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  • Chapman Joins Monarch Community Bank

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    Monarch Community Bank welcomes new employee, Arell Chapman.  Chapman is first vice president and will head up the operations and information technology for the bank. Chapman comes to Monarch Community Bank from First State Bank of East Detroit and has been in banking for 10 years.  He is a graduate of Adrian High School and a college graduate of University of Phoenix with a master’s degree in business administration.

    He resides in Onstead and he is involved in the Boy Scouts of America.  Chapman is married to his wife Kellie and they have three sons ages 3, 5, and 8.  When asked what he’s looking forward to in his new position he said, “I appreciate the opportunity to join a bank with the current management and I’m excited to a part of change and growth for the bank.”

    Established in 1934, Monarch Community Bank has branches located in Marshall, Coldwater, Union City and Hillsdale.  For more information about Monarch Community Bank products and services, connect on Facebook, Twitter, the blog or go to www.monarchcb.com.

  • PS Food Mart Fights Hunger

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    Thirty PS Food Mart stores across Michigan and Ohio are joining together to launch the second annual “Fight Hunger. Give Hope” campaign to raise money for local food banks. Between March 18 and April 3, customers are invited to purchase a paper heart in any of the 30 PS Food Mart stores across South Central Michigan and Northwest Ohio.

    Proceeds from the sales of the hearts will be collected by Folk Oil, supplier for the network of PS Food Mart stores, and donated to the local food banks as part of the ongoing PS Food Mart Charities initiative. PS Food Mart hopes to raise more than $45,000 for the Food Bank of South Central Michigan, Toledo Northwest Ohio Food Bank, and several local food pantries in the communities represented by PS Food Mart

    “Every dollar counts in the battle against hunger in this country. Just one dollar, about the same as a small cup of coffee, will provide eight meals. A five dollar donation will ensure that 40 people have a good meal,” said Jim Linton, Vice President with PS Food Mart. “We are excited to lead our PS Food Mart managers and employees in this ongoing effort to make our community stronger and healthier.” “Our store managers and sales associates are the reason for our success with our fundraising programs,” added Ed Heath, Vice President of Operations with PS Food Mart. To kick-off the fundraising, customers will earn a free 20oz coffee or 20 oz. fountain drink with any donation of $5 or more in the first three days of the program, March 18 to 20, at any participating PS Food Mart Store.

    “Fight Hunger. Give Hope” donations can be made at each PS Food Mart store throughout South Central Michigan and Northwest Ohio. With each donation of $1 or $5, customers will be able to post their name in the store on an individual paper heart as a mark of their support, and hopefully encourage friends and neighbors to do the same. PS Food Mart Stores will also be recognizing donors who go above and beyond in the effort to feed hungry families by selling golden hearts for each donation of $100 or more. Spare change boxes on the counter will also help drive PS Food Mart towards their goal of $45,000 or roughly 360,000 meals for needy local families.

    “We are extremely grateful to have the strength and support of PS Food Mart as our dedicated partner as to help in our mission of eradicating hunger in our communities,” said Robert Randels, executive director with the Food Bank of South Central Michigan. “Their efforts to not only raise money, but also to educate local people on the issues that face tens of thousands of families in our area, are truly inspiring. We are confident that their enthusiasm and support will help break last year’s fundraising goal and allow us to help even more families throughout the region.”

    Year after year PS Food Mart Stores raise money for many local and national organizations through PS Food Mart Charities. Organizations supported include the American Cancer Society; the Homer, MI Area Community Foundation; local schools systems in their respective communities, as well as many other local organizations that are providing support for the community. Donations to the “Fight Hunger. Give Hope.” campaign will be accepted at each of the 30 PS Food Mart stores from March 18 to April 3. To find your local PS Food Mart, and for more information on the positive impact of PS Food Mart Charities in the community, visit www.psfoodmart.com.

  • Century Bank And Trust Supports 2011 CHC Foundation Gala

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Century Bank and Trust will be the entertainment sponsor for this year’s Community Health Center Foundation Gala on October 7, 2011. The 2011 gala will be held at the Dearth Center on the Coldwater fair grounds and marks the seventh year of the event which is a major fundraiser for the foundation. In fact, over $85,000 has been raised since 2005 to support the foundation programs.

