wtvbs business beat blog header WTVB Business Beat

  • Southern Michigan Bank and Trust Announces Promotions

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    John H. Castle, Chairman and CEO of Southern Michigan Bank & Trust is pleased to announce the promotions of Eric Anglin, Connie Swain-Caudill, Jeff Kiersey and Jamie Tobalske.

    Anglin has been promoted to First Vice President Retail Banking Services/Chief Deposit Officer and will oversee all branch administration. As Chief Deposit Officer, Eric will be responsible for establishing the bank’s deposit growth strategies and goals, implementing new deposit products and services and responding to quotes and requests for deposit proposals. Anglin is a graduate of Tiffin University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Management. He earned a degree from the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin and also attended the ABA Commercial Lending School in Dallas, Texas.

    In 1999, Anglin began his banking career at Farmers Citizens Bank in Ohio and was promoted to commercial loan officer in 2002. He then joined Monarch Community Bank in 2004 where he recently served as Chief Deposit Officer. Eric is active in the community as treasurer of Branch County United Way, member of the Branch County Community Development Advisory Committee, and board member of the Lakeland Fire Department.

    Swain-Caudill has been promoted to Assistant Vice President/Senior Collection Manager. Connie has been with the bank since 1992. She began her career in collections part time and then became an adjustor, loan servicing supervisor, and in 2004 was promoted to collections manager. Connie has been instrumental in successfully handling collection matters, inspections, bankruptcies, repossessions and lawsuits. Connie’s dedication, loyalty and extensive knowledge of collections procedures and requirements have earned her this promotion.

    Kiersey, who has been with Southern since 2004, has been promoted to the position of Senior Vice President/Chief Information Officer. Jeff is a graduate of Ferris State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical/Electronics Engineering Technology. Kiersey began his banking career with Century Bank and Trust in 1992 as the Information Systems Manager and Network Administrator. Jeff possesses great competency and utilizes a creative and insightful approach to resolving technology challenges. He continually looks for ways to increase efficiency and improve customer service abilities while maintaining a cost conscious attitude. Jeff’s responsibilities include Network Systems and Data Processing.

    Tobalske has been promoted to the position of Assistant Vice President/ e-Services Officer. She began her banking career with Century Bank and Trust in 2001 until joining Southern in 2002. Jamie’s direction and foresight related to e-Services has been outstanding in the areas of Internet Banking. Some of Jamie’s new responsibilities include assisting our Commercial and Sales departments with Internet Banking, e-Messenger and e-Statements.

    Southern Michigan Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Coldwater, Michigan. Its subsidiary bank, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, has 18 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.

  • Sobeske Joins Southern Michigan Bank & Trust

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    John H. Castle, Chairman and CEO of Southern Michigan Bank and Trust is pleased to announce the recent hiring of James Sobeske as Vice President/Commercial Lender. Sobeske comes to SMBT with 27 years of banking experience in the Sturgis and Coldwater areas. His extensive experience began at Southern in the position of Auditor and Data Security Officer. He joined Century Bank and Trust in 1988 as a commercial lender, and served as President and CEO since 2004.

    Sobeske earned a bachelor of science in business administration degree from Central Michigan University and an MBA from Western Michigan University. Castle stated, “Jim’s reputation as an outstanding lender and seasoned professional are well known in the community. We are excited about the expertise he brings to the bank.”

    Sobeske’s service to the community includes membership on the boards of the Coldwater Noon Exchange Club, Branch County Hometown Economic Competitive Initiative Advisory, Branch County E-911 and Tibbits Booster Club, as well as the Southwest Michigan Chapter of The Risk Management Association and the Michigan Banker’s Association Management Committee.

    Southern Michigan Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Coldwater, Michigan. Its subsidiary bank, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, has 18 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.

  • Arts Alive makes donation to Tibbits

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Arts Alive demonstrated the group’s support of the Tibbits Opera House through donations to the annual Tibbits Auction as well as through a donation to the “Strip the Tibbits…What’s Under the Brick?” restoration campaign.

    The group made a $500 donation from its own treasury as a show of support for the Tibbits Façade restoration campaign currently underway. The group manages the exhibits in the Art Gallery in the lower level of the Tibbits Opera House. In their discussion they wanted to make a gesture which shows how much they appreciate the theatre and the current effort to restore the front of the building to its original 1882 grandeur.

    The Arts Alive donation along with other recent donations has brought the total needed to begin work on the façade down to $135,500. The theatre needs to raise $500,000 through donations and pledges to meet the match required for the Federal Highway Administration’s $500,000 Scenic Byways grant.

    Arts Alive celebrates artists and those who appreciate the arts. In addition to coordinating the art gallery exhibits they are active in other creative events including the downtown Art Walk, the well received Community Mural Project, and the Coldwater "All Around the Town" paint-out. Arts Alive's goal is to facilitate education, growth, and the appreciation of the arts and culture in all forms.

