wtvbs business beat blog header WTVB Business Beat

  • Bowers Joins Midwestern Realty Group

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The team at Midwestern Realty Group is excited to announce that Jim Bowers has joined their office. Jim retired in 2010 after 26 years with Calhoun County Career Center where he was the marketing instructor. Jim brings with him a vast knowledge of marketing techniques and technology. Jim is available for of your residential real estate needs. He can be reached by calling the office 278-6400

  • “Amy Jensen, Recipient of Employee of the Month

    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 Amy Jensen as July’s Employee of the Month. Amy Jensen is the Human Resource Director at CHC. Amy was hired at CHC in January 1978 as a Ward Clerk. Over the years Amy has had the opportunity to work in several areas at CHC before becoming the HR Director. According to her nominator, “how does one provide the best customer service possible and be the main source of contact for HR questions in an organization as large as CHC? I am not sure that I could answer that question but Amy could.

    On many occasions, I have seen her there to support staff and directors. Amy maintains HR rules and regulations while supporting all that come to her for assistance. She displays compassion along with excellent listening and communication skills. Early one morning I came through a door and inadvertently walked in on a conversation between Amy and a CHC employee. In just the few seconds that I was there it was apparent that Amy was there to listen and support the staff member. Just knowing that Amy is available for support and that confidence will be maintained is a huge benefit to all at CHC. She maintains equal and fair treatment for all CHC employees. Thank you, Amy.”

    Jensen is from Quincy and graduated from Coldwater High School. She has been member of the BACC Health Technologies Advisory Committee for six years and a new member of the Workforce Development Board. Amy was recently inducted into the National Technical Honor Society as an honorary member of BACC. She is the Chair of the CHC Customer Service Steering Committee and Safety Committee.

    Amy is married to husband Hal who works for Albright Swine Farms and together they have one son. Her son Andrew lives and works in Indianapolis, Indiana and is getting married in May 2011. Amy enjoys gardening, reading, cross-stitching, and spending time with her family. When Amy received this award she stated, “I think the hospital is a great place to work and I am honored by this award.”

    Congratulations, Amy for receiving this achievement.

  • CHC PT Presents Lift Education to Wojan Window and Doors

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Community Health Center’s Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Services recently presented “Safe Lifting, Proper Body Mechanics, and Back Education” to the staff at Wojan Window and Doors. Physical Therapist Bridget Barle and Physical Therapist Assistant Jennifer Colbeck educated and assessed participants for posture and movement mechanics for lifting and bending at their job site, and instructed them on an exercise program to prevent injury.

    The therapists helped the staff with hands on demonstrations and an individual assessment of each participant’s lifting tasks for their specific job. The CHC PT department and Wojan Window and Doors are dedicated to injury prevention.

    Wojan Window and Doors fabricates quality custom window and door products for commercial, industrial, healthcare, multi-family, new construction, and remodeling projects. The average window weight is 25-50 pounds with the heaviest weighing roughly 300 pounds. The “Safe Lifting, Proper Body Mechanics, and Back Education” in-service is just one way Wojan Window and Doors works to prevent injury.

    During their lifetime, eight out of ten people will experience back pain significant enough to seek medical attention. In America alone, back pain costs industries millions of dollars a year to lost manpower and medical expenses. In addition to financial losses, back pain victims suffer emotionally and physically, with some individuals becoming permanently disabled. Physical therapists seek to alleviate the effects of back injuries through treatment, education and prevention. It is much more cost effective to prevent injuries than to treat them after they occur.

    CHC Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Services can be part of your business’s annual safety education. Call Bridget Barle with any questions regarding safe lifting, back education, and job specific exercises to prevent injury at (517) 279-5457.

  • CHC Cardiac Rehab Moves

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Community Health Center of Branch County’s Cardiac Rehab recently moved locations to better serve their patients. Cardiac Rehab is now located at 274 East Chicago St., Coldwater, MI inside the hospital’s old Cancer Center.

    Cardiac Rehabilitation patients have wide access to a wide array of health care professionals including registered nurses , dietitians, and more. By working with you and your personal physician, CHC professionals will design a program to fit your individual needs. CHC Cardiac Rehab offers monitored exercise classes for people who have had bypass surgery, stent placement, angioplasty, valve replacement surgery, or have a diagnosis of stable angina.

    Cardiac Rehabilitation also offers educational classes regarding diet, medications, exercise, and diagnosis. You can find a complete list of all of CHC classes on the CHC website under “Forms”.

    The phone number for Cardiac Rehab has changed to (517) 279-5300. If you have any questions, please contact the above number.

  • Kurtz named 'Champion of Commerce'

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    State Rep. Kenneth Kurtz has been named a "Champion of Commerce" by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce for his efforts to create jobs and improve Michigan's business environment. Only three out of 110 lawmakers in the state House of Representatives received the designation.

