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Chamber Business

Cadillac Area

A Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Publication Third QUARTER 2019

Power of Community
Mission Statement
The Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce is a visible
business leader that advocates and drives business
opportunities. Through business alliances, we are a
catalyst for our membership and provide a persuasive
regional voice benefiting our communities.

2018/2019 Board of Directors

Tonya Smith, Chair
Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital
Jennifer Neff, Vice Chair
Avon Protection Systems
Trent Mulder, Treasurer
Baird, Cotter & Bishop, PC We have just completed a busy year
Jeremy Winkle, Immediate Vice Chair for the Chamber. Our fiscal year
VanDrie Home Furnishings ends June 30th and we have three
Steve King major events back-to-back. The last
Law Offices of King & King PLLC Business Magazine issue focused
Jennifer Brown on the Governor’s Breakfast and
Cadillac Area Public Schools Governor Whitmer’s first visit to
Doug DeYoung Cadillac as the Governor of the State
Consumers Energy of Michigan. After that, we had our
Rob Cherry annual Briefcase Open Golf Outing
LC Materials and what may have been the coldest
Kevin Dunaway Chamber Golf outing ever, followed
9 & 10 News/Local 32 by the Annual Dinner and Awards
Randy Hill Ceremony.
Baker College of Cadillac
In this quarter’s Business Magazine,
Dean Rohn
Piranha Hose Products
we are celebrating our most recent
award recipients, our current
Carrie Thompson
graduates from Leadership Cadillac, David Miller,
and a transition in the leadership Chamber President
Linda Popp
J&H Family Stores/Tim Hortons
program as we say goodbye to Deb
Gillies after 18 wonderful years, and saying hello to Kate DeKam who
Jeff Miller
BorgWarner Thermal Systems took over as Leadership Director on July 1st.
Pete Stalker We also had a couple changes to the makeup of the Chamber Board,
Mercantile Bank of Michigan the Officers and to the Executive Committee. Jeremy Winkle moved into
CHAMBER STAFF the role of Immediate Past Chair, and Tonya Smith became Chair. We
David Miller, President
know that Tonya will be very effective having spent the past year as 1st Vice Chair and she hit the ground running by stepping in for Jeremy at
Kate Dekam, Leadership Director the Annual Meeting.
Kate has been working with Deb since January 1st and takes over the
Paula Jasper, Director of Membership Services reins, ready to build upon the foundation that Deb has carefully laid
down over the years. You cannot replace Deb Gillies, and she will be
Jim Clements, Marketing & Communication Specialists greatly missed, but we welcome Kate into the Chamber family. If your
business has supported the Leadership Cadillac program in the past,
Kent Wood, Director of Government Relations
you know how valuable it is, both in terms of developing leaders, but
also for the community. We look forward to seeing what the 2019-2020
Nicole Schultz, Great Start Consultant class will achieve and where Kate will take the program. We appreciate all of you who chose to advertise in the Business
Printer: Pleasant Graphics Magazine, without your support, we couldn’t produce this magazine
Publisher: Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce every quarter. If you are not advertising here, please consider doing so!
The Cadillac Area Business Magazine is a publication of
the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber
reserves the right to edit or refuse articles and advertise-
ments submitted to the Cadillac Area Business Magazine David C. Miller
and reserves the right in its sole discretion to accept or President
refuse inserts and other materials to be distributed through
the publication. Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce
Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce
222 Lake Street

2 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine- 3rd quarter 2019

Visionary Partners:
Mayor Filkins presenting an award to the
Cadillac Housing Commission
in honor of their 50th Anniversary!

Business Directory
Cadillac Hospital
Museum Excavating

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Technology Education
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Preschool and Young Fives BorgWarner Thermal Systems
Kindergarten – 12th Grade
Training the next generation B&P Manufacturing
of Christian leaders to be
academically excellent and Cadillac Area Public Schools
spiritually mature so they Consumers Energy
can positively impact their
Contact Us (231) 577-2080 You have a CHOICE. world for Christ. DTE Energy
Fekete Knaggs & Burr Insurance Agency

FIAMM Technologies LLC

Marketing Education Fifth Third Bank
Providing Your ITC
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At the Cadillac News, we’re about finding a variety Mercantile Bank of Michigan
of solutions for the marketing and branding of your
unique business. Michigan Rubber Products, Inc
Our mission is to learn more about your business
goals, trends and long term objectives and to utilize Rexair LLC
a variety of promotional options to accomplish them.
Options include: Newspaper Marketing, Niche Walmart Supercenter Store
Marketing, Online Promotions & Services, Classified
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Wexford Community Credit Union
To discuss a program that’s right for your business. Wexford-Missaukee ISD
Call Katheryn Kidder, Senior Sales & Marketing Specialist at (231) 779-4142.

