AP NEWS

Four contend for Business of the Year award

May 2, 2019

There are four nominees for the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Business of the Year award: FloraCraft, Larsen’s Landscaping, Oakview Medical Care Facility and Riemer Eye Care.

Nominees for Business of the Year will be judged on their ability to demonstrate excellence in business practices through sales, quality of service, customer service, leadership and/or involvement.

All nominees are invited to the chamber’s May 4 dinner, when the winner will be announced. Tickets to attend the dinner are $40 and available at the chamber or or by calling (231) 845-0324.

FloraCraft

FloraCraft was nominated by employee Conny Bax.

“I have been so blessed to work for such a wonderful company. There is a lot to be said for an owner, such as Lee Schoenherr, to dedicate himself to not only his company, but his employees and the community that they live in,” Bax stated in the nomination letter.

In December 2018, Schoenherr announced that he will be donating approximately $4 million to all the employees of FloraCraft, based on their years of tenure.

Bax added that the company reached a milestone when it started making its own XPS Foam.

“All of us here at FloraCraft are so proud of this achievement, and I believe that I speak for many here at FloraCraft, (when I say) that this only solidifies our future success.

“Thank you, FloraCraft and Lee Schoenherr, for your commitment to the success of the people of FloraCraft and the community we live in,” Bax stated.

Larsen’s Landscaping

Larsen’s Landscaping was nominated by employee Andrea Samuels.

“When I started working for (owners) Bruce and Karen Larsen, we were operating out of a small garage and a desk in their basement. Even back then, they were providing jobs for 15 people in our community,” Samuels stated in the nomination letter.

Larsen’s Landscaping currently employs approximately 50 people.

Larsen’s contributes to local organizations and community fundraisers such as Mason County 4-H, Gus Macker, Area 24 Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, area schools’ athletic clubs, the Scottville Optimist Club and local fire department fundraisers, Samuels stated.

“Their empathy, generosity and willingness to lend a hand is remarkable,” she said.

Oakview Medical Care Facility

Oakview Medical Care Facility was nominated by Executive Assistant Kathleen Rodell.

Oakview Medical Care Facility, a nonprofit skilled nursing facility, has been a part of Mason County since 1966.

“Oakview is our people – our professional service and administrative staff. Each and every employee is committed to enhancing the quality of life of our residents by helping to create a positive, caring environment… like family,” Rodell stated.

Approximately 180 full-time, part-time and pool employees work at Oakview.

Rodell stated that Oakview employees and volunteers participate in and promote many activities within the county, including the Ludington Jump, the Alzheimer’s walk, post-prom activities, sponsorship for the splash pad, Relay For Life, the Western Michigan Fair, Family AfFair and Mason County Historical Society, among others.

Oakview provides long-term nursing care for patients requiring post-operative rehabilitative services, and basic long-term nursing care for residents unable to function independently in their homes.

Oakview offers special events at the facility free of charge including trick-or-treating, concerts, motorcycle rallies and more.

“Most times, people don’t think about Oakview until they need help. We try to break the stigma that comes when hearing ‘medical care facility,’” Rodell stated.

Oakview’s services include Alzheimer’s/dementia care, occupational therapy, physical therapy, dietary services and social services, and more.

“We do great work here; it’s the type of work that gets very little recognition and yet is so very important,” Rodell stated.

Riemer Eye Center

Riemer Eye Care was nominated by Andrea Large.

This year, Riemer Eye Center will celebrate its 25th anniversary of providing eye care throughout West Michigan. It provides ophthalmology and optometry services, as well as consultations for cataract surgeries.

“Having these services available locally is a huge benefit to our community, and patients truly value and appreciate the care and expertise they receive from Riemer Eye Center,” Large stated in the nomination letter.

Riemer Eye Center sponsors area events, including Flock the Forest 5K Run, Ludington Baseball Club, the Oriole Foundation’s Dancing with the Local Stars, Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital, and also serves as the main sponsor for the Lakestride Run.

Additionally, Riemer Eye Center participates in health fairs, senior expos and low vision support groups, and makes educational visits to area elementary and high schools.

“Dr. Riemer made a significant donation to expand local access to college education through $1,000,000 gift to the West Shore Community College Regional Public Safety Training Center,” Large stated.

The majority of this gift will be used for public safety and operations at the center according to Large.

“Dr. Riemer also made a significant donation to be used for a scholarship program offering educational opportunities to students who may otherwise not be able to attend college,” Large stated.