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  • CHC Recognizes 2009 Employee of the Year

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Each year the Community Health Center of Branch County (CHC) honors one staff member as Employee of the Year for his or her outstanding service. Voted on by his or her peers, this employee is recognized for serving as a role model to others by exemplifying the mission of the Community Health Center of Branch County.

    CHC is very pleased to announce the 2009 Employee of the Year is Kristin Smith, RN. Smith has worked at CHC since 1995 as a Registered Nurse in the Float Department. Being a Float Nurse, Kristin changes departments on a daily basis allowing her, as she says “to have a new adventure every day.”

    According to her nominator, “Kristin is a role model for nursing, a true leader among her peers. She is a mentor and teacher to others as well as continuing her personal education by attending school to obtain her BSN. Kristin takes constructive feedback seriously, asks questions and wants to improve her performance.

    She is a member of the CQC team and brings valuable insight to the table in an effort to improve quality at CHC. As I watch Kristin’s interaction with patients, she displays professionalism, yet softness and genuine caring towards the individual. She treats all patients, coworkers and other staff with respect and dignity. I believe that Kristin exemplifies the CC “CARES” Behavior Standards which is why I think that she should be the Employee of the Month.”

    Smith graduated from Kellogg Community College in 1997 with a degree in nursing. She is currently attending Spring Arbor University and will graduate in the spring of 2010 with her BSN. Outside of CHC, Kristen enjoys golfing, spending time with family and friends and volunteering at St. Charles School in Coldwater, MI. Kristin is married to Bryan, has two daughters, Molly and Meg and a bassett hound named Baxter.

    Congratulations, Kristin Smith, on earning this well-deserved award.

  • Maurer Promoted at Monarch Community Bank

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Monarch Community Bank is proud to announce the promotion of Denise Maurer, who works at the headquarters on Willowbrook Road. Maurer, vice president, will take on the additional duties of business development manager, as well as her current duties of new account manager.

    Maurer has worked at Monarch Community Bank for 10 years in various customer service positions. “I’m really looking forward to this new challenge and being out and about in the community, helping businesses and individuals alike with their banking needs,” said Maurer. She is a graduate of Coldwater High School and currently resides in Tekonsha with her husband, Jason.

    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.

  • Altrusa, Building a Better Future-

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Altrusa of Branch County is pleased to announce that applications are now available at www.AltrusaBranchCounty.com for the 2010 year. Three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to non-traditional women students attending a college, university or trade school who live in Branch County.

    “The goal of the scholarship program is to provide financial assistance to individuals who are attending school later in life,” stated Jessica Handy, Chair of the Altrusa Vocational Service Committee. “We hope to receive a variety of applications from all over Branch County.”

    The 2010 Altrusa scholarship applications are available online at www.AltrusaBranchCounty.com or through all the local Branch County Libraries. All applicants are asked to submit their applications by March 31, 2010.

    Altrusa International of Branch County is an international network of executives and professionals in diversified careers who are dedicated to promoting community service in South Central Michigan. Altrusa was founded in 1917 in Nashville, Tennessee and became an international organization in 1935.

    In the early 1980's professional women in the Coldwater area saw the need for a women's service organization. Following evaluation of various international service organizations, the group decided to affiliate with Altrusa. The Branch County Chapter was organized in 1982.

  • “CHC Foundation Gala to Feature Magical Entertainment”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Community Health Center (CHC) Foundation is very pleased to announce the 2010 Gala will feature a performance by mind magician, George Tait. George will also go table to table displaying his mentalist skills while guests eat and socialize. Century Bank and Trust is the generous sponsor of the evening’s entertainment.

    “We’re very fortunate to have such an ardent supporter as Century Bank and Trust to make this entertaining event possible,” said Julie Stratos, CHC Foundation President. “Each year we try to bring something new to the event and this year is no exception.” This year’s performance will include using psychology and magic to get inside the minds of the audience. “We’re also excited to feature new auction items and an array of delectable new food selections,” said Stratos.

    George Tait has been a master of mind control and magic for over ten years. He makes a living controlling decisions of others and reading thoughts. He uses psychology and magic to get inside his audiences’ heads. George has performed along side bands Metallica, Kid Rock, Ted Nugent. He has performed his Psychological Magic at Las Vegas’ yearly Midvention.

