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Posted on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 5:15 a.m.

People & achievements in the greater Ann Arbor area, including Physician Resource Management and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority

By Freelance Journalist


Gene Eavy

From new hires and promotions to industry awards, here's a roundup of achievements by businesses and individuals in the greater Ann Arbor area:

• Physician Resource Management, an Ann Arbor-based health care consulting firm specializing in oncology, recently named Gene Eavy as the firm's new chief executive. He replaces Randy Friedman, also a member of the PRM Board of Directors, who has served as the interim CEO. Eavy was previously vice president for clinical services at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor. He currently has faculty appointments at the University of Michigan and the University of Toledo pharmacy schools. He also serves as a mentor for pharmacy leaders at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

• A new Allstate Insurance Co. office has opened in Ann Arbor. Owned and operated by Allstate Exclusive Agent Adam Khalil, Adam Khalil Agency is located at 3676 S. State Road in Ann Arbor. Khalil also owns and operates an Allstate agency in Ypsilanti.

Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW) of Ann Arbor and Detroit recently received a grant of $75,000 from The Kresge Foundation. The grant will support NEW’s BoardConnect, npServ and ResourceConnect programs in Detroit and the tri-county area. The BoardConnect program provides Comprehensive board and leadership development while npServ aims to provide affordable technology solutions for nonprofits. ResourceConnect provides information and resource referral for nonprofit management questions.

Gross Electric was nominated and has been selected as a finalist for the 2012 Showroom of the Year Awards. This national competition, which is sponsored by Residential Lighting magazine and the Dallas Market Center, recognizes retail excellence among lighting showrooms. Profiles of all finalists will appear in the May issue of Residential Lighting. Gross Electric is a third-generation family owned and operated lighting and electrical supply distributor with two locations in Ohio and one in Ann Arbor.

• The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business on April 12 announced that the institute's Social Venture Fund has closed its first investment. The fund joined a syndicate of 17 investors in a Series A round investment totaling $2.4 million in LearnZillion, a web-based platform that gives students, teachers and parents access to a video library of standards-based lessons taught by top teachers. The Social Venture Fund’s seeks to make early-stage investments of up to $200,000 in sustainable, innovative, for-profit organizations that deliver financial returns and place the generation of a significant social impact at the heart of their mission. It is managed by Gautam Kaul, Professor of Finance at the Ross School of Business and by 34 undergraduate and graduate students.

• The Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee recently completed its soybean video contest for Michigan FFA Chapters, and the Saline FFA Chapter took third place. Michigan FFA Chapters competed to create unique videos containing the message, “Put a Little Soy in Your Life,” to be promoted on Facebook. Final rankings were determined by the amount of views on the MSPC Facebook page as of March 6. Saline FFA was the third-place winner and took a prize of $650 for entering “The Michigan Soybean: From the Field to You” YouTube video. The first place winner, receiving $3,000, was the Saranac FFA Chapter for earning 837 likes on their “Soybean Thriller” video. The second place winner, receiving $1,500, was the Springport FFA Chapter for earning 657 likes on their “Put a Little Soy in Your Life” video.The videos are available at the MSPC Facebook page at

• Saline-based DesignHub Inc., a creative services and marketing firm, recently designed and developed the new website for West Side Montessori, a private school serving the Toledo area.

• Ann Arbor-based Tangent Medical, a developer and provider of IV therapy products, on April 12 announced submission of a 510(k) for its NovaCath Secure IV Catheter System, developed from extensive clinical research of health care worker and patient needs. This new closed IV catheter system is a next-generation technology designed to address several complex IV therapy challenges. When cleared by the FDA, the NovaCath system will be the first safety IV catheter offering technology designed to exceed the highest CDC, OSHA, and INS standards for peripheral IV catheter stabilization.

• On April 12, General Motors presented Whitmore Lake-based FTS Technologies with its Environmental Excellence Award for introducing an energy-efficient technology that lets paint stick to plastic vehicle parts without traditional chemical adhesion systems. The process is used on the Chevrolet Volt, Sonic and Cruze and has helped GM’s supply base reduce waste and emissions that typically accompanies painting.

• The City of Ann Arbor awarded a contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff, headquartered in New York, for project management and construction engineering services for the East Stadium Boulevard bridges replacement project. The project includes removal and replacement of the existing bridges over South State Street and the Ann Arbor Railroad, staircase construction at South State Street, University of Michigan pedestrian tunnel extensions, installation of retaining walls and new street lighting along the south and north sides of East Stadium Boulevard, replacement of storm sewer and water main, and enhancements of Rose-White Park. Parsons Brinckerhoff is providing project management and construction engineering services for the project. The firm’s services also entail development and maintenance of the project website and Facebook and Twitter social media sites: and

• On April 16, Ann Arbor's Ozone House, a community-based, non-profit organization that helps at-risk youth through intensive intervention and prevention services, announced it received a $25,000 grant from Staples Foundation, the private foundation created by Staples Inc. Funding from Staples Foundation will support the WorkZone program, which provides under-served youth the opportunity to improve their employment skills. The WorkZone program is an intensive employment training and paid internship program for homeless youth ages 18 to 20 intended to prepare young people for their first jobs.

