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Posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:15 a.m.

People & achievements in the greater Ann Arbor area, including Raymond James and Select Ride Inc.

By Staff


Douglas B. Gross

From new hires and promotions to industry awards, read on to learn about achievements by businesses and individuals in the greater Ann Arbor area:

Douglas B. Gross, a Raymond James financial advisor based in Saline, was recently named a member of the 2012 Leaders Council. Leaders Council honors are presented only to those financial advisors who demonstrate an extraordinary level of commitment to clients through personal service and professional integrity. Gross, who joined Raymond James in 1996, has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. Re-qualification for the Leaders Council is required annually.

• The Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association recently named David R. Reid, president of Select Ride Inc. of Ann Arbor, as the 2011 Paratransit Operator of the Year. Reid also volunteers as a reserve police officer and is president and founder of nonprofit organization Blessed Torch Inc., dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of the impoverished. Reid accepted the award on Oct. 27 in front of nearly 1,000 industry leaders at the TLPA’s annual convention. The Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association is a nonprofit trade association of and for the private passenger transportation industry.

Chris Marinos, a senior consultant with Ann Arbor-based SRT Solutions, was recently awarded Most Valuable Professional designation by Microsoft, specific to his work in F#. Marinos’ F# MVP designation from Microsoft recognizes his leadership in the technical community. There are only 4000 Microsoft MVPs worldwide. To receive the designation, Marinos underwent a rigorous review process by members of the MVP team and Microsoft product groups and was evaluated on his technical expertise as well as the impact of his contributions to the technical community.

Amish Tables of Ann Arbor recently partnered with Allstate Capital in a move that allows the local family-owned furniture retail business to expand from the family home market to the wider commercial market with a business-to-business sales capability. Commercial establishments most often seek outside financing for their equipment needs, and through the recent deal, Allstate offers the ability to fund most equipment needs for businesses throughout the United States.

• The National Tactical Officers Association recently recognized Michigan State Trooper Ben Sonstrom with the Award of Excellence for his unselfish dedication to the enhancement of Tactical Emergency Medical Services programs. Sonstrom is also a paramedic with Ann Arbor-based Huron Valley Ambulance. TEMS teams provide preventive urgent and emergency medical care to SWAT teams during high-risk and extended-duration law enforcement special operations. TEMS providers develop medical threat assessments, render immediate medical care in high-risk environments and provide logistical support during training and tactical operations.

Johnson and Associates CPA PLLC merged into Yeo & Yeo’s Ann Arbor office on Nov. 1. Johnson and Associates’ owner, Kirk Johnson, along with Jean Fiegel and Marlene Hintz, joined the Ann Arbor office. Johnson’s accounting practice specializes in tax planning and preparation, financial planning, valuation and payroll services and has served clients in the Ann Arbor area since 1975. Yeo & Yeo, P.C. is a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Saginaw with additional offices in Alma, Ann Arbor, Flint, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marlette and Midland.

• Ann Arbor-based Charles Reinhart Co. Realtors recognized members of the 2011 President’s Club during an awards luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 27. For more than 20 years, the President’s Club has recognized the top producers at Charles Reinhart. To qualify for the President’s Club, an agent must close 18 or more transactions per year, which is more than 2.5 times the national average. The 2011 President’s Club includes: Nancy Bishop, Nancy Bowerbank, Elizabeth Brien, Laurie Buys, Shiao Ling Chu, Patricia Durston, Tammi Ebenhoeh, Patti Eddy, Barbara Eichmuller, Deborah Engelbert, Robert Ewing, Brent Flewelling, Kathy Frey, Susan Gartin, Maria Gilbert-Anglin, Sherry Grammatico, Brian Hill, Richard Jarzembowski, Robyn Javornisky, Lisa Jaworski-Ridha, Fran Jones, Jeffrey Klink, Todd Lands, Carolyn Lepard, Debbie Leutheuser, Roger Leutheuser, Richard Mattie, Bruce Maxson, Janet McAllister, Matthew Miller, Kerene Morrissey, Patricia Mueller, Nicola Noel, Kim Peoples, Julie Picknell, Michal Porath, Timothy Powell, Maura Rains, Edward Ridha, Alice Roderick, Sue Rushlow, Jeri Sawall, Marcia Shaughnessy, Pamela Sjo, Anne Sloan, Susan Snyder, Lisa Stelter, Debora Odom Stern, Julie Svinicki, Richard Taylor, Linda Tenza, Melissa VanDam, Maria Wade, Jean Wedemeyer and Mary Ellen Wood.

• Allstate Insurance Co. recently recognized an Ann Arbor Allstate entrepreneur John Casey with the Chairman’s Conference Award for outstanding business achievement. Professionals in this category demonstrated exceptional customer service skills and surpassed regional sales goals in 2010. Chairman’s Conference winners represent only 8.7 percent of Allstate Insurance agencies and personal financial representatives nationally to reach this level of achievement. Casey's agency is located on South Main in Ann Arbor.

Dick's Sporting Goods, a sporting goods retailer, will host a three-day grand opening event for Ann Arbor area residents. The store opened its doors Oct. 19. The grand opening celebration will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 a.m. at the retailer's new location at Waters Place, 3120 Lohr Road, Ann Arbor. There will be sports apparel or gift card giveaways Friday through Sunday, along with appearances by a Detroit Red Wings star and a Detroit Lions running back. Also during the weekend event, activities throughout the store will include product demonstrations by industry experts. The Ann Arbor location will be the retailer's 17th store in the state of Michigan and their 467th nationwide.

• On Oct. 17, more than 400 supporters of United Way of Washtenaw County gathered at the Jack Roth Club at the University of Michigan football stadium for a reception and strolling supper. The event, which attracted record-level attendance this year, celebrated the generosity of members of the organization’s Tocqueville Society and Leadership Giving Association. The Tocqueville Society honors individuals or couples who invest $10,000 or more annually in the community through United Way of Washtenaw County.

Everist Genomics, a privately-owned personalized medicine company headquartered in Ann Arbor, announced Oct. 31 that it has successfully completed acquisition of 100 percent of the shares of Angiologix Inc., the developer of the AngioDefende diagnostic device for assessing endothelial function. Endothelial cell dysfunction is an early-stage indicator of cardiovascular disease.

• The University of Michigan is throwing a party to celebrate the opening of its new C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital. The public open house, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, is the culmination of five years of construction and allows area residents the opportunity to see the hospital before it opens for business. Attendees should begin by parking at the Biomedical Science Research Building (109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor), where buses will take the public to and from the new hospital. The day's events will include special events for kids and a tour of the 12-story inpatient tower. Learn more about the new hospital and see photos of the facility at

• This Veterans Day, Michigan Applebee’s will honor veterans by offering free meals on Friday, Nov. 11 and by hosting a gift card drive the following weekend. During the gift card drive, guests who purchase $50 gift cards will receive a bonus $10 gift card, with the opportunity to donate the bonus card to the Detroit VA Hospital for distribution. Applebee's has two locations in Washtenaw County, one in Ypsilanti and one in Ann Arbor.

Cataphora Inc. announced Oct. 31 the official opening of its newest office, located in Ann Arbor. Cataphora develops software for analysis of individual and organizational behavior.

• Ann Arbor SPARK's CEO, Paul Krutko, has been elected the new vice chair of the International Economic Development Council. Krutko will complete his term as IEDC’s secretary/treasurer and will become vice chair in January 2012. The International Economic Development Council is a membership organization dedicated to helping economic development professionals improve the quality of life in their regions.

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