    He’s also helped co-write and produce theatrical summer programs for children ages five to fifteen that taught both stage craft and built confidence through magic and music. George has performed for literally every type of audience, from intimate dinner and cocktail parties to corporate America.

    The Gala will be held on March 20, 2010, at the Dearth Community Center, with the goal of the evening to raise funds for the Community Health Center of Branch County Women Services. The Foundation was established to promote the financial needs of the hospital as well as maintain an active fundraising effort.

    With governmental reimbursement cuts, an aging population, and other challenges facing healthcare today, community awareness of the hospital’s needs and the fact that charitable donations can be directed to CHC is necessary.

    Those gifts are an investment in the future of the community and its health. Contributions to the Foundation enable CHC to provide for patient care equipment or items to make the environment more comfortable for patients and their families.

    They also provide additional health screenings and education through community events and programs, such as the prostate and breast cancer screenings, the Older Americans Health Fair, Community Fest, the Women’s Health Fest, and the Senior Health Seminar series. This is in keeping with CHC’s mission to provide access to safe, comprehensive, high quality healthcare services and vision of becoming the provider of choice for healthcare services in greater Branch County.

    For further information on the gala event, please call the Community Health Center’s Foundation Office at 279-5282. To preview George Tait’s performance, visit: www.mindtapped.com.


  • Branch County Chamber After Business Hours Honors Educators

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Branch County Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Salute To Educators as part of its monthly After Business Hours in March. The event will take place Tuesday, March 9 at Martell’s Tavern on the Green at the Golf Club of Coldwater from 4 until 6:30 pm.

    The Chamber says it’s a special night to say thank you to Branch County’s educators. Among the door prizes for the night are a flat-screen HDTV, portable DVD player, and gift cards. The March After Business Hours is sponsored by Century Bank and Trust.

    The Chamber is also still accepting nominations for the annual Chamber Awards to be handed out Thursday, March 25. Awards are given for Citizen, Business, Outstanding Community Program, and Teacher of the Year. This event also symbolizes the changing of the guard to a new Chamber Board of Directors. More details are available at the Chamber’s website at www.branchareachamber.com

  • Brown Bag Webinars

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    The Branch County Chamber of Commerce and the Hometown Competitive Initiative are sponsoring a series of “Brown Bag Webinars” over the next several months.  The next sessions are:

    March 18, 2010 -- Plowing New Ground – Refreshed Leadership Development for Revitalized Economies – What does it take to refresh local leadership for community revitalization? This webinar will focus on practical and concrete strategies to identify new leaders, equip them for today’s leadership challenges and help them develop the confidence and the competence to move their communities toward more positive futures.

    April 15, 2010 – Energized Youth – Energized Communities -- Craig Schroeder with the RURPI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, will discuss the tremendous revitalizing impact of young people upon rural communities, and key elements of strategic youth engagement practice, integrating entrepreneurial education and career development, youth leadership and community service, and adult mentoring with community investment in youth enterprise.

    May 20, 2010 – People Count – Rebuilding Rural Communities with People Attraction Strategies -- Craig Schroeder and Don Macke with the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship will be presenting information on an exciting new resource supporting people attraction as a development strategy. This webinar will present new research and strategy insights based on Kellogg Foundation funded work from last year.

    The webinars are free from 1 pm-2 pm at the Henry L. Brown Municipal Building in Coldwater, but you’re asked to RSVP to the Branch County Area Chamber of Commerce. 


  • Open House For Bill Stewart

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    There will be an open house for City Manager Bill Stewart in the second floor rotunda at the Henry L Brown building Friday February 26th from 2 – 4 pm. Bill is retiring after 20 years of service to the city of Coldwater.

  • Monarch Community Banks Accepting Donations for Melanie Collins Memorial

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Monarch Community Bank will be accepting donations in memorial of Melanie Collins, age 32 who lost her life on January 23rd life to pulmonary embolism unexpectedly. Melanie left behind two children, ages nine and three.

    The donations made at Monarch Community Bank will go towards the care and education of her children. Collins was married to her husband John for 10 years, who is left to provide for his young family. For questions about donating, please call the Hillsdale branch at 517.439.1790

    The Monarch Community Bank branch in Hillsdale is located at 1 W. Carlton. Monarch also has branches in Union City, Coldwater, and Marshall.

  • Coldwater Man Wins The Carl E. Lee Engineering Award

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Broadcast engineers work diligently to ensure the integrity of our airwaves. For those who have exercised their skills and innovations for the advancement of technology, this is our opportunity to say "you're outstanding". Two awards are given each year - one to a radio engineer and one to a television engineer.

