100 Candles

June 14, 2002
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This week’s Business Journal celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit, from the page 1 story to the special supplement profiling all 28 finalists in the first West Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year contest.

Their stories are interesting, impressive and inspiring, and their impact on the West Michigan business community has been profound.

But while most of these entrepreneurs are relatively “young,” the opposite end of the spectrum deserves some recognition, too.

The Michigan Manufacturers Association is celebrating its centennial year and is really interested in identifying its peer group.

That’s why MMA is searching for Michigan’s centennial manufacturing businesses. The association will recognize manufacturing companies that have been in continuous operation since 1902 in a fall issue of MMA’s Enterprise magazine.

“It’s an impressive achievement to survive and thrive through a century of changes and challenges,” said John “Mac” MacIlroy, MMA president and CEO. “We’re proud of our long history in serving Michigan manufacturers and we want to recognize those companies that have grown along with us.”

Call MMA’s JeanEggemeyer at (800) 253-9039, Ext. 543, to suggest a qualifying business.

  • Barring rain, the 19th annual Women Lawyers vs. Judges Softball Game is set for 6:30 p.m., June 18, at Riverside Park. A picnic precedes the event at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and benefit the YMCA.

The Women Lawyers’ team once again will be trotting out its male cheerleader contingent, which is wildly popular with the fans, but this year the judges are answering in verse.

Judge (and coach) SaraSmolenski “sportingly” submits this little ditty for the Women Lawyers to ponder:

“It’s that time of year you see,

Charity softball is our plea.

Riverside Park is the place to be,

Cheering the Judges to victory.

“The Women Lawyers do all the work,

The Judges show up to enjoy the perks.

On the field, the battle will start.

The Judges will win, cuz they play smart.

“We all love to play for charity,

Helping others, and spreading glee.

The Women Lawyers, as hard as they try,

Will soon wish they had a bye.

“Family fun and hotdogs for all,

The Women Lawyers will surely fall.

June 18th is the date,

Come on out and don’t be late.”

OK, now it’s time for the real games to begin.

  • Where does one turn when he feels misrepresented by the town’s daily newspaper? To the Business Journal, of course.

BobEleveld, a candidate for the 86th District House seat, says he is miffed by a June 10 article that he says implied he was seeking the endorsement of the Grand Lakes Education Project. Eleveld says he wrote to the PAC explaining that he would not be responding to its questionnaire because he is not accepting PAC contributions to his campaign.

His reasoning is that he sees a conflict of interest between representing one’s constituency and promoting the financial and political goals of the PACs that financially support a politician’s campaign.

“I chose not to accept PAC money because I intend to vote my conscience and (my constituency’s) interests,” he said.

The PAC, which promotes schools of choice, doesn’t necessarily fit with his political views, either, he said.

“I tend to believe this PAC is only addressing half the issue by ignoring the issues associated with improving public education,” he said.

Just in case you wanted to know “the rest of the story.”

  • Here’s a thought for CVB President SteveWilson. Instead of tromping to Chicago (a town known more for its roots in livestock and fire) for the annual furniture showcase NeoCon, maybe it makes sense to bring the event to a certain $230 million convention center in a town known for its roots in furniture.

The Furniture City would make an interesting locale to visit for those interested in furniture, especially if certain manufacturing partners, say, Steelcase, Herman Miller and Haworth, would act as co-hosts.

Besides, it would cut costs for the world’s three largest office furniture manufacturers, and we all know they could use the help.

  • “IGot150Once. IGot150Twice. IGot150Going … Soooold! ToTheManInTheGreenJacket.”

Auctioneers around the world are warming up their vocal chords and perfecting their specialized chants in preparation for the world’s largest bid-calling competition, the International Auctioneer Championship, taking place July 17 at Walt Disney World.

One of those in speed-speaking mode is DougHeuker, of Miedema Auctioneering Inc. in Grandville, who will be competing against a field of nearly 100 professionals for the IAC and one-year reign as champion.

Contestants are required to auction three items during the competition and are judged on appearance and poise, body language and eye contact with the crowd, as well as the clarity, speed and rhythm of their auction chant.

GoodLuckDougHopeYouWinTheTrophy.      

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