3rd quarter 2019 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 3

I think that all leadership graduates could agree that Deb made EVERY class
the “Best Class Ever”. - Rob Best

Simply put...Deb Gillies IS Cadillac Leadership! Her leadership of the

program will be missed but more importantly what she brought to

Dear Friends, the leadership program, the Chamber as a whole and the greater
community is even more important and that is the fact that she is a
GREAT person!!  - Dave Cox
What a spectacular day I had on
Tuesday, June 25th when the Cadillac I first met Deb last year while part of the 2017-2018 leadership class. I
Area Chamber of Commerce hosted an quickly learned that Deb was one of a kind. She is one of the most kind
open house to celebrate my retirement. hearted, loving, upbeat, and selfless people I know. My list could go on
Many people came and I can’t thank forever with the great qualities that she possesses. My leadership class
you enough for coming out to share this experience was nothing short of amazing and that was in large part to
all of Deb’s careful planning and her guidance. I can confidently say
special time with me. It was fun sharing
that I’m not the only one that feels this way. If you’ve ever been out
memories and boasting about being the in public with Deb, I’m sure you noticed that there’s always at least
Best Class Ever! Following nineteen one person who has to stop and talk to her or give her a hug. It must
years with the program, it’s going to take her hours to grocery shop! To sum things up...Deb Gillies is nothing
be a little tough for me come fall, when short of amazing and will be greatly missed! I wish her the best on her
the new class begins. However, I have retirement. - Lindsay Majors
enjoyed working side by side with Kate
Deb was instrumental in implementing the Leadership program in Manistee.
DeKam for the past 6 months and as the
She shared tips and insights with all of her knowledge and experience. She
new director, I am confident that she met many times with the committee’s in the beginning to make this program
has it under control. I will miss all the a reality and success. The rest is history. Deb’s leadership is contagious and
wonderful people I have worked with is having such a positive effect which goes beyond Wexford County. Many
throughout the year, who together make people are “leading” the way because of her. - Deb Rohn
the Leadership program successful and
respected. Thank you to everyone I have To Deb, a lady that I would have to say was one of my first and best
friends in Cadillac.  I found myself privileged and fortunate to have the
met and had the privilege to work with
distinct honor  of being in the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce
over the years. I wish great success to Leadership Class in 2002.  I can tell you that the class was so amazing
this wonderful community! in so many ways.  Being new to the area I found the connection to the

Sincerely, Deb Gillies community immediate and long lasting.  Deb was a true ambassador
for Cadillac and befriends each person immediately, like she is your
best friend. I am sure every student would echo that,  but even more
than that she connects to the different people and industries in
Cadillac.  I will forever be changed by the class and by Deb Gilles
herself.  Congratulations Deb!! You will be missed!! - Donna Willis

I have lived in the Cadillac area for most of my life and really thought I
knew everything there was to know about Cadillac.  Boy was I wrong! 
The Leadership Program was a wonderful opportunity for me to see
Cadillac “in a different light”.
Cadillac may be a small community to some but don’t be fooled by it’s
“Up North Resort town feel”.  Cadillac is a very supportive community,
I was especially impressed by the leadership in the community.  You
have CEO’s of our manufacturing companies in the community
collaborating with one another, some of them may actual compete
with one another on some level.  The leadership program brought
awareness to me of the leadership in all phases of our community such
as healthcare, education, the business community all working together
to make Cadillac a strong, viable community.  
Lastly, I would like to add that the strength of the Leadership program
is due to the support of the Chamber of Commerce and the guiding
hand of Deb Gillies.  I wish Deb well in her retirement and look forward
to the continuing success of the Cadillac Leadership Program.
- Deb Fuller

4 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 3rd quarter 2019

Experience, Integrity, Results
It’s what you expect.
It’s what we deliver.

