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Posted on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 5:14 a.m.

People & achievements in the greater Ann Arbor area, including ProTect Painters and PlantWise

By Staff


Chris Ring

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

• Ann Arbor-based ProTect Painters Franchise, a professional residential and commercial painting franchise, has named Chris Ring president. Ring was formerly vice president of operations and training .

• Two Ann Arbor-area businesses, Little House Landscapes and PlantWise have been combined. The new business will operate under the PlantWise name. Little House Landscapes was owned by Matt Demmon and has been operating since 2007, offering landscaping installation and design services, with a focus on native and edible plants, sustainable design and natural materials. PlantWise also offered landscaping services, but its main focus was on ecological restoration, including prescribed fire, invasive plant control, and management planning. PlantWise was founded in 1998 by David Mindell.

• The Charles Reinhart Company Realtors recently added five real estate agents. Joining Reinhart are Nancy Arnold, Bryan Herter, Jay Hyde, Sharon Seyferth and Curt Zell. Arnold has joined the Elizabeth Brien Team and is working out of the Ann Arbor West office, while Herter is working out of the Chelsea office. Seyferth is working out of the Ann Arbor South office, while Jay Hyde has joined the Saline office, and Zell is working out of the Ann Arbor East office.

• Comcast March 20 announced that Michelle Pluskota was named vice president of business services for Comcast’s Heartland Region, which includes commercial customers in Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas and Kentucky. Pluskota and her family reside in Northville.

Lake Trust Credit Union recently announced plans to build a new $30 million headquarters on a 17-acre site adjoining US23 just north of I-96 near Brighton. The headquarters are expected to be finished in 2015.

• Illinois-based Brake Parts Inc. announced March 25 that it has been acquired by a group of investors led by Torque Capital Group, a New York-based private equity firm. The business was spun off to its shareholders in November 2012 by its parent, Affinia Group Holdings of Ann Arbor.

• Ann Arbor-based NuStep Inc. launched a new recumbent cross trainer March 21- the NuStep T4r - which offers new features that makes exercise possible for virtually everyone, including those with neurological conditions or those undergoing physical rehabilitation.

Laurie McCauley, a scholar with faculty appointments in the dental and medical schools whose research focuses on hormonal controls of bone, has been appointed dean of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Her five-year appointment is effective Sept. 1. McCauley is the William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor of Periodontics in the School of Dentistry and a professor of pathology in the Medical School.

• Technology and analytics company DeepField has expanded with new office space in Ann Arbor's Liberty Street Technology Corridor, near the old Borders store on Liberty Street.

Robert Rose has joined Bank of Ann Arbor as vice president and senior loan officer, serving existing and new business clients out of the bank’s Plymouth office.

IHA, an Ann Arbor-based physician group practice, and Michigan Multispecialty Physicians, a private multi-specialty group practice based in Ann Arbor, announced they have formally signed a Letter of Intent to integrate both organizations, expected to be effective June 30.

• Wells Fargo Advisors has designated Neil Weissman, Ronald Eppler and Anthony Showich, leaders of the Wessiman Eppler Showich Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in Ann Arbor, as members of the firm’s Premier Advisors Program for their collective achievement of professional success and commitment to client service.

Manchester Community Resource received a grant from agriculture company Monsanto, thanks to the support of local farmer, Sharon Ervin, and America’s Farmers Grow Communities. Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Co., Grow Communities provides eligible farmers the chance to win a $2,500 donation for a local nonprofit organization of their choice. In counties declared natural disaster areas by the United States Department of Agriculture due to drought, farmers are able to direct double donations. Washtenaw County was declared a disaster area by the USDA, giving Ervin the opportunity to choose two organizations to receive $2,500 donations. Ervin selected the Manchester Community Resource to receive both donations. The funds will be used by the Community Resource Center to provide and support purchases of locally grown foods for its food pantry and to provide farmers market coupons, especially targeted at low-income families and individuals who are affiliated with the Community Resource Center, senior citizens in the community, and others who suffer from food insecurity.

• In celebration of its 120th anniversary, United Bank & Trust is giving area residents a chance to earn $1,200 for their favorite local nonprofit organization. Now through April 5, residents can enter one nomination per day for their favorite local nonprofit organization located within the counties of Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe or Washtenaw at From these nominations, the three organizations from each county with the most nominations will be selected for final voting from April 15-April 30. One organization per county will receive $1,200 when the total votes are counted.

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