Stanley Comes To GR On McCarty's Arm

June 9, 2008
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He made a promise and the Grand Rapids Griffins are going to hold him to it. Detroit Red Wings forward Darren McCarty, who hoisted the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in the last 11 years, promised to bring the 35-pound silver chalice to Hockeytown West if he got his hands on it this season. Well, he did — and a whole city is waiting.

"When McCarty was here he made a promise that if they won the Stanley Cup he was going to bring it to Grand Rapids. When we went up there two days before Game 1 and did a bunch of video stuff that is on our Web, one of the guys we interviewed was Mac, and we kind of put him on the spot again. We asked him if they won it, was he still coming. And he said, 'Yep,'" said Randy Cleves, senior director of public relations for the Griffins.

Stanley Cup tradition allows each player at least one day with the prize. Cleves said he didn't know when McCarty would have it because the pecking order hadn't been set when he spoke with him. "But we do have McCarty's cell phone and we will hold him to it," said a happy Cleves.

The Griffins have the evidence for all to see on its home page at Click on the photo of Griffins VP of Community Relations and Broadcasting Bob Kaser, who is standing in the Red Wings locker room with 64 other members of the media, with the headline "Stanley Cup Stories." Then click on the McCarty video and read his lips. It's good to know powerful people in high places, isn't it?

**StelterPartners will be bringing education to a higher level this year — about two feet higher. The company's new product, part of its LearningWorks collection, is designed to better connect students with teachers by supporting them at a more comfortable angle and allowing better visuals with the instructor.

"It's more bar height than desk height," said Jim Stelter, CEO and founder, as he prepared to tout the collection at this week's NeoCon World's Trade Fair in Chicago's Merchandise Mart. "And you're in a chair that has adjustments for your feet either on your desk or on your chair, so you're in a much more comfortable position."

To address how people interact in the office, StelterPartners offers the Kitchen Island, a collection of modular units that interlock in various ways with the option of  power and data ports.

"This is part of our 'hit 'em where they ain't,'" said Stelter. "We've created a product that … allows you to move in, plug in, and then have a momentary pause to collaborate in a non-conference room space. We're seeing more of this occur — where people want to meet in a kitchen-type environment where they can sit."

The third "big push" for the company is WorkSphere, a system of screens that link together to make walls. "Instead of someone working in a cubicle," said Stelter, "you're working in a more open atmosphere, but you still need the opportunity to close off."

StelterPartners was named one of Michigan's Top 50 Companies to Watch in April. Stelter says some of its success can be attributed to how the company has "become a group that is willing to listen and say 'what exactly do you want? How can we modify those building blocks to deliver exactly what you need?'"

Though the company has seen growth, Stelter emphasized the toughness of the industry. "It's a jungle out there. You have to fight for every single scrap."

**The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, for the second consecutive year, is the recipient of a charitable donation from Fifth Third's River Bank Run. The $20,000 record-setting contribution is the end result of a record-breaking number of participants in this year's Fifth Third River Bank Run.

Fifth Third Bank donated $1 from each registration, and additional donations came from participants. The contributions go directly to YMCA Healthy U programs in part to service Harrison Park Elementary School in Grand Rapids.

Julie Sielawa, community outreach director for YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, said, "The YMCA is grateful to receive this generous gift from Fifth Third Bank and all the great athletes who ran or walked in this year's event. The funds, earmarked for the Healthy U program, enable us to further its primary goals of increasing physical activity and good nutrition among our at-risk youth."

**The Grand Rapids Downtown Alliance recently launched its redesigned Web site, The new user-friendly site better showcases downtown's events and activities and incorporates GRDA's current advertising campaign: "Let's Go. Downtown."

The site includes both new and updated features to provide users with the necessary information for a pleasurable downtown experience. New features include a shared event calendar managed by the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention & Visitors Bureau that allows visitors to view daily activities and search and submit events throughout each month.

The "eat" and "shop" sections of the Web site highlight downtown merchants. Each merchant listing includes a brief overview of the establishment, contact information, and a printable map with options and prices for nearby parking. The Web site also provides information for business owners, including a business resource library, area real estate and business assistance programs. A list of residential and condo housing projects is also available.

"We are very excited to introduce our new Web site," said GRDA Executive Director Sharon Evoy. "The site embodies the culture of downtown Grand Rapids — it's vibrant, creative and colorful and we've received an enormous amount of interest and positive feedback. Its new features better equip users with the information they need to explore and discover all that downtown has to offer."

The Web site was designed by Grand Rapids design firm Plenty Creative and implemented by the Grand Rapids Community Media Center. The photos for the Web site were shot by local photographer Brian Kelly. 

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