Kate DeKam Jeff Mankiewicz, Lorri B. King
Steve King (not pictured Ben Hicok)

231-779-9000 • • 140 Paluster St.

Kate is a graduate of
McBain High School who
went on to earn her
bachelor’s and master’s
degree in creative writing
from Central Michigan
University. In 2012, she
accepted an administrative IS YOUR BUSINESS
assistant job with Baker READY TO WIN
College. In the years since,
Kate has held various
positions with the college, and is currently serving as
the English Program Director. The flexibility of her
teaching schedule, and the support of her employers,
made it possible for her to get involved with the 231-779-4127
Kevin D. Mist - Digital Marketing Specialist
Leadership program as the incoming director. In
January 2019, she became an official employee of the
Chamber and has spent the last six months mentoring
under outgoing director, Deb Gillies. She’s looking business donations
forward to continuing Deb’s work, as well as bringing
new ideas to the program.
 Outside of work, Kate enjoys spending time
with her family. She and her husband Michael are excess inventory?
preparing to celebrate
their eighth wedding
anniversary, and Habitat for Humanity ReStores offer prompt, friendly and free
pickup service to businesses. We pick up items with a usable life
welcomed their first that we recycle back into the community, including:
child, a daughter • Discontinued product • Aging inventory
named Eva, in June. • Scratched & dented merchandise • Return to vendor items
When we are able to collaborate with businesses, we create
meaningful change in our community.

231-775-7561 231-775-8661
7545 E. 34 Rd., Cadillac •

3rd quarter 2019 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 5

Thank You!
To our valued sponsors and golfers
We hope to see you again in 2020
Cadillac News 9&10/Local 32 Huntington Bank
Servpro of Manistee, Ludington Wolverine Power Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital
and Cadillac Baird, Cotter & Bishop Baker College of Cadillac
All Integrated Solutions Keystone Retirement Services Central Professional Services
Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network 44North Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau
Piranha Hose Products Fekete, Knaggs & Burr Insurance Chemical Bank
Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center
Cadillac Casting Inc.
Groupe Beneteau Mercantile Bank
Cadillac Family Physicians
DK Designs Networks Northwest
Cadillac Leadership Class
Wexford Habitat for Humanity
Dennis, Gartland & Niergarth Law offices of King & King
Akwel J&H Family Stores
Edward Jones/Amy Schmid Clam Lake Beer Company
Avon Protection Systems

6 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 3rd quarter 2019

Thank you to all of our Sponsors at the
2019 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner
Diamond Sponsor Gold Sponsor Silver Sponsors

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3rd quarter 2019 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 7

