by Deb Havens
Over 4 thousand businesses are located in the Wyoming and Kentwood communities. But just three of them received awards at a recent ceremony sponsored by the Wyoming Kentwood Chamber of Commerce. Chamber members recently gathered at the Hilton Grand Rapids Airport Hotel to celebrate the winners in the categories of manufacturing, retail and service. The event is considered a highlight of the Chamber calendar because the winners are first nominated by their business colleagues.
The recognized Businesses of the Year for 2015 were: Maple Creek Senior Living Center for Service, Woodland Mall for Retail, and Xibitz, Inc for Manufacturing.
Bob O’Callaghan, president and CEO of the Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber, presented the awards to the winners. He noted that winners are selected based on not only their involvement with the Chamber of Commerce but their leadership in the business community. The awards are a way for the members of the Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber to thank these leaders for their contributions to the economic health of the community.
Maple Creek Senior Living Center has provided elder care for the past 75 years. Executive Director Deerdre Vriesman says over 700 elderly receive caring services whether they require skilled nursing and assisted living arrangements or live independently. Accepting the award for Maple Creek, was marketing Director Elliott Talen.
Receiving the Retail Business of the Year, Tony Deluccia, General Manager of Woodland Mall, reminisced about the early days. “Back in 1966 I think there was only Sears and Penney’s and maybe one other small retail outlet,” he noted. Woodland Mall now boasts over 100 retail outlets as well as showcasing sculpture, events, and eateries.
Xibitz, Inc received the Business of the Year Award for Manufacturing. Xibitz, Inc has spent 25 years serving primarily international markets. The company has expanded from its original fabricator service to design, create, and install exhibits for museums, businesses, and other clients. Xibitz co-founder Doug Bosma accepted the award on behalf of his co-founders Lloyd and Bob Seeblink. “The future looks bright,” says Bosma. “Wyoming is a good home.”
Individual awards were the Daniel Van Dyke Volunteer of the Year Award presented to Gregg Howard of the West Michigan Promotional Group; the Daniel McLaren Committee of the Year Award presented to the Third Fridays Networking Committee; and the prestigious Gerald E Fessel Distinguished Service Award presented to Rick Chrisman of Hungerford Nichols CPAs.