    The gala has traditionally been held at the end of March. In recent years, the gala planning committee noticed that more families take an early spring break and are not in town for the event as well as the snowbirds that have yet to return to the area so the committee decided to move the gala to the fall to make it more convenient for these families to attend.

    “We are so pleased that Century Bank and Trust will be the entertainment sponsor again for this year’s gala. This is the sixth year of their sponsorship and the foundation appreciates their dedication to our community through this event,” stated Terra Depew, Fund Development Coordinator.

    This year’s planning committee is working hard to ensure this event stands out from all of the others. If you are interested in supporting the gala, please contact Terra at (517) 279-5414.

    Century Bank and Trust was founded in 1890, as an independent community bank. Over 120 years later, Century Bank and Trust continues to provide a comprehensive range of corporate, trust and retail products and services throughout Branch, St. Joseph and Hillsdale counties. To learn more about Century Bank and Trust visit CenturyBankandTrust.com.

  • COMMUNITY FOUNDATION ELECTS NEW OFFICERS AND MEMBERS

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    At a recent meeting, the Branch County Community Foundation approved a new slate of Board officers and introduced a new board member. For 2011 – 2012 Mary Jo Kranz, of Quincy is the new board president, with Dave Wright of Coldwater the Vice-President. Continuing in his job as secretary of the Community Foundation Board is Ted Gordon of Coldwater. Newly elected Board officers are Jay Carlson, of Coldwater as Treasurer and Wayne Reese of Coldwater as an additional member of the Executive committee.

    Joe Chase, of Coldwater is the newly appointed board member. He is the sales and marketing manager at Nex Solutions, a custom steel fabricator in Litchfield. Joe has been involved with the Hometown Competitiveness initiative and organized an entrepreneurial expo for Branch County in 2008. In addition to his sales and marketing experience, Joe also brings small business and finance experience to the Board. He is eager to support his community and make Branch County a better place to live.

    Other board members are; Hillary Eley and Dale Norton of Bronson, Bruce Bloom, Chuck Lillis, Remus Rigg, and Connie Winbigler of Coldwater, Kim Morgan of Colon, Ron Rose of Litchfield and Rachel Hard of Quincy. To qualify as a board member an individual must first be a Community Foundation donor; willing to serve a 3 year term, renewable up to 3 times; and available for quarterly meetings.

    The Branch County Community Foundation is a non-profit organization and a nationally accredited and state-certified community grant making foundation. The Foundation serves communities in Branch County and Colon, Michigan by supporting charitable giving, building permanent endowments, and connecting community resources.

    Requests for more information regarding a seat on the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors may be forwarded to Executive Director, Colleen Knight at 517.278.4517, email colleen@brcofoundation.org or found on the web at www.brcofoundation.org.

  • Southern Michigan Bank And Trust Announces New Hire Mckinley

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    John H. Castle, Chairman and CEO of Southern Michigan Bank and Trust is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Dave McKinley as First Vice President/Head of Operations. McKinley comes to SMBT with most of his fourteen years of banking experience at Monarch Community Bank as Operations Manager then most recently as Senior Vice President/Chief Operations Officer. Previously, Dave worked as an applications analyst for Jack Henry & Associates, a provider of core processing solutions for community banks.

    Castle stated, “Dave’s extensive knowledge of operations and technology will be a great asset to Southern. His work with community banks, especially de novo institutions, brings additional expertise to help us better serve the needs of our customers.”

    McKinley has been a soccer coach for AYSO for the past three years, serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for Branch County Habitat for Humanity and is the Chairperson for the “Feeding Branch County” initiative distributing holiday food baskets to some 1400 area families.

    Southern Michigan Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Coldwater, Michigan. Its subsidiary bank, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, has 17 branches within Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Hillsdale and St. Joseph Counties and provides a broad range of consumer, business and wealth management services throughout the region.