2019 Outstanding Citizen 2019 Spirit of Community
Eric Baker Deb Ballard
There was excitement when Eric Baker was dent in 1983. After a brief business meeting at the hero who doesn’t get recognized for all
named Outstanding Citizen. “He graduated in 1988 and started Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner, the the hard work she does,” she said.
Nominated by Chris Huckle, Bill Tencza from the bottom up,” said his wife Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce But no more.
provided Baker’s introduction during the Sue. “He became CEO in 2006 and announced the retirement of Deb Gillies, Everyone cheered when Deb Ballard’s
Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Annual it’s been his life for some 30 years.” the director of the Cadillac Leadership name was announced as the recipient
Meeting and Awards Dinner held at Fox During those 30 years, Wolverine program for the last 10 years. of the Spirit of Community award. And
Hill Event Center. And as Tencza began to has grown from a small rural com- “She’s been our fearless leader and earlier in the day, she was an honoree at
describe the then-unnamed honoree, it soon pany to one with a forward vision, kept us on task and moving forward,” the Celebrate Women! luncheon for her
became obvious. meeting energy challenges head on. said Kevin Baker, a spokesman for the community service.
By the time Baker reached the podium to Wolverine now leads the state in 2019/2020 graduating class.” “I see Deb at every fundraising event I
receive his award, the crowd was on their feet. providing nearly 20% of their power To thunderous applause, Gillies was attend,” said VanAlst. “I know she works
Baker faced the crowd and hesitated. He from new renewable sources and presented with a gift and words of grati- behind the scenes. I’ve seen the magic
thanked everyone and paused again. more than 60% carbon free. tude. she does in preparing auction items
“My roots don’t come from a lot,” said the Baker introduced the other 15 class to look attractive. For sure, there is no
CEO and president of Wolverine Power Success defined by a members and reported that they sur- question in my mind that her efforts
Cooperative. “What we come from is hard Annual Dinner Citizen of the Year passed their fundraising goal and were raise the value of items for many fund-
work, love for one another and love for this commitment to serve Award winner Eric Baker able to provide the Footliters with music raising events.”
community ... We believe in doing great things “Eric’s service and humility has done and staging equipment, modular stage Ballard is the Assistant Vice President
and trying to find solutions to really complex something special for Wolverine,” said Joe Annual Dinner Spirit of Community winner platforms and a trailer. and Community Development Market
Deb Ballard with noninator Audrey VanAlst
problems with creativity. It makes me excited Baumann, Wolverine vice president. “Eric The new, $12 million headquarters is a In other news, the Chamber Manager for Chemical Bank.
every day to pull into the drive with the spiritis about service over anything else ... service showcase of employee friendly design and Ambassador of the Year award was Ballard is a member of the Power
of — let’s fight for Northern Michigan.” drives him. It’s never about him or us, it’s energy efficiency. renamed in honor of last year’s recipient of the Purse committee, an event that
about the communities and the people we “The severely blighted and contaminated Dawna Marie. Marie passed away just raises funds for Munson Healthcare
Eric Baker and Wolverine Power serve. We live and die on the fortunes of our Mitchell-Bentley property saw years of futile five months after receiving the award. Cadillac Hospital Foundation. She is a
“He should have been recognized for this members and our communities.” attempts,” said Tencza. “The establishment of “I believe my mom would be overcome graduate of the Cadillac Leadership pro-
years ago,” said Huckle. “But I think there has the solar park, Baker is the guts behind this. and humbled by this name change,” said gram and is active with Oasis, Kiwanis,
been reticence ... the Eric Bakers of the world Cadillac Pride It wouldn’t have happened without his leader- her daughter Tara Horton. “She strongly Habitat for Humanity, Kids Hope USA,
don’t want or expect recognition.” “There’s never been a bigger champion for ship.” believed in the chamber mission and Community Hope, the Munson Cadillac
Wolverine Power Cooperative is a nonprofit Cadillac than Eric,” said Dawn Coon, vice “What I love about Eric is his leadership she was honored beyond words last year Foundation, and the Cadillac Rotary.
organization that supplies power and trans- president of administration. “He’s proud he’s style,” said Tencza. “He gets good people and to receive this award.” “You couldn’t choose a better per-
mission needs to seven-member owners rep- a native. His family was an integral part of the he’s not afraid to put them in tough positions son for this award,” said Gillies. “She’s
resenting over half of Michigan’s counties. community. ” and supports them.” Spirit of Community always there to help and support many
They employ about 160 people throughout “One of the big things is that Wolverine’s “It’s funny how many times I get the same organizations. I’ve been waiting for
the state and 100 at their Cadillac headquar- headquarters is still here and provides question from people,” said Baumann. “They After the business meeting, 84th her to get this award for many years.
ters. a lot of great jobs for families,” added want to know ‘what you guys do out there.’ It’s District Court Judge Audrey VanAlst I’m excited for her. She was in the
“People know his modesty level,” Huckle Huckle.”Anybody that works there will tell not surprising because of how low-key Eric is. introduced this year’s recipient of the Leadership Class of 1997, and for their
said. “He’s not a me-first guy. And Wolverine you it’s a great place to work with good pay- It’s always about everybody else. That’s what Spirit of Community award. project, they established the Spirit of
is this quiet little thing that’s not little.” ing, high quality jobs.” makes him special and it rolls into the culture Annual Dinner Dawna Marie Ambassador “The person I nominated is an unsung Community Award.”
Baker started working at Wolverine as a “Eric was on the front lines to retain the cor- he built (at Wolverine.) It’s not about us, it’s of the year award winner Mike Paulin with
Michigan Technological University co-op stu- porate headquarters,” said Tencza. about everybody we serve.” Dawn Paulin and presenter Tara Horton

