first phase including 115 new homes.


The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians was reaffirmed as a federally recognized Tribe in 1994. They have offices in Manistee and Muskegon County. The largest concentration of Tribal members live in Muskegon County.


Free Tax Service Program Returns Over $3 Million to Community

MUSKEGON — Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Services for West Michigan – a coalition of area nonprofit organizations – provided free income tax returns to eligible low- to moderate-income individuals and families this past tax season, resulting in $3,003,767 returned to the community. Volunteers filed a total of 2,911 returns; an increase of 6% over last year’s tax season.


“For some struggling families, these returns can make a huge difference; helping pay overdue utility bills or even putting food on the table,” said Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Carl Lewis.


Participating volunteers were required to complete an IRS tax law training program and pass a certification test. This year the coalition reached out to Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa and Muskegon counties, and offered returns at seven different community sites.


“We sincerely thank all of our dedicated volunteers for their incredible service to the community,” Lewis said. “We are also grateful to our funding partners and community collaborators that make the program possible.”


In addition to Goodwill Industries of West Michigan, participating agencies and program partnerships that make up VITA Services for West Michigan include: Asset Building Coalition of West Michigan, Baker College of Muskegon, Community enCompass, CALL 2-1-1, TrueNorth Community Services, Hart Area City Hall, Holton Public Library, WE CAN! Newaygo County, Grand Haven Neighborhood Housing Services, Tanglewood Park, and My Free Taxes.


Funding partners that supported this year’s tax preparation efforts included: Goodwill Industries of West Michigan, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, Fremont Area Community Foundation, Comerica Bank, Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, the Internal Revenue Service, and United Way of the Lakeshore.


Goodwill Industries of West Michigan is currently seeking volunteer tax preparers for next season.
If you are interested in learning more about the program or volunteering in one of the various volunteer positions associated with VITA, please contact Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Carl Lewis at (231) 722-7871 x256 or


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Liz Witzler, Marketing Director
(231) 722-7871 x223


BAKER COLLEGE TO SPONSOR STATEWIDE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT EVENT FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS Successful regional competitions have connected students, business partners to solve real-world problems; state winners receive two-year college scholarships

MUSKEGON, Mich. – IChallengeU, which invites high school students to develop solutions to real-world business problems, will include a state competition in 2017 sponsored by Baker College.

The sponsorship will be announced today, the final day of the 2016 IChallengeU regional competitions in Jackson and Holland.

IChallengeU is an intense, two-week summer educational opportunity for high school juniors and seniors. It pits teams of students against each other to develop solutions to problems or obstacles experienced by partner companies and organizations. On the final day, each team presents its solution in a 10-minute presentation. Judges select the team that did the best job of developing and presenting its solution.

Next year, teams that win at the regional level will advance to the new state competition titled IChallengeU Michigan. It is set for Friday, July 28, 2017, and will be hosted by Baker College at one of its Michigan campuses. Each winning team member will receive a Baker College scholarship for a two-year associate degree, or equivalent.

“The IChallengeU program was created to help gain public awareness of and support for overcoming a shortage of trained workers and the disconnect between the public and the actual needs of the business community,” said Robert Tebo, Michigan Works! Southeast director—regional business fellowship. “Baker College will be an excellent state contest sponsor. Its high quality programs are uniquely designed to meet employer needs, which is what IChallengeU is all about.”

IChallengeU was developed in 2011 by the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (ISD), Holland. In 2013 Michigan Works! Southeast began hosting an annual IChallengeU competition in Jackson. This year, it involved students and businesses in Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee counties.

During the two-week IChallengeU session, specially trained teachers and civic, business and community leaders provide guidance and information to help students identify solutions to the problems posed. Included are general sessions in leadership and teamwork, multiple meetings with the assigned business partner and a tour of the company’s facilities.

Examples of problems used in past challenges are:

  • For a credit union – Identify ways education and training for e-services can streamline the banking process and demonstrate benefits to members.
  • For a parts manufacturer – Identify changes that can improve attendance of hourly employees.

In 2017, multiple higher education institutions, including Baker College, will provide incentives to students at the regional level: All participating students will receive two to three articulated college credits and winning team members will receive $1,000 scholarships.

Lee Coggin, J.D., Baker College of Muskegon president, said, “IChallengeU is an outstanding program for high school students to start exploring employment options and become motivated to be part of an improved workforce. We look forward to helping Michigan Works! Southeast, the Ottawa Area ISD and others grow the program throughout the state.”

To send a team to the state contest, regional programs must have at least three teams, each with three to eight students. Competitions with seven or more teams can send two teams to the state contest.

Tebo encouraged organizations that want to host a regional program to contact him as soon as possible, as the number of sites eligible to send students to the state contest will be limited to six in 2017. The number of teams will increase by three each following year.

