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Systems Control will open Houghton office

Iron Mountain engineering firm Systems Control announced it is opening a new office in Houghton, not coincidentally in the same building as the MTEC SmartZone.
The motivation was a simple one: getting closer to qualified employees who can help Systems Control grow.
The company's executive vice president, Brad Lebouef, says the firm plans to double its business over the next five years using new initiatives, but its main constraint is lack of availability of engineers, technicians and manufacturing personnel.
"Establishment of the Houghton office will afford us better access to recruit, train and employ the talented team members needed to help us realize our goals," he says. "We intend to engage ten to fifteen team members to start in Houghton."
Those new hires they'll be looking for will include experienced electrical and mechanical engineers, as well as engineering students at Michigan Technological University. The Houghton office will be managed by David Rowe.
Systems Control offers engineered solutions for manufacturing electrical control panels, control centers, and outdoor electrical systems, and engineering services for the electric, oil and gas industries. It has other offices in Iron Mountain, and Pewaukee, Wisconsin.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: MTEC SmartZone

Pinc. Photography adds new employee

A Marquette photography business is growing with the addition of web design services and a new employee, besides.
Pinc. Photography is owned by Patty Belt, who is adding web designer to her job title, she recently announced. It's a natural expansion, as she can offer photography, design and web services all in one package, to create good-looking and functional websites.
Belt will still be the lead photographer for pinc., but as the business grows, she's also hired on a new photographer this spring to assist with additional photography, Gemma Darr.
"Gemma shoots similarly to me and understands that photography is more than just a pile of equipment. It's about treating people with care and making the experience enjoyable," says Belt.
For more details and galleries of work, pinc. can be found online here.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Pinc. Photography

Natural Organizing moves to Marquette

A new professional organizing business has come to Marquette. Natural Organizing, owned by Carol Hultquist, has expanded from Minneapolis, Hultquist's previous location.
Hultquist splits her time between Minneapolis, Battle Creek, her hometown, and Marquette, where she noticed there was no professional organizing service.
Natural Organizing sets itself apart from other organizing services by using the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle, and recommending green and sustainable cleaning and organizing products and methods. Hultquist says she founded the business because of her love of organizing, but didn't agree with the overuse of chemicals and particularly plastic containers usually recommended by organizers.
She works in both homes and businesses and is available for professional consultations in the Marquette area. Natural Organizing recently held a ribbon cutting in cooperation with the Lake Superior Community Partnership.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Natural Organizing

1844 Ore apparel shop is new to Negaunee

The community is welcoming a new apparel store in Negaunee, 1844 Ore. Located at 211 Iron Street inside the Negaunee City Center, 1844 Ore sells Negaunee-themed clothing.
Designs include inspiration from local sports teams, schools, and the history of the town itself, which gave rise to the name, which honors the year iron ore was discovered in Negaunee.
The Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber of Commerce held a business after-hours gathering and a ribbon cutting for 1844 Ore March 10, in the shop's newly redecorated location, the former home of the West End YMCA.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: 1844 Ore

MISH Watersports brings more recreation to Delta County

A new recreation company has started up in Escanaba, called MISH Watersports.
And if winter seems like an unlikely time to kick off an outdoor recreation business, founders Rick Elrod and Jarred Drown were undeterred, simply offering up adventuresome options like snow kiting lessons until the summer arrives.
That said, summer will see the addition of several new water sports to the Delta County area, as the entrepreneurs offer rentals and instruction for stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and kiteboarding in Escanaba.
The name itself, MISH, is inspired by the Ojibwa word "mishigamma," which means "great water," and also pays tribute to Lake Michigan, says Elrod.
The two hope that their new business can help promote and provide more access to recreational water sports on Lake Michigan, since both love the water and a variety of recreational and adventure sports.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: MISH Watersports