  • Annual Women’s Health Fest Offers Learning, Prizes and a Little ‘Me’ Time

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The 14th Annual Women’s Health Fest will be here soon. This popular event will be held on Saturday, March 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Branch Area Careers Center. It provides local women an opportunity to do something just for themselves offering eight different workshops, exhibitors, and doorprizes.

    Sponsors for this year’s event are the Community Health Center of Branch County, Pines Behavioral Health, Century Bank and Trust, Altrusa International of Branch County, AM 1590 WTVB, Monarch Community Bank and Southern Michigan Bank and Trust. With the support of these sponsors, women of all ages can attend two of eight educational and fun sessions at no charge. Women with small children can take advantage of free childcare by preregistering at 279-5008.

    Those attendees registered by 11:00 a.m. will have a chance to win a year’s membership to Great Lakes Health and Fitness, a gift basket from Taylor’s Stationers and another from North Woods Coffee each valued at $300 or more, and a LazyBoy recliner from Wilbur’s Furniture.

    Session topics are:

    Pure Michigan Coldwater Country Staycations: Branch County Tourism Bureau’s Debra Yee will show you how you can vacation in your own backyard & hidden treasures in and around South Central Michigan.

    Pro Kitchen Tips: Chris Nixon from The BoatHouse Restaurant…learn from the best! Helpful, easy tips for cooking like a Food Network star!!

    Tricks & Tips for Easier Living: Come & learn how to simplify your hectic life with Courtney Dirschell, self proclaimed Organizer Extraordinaire!

    Cut Costs, Save Smart!! Patty Parker from Southern Michigan Bank & Trust will show you ways to save without cutting into your lifestyle!

    Stress Relief 1-2-3: Learn techniques to reduce stress on your own, anywhere from Darlene Starr.

    Having Fun With Children: Kayleen Bovee will show you ways to have fun with your kids when they’re bored and you’re broke!

    Do-It Herself Clinic: Learn how to do your own home maintenance and repairs with a Home Depot hunk!

    Spring Spruce Up: Backyard Kreation’s Matt Hyska will show you handy tips to spring your yard alive after the snow melts.

    Over 40 exhibitors will also be on hand to showcase their services and merchandise between sessions. Some of the exhibitors include several departments from the Community Health Center of Branch County with health information, Upper Hand Bodywork, Creative Memories, Great Lakes Chiropractic, Branch County Literacy Council, and many more. Free on-site childcare, (preregistration required) will be provided, as will refreshments throughout the morning. Goody bags will be handed out to the first 250 participants to register on the day of the Health Fest.

    Women’s Health Fest is planned and staged by women from area businesses and organizations. The first event was held in 1998 and has been held annually ever since. Women’s Health Fest is one of the few free events of this kind in Michigan. Each year the Health Fest has attracted 250 - 300 women who have consistently rated it as excellent on participant surveys.

    A few exhibitor spots are still available. Contact Patty Parker at (517) 279-5665 or e-mail to pparker@smb-t.com. To for more information or to preregister for free childcare, call (517) 279-5008.

  • Buy A House for a Buck!

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Starting Saturday, February 12, McDonald’s restaurants in Bronson, Coldwater, Quincy and Tekonsha will be selling Walk for Warmth donation “houses” to raise money for Community Action’s annual Walk for Warmth fundraiser. From February 12 to the Walk event on Saturday, February 26, patrons of McDonald’s can purchase a paper “house” for $1.00. Donors can then sign their names on the “houses,” which will be displayed in the restaurant. Proceeds collected will be used to help low-to-moderate income individuals and families stay warm this winter, through Community Action’s utility bill assistance program.

    “We are very grateful for all that McDonald’s restaurants do for the Walk,” said Nancy Macfarlane, Community Action CEO. “McDonald’s restaurants have raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Walk over the years, and helped thousands of people in our communities stay warm.”