    I will continue to make sure that job creation remains a key focus for the state Legislature," said Kurtz, R-Coldwater. "New jobs not only support Michigan families, they create more state revenue that can then be used for our schools, public safety and roads."

    The Michigan Chamber of Commerce rated Kurtz based on his legislative voting record. Kurtz will be recognized at the chamber's 2010 Future Forum & Annual Meeting at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing in September.

    The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is a statewide business advocacy organization representing over 6,800 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce.

  • Employees Promoted at Monarch Community Bank

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Monarch Community Bank is proud to announce the promotion of teller managers: Krista Brainard, Dola Gleeson, and Jill Parsons to assistant vice presidents for the bank.

    Brainard has been with the bank for 11 years and works as the teller manager in Union City. She has held various positions within the bank including teller, trainer, and lead teller. She is a graduate of Countryside Christian Academy, and resides in Coldwater. Gleeson is also a resident of Coldwater and a graduate of Fremont High School. She has been with the bank since 2007 as the teller manager in the Willowbrook branch in Coldwater. Parsons also began work at the bank in 2007 as the teller manager. She is a graduate of Hillsdale and resides in Jonesville. She is the teller manager for Monarch’s Hillsdale branch.

    “We are proud to recognize some employees who have provided excellent customer service and who care about the needs of our customers. Krista, Dola, and Jill are great examples of employees who give their all to our organization” said Rick DeVries, president and CEO of Monarch Community 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, go to www.monarchcb.com or call your local branch.

  • Southern Michigan Announces Second Quarter Earnings

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Southern Michigan Bancorp, Inc. (OTCBB: SOMC.OB) announced second quarter net income of $803,000, or $0.35 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2010. This compares to net income of $751,000, or $0.33 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2009. Southern’s net income for the six months ended June 30, 2010, was $1,505,000, or $0.65 per diluted share, compared to net income of $480,000, or $0.21 per diluted share, for the same six month period a year ago.

    Southern provided $150,000 for loan losses during the second quarter of 2010 compared to a $500,000 provision for the second quarter of 2009. The decrease in the provision for loan losses resulted because many of the charged off loans had specific reserves previously assigned and from reduced charge offs. Net charge offs totaled $367,000 during the second quarter of 2010 compared to $766,000 in the second quarter of 2009. For the six month period ended June 30, 2010, net charge offs totaled $699,000 compared to $2,430,000 for the same six month period in 2009.

    Southern’s allowance for loan losses totaled $5.7 million, or 1.77% of total loans, at June 30, 2010 compared to $6.1 million, or 1.82% of total loans, at December 31, 2009. Non-performing loans totaled $8,379,000, or 2.59% of gross loans, at June 30, 2010 compared to $7,599,000, or 2.28% of gross loans, at December 31, 2009, an increase of $780,000. Measurable progress has been achieved with numerous non-performing loan customers and the increase was primarily due to additional loans that are past due 90 days, but are currently fully secured and in the process of collection.

    Southern’s net interest margin decreased slightly from 4.11% for the six month period ended June 30, 2009 to 4.02% for the same period of 2010. Reduced net interest income resulted from lower earning asset balances and rates which were partially offset by lower deposit rates.

    John Castle, Chairman and CEO, stated, “The Federal Reserve has maintained an extremely low interest rate environment in an attempt to encourage economic activity. However, without employment growth, business conditions will in all likelihood remain subdued and interest rates will remain low well into 2011. Loan demand is weak as businesses are uncertain of the future. In addition, near term pressure on earnings from recent financial reform legislation will challenge the financial industry going forward,” Castle continued, “While we have more work to do in order to achieve the level of earnings we have historically delivered, we are pleased with our second quarter results and the progress we are making. A number of cost saving initiatives have been started that, when completed, should result in increased profitability in 2011.”

    The annualized return on average assets for the six month periods ended June 30, 2010 and 2009 was 0.64% and 0.21%, respectively. The annualized return on average equity was 6.48% for the first six months of 2010 compared to 2.13% for the same period of 2009.

    Southern Michigan Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Coldwater, Michigan with 18 branches within Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Hillsdale and St. Joseph Counties which provide a broad range of consumer, business and wealth management services throughout the region.

  • OFIR Protects Policyholders by Prohibiting Nonconforming Clauses

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) has issued rules prohibiting three types of nonconforming clauses found in insurance policies. Through consumer complaints, OFIR discovered that many policyholders were being harmed by these nonconforming clauses.

    The rules prohibit insurers from inserting clauses into insurance policies that: 1) Exclude policyholders from disability coverage if they are denied social security benefits; 2) Include a blank endorsement that would allow the insurance company to unilaterally alter the terms a policy after it was in effect; 3) Require policyholders to travel out of their home county to arbitrate a disputed claim.

    “Prohibiting these nonconforming clauses protect Michigan consumers by preventing insurance companies from sneaking clauses into their policies that unfairly burden Michigan consumers,” OFIR Commissioner Ken Ross said.