Marquette's Auto Lawn Rain Gear expands to Midwest home stores

A Marquette entrepreneur's product is getting a wider audience as it appears on the shelves of Lowe's home improvement stores across Michigan.
John Coyne is the inventor of Auto Lawn Rain Gear, a DIY irrigation system kit made for homeowners. Coyne created his company after many years of installing residential and commercial irrigation systems, and seeing the cost and other related issues that kept homeowners from being able to do it themselves.
He invented the Auto Lawn Rain Gear system using commercial-quality components and adapting a system to be easy to install at home, self-draining, and affordable for more people. The self-draining part was especially important for northern climates, to avoid freezing and breakage in the winter, or the added expense of having an irrigation system winterized each year.
The adaptable-size kits started out being sold online through the company's website, but now, they are available to shoppers at Home Depot and Lowe's stores, as well as other hardware stores. In Michigan, Lowe's locations to find the kits are Marquette, Petoskey, Traverse City, Burton and Midland, says Coyne. Prices range from $97 to $329, depending on the size of the kit, which can be as small as a flowerbed, or as large as a full lawn.
"For many years people have been intimidated to take on a project like this," says Coyne. "By installing an ARLG kit themselves, homeowners can save up to 70 percent over the cost of a contractor."
More information on the kits, including instructional videos, is available online at the Auto Lawn Rain Gear site.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Auto Lawn Rain Gear

Development company Kanava locates in Sault Ste. Marie

A management consulting firm, Kanava International, is locating in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.
Previously located in Arlington, Virginia, the move is a return home for president and CEO Susan Puska, who is a Sault Ste. Marie native.
Kanava's new office, which opened early this year, is located at 546 Ashmun Street in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.
Puska made her career in the U.S. Army, serving as a logistician around the world and as an attaché to Beijing, before retiring at the rank of colonel. She worked as a U.S. government contractor and then returned to school at George Mason University, where she earned an MBA. In 2013, she opened the doors on Kanava International, joined by chief operating officer Carol Yee, an international management capacity specialist.
Puska wanted to return to Sault Ste. Marie to work on economic development in the area by helping to build sustainable companies and nonprofits. Kanava offers several services to that end, such as consulting on operating platforms, personnel training, and diversification of customer base and funding.
Hiring has already started at Kanava, with the addition of regional manager Erin Marra, who will run office operations in the U.P., recruit for development projects, and work with partners in the U.P. Two part-time consultants also will add their skills to Kanava projects.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Downtown Sault Ste. Marie

Revisions Design Studio expands to Marquette

St. Patrick's Day coincided with another happy date for downtown Marquette--the opening of Revisions Design Studio.
Located in the former Farmer Q's Market at 219 West Washington Street, Revisions made the move from Ishpeming to its new location this month.
While hours are still limited as owner Michele Dugree and her staff work out their new store and schedule, Revisions should be open with a new showroom and design offices in the new space full-time in April.
Revisions Design has been offering handmade home goods for several years, starting with an Etsy store in 2008. Some major wholesale contracts followed, including creating items for Target.
Dugree expanded to a retail location in Ishpeming a few years ago, and now is making the move to Marquette to expand even further. A NMU art and design graduate, Dugree makes all her designed items by hand, creating jewelry, lighting fixtures, household objects, interior design pieces, gifts, and custom designs.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Revisions Design Studio

Liberty Way development moves forward in Marquette

The continued growth of the Veridea Group's Liberty Way development will be moving forward thanks to a $4.1 million load from the Michigan Community Revitalization Program.

The funds, which are distributed by the MEDC, will be used to begin construction on the next phase of the project, which will include a two-level underground parking facility that will support 145,000 square feet of space for offices, a hotel, residential units and retail shops.  

The new hotel will be a Staybridge Suites designed for extended stays in the area. It will have 108 suites that are either studio or 1- or 2-bedroom units and each will have a full kitchen.

This will be the third hotel developed and operated by Veridea, but the first designated for extended stays.

The new construction will also include connections being built to the Marquette bike path as well as the new Marquette General Hospital campus.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Veridea Group

Grant will improve Baraga, Keweenaw housing

Two Upper Peninsula counties are getting a combined $182,000 in grant money to rehabilitate housing.
Baraga and Keweenaw counties will get $182,108, precisely, from community development grant funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
Baraga County will get $95,390 to rehabilitate three owner-occupied homes in L'Anse and Baraga, while Keweenaw County will get $86,718 to rehab three more owner-occupied homes in Allouez Township. The homeowners in each case have incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income.
MSHDA's goal with the grants is to invest in affordable housing and assistance to improve placemaking in communities.
"Supporting community development activities enhances the social and economic health of our state," says Wayne Workman, acting executive director for MSHDA.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan State Housing Development Authority

Iron Mountain attorney Abbey Anderson opens office

If you're in the Iron Mountain area and in need of an attorney, your options recently grew by one.