    In addition to supporting the restoration, individual members of the group donated their own artwork to Tibbits Annual Auction held at the beginning of November. Carol Hatfield, Susan Miller, Vivian Schilling and Bev Tippmann all donated paintings they created during Arts Alive’s paint out in downtown Coldwater. Deborah Thenan donated custom, hand-thrown beer mugs. These donations along with more than 400 items helped Tibbits raise nearly $50,000 for the operation of the theatre.

  • OFIR Urges Caution for Michigan Investors Mining for Golden Opportunities

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    LANSING - With gold prices reaching record highs, investors are increasingly turning to gold-related investments. The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) today reminded Michigan investors to beware of gold investment scams and to be cautious about jumping onto the gold bandwagon.

    “The soaring price of gold has sparked a modern-day gold rush among investors, but it’s still the Wild West out there,” OFIR Commissioner Ken Ross said. “Michigan consumers should give OFIR a call before they invest in any fool’s gold.”

    In 2009, OFIR put an end to a gold and silver mine investment scam run by John Missitti of Flint. Missitti, through the company GetMoni.com, solicited Michigan investors at so called “free lunch” seminars and sold them fraudulent promissory notes that in some cases exceeded $100,000. OFIR determined that Missitti and GetMoni.com were not licensed to sell securities products in Michigan and the products sold were not registered with the state.

    In Missitti’s investment scam, he enticed investors into investing in several gold and silver extraction mining operations. Missitti actually put silver bullion on the table at a free lunch seminar, but no other silver or gold ever existed.

    Before entering into an investment, Michigan consumers are encouraged to contact OFIR and the agency can run a check on any investment firm, professional or product. OFIR can be reached at (877) 999-6442 or online at: www.michigan.gov/ofir.

    A copy of OFIR's cease and desist order against Missitti and GetMoni.com can be found at: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dleg/GetMoni.Com_Inc._a_Nevadat_299964_7.pdf.

  • CBPU increases Speeds for their High Speed Internet Customers at No Additional Charge

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Coldwater Board of Public Utilities announced today that they have completed complimentary speed increases to all of their high-speed cable modem customers. Customers who subscribe to the standard cable modem service will be pleasantly surprised with their automatic upgrade doubling their current speed to 1 Mbps upload and 4 Mbps download. Customers subscribing to the “Quick” service jumped to 6 Mbps.

    “We realize the way people use the Internet is changing,” said Internet Engineer Art Plato. “This increase in speed is our way of showing our customers that we are continually dedicated to delivering fast, reliable service at an affordable price.”

    With the additional speed, CBPU residential customers will more easily be able to stream online music, share photos, download songs and play on-line games.

    Business customers are encouraged to call and find out if they have the correct bandwidth for all their current or future data needs. Call 279-9531 for an assessment of your business requirements and make sure your company is in the right plan.

  • “Darene Sargent, Recipient of Employee of the Month for August at CHC”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Every month the Community Health Center of Branch County salutes the Employee of the Month. The award is a great accomplishment that recognizes a positive work ethic and excellent customer service. The Employee of the Month is nominated by fellow employees and CHC rewards the recipient with special recognition and gifts.

    CHC is proud to recognize Darene Sargent as August’s Employee of the Month. Darene Sargent is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at CHC. Darene was hired at CHC in February 1985. Her job duties include providing clerical support to Randy DeGroot and the Board of Trustees. She coordinates annual surveys; and communicates with the medical staff, county officials, and other hospital associates. According to her nominator, “Darene always has a positive attitude and is very helpful when I need her. She gives my department ample time when she needs food for functions or when she has to cancel them. She thinks about each and every detail which makes our jobs much easier. Darene has a friendly and professional demeanor and is able to interact with folks at all levels within the organization. Please accept this nomination for the Employee of the Month award.”

    Sargent is from Quincy and graduated from Camelback High School in Phoenix, AZ; she attended one year at Phoenix Junior College. She enjoys reading, gardening, going to her granddaughter’s volleyball games, and visiting her other granddaughter at NMU. Darene is involved with organizations such as the Hospitality and Barnabas Ministry Team at Union Church and Eastern Star.

    Darene has two children; Darla who lives in Quincy and works at Southern Michigan Bank and Trust, and Duane who lives in Tulsa, OK and works for American Airlines. She has four grandchildren; two live in Tulsa and two in Quincy. Darene was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Arizona and some how found her way to Michigan 30 years ago.

    Darene will be retiring from CHC in 12 weeks where she has spent an enjoyable 25 years. She is looking forward to retirement, but knows she will truly miss everyone here at CHC. Darene plans to travel and spend time with family and friends in Arizona.

  • He’s Retiring After 19 Years

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Dennis Babjack the owner of the "Largest Moccasin store in the country," Sauk Trail Trading Post has officially announced his retirement effective as of 12/31/10. This Icon retail establishment is located at the corner of US-12 and Michigan Ave in Coldwater MI. By retiring he will be looking to find new ownership to take over the operation. Babjack will be leaving the nationally recognized store to become the full time C.E.O. of Adya Inc. Adya distributes and manufactures ionized mineral products for water. They impact the consumer, agriculture, and aqua-culture (fish farming) markets not only in the USA but most recently Canada and Europe.

