EPIC Awards Finalist - Excellence in Business

May 17, 2010
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Citadel Broadcasting going in right ‘direction’

Citadel Broadcasting President Matthew Hanlon said it is was a “thrill” for his company to be included with Rockford Construction Co. and Founders Bank & Trust as a nominee for the chamber’s Excellence in Business Award.

“We’re honored to be in the company of two of what I think are the best companies in West Michigan, in Rockford Construction and Founders. My goodness, that in and of itself is a great honor,” he said.

“But another thing that I think makes it nice is, we have a philosophy as a company that says if we help improve West Michigan, West Michigan will improve us. Our employees bought into that philosophy, as they’ve demonstrated every day of every week in everything that we do, which is probably why we were recognized. It kind of provides reinforcement that the direction that we’re going in is the right direction,” said Hanlon.

Citadel Broadcasting has 75 full-time and 25 part-time employees at five radio stations. The company’s lone AM station is 1340 WJRW, which features news and talk. The others are contemporary hits HOT FM 105.3, sports radio WBBL 107.3, country music Thunder 94.5 and classic rock WLAV 96.7.

Rockford Construction continues to make mark

President and CEO Michael VanGessel hasn’t forgotten that Rockford Construction Co. got its start in 1987 when he and co-founder John Wheeler renovated a cottage in northern Kent County.

“We’ve always operated with bigger plans and bigger goals, but you’ve always got to start somewhere and that’s the job that we first had. The cottage was up in Rockford and we worked out of John’s house in Rockford. And that’s kind of how the whole name came together.”

Nearly 24 years and 3,000 projects later, Rockford Construction is up for the chamber’s Excellence in Business Award. It has 150 employees, has worked in 39 states, and is ranked No. 248 on a list of the nation’s top 400 contractors.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the chamber, certainly your peers and your community, which the chamber does such a great job in representing,” said VanGessel.

“We’ve just been working hard, tried to be innovative in our company, tried to be strategic in what we’re doing, and, foremost, we’re trying to be a good community partner. I think those are the things to us right now that are important. I think it’s nice that the chamber recognized that in us and was willing to nominate us.”

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Mary Beth Kolenda and Laurie Beard of Excellence in Business nominee Founders Bank & Trust.

Founders Bank & Trust grows its local presence

Founders Bank & Trust was born in Grand Rapids in 1991. The small, community bank has taken some big steps since then by adding three branch offices in the city.

Over those years, Founders Bank has developed a reputation for delivering top-notch personal service, for having a positive impact on clients’ finances and for creating an unmatched loyalty among its customers.

“For a small company like ours — born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan — all 98 employees share a great sense of pride in being a finalist in the category of Excellence in Business for the upcoming EPIC Awards,” said Founders President and CEO Laurie Beard.

The growth Founders Bank has experienced has been steady, a result of the company’s commitment to the city and its customers.

“I would say we have maintained a positive, can-do work ethic during this economic downturn. We subscribe to the basic principle of putting customers first. It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized for our accomplishments as an excellent, truly local community bank,” said Beard.

“We are proud of making Grand Rapids stronger and we appreciate the opportunity to tell our story.”

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