For more information about how schools, organizations and businesses can get involved in the 2017 competitions, visit the website developed by the Ottawa Area ISD, or contact Robert Tebo, Michigan Works! Southeast, 517.673.0383 or

For more information about programs at Baker College, contact Kathy Jacobson in the admissions office at or 231.777.5200, or visit

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is a not-for-profit higher education institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded in 1911, Baker College grants doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, as well as certificates in diverse academic fields including business, health sciences, engineering, information technology, education and human services. Baker College has on-ground campuses in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and offers online programs that can be completed 100 percent online without ever visiting a campus. In 2016, the Online Learning Consortium recognized Baker College Online with the OLC Quality Scorecard Exemplary Endorsement, the highest ranking for online higher education programs. For information, visit or follow Baker College on Twitter, @bakercollege, or on Facebook,

July 2016 E-News

July 2016 E-News

Rehmann Promotes Two to Senior Manager in West Michigan

Troy, Mich. – [July 21, 2016] – As Rehmann enters its 75th year of delivering business wisdom, the financial services firm has promoted two managers — Krystal Benson, CPA, and Kimberly Schwaiger, CPA — to senior manager positions in the firm’s West Michigan offices. Their new roles are senior audit manager and senior tax manager, respectively.


Benson was previously a manager in the audit and assurance department in Rehmann’s Grand Rapids office. She has experience in purchase accounting, financial reporting and auditing in the governmental, not-for-profit and education sectors. Benson holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Michigan University. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Association of Government Accountants.


Schwaiger has more than 15 years of tax planning, consulting and multi-state taxation experience. She provides corporate and personal tax preparation services to medium- and large-sized clients, as well as nontraditional services including financial statement analysis and work within the agribusiness industry. Schwaiger is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She is a member of AICPA.


About Rehmann

Rehmann is a fully integrated financial services firm of CPAs & consultants, wealth advisors and corporate investigators dedicated to providing clients proactive ideas and solutions to help them prosper professionally and personally. The firm offers a cross-functional team approach that gives clients direct access to a professional in any available service. Rehmann is ranked as the 30th largest firm in the United States, with nearly 800 associates located in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. Rehmann is an independent member of Nexia International, offering clients a global approach. Online at

Marsh Field Hosts National Amateur Baseball Federation Regional Tournament: “League Champ Muskegon Clippers Vie for Spot in NABF College World Series.”

MUSKEGON, Mich., July 18, 2016 – Marsh Field and the Muskegon Clippers will play host to the National Amateur Baseball Federation Regional Tournament beginning Thursday, July 21, 2016 and running through Sunday, July 24, 2016.


The winner of the double elimination tournament advances to the NABF College Division World Series in Toledo, Ohio on July 31, 2016.


The Muskegon Clippers earned their way to the Regional tournament by posting a 22-1 record and winning their leagues title. The Clippers shave now won back to back the Michigan Summer Collegiate Baseball League titles.


The Clippers will kick off the tournament with a game on Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 5:00pm followed by a second game featuring the Holland Millers. The other two teams in the tournament are the Michigan Braves from Saginaw and D20 Mules from the Chicago area.


Exact pairings will be announced Wednesday evening. Stay tuned the Muskegon Clippers web site and Facebook page for constant updates.

Game tickets are $5 for adults; $3 for Senior Citizens, $2 for students; children 12 and under are free. Game tickets can be purchased right at the gate of Marsh Field on Laketon Avenue in Muskegon.


For more information visit our website at or join our Facebook page by searching Muskegon Clippers.

Rehmann Announces Multiple Promotions in West Michigan

Troy, Mich. – [July 19, 2016] – As Rehmann continues its 75th year of delivering business wisdom, the firm is marking the contributions of key associates with promotions throughout Michigan.


“These promotions are a clear demonstration of success at every level as we continue to be the Firm of Choice for clients and associates,” said Rehmann CEO Randy Rupp. “Our leadership team is driven to continue growing our firm, as well as our employees.”


  • Erin Critchfield – Tax manager
  • Kadra Kierczynski – Assurance manager
  • Troy Kierczynski – Assurance manager
  • Sherrie Monks – Professional support manager


About Rehmann

Rehmann is a fully integrated financial services firm of CPAs & consultants, wealth advisors and corporate investigators dedicated to providing clients proactive ideas and solutions to help them prosper professionally and personally. The firm offers a cross-functional team approach that gives clients direct access to a professional in any available service. Rehmann is ranked as the 30th largest firm in the United States, with nearly 800 associates located in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. Rehmann is an independent member of Nexia International, offering clients a global approach. Online at

Other ways to get involved

Volunteer for the Lakeshore Art Festival

A unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food and fun along the shoreline in historic Downtown Muskegon. More than 300 artists and crafters will be showcased with fine art in the park, crafts, children’s activities and Michigan food market – all wrapped up in a huge downtown street party atmosphere!   Come out and join us on July 1st,  and July 2nd, 2016.

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Join Watch Muskegon

Muskegon has more to offer than ever before. Join the conversation, movement and Watch Us Go!

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