    Candidates for the Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award must have been an employee, officer, or owner of any company, subsidiary or division whose primary business is broadcasting, or is directly in support of radio or television station in Michigan.

    One award for radio engineering and one award for television engineering will be awarded. The size of the organization with which each candidate is affiliated is not a determining factor. The merits of the contributions to broadcast engineering are the sole factors to be taken into account.

    Radio Winner: Ed Trombley, Field Engineer/RF Expert, Munn-Reese, Inc, Coldwater, Michigan. Ed Trombley is the Field Engineer and RF Expert Extraordinaire at Munn-Reese, Inc. He began his broadcasting career as a student at Lake Superior State College in the Electronic Engineering Technology program. Upon graduating Ed worked as a contract engineer for several years at numerous stations across Lower Michigan.

    In 1984 Ed took on the position of Chief Engineer and Technical Director of Telecommunications at WSAE/KTGG at Spring Arbor College. After a decade of service at Spring Arbor College, Ed made to the move to Munn-Reese, Inc. in Coldwater, MI to work as a field engineer conquering the most complex of radio engineering issues.

    Since his move to Munn-Reese, Ed has become quite the Engineering celebrity throughout the state known for his problem solving and uncanny way of communicating with the finickiest of machinery.

    In addition to his professional work, Ed is known for his garage full of old broadcast parts and equipment supplying the local theatre with period props not to mention the numerous Engineers who have been helped in a pinch because of his garage full of goodies. Ed is married to his lovely wife Mary and the couple has four children.

  • Branch Co Chamber Chat

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    The Branch County Area Chamber of Commerce has a number if upcoming events, including the monthly After Business Hours Tuesday, February 16 at the Southern Michigan Bank and Trust Conference Center in Coldwater from 5-7 pm.

    Branch County Chamber Chat with Hillary Eley 2-16-10

  • Yoder Awarded Employee of the Quarter at Monarch

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Monarch Community Bank has announced the Employee of the 4th Quarter for the bank. Jerry Yoder, vice president and REO and special projects manager. Yoder was chosen by his co-workers for the award. He has worked at Monarch for 33 years.

    Yoder started his career at Monarch Community Bank, formerly Branch County Federal Savings and Loan, as a loan officer. He has served in many positions over the years and has worked at seven different locations. Most of his past experience has been in residential and commercial lending.

    Yoder graduated from Westview High School in Topeka, Indiana and graduated with his BS degree from Tri-State College in General Business. When asked what he likes most about his job he said, “the varied challenges and duties in my position.” Jerry resides Ovid Township with his wife Teresa.

    Don Denney, Monarch Community Bank’s President and CEO was pleased to announce Yoder as the recipient at a recent employee meeting and said, “Jerry has certainly earned this award through his dedication and commitment to Monarch over the years. We’re glad to have him on our team”.

    Monarch Community Bank has over 90 employees located in branches throughout Coldwater, Hillsdale and Calhoun counties. For more information about Monarch Community Bank products and services, go to www.monarchcb.com or call your local branch.


    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Chili Tasting Winners

    Ice Fest 2010 turned out to be a very chili day in more ways than anticipated. With eight downtown businesses participated for this year’s in a Chili Tasting there was plenty of ways to get your fill of Chili. Downtown visitors walked to the businesses and tasted chili from the Tail Gators Sports Bar and Grill, Lamplighter Lounge, North Woods Coffee, Jeanie’s Diner, Lefty’s Lounge, the Siren’s Bar and Grill, Ponderosa and Stoagies Family Cafe. The winner for the 2010 Downtown Best Tasting Chili was Siren’s Bar and Grill with Jeanie’s Diner a close second.

    Comments from this year’s Chili Tasting were very positive remarked Tracy Kelley of Edward Jones who helped organize the event. “Almost every one participating commented that they thought this was a great idea. The chili was great and to make sure to continue the tasting as a part of Ice Fest each year.” noted Kelley.

    Winner of the $50 DBA gift certificate for participating in this year’s event was Candace Shedd from Sturgis.

    The 2010 Ice Fest would not be possible without the support of major sponsors. This year’s major sponsors are Michigan Gas Utilities, Wal-Mart Distribution Center 6043, GOKOH Coldwater Incorporated, Wal-Mart Transportation Center 6843.