    In addition to purchasing a “house” at your local McDonald’s, you can help Community Action by collecting pledges for your local Walk as an individual walker, or by starting and walking with a team from your church, school, or organization. If you are unable to participate in the Walk but still want to help, please mail in your donation (PO Box 1026, Battle Creek, MI 49016) or drop it off at your local Community Action office in Coldwater. Community Action ensures that your donation will remain in the community of your choice, so please make checks payable to “Community Action Walk for Warmth” and designate the community to which you would like your donation credited.

    For Walk for Warmth information and pledge sheets, please call the Community Action office at (517) 279-9325 or visit their website at www.caascm.org.

  • New Religious Ed Director hired at Catholic Church

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church have hired Anita M. Trayling as the new full-time Director of Religious Education, Right of Christian Initiation for Adults Coordinator and Youth Minister.

    According to Father Daniel Doctor “It has been a few years since St. Charles and Our Lady of Fatima had a full-time Religious Ed Director and we are excited about having Mrs. Trayling joining our staff. We are hoping to develop a strong youth ministry here in our community. God's greatest gift to our parish are our children and we need to help them to grow into mature responsible adult Catholics. Nothing could be more important to our parish and our world in this day and age”.

    Trayling's experience includes seven years of teaching as a Catholic Christian Doctrine (CCD) instructor in addition to being an understudy of a Monk, Br. Jacob Grisley, at St. Meinrad Archabbey, Seminary, College, and Abbey Press Catalog for three years. She has also been the CCD instructor at St. Clare's in Centerville for 7 years

    According to Trayling “I am convinced that my experience, enthusiasm, and professional commitment will be an asset to St. Charles Borromeo, and Our Lady of Fatima parishes”. She welcomes the opportunity to meet with anyone and is excited about the chance to make a difference in this community.

    Trayling and her husband Jack, a firefighter employed by the City of Coldwater have three children, Xenah age 18 who is in the Navy, Xachary age 16 a Junior at Coldwater High School and Xeidler age 13 a 7th grader at Legg Middle School

    Trayling has a Master's of Science Degree in Administration of Justice and Security from University of Phoenix and is currently working on a second Master's Degree of Arts in Adult Education and Training. In her spare time Trayling is a Girl Scout leader, is an active member of the Autism Support Group and enjoys Scrap booking, camping, and motorcycle riding.

    For more information or to contact Anita Trayling call the St. Charles Borromeo Parish Office at 517-278-2650

  • Mona Bartlett Awarded Employee of the Month

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    A positive work ethic and great customer service are the foundations of the Employee of the Month award at CHC. The November Employee of the Month is well deserving of this accomplishment, and exemplifies all the qualities associated with the award. The Employee of the Month award is a great honor, with the recipient receiving special recognition and gifts, and the award is voted on by fellow employees. CHC would like to congratulate Mona Bartlett as the Employee of the Month for November.

    Mona was hired October 2, 1995. She is the Accounts Payable Clerk in Accounting. Mona first worked in Medical Records for over nine years, and has been working in Accounting for six. She is also a member of the Cost Containment Committee. According to her nominator, “Mona is a very dedicated CHC employee. She takes great pride in her work, and makes sure it is done correctly. She is very helpful, and courteous to all. Once she was scheduled to leave on vacation, and she waited until she processed checks for me. She was very instrumental in developing the EFT payment process for the doctors. Mona is very deserving of this award.”

    Bartlett graduated from Coldwater High School, and received her Accounting Diploma from Davenport University in 1991. Mona is married to Christopher, who works at Michigan Rebuild and Automation. Together they have two sons, Jackson, 23 years old, who graduates in May with a B.A. in Africana Studies and Urban Studies from Wayne State University, and Tyler, 22 years old, who is a senior at Michigan Technological University, majoring in Electrical Engineering, Psychology, and Spanish Language/Cultures. In her spare time, Mona likes hiking, backpacking, kayaking, skiing, reading, turkey hunting, and travel. Congratulations on this accomplishment!

