2017-12-07 / Life in Leelanau

Business Briefs: Cherry Republic kicks off ‘31 Days of Giving’

The Leelanau Conservancy, For Love of Water and the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail are three of more than 50 grant recipients that will be named throughout the month of December in a philanthropic drive to protect Michigan’s environment and farmland.

Cherry Republic this week began its “31 Days of Giving” by announcing grants of $12,000 to the Leelanau Conservancy, $6,500 to For Love of Water (FLOW) and $5,000 to the Heritage Trail. The company’s annual holiday campaign, which is now in its fifth year, will ultimately include about $200,000 in grants to local organizations working to safeguard the Great Lakes, protect the environment and support local farmers.

“It’s refreshing to see a company that’s so engaged and focused on what matters most — the Great Lakes,” FLOW Executive Director Liz Rosan Kirkwood said. “Robust partnerships are critical to what we do at FLOW. Our resources are limited and the complexity of problems are vast. We are so proud to partner with Cherry Republic, which has been a pioneer in working to protect the Great Lakes.”

The company has donated more than $2 million to nonprofits since its inception in 1989.

Bigger bank buys TC State Bank

Independent Bank Corporation and TCSB Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of Traverse City State Bank, jointly announced on Monday the signing of a definitive merger agreement for Independent Bank to acquire Traverse City State Bank.

“We are very excited to join the Independent Bank family,” Connie Deneweth, chief executive officer of TCSB Bancorp, Inc. said in a press release. “We share a commitment to community banking, valuing our employees and serving our customers. This combination significantly enhances our capabilities, including larger lending limits, an expanded loan and deposit product mix, and more automated services. We believe this partnership is in the best interests of our customers and shareholders.”

Independent Bank Corporation is a Michigan-based bank holding company with total assets of about $2.8 billion.

Founded as First National Bank of Ionia in 1864, the bank operates a branch network across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula through one state-chartered bank subsidiary. This subsidiary provides a full range of financial services, including commercial banking, mortgage lending, investments and insurance.

TCSB Bancorp is a Michigan-based bank holding company with total assets of about $350 million. Founded in 2000, Traverse City State Bank provides an array of banking services through five full-service branches in the Traverse City area, including a branch in Suttons Bay.

Calling all artists

The Leland Chamber of Commerce Wine & Food Festival committee is once again in search of a work of fine art “that visually celebrates the region and wine culture.”

The winning entry will be digitally reproduced and printed on an event poster to advertise the event. Dating back more than three decades, posters from previous festivals are still available for purchase.

Entries must be two-dimensional media. Paintings, drawings or collages are eligible; photographs and 3D art are not. See all contest rules on the Leland Chamber of Commerce website.

Artists may submit one to three entries via email at chamber@lelandmi.com. The entry deadline is Jan. 8.

School to host health expo

The Leelanau Montessori invites all exhibitors to take part in a first-year “Live More Leelanau” Health & Wellness Fair Feb. 17 inside a Suttons Bay gym in the Montessori wing.

The expo will be open to community members of all ages and highlight the wide range of healthy living opportunities on the peninsula while promoting local organizations, businesses and programs that focus on family, health and wellness. The Montessori hopes “Live More Leelanau” will become an annual event for years to come.

Registration is open to all exhibitors and space is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Single-space booths are $50; double-space booths are $80.

Contact the event organizer, Kristen Wilson, for further information. Wilson is reachable at 330-3984 or via email at kristenrwilson@live.com.

Small Farm Conference slated

Traverse City is slated to host more than 1,000 individuals interested in making small farms more economically and environmentally sustainable at the 19th annual Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference Jan. 26 and 27 at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.

The event encourages small farmers, homesteaders, farm interns, students, and conscientious eaters and growers to network, share ideas and learn new skills.

The keynote speaker is author and farmer Richard Wiswall, author of “The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook.” Wiswall has consulted with more than 90 farmers in New England, helping them increase profitability and meet long-term goals. His keynote address will focus on farming smarter, not harder.

New this year is a two-day trade show, which is expected to bring in nearly 100 exhibitors from national and regional food and farming businesses. Trade show attendance is included in the price of the conference and will be open to the public for $5 at the door after 1:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Conference-goers will be able to choose from more than 30 educational sessions and panels, including topics on food safety, the business of farming, environmental sustainability, flower farming, and more. A locally sourced lunch prepared by the staff at the resort will be provided both days. The full schedule, with more details about panels, classes, and discussion topics, can be found online at smallfarmconference.com.

Early bird pricing ends Dec. 15. Visit smallfarmconference.com for more information or call 994-3944.

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