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Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

Editor, covers craft beverage industry.
Twitter: @jboomgaard
Email: [email protected]

Sunday, 18 February 2018 20:05

Q&A: Paul Vander Heide, Owner of Vander Mill LLC

Vander Mill owner Paul Vander Heide has helped put Michigan cider on the map. The growing Grand Rapids-based hard cider producer makes more than 250,000 gallons a year and sells its portfolio of brands in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. With his election as president of the United States Association of Cider Makers during CiderCon this month, Vander Heide wants to help professionalize and grow the overall opportunity for the diverse cider industry. Over a couple rounds of ciders at Vander Mill’s Grand Rapids taproom, he spoke with MiBiz about the next steps he would like to see for his company, the USACM and the industry as a whole.

Friday, 09 February 2018 10:54

Wolverine spent up to $35 million to deal with groundwater issues last year

Footwear and apparel maker Wolverine World Wide Inc. has outlined for shareholders what it cost the company to deal with environmental issues related to its former tannery operations and waste disposal sites.

Monday, 05 February 2018 18:05

Herman Miller CEO to retire by Aug. 31

Brian Walker will retire from Herman Miller Inc. by Aug. 31, ending a 29-year career at the office furniture manufacturer, including 14 years as president and CEO.


Sunday, 04 February 2018 14:17

For West Michigan cideries and distilleries, success comes by educating consumers

While they operate in the shadow of West Michigan’s brewing industry, local cideries, distilleries and wineries make up a growing piece of the region’s overall craft beverage scene.

Sunday, 28 January 2018 20:15

Default entered against Boersen Farms in Monsanto case; company faces a new lawsuit

ZEELAND — A embattled West Michigan farm operator failed to answer a federal lawsuit filed against it in Missouri and faces new allegations that it failed to pay its bills.

Sunday, 14 January 2018 19:25

In lawsuit, Blackford Capital platform company alleges seller misrepresented relationship with key customer ahead of 2016 acquisition

GRAND RAPIDS — The relationship between two companies involved in a 2016 acquisition appears to have soured, with both entities now pointing the finger at each other in federal court.


Friday, 05 January 2018 15:42

Gentex founder Fred Bauer retires as CEO

Gentex Corp. founder, Chairman and CEO Fred Bauer has retired effective Dec. 31, ending a more than 40-year career with the automotive supplier, the company announced today in a regulatory filing.

Sunday, 24 December 2017 18:26

2018 Outlook: Jeff Lobdell, Restaurant Partners Inc.

Restaurateur Jeff Lobdell’s expanding enterprise includes Bagel Beanery, Beltline Bar, Sundance Grill, Grand Coney, The Omelette Shoppe, Rockwell Republic and more across West Michigan and the Traverse City area. While Lobdell remains optimistic for the future of his growing company, which this year acquired Pete’s Grill & Tavern and the 84th Street Market in Byron Center, he said the restaurant industry needs to adapt to new challenges from technology and a shortage of service workers.

Sunday, 24 December 2017 17:28

Right Place CEO: Michigan has most at stake in preserving NAFTA

Next year, Michigan voters will elect the person who will become the fifth governor that The Right Place CEO Birgit Klohs has worked with in her career in economic development. While her organization is “agnostic” when it comes to who wins the election, Klohs hopes to continue to have a strong working relationship with the new chief executive and that the new governor continues to support the efforts of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.


Sunday, 24 December 2017 16:38

2018 Outlook: Jim Monterusso, HME Inc.

The news footage in recent weeks about wildfires raging across Southern California showed an unlikely West Michigan connection: Wyoming-based HME Inc. made many of the fire trucks used to fight the blazes. President Jim Monterusso said the company, which recently finished the first of six custom fire trucks for the city of Detroit, has strong demand for its products, although many municipalities struggle to find the funding they need to upgrade their safety equipment.

Sunday, 24 December 2017 15:37

Backed by years of strong profitability, auto suppliers poised to weather any blip, analyst says

North American light vehicle sales should dip this year to around 17.1 million units, breaking a streak of seven consecutive year-over-year gains, according to Mike Wall of IHS Markit. But while he expects the market to contract further to around 16.9 million units next year, Wall believes the automotive supply chain is positioned to thrive.

Sunday, 24 December 2017 15:33

Medbio invests in growth as biotech sector takes off

Contract manufacturer Medbio Inc. in Grand Rapids provides injection molding, assembly and packaging for medical device and biotech customers, and owns Concept Molds, a tool and die shop in Schoolcraft. The company, which employs about 190 people, is bracing for what’s expected to be a big year of growth in 2018.


Sunday, 24 December 2017 15:31

2018 Outlook: John Kennedy, Autocam Medical Devices LLC

Federal tax reform could act as a catalyst to fuel corporate growth in 2018 and beyond, according to John Kennedy, the president of Autocam Medical, a global contract manufacturer of orthopedic implants, spinal implants, orthopedic cutting tools and other medical device components. “This tax reform will free cash flow from the lower taxes and unlock capital held outside the U.S.,” said Kennedy, who thinks the domestic economy will grow rapidly next year at a pace it hasn’t seen in a decade. 