    When asked why now? Babjack replied "for the past 7 years I have been running both companies. As both have grown so has the demand for time and resources. It was time to make a choice. The 19 years have taught me a lot on the corner, including marketing, relationship building, and having a quality product. All these will contribute to success in my new direction.”

    I’m confident someone will see the opportunity and take over the successful Sauk Trail Trading Post. Interested parties in becoming the new owner should contact Dennis at 517-278-5100 ext 21.or email dennis@moccshop.com

  • Hallo-Green 2010

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Come celebrate Hallo-GREEN at The Coldwater Board of Public Utilities. CBPU customers that stop into the office the week of October 25th will receive a free reusable grocery bag containing a Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL) and other energy saving items. Staff will be on-hand, ready to answer your questions about all the energy efficiency rebate and incentive programs currently being offered. Don’t forget the kids; there’ll be Hallo-Green trick-or-treat bags with activty books, glow sticks, and other goodies too!

    The CBPU office is located at One Grand Street and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Beginning September 27th the Coldwater Board of Public Utilities water department will begin its semi-annual hydrant-operating program. To improve efficiency and minimize water quality issues, crews will again be working around the clock to complete the program within one week.

    This is a good time for homeowners to remember to flush hot water heaters, which will improve water quality and efficiency. The Coldwater Board of Public Utilities recommends doing laundry once crews have flushed hydrants in their area. Customers living north of US-12 should do laundry earlier in the week and south of US-12 later in the week as a general rule.

    Motorists are urged to use caution in and around areas where hydrant operation is taking place especially in the evening and early morning hours.

    For further information, please contact Tom Spitzner, Water Superintendent at 279-4805.

  • “Older American Health Fair Scheduled for Tuesday, October 12th”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    For the 23rd year, the Older American Health Fair will be held in Coldwater to benefit seniors in the area seeking medical services, products, and community information. The event will again be held at the Dearth Center on the 4H Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

    Seniors can again look forward to free health screenings including, non-fasting cholesterol tests, non-fasting blood sugar tests, vision screenings, and blood pressure checks. Also available during the fair are flu, pneumonia, and tetanus vaccines. Pre-registration is required by calling the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph County Department of Health at 279-9561.

    During the event, almost 50 vendors will be on hand to answer your questions and provide up-to-date information about your health-related concerns. Most vendors will also have door prizes. If needed, free Bata Bus transportation to the event will also be available by calling 278-5889.

    Thank you to the major sponsor of the event, Southern Michigan Bank and Trust and community committee members: Julie Stratos, CHC; Courtney Dirschell, Monarch Community Bank; Sarah Asher, Southern Michigan Bank and Trust; Bill and Jan Robinson, community members; Ben Parker and Dana Lewis, Airway Oxygen; Connie and Paul Winbigler, community members, Candy Cox, Health Department.; Sandy MacDonald, community member; and Jane Sabaitis of Maple Lawn. If you’d like to be a part of this committee for the 2011 event, please contact Bill Robinson at 278-6568.

  • CHC Launches Facebook Fan Page

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Social Media basically transforms and rapidly evolves the architecture of business, communications, and the dissemination of information and influence. Today, there are businesses that engage in social media and those that do not. After researching the media, the Community Health Center of Branch County decided to launch its first Facebook fan page.

    CHC’s Facebook page features health and wellness blurbs, healthy recipes, announcements for upcoming events, and photos. To join CHC’s fan page do a search for the Community Health Center of Branch County and click on join. Become a fan of CHC’s today!

    For more information, please contact CHC Marketing at 517-279-5282.

  • Baker College Of Coldwater Continues Its Fall Quarter Enrollment

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    COLDWATER, Mich. – Baker College of Coldwater, a satellite campus of Baker College of Jackson, continues to enroll students for fall 2010 quarter. Classes begin Monday, September 27, with registration continuing through Friday, October 1, 2010.

    Baker’s Coldwater campus will offer two new programs this fall: a Microsoft networking professional certificate, and a computer networking technology, Microsoft option, associate degree. Some of the other programs available at Baker College of Coldwater include medical insurance specialist, medical assistant, accounting, business administration/accounting concentration, management, medical receptionist and medical administrative assisting.

    Financial assistance is available to students, including scholarships, grants, low-interest loans and work-study programs. For more information, e-mail Kevin Pnacek at kevin.pnacek@baker.edu, or call the Baker College of Jackson admissions office at 517.788.7800, or the Coldwater satellite campus at 517.781.4484. Students may also schedule an appointment via the Baker College website: www.baker.edu.

    The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It is a non-profit higher education institution, serving more than 43,000 students on 12 campuses and in four satellite locations. Baker grants certificates and associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in business, health sciences, education and human services, and various technical fields, as well as a doctorate of business administration. As a career college, the Baker College system is pleased to report that 97 percent of its available graduates are employed. For more information about Baker College, please check out our website at www.baker.edu.