    Beginning August 1, 2010, insurers were prohibited from using these nonconforming clauses in any new or revised insurance policy. By September 1, 2010, insurance companies must submit to OFIR a list of forms in use in Michigan that contain one or more of these nonconforming clauses, or a letter certifying that the company has no forms currently in effect containing any the clauses.

    The complete definitions of these prohibited nonconforming clauses found in the rules are:

    A definition of disability in a disability income policy that is more inclusive than the definition of disability used in social security act disability proceedings if the more inclusive definition ceases to apply when or if the policyholder is denied social security disability benefits.

    A blank endorsement in connection with a personal insurance policy.

    An arbitration provision that requires the insured to travel to a location outside the county of the insured's residence, unless the insured consents to another location after the arbitral dispute occurs.

  • BCCF Awards Scholarships

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Branch County Community Foundation (BCCF) recently awarded $47,350 in scholarships to over forty-two area high school and college students representing the four area Branch County and Colon High schools. Scholarships have been awarded from twenty-five different funds within the Community Foundation benefiting educational endeavors promoting careers in engineering, nursing, teaching, business, foreign language and many others.

    All Branch County and Colon area graduates, youth or adult, are encouraged to apply for these annual scholarships. Some of the scholarships are renewable based on specific requirements such as proof of continued education, GPA requirements and a scholarship application submitted each year. Students are advised to visit the Branch County Community Foundation website at www.brcofoundation.org later in the year to see what scholarships are available and when the 2011 scholarship deadline will be.

    The scholarship process began March 8, when a total of 331scholarships were received by the Community Foundation from students. After reviewing the scholarships for completeness, 73% of the applications were presented to more than thirty area scholarship committee members for their review. The committees met to make recommendations and then presented the scholarship candidates to the Branch County Community Foundation Board of Directors for their final approval in April. Scholarships were presented to the students at each High School awards program. College students receiving scholarships are notified by the Community Foundation staff. Students are required to sign a form indicating acceptance of the scholarship and checks are mailed to colleges as each student directs.

    For more information about these scholarships, the application process, how to be a member of the scholarship committee, or to learn more about how you can support the Branch County Community Foundation call 517.278.4517 or visit brcofoundation.org.

  • “CHC Nurse Receives BS in Nursing”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Community Health Center of Branch County (CHC) congratulates CHC Float Nurse, Kristin Smith on receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Spring Arbor University.

    In 1995, Kristin was hired in as a Nursing Assistant. While working at CHC Kristin has held positions as a Nursing Extern and Registered Nurse. She is a member of the Commit to Quality Committee at CHC. Kristin has been married to husband Scott for 12 years and has two daughters, Molly, 9 years old; and Meg, 7 years old. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, golfing, and helping at St. Charles Elementary. Kristin is looking forward to teaching this Fall at Kellogg Community College while working as a Float Nurse at CHC.

    Congratulations Kristin, from you CHC Family.

  • CBPU Employee Obtains Certification

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Rick Herman, an employee of the Coldwater Board of Public Utilities, recently passed Michigan DEQ’s examination for certification as a D-3 drinking water operator.

    The "D" certification is for water treatment. In order to progress through the certification process, operators must meet educational qualifications, experience qualifications, and receive examination scores of 70% or better.

    On behalf of the Board of Directors of the CBPU, Director Beckhusen congratulates Mr. Herman for successfully obtaining this certification. This accomplishment speaks highly of his work ethic and dedication to support the CBPU’s strong foundation for serving its customers.

  • “CHC Volunteer Elected to MAHA Board”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Volunteer Services Department of the Community Health Center of Branch County (CHC) is very pleased to announce that long time volunteer, Pat Sampsel of Coldwater, was recently elected as the Legislative/Advocacy Director of the Michigan Association of Healthcare Advocates (MAHA) Board at the 61st Annual Meeting and Educational Institute held at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

    In 2005, Pat started volunteering in the CHC Human Resources and Marketing departments doing clerical work. Later she started delivering mail to departments in the hospital and helping out in the Oncology department. Pat has served as Vice President, President for two years and is currently serving as Counselor of the CHC Volunteers Board. She has been on the By-laws/Policy Committee, Budget Committee, Nomination Committee and has served on several fund raising committees for the hospital. The Community Health Center is proud to have Pat as a volunteer and Legislative/Advocacy Director for MAHA. Pat served one year as Public Relations Chair on the MAHA Board.

    The purpose of the Michigan Association Healthcare Advocates (MAHA) is to provide services, education, and leadership training to the MAHA membership in addition to providing support to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA). This year 29,476 auxiliaries/volunteers donated 2,772,241 hours of service to their respective health care facilities. In addition, over $6,391,219.81 was raised to benefit Michigan hospitals.

    For more information on volunteering at CHC, please contact Volunteer Services at (517) 279-5282.