  • Pavlov & Associates CPAs, P.C. Opens Doors in Downtown Coldwater

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Andrea and Dave Pavlov are pleased to be able to open Pavlov & Associates, CPA’s, P.C. at 42 W. Chicago in downtown Coldwater. The Office will officially open on January 28, 2011. The Pavlov name is no stranger to Branch County since B&L Associates of Branch County, LLC, now named Pavlov and Associates Group, LLC, formerly owned by Dave’s father, Robert Pavlov, has had offices in Bronson for over thirty five (35) years. Last year Dave and Andrea also purchased Bronson Business Tax.

    The Coldwater office of Pavlov & Associates, CPA’s, P.C., will offer a wide range of services, including financial compilations, payroll services and taxes, corporate (profit and non-profit) and individual tax preparation, internal audit projects, external audit and review services, as well as fiduciary tax preparation. The company is also Quick Books Certified and works with both profit and not profit organizations for all their accounting and financial needs.

    Andrea and Dave both recently moved here with their three children from the Detroit area, where they both worked for major companies. Andrea, a graduate of Walsh College, was previously a Senior Tax Associate for Deloitte &Touche, LLP, a well known national accounting and consulting firm. Andrea is now the Internal Audit Manager at Borgess Health in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dave was born and raised in the Bronson area, where he played several sports including high school football. Dave graduated from Albion College and received his Masters from Central Michigan University. Prior to moving back to Bronson, Dave held several positions including Senior Manager for BDO Seidman (a large regional accounting and consulting firm), Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer.

    Dave and Andrea moved back to the Coldwater area to be closer to family and to be able to raise their children in a great community. Dave remarked, “Andrea and I love getting involved in community activities and are already coaching youth football. It is exciting to be a part of a small community. We both look forward being more involved in both Coldwater and Bronson.” Andrea is currently a member of Altrusa of Branch County and is active on their New Membership committee.

    Corey Collins, President of the Downtown Business Association (DBA), commented that he “is very pleased that Andrea and Dave Pavlov have joined our downtown business community. We have a very strong business mix and the addition of Pavlov & Associates, CPA’s, P.C. will be another great asset to Downtown Coldwater.”

    Pavlov & Associates, CPA’s, P.C. will employ three people initially in their Coldwater office. Their Coldwater office will be open Monday through Thursday during offseason and Monday through Sunday during tax season, and they encourage making appointments by calling (517) 924-0700.

  • Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council Holds Annual Meeting

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    COLDWATER – Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council, Inc. will hold its annual meeting at 5:30pm, Thursday, January 27at the opera house.

    Just as we heard the State of the State and prepare to hear the State of the Union, it’s time also for the State of the Arts, at least locally. The meeting for Tibbits, Branch County’s Center for arts and culture, includes a review of the 2009-10 fiscal year, a financial report of the theatre and highlights for the year ahead, including the progress on the façade restoration.

    The community and members of the Tibbits Foundation are invited to join the board of directors. A reception in the lobby beginning at 5 pm will be followed by the annual meeting which will include recognition of outgoing board members Julie Stratos and Jeff Holbrook. The annual board election will include renewal of board terms for Brian Hodson, Barb Mullally and Brad Parrish as well as election of new board members, Dr. Tina Kerr, Marilyn Baker and Mike Beckwith.

    Following the annual meeting the board will hold its annual organizational meeting at which they will elect the officers for 2011.Tibbits Opera House is located at 14 South Hanchett Street, Coldwater. For more information call 517-278-6029.

  • Local Business to Support Hospital Volunteer Event

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    CHC Volunteers are partnering with Kiess Jewelry. Kiess will dazzle employees, physicians, and volunteers with jewels that they normally might not have time or funds to purchase, but because special priced items are offered at a discount, they can. Kiess then will generously donate up to 25% of their total gross sales back to CHC.

    The donation is first given to the CHC Volunteers. Then each year the Volunteers donate a lump sum of their earnings throughout the year from a variety of sales, fundraisers, and gift shop purchases back to CHC.

    CHC is happy to partner with Kiess who has been very active in the community since 1930, and has been a long time supporter of the hospital. The sale will take place on February 4, 2011 from 6:30 am to 4:30 pm in Conference Rooms 1 & 2 (located behind the Lobby Gift Shop).

    For more information on the sale, please contact CHC Volunteer Services at 517-279-5008.