Abbey Anderson has opened her law office at 214 East Ludington Street in Iron Mountain. There, Anderson will focus her practice on estate planning, trusts, business and corporate law, probate and real estate.

Anderson is licensed to practice law in both Michigan and Wisconsin and is a native of the Upper Peninsula, having spent most of her life in Channing.

Anderson, who also is a part-time prosecutor in Dickinson County, is a graduate of Cooley Law School in Lansing and graduated locally from North Dickinson High School.

She lives in Iron Mountain with her husband and three children.

Prior to opening her own practice, Anderson worked with a general practice law firm.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Abbey Anderson Law, P.C

Jessica and Company moves to new location

Longtime Marquette salon Jessica and Company made a move to a new downtown location last week.
A fixture on Third Street since 2004, the salon, owned by Jessica Pesola, moved to a new address, 335 West Washington Street, and reopened there as of March 3.
The new location, formerly the store Reblossom, offers more space with added waiting areas, and a redecorated interior, and in short order, a few more employees to help expand in the new space.
Reblossom didn't go far itself; it moved down the street to 104 West Washington.
Jessica & Co. offers a wide range of salon services, including hair, massage, body and nail services.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Jessica and Company

Sprout Lab offers agribusiness, startup resources

If you haven't yet heard of Sprout Lab and you're into big ideas and the future of the region, it's something you might want to check out.
Sprout Lab is a public-private partnership with several colleges and universities in Michigan, along with government agencies, business foundations, small business agencies and other groups interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.
They're holding a series of idea boot camps and seminars all over the state, including one in Escanaba March 26 and 27.
The boot camps are designed to help innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs move their ideas forward, especially in the realms of agribusiness, natural resources, tourism or renewable energy--or maybe more than one at once. It's for people in the exploratory stages of how to get their ideas to come to life, whether it's filling a gap in the local business scene or solving an energy or natural resources problem with an innovative solution.
Among the local partners are the MI-SBDC, Michigan Technological University, Michigan State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Northern Initiatives.
Sprout Labs also is forming longer-term rural entrepreneurship courses in areas where there is enough interest, called Co.Starters. Courses are forming in Escanaba and Sault Ste. Marie, starting in March, and cost about $150 for nine weeks of seminars and mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs. They are designed for people a little farther along the road of building a startup, and have the goal of creating a solid startup community in each area.
Other initiatives planned through Sprout Labs include a pitch showcase with financial prizes in 2015, and making connections in more communities in Michigan.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Sprout La

Racers Burger Bistro offers new dining option in Hancock

A new dining option is available in Hancock, and vegans and vegetarians will want to be sure to check it out.
Racers Burger Bistro is located at 787 Market Street, in the Quincy Centre in Hancock. It's in Suite 3, also known as the former location of Cousins Subs.
What sets the new diner apart is its focus on only fresh ingredients, made to order each day, and the use of grass-fed beef, hand-cut fries and a general emphasis on homemade quality.
Some of Racers Burger Bistro's menu options also are vegan and vegetarian, including a popular beet burger recipe, sweet potato fries with blueberry ketchup, a Brie and grilled fig sandwich, and lots of fresh sauces and ingredients to customize any burger. (Ancho crema or garlic basil aioli, anyone?)
The diner also offers up varieties of poutine, malts, shakes and traditional burgers for the whole family.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Racers Burger Bistro


Richer Image returns to Marquette

John Richer has opened a photography studio in the lower level of the Masonic Square Mall in downtown Marquette and is ready to capture the beauty in everyone.

Richer, who previously had a studio in Marquette before moving to Austin, Texas and then returning home in late 2014, is known for his quality work shooting weddings, senior photos and aspiring models. Locally he has helped several models launch their careers and get noticed by modeling agencies.

Richer has also expanded his services to local businesses, using his connections with local models to help with advertising photography and teaming with businesses to showcase their products, apparel and more in modeling shoots.

With photography experience ranging back more than a decade, Richer has become known as a photographer who is easy to work with, who offers outstanding pricing and is almost always able to accommodate clients no matter what their schedule may need.

Additionally, with his new studio, Richer is offering other local photographers a chance to rent out his studio space by the hour, which includes his lighting and backdrops and more.

For more information, visit him on his Facebook page.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: John Richer

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