Sunday, 24 December 2017 15:09

EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: Four perspectives on 2018

When Brad Davis looks ahead to 2018, he gets very excited about the future of his company, Zeeland-based Industrial Woodworking Corp.

Sunday, 03 December 2017 20:12

Federal court orders Boersen Farms to pay $19.5 million for equipment leases, contempt

ZEELAND — A federal judge ordered Boersen Farms Inc. to pay more than $19.5 million to a Cottonwood Heights, Utah-based firm it leased equipment from over a two-year period.


Tuesday, 28 November 2017 16:44

LITIGATION FOR BREAKFAST? Illinois distillery files trademark complaint against Grand Rapids-based Gray Skies Distillery

A Chicago-area maker of spirits alleges in federal court that a Grand Rapids-based distillery is infringing on its trademark with the planned launch of a new rye whiskey.

Sunday, 12 November 2017 16:04

MiBiz Growth Report: Nov. 13, 2017

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Nov. 13, 2017: 

• M&A: Wabash, Ind.-based Martin Yale Industries LLC, a portfolio company of Grand Rapids-based private equity firm LV2 Equity Partners LLC, acquired Dry-Lam LLC of Shawnee, Kan., according to a statement. The transaction marked the second bolt-on acquisition for Martin Yale, a manufacturer of print finishing, office and mailroom equipment. Dry-Lam is a distributor of laminating equipment and films to the office product and commercial print finishing industries. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Dry-Lam’s distribution center will be relocated to Martin Yale’s Indiana facility.

Sunday, 12 November 2017 15:42

West Michigan med device suppliers navigate consolidation, pricing pressures, talent constraints

Many executives at companies in West Michigan’s medical device supply chain came out of the automotive industry only to find they’re facing all-too-familiar challenges in their current roles.


Wednesday, 25 October 2017 17:55

West Michigan Hopyards grows with acquisition of Hopyards of Kent

A farmer owned and operated hop grower in northern Kent County has acquired a nearby operation whose owners were looking to move into their next phase of life.

Friday, 20 October 2017 13:10

Judge removes Boersen Farms from receivership as plaintiff moves to dismiss lawsuit

Boersen Farms Inc., the Zeeland-based farming company that flirted with bankruptcy, is no longer under the control of a court-appointed receiver.

Friday, 20 October 2017 11:49

Gentex remains open to acquisitions, partnerships that position product portfolio for growth

With $562 million in cash on its balance sheet, automotive supplier Gentex Corp. continues to be on the hunt for acquisition opportunities that can help bolster its technology portfolio.


Sunday, 15 October 2017 22:47

M&A Roundtable: Executives share bright outlook for the M&A market in West Michigan

The active mergers and acquisitions market shows no signs of slowing down for the foreseeable future. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017 21:21

Middleville Tool & Die partners with Bayer family to access needed resources

The family-owned Middleville Tool & Die Co. found itself in a precarious position in the last couple of years leading up to December 2016. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017 20:00

SpartanNash enters high-growth prepared foods market in deal for Indianapolis firm

For its first acquisition following the transformational deal that created SpartanNash Co., the grocery retailer and distributor opted to buy a company that positioned it in a related high-growth market.


Sunday, 15 October 2017 20:00

Tillerman Seeds makes first acquisition, seeks to consolidate regional seed producers

GRAND RAPIDS — A West Michigan investment company has completed the first in what it hopes to be a string of acquisitions of independent, regional seed producers. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017 20:00

Craft beer pours $2 billion into Michigan economy

GRAND RAPIDS — As the craft beer industry continues to grow, it’s contributing to more economic activity in Michigan, both within the sector and its expanding supply chain. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017 09:27

Monsanto sues Boersen Farms for failure to pay for seeds

A West Michigan farm operator that’s facing a string of financial issues has been sued by agricultural giant Monsanto Co. for breach of contract.


Thursday, 28 September 2017 12:05

Ada brewery eyes closed MC Sports store in GR for satellite taproom, production facility

A West Michigan craft brewery wants to open a satellite taproom and production-scale facility at the former MC Sports store on Plainfield Avenue near the I-96 interchange.

Monday, 25 September 2017 16:01

Anheuser Busch affiliate acquires remaining stake in Fennville’s Virtue Cider

Two years after acquiring a 51-percent stake in Virtue Cider, an entity tied to global brewing conglomerate Anheuser Busch LLC has acquired the remainder of the company.

Sunday, 24 September 2017 08:00

Tesla Tool and Die facility purchased in $100 million industrial property deal

A Chicago-area real estate investment firm has purchased the Tesla Tool and Die plant in Grand Rapids as part of a multi-state, 11-building portfolio, MiBiz has learned.


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