• On Saturday, April 21, more than 2,700 Michigan Comcast employees, their families and friends volunteered and assisted nonprofit organizations around the state as part of Comcast's "Comcast Cares Day." Comcast volunteers at the company's three call centers in Ann Arbor, Sterling Heights and Plymouth worked with the Kids Against Hunger Coalition to package food, which will be donated to area food banks and needy families. Volunteers also participated in blood donation drives to benefit the American Red Cross at multiple Michigan locations.

• Ann Arbor-based digital marketer Derek Mehraban and Richard T. Cole, advertising and public relations professor at Michigan State University, recently released a new book featuring a collection of more than 400 resources on digital marketing and new media, called "The New Media Driver's License Resource Guide." The book was inspired by Michigan State University’s New Media Driver’s License Seminar series, conceived by Cole, with content developed by Mehraban. Mehraban is the executive director of a 501(c)3 Marketing Education nonprofit called LA2M (Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing). He lives in Ann Arbor.

• At the conclusion of Ann Arbor SPARK's 20th Entrepreneur Boot Camp, STEL Technologies was awarded Best of Boot Camp and Warmilu LLC was awarded Boot Camp's Best Pitch. As Best of Boot Camp, STEL Technologies received membership to the New Enterprise Forum and a NEF coaching team for one year as well as an engagement with the Ann Arbor SPARK business accelerator. STEL Technologies is a University of Michigan spinout that is developing engineered tissue for replacement of torn knee ligaments in dogs. Unlike current methods that alter knee function and have long recovery times, STEL Technologies' tissue grafts enable dogs to grow new ligament, walk shortly after surgery and maximize long-term pet health and mobility. Warmilu has developed and is commercializing nonelectric, instant heat technology, specifically for infants. The company's innovation has the ability to save lives in disadvantaged, austere locations where infant mortality due to exposure is high. The two winners were chosen from 14 teams that participated in this round of Ann Arbor SPARK's Entrepreneurial Boot Camp, a bi-annual program established in 2002.

• Humantech Vice President Josh Kerst recently appeared on AARP’s television series, Inside E Street. Journalist Lark McCarthy sat down with Kerst to discuss the aging workforce. The episode, called “The Graying Workplace,” airs nationally on public television; show times vary by region. The segment is posted at under "news and events."

• Ann Arbor-based health care information company Thomson Reuters recently released its annual study identifying the 100 top U.S. hospitals based on their overall organizational performance. Among the winning hospitals, was St. Joseph Mercy Hospital - Ann Arbor, included in the category "major teaching hospitals." Hospitals are examined in 10 areas: mortality; medical complications; patient safety; average patient stay; expenses; profitability; patient satisfaction; adherence to clinical standards of care; post-discharge mortality; and readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure and pneumonia. The study has been conducted annually since 1993. Thomson Reuters researchers evaluated 2,886 short-term, acute-care, non-federal hospitals, using public information and patient satisfaction data.

DreamMaker - Ann Arbor, an interior remodeling business owned locally by Lee and Brenda Willwerth and Bob and Jennifer Ender, is quadrupling its showroom space with a move to 2333 E. Stadium Ave. The new location is more than 8,000 square feet, and features four full kitchen displays and six bathroom displays.

• Twelve Michigan companies recently received a combined total of more than $444,000 through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program to support commercialization of their core products. Of the companies receiving funding, several are based in Washtenaw County. Eco-Fueling of Saline is commercializing a retrofit device for diesel engine vehicles that increases fuel economy while reducing emissions. PerkPerk Inc. of Ann Arbor is commercializing technology that helps consumers get discounts, membership organizations increase loyalty and merchants generate business. Sentry Medical Technologies Inc., based in Ann Arbor, is commercializing technology for monitoring, awareness and data logging for patient behavior action. truApp Inc., based in Ann Arbor, is commercializing its online platform that allows college students to showcase their work and skills to startups. The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund was the source of all of the funding for these microloans. Microloans available through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program range from $10,000 to $50,000. To qualify, companies must be a small business, have ownership or license to innovative technology, and be privately held.

Sue Gott, a resident of Ann Arbor and a local community planning professional and university planner for the University of Michigan, has been appointed to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s board of directors. Gott was appointed to the board of the AATA (also known as TheRide) by Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje with the support of the Ann Arbor City Council in late February to replace Rich Robben. Her appointment is effective as of Thursday, April 19.

• The Chelsea District Library will host an opening reception for its new Business Resource Center, created with support from the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, from 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 26. For more information, call 734-475-1145.

• Gov. Rick Snyder on April 17 announced the appointments of three new members to the Michigan Board of Massage Therapy. Among those appointed was Melissa Mueller of Ann Arbor. The 11-member board regulates the practice of massage therapists in Michigan.

Verizon Wireless recently expanded its 4G LTE service across more of southeastern Michigan. Included in the expansion was an area of Livingston County along Interstate 96, including parts of Howell and Pinckney. Also included were areas west of Ann Arbor, including Chelsea, Dexter and Hudson Mills.

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