Towns, Chambers Honor Businesses

June 26, 2006
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GRAND HAVEN — Five companies were honored by the local units of government along with the Chamber of Commerce of Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg for their contributions to the community at a luncheon last Wednesday.

The companies, NetShape International LLC of Grand Haven, Grand Haven 9 of Grand Haven Charter Township, Village Hardware of the Village of Spring Lake, Alcoa Auto and Truck Structures’ Michigan Casting Center of Spring Lake Township, and de Stoel Upholstery of Ferrysburg, were chosen for growth, creation or retention of jobs, increased productivity, and investment in the community.

Craig Bessinger, city manager of Ferrysburg, said the decision to honor Andre Dewaardt of de Stoel Upholstery was unanimous, based on his commitment to Ferrysburg, where he has been since 1997, and his dedication to the community through his work as a volunteer firefighter.

“He really contributes with his time and talents,” Bessinger said of Dewaardt.

Dewaardt, who emigrated to Ferrysburg from the Netherlands in 1997, said he was pleased to be chosen for the award as the owner of a small business that doesn’t even have an advertising budget.

“I’m very thankful I’ve been chosen,” he said. “Just being word of mouth has been great.”

Ryan Cotton, Spring Lake village manager, said Village Hardware was chosen for its service and dedication to its customers.

“They’ll make themselves open if you have a need; they’ll loan tools,” he said. “They’re just your typical old-fashioned hardware store, which everyone truly appreciates. They’re hard to come by anymore.”

Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis said NetShape was chosen because of its investment in the city. The company spent $7 million and created 100 new jobs in 2005.

“For a small town to have such a strong, growing company is really a blessing, and council (members) wanted to recognize that,” McGinnis said.

Grand Haven Charter Township Supervisor Joanne A. Marcetti said the township chose Grand Haven 9 because of the owner’s dedication to the area. Goodrich Quality Theaters Inc., which is based in Grand Rapids, built the $3.6 million facility in 1999, bringing a state-of-the-art theater system to the township.

“It’s just a nice facility, and it really brings a nice recreation feature, not only for our citizens, but for our summer people,” she said. “It gives people another place to go.”

Spring Lake Township Supervisor John Nash said Alcoa was chosen for many reasons.

“Alcoa is a local manufacturing plant that produces a good product, has a large and stable work force, has an outstanding plant safety record, and they’re a major local contributor of funds and services,” Nash said.

The company donated $100,000 to local campaigns and 250 hours of community service in 2005 alone, Nash said.

“We in Spring Lake Township sincerely appreciate the things that Alcoa does,” he said.

Nash said he thought the awards are good for the area.

“It’s nice to recognize the business people,” he said. “I think it’s nice that we have that opportunity.”

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