1997 — Dr. Glenn Verbrugge 2005 — Judy Coffey 2013 — Vickie Essenmacher
1997 — Ron Andrews
1998 — Jack Benson
2005 — Todd Bennington
2006 — Darlene Merritt
2013 — Dan Minor
2014 — Barbara Darrigan Spirit of 1998 — William Rzepka
1999 — Regan O’Neill
2006 — Sue Peterson
2007 — Pat Goggin
2014 — William Panasiewicz
2015 — Mike Paulin
Outstanding 1999 — Keith Merchant & Tom Huckle
2000 — Maynard Thompson
2001 — Steve Anderson
2007 — Chris Huckle
2008 — Ron Blanchard
2009 — Paul Liabenow
2015 — Scott Hunter
2016 — Dean DeKryger
2017 — Kelly Smith
Community 2000 — John Bishop
2001 — Sue Westhauser
2008 — Mickey Putman
2009 — Matt Gibson
2016 — Karen & David McMahon
2017 — Cliff Sjogren

Citizen 2002 — Pete Stalker

2003 — Dennis Benson
2010 — Bruce Schafer
2011 — Jon Catlin
2018 — Mike Hamner
Recipients: 2002 — Carol Potter
2003 — Jackie Soltman
2010 — Katy Huckle
2011 — Tracey Kanouse
2018 — Sue Baker

Recipients: 2004 — Mary Blackmer 2012 — David Burrill

2004 — John MacLeod 2012 — Jeremy Winkle
8 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 3rd quarter 2019 3rd quarter 2019 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 9
Rise Up! Cadillac May 2019
Hosted by: Sponsored by:
InteliCare Health Services
Cadillac Country Club

Rise Up! Cadillac

June 2019
Hosted by:
GQT Cadillac 4 Community
Appreciaton Award

Sponsored by:
Jenifer Martin Mike Acosta
Presented by Chamber
of 44North Ambassador Mike Paulin

Sponsored by:
Coldwell Banker
Schmidt Realtors

10 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 3rd quarter 2019

Ambassador Club Cadillac Woods
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3rd quarter 2019 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 11

Ambassador Club Ground Breaking
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Leadership Class 2017

Cadillac Pathways Pa
vilion 9
l a s s 2 018-201
hip C
Leaders iters Project

THANK Sponsored by:

YOU! Hosted by:

Dynamic Phyical Therapy
Eldorado Golf Course

12 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 3rd quarter 2019

Welcome New Memb
er s
Cadillac Woods
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Cadillac, MI 49601
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231-775 3710 Vickery Financial
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Maurice’s 231-775-4244
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3rd quarter 2019 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 13

Paul Singer earns
BFA™ Designation
Connect Financial has always been an advocate of
behavioral financial advice. This year the team is proud
to announce that the firm’s Managing Partner, Paul
Singer, has obtained the BFA™ (Behavioral Financial
Advisor) designation.
Singer and the team
at Connect Financial
believe our financial
needs and wants are
nearly always at war Rotary Auction Awards Check
with one another.
Often, what we want Rotary Club of Cadillac presented a check for $32,250 to Wexford
to do with our money County Civic Center in June. Mike Figliomeni, Friend of the Wex,
at any given moment accepted.
is the opposite of what Their Annual Auction was held in April to replace a 20-year-old HVAC
we need to do. In addi- System with a high-efficiency model with air-conditioning capability.
tion, many traditional The WEX serves many organizations throughout the year: Dancing
finance models fail with the Y Stars, Project Christmas, Chamber Governors Breakfast,
because they are built Wild Wex and the Senior Expo to name a few. They have over 100,000
on the premise that people make logical, unemotional visitors each year that attend many events.
decisions when it comes to money. In real life I think we
know this isn’t true. One emotional decision at the wrong
time, such as when we see large and unpredictable move-
ments in our portfolio without warning can set a person
back years on their long-term retirement goals. Singer’s
belief is that behavioral financial advice, along with tradi-
tional finance, helps us all become better equipped to stay
Where your brand is our business!
focused on letting our plan continue to work through all
market cycles and economic conditions. Singer is proud
the company has recognized this designation, because
with the proper application, investor behavior can be the
dominant factor in determining one’s lifetime outcome.

Contact Scott today 231-779-4143 •


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14 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 3rd quarter 2019

Wolverine Power Cooperative
Welcomes Kacy Wickenhauser
as Director of Human Resources
Wolverine Power Cooperative is pleased to welcome Kacy
Wickenhauser as director of human resources.
In her role, Wickenhauser will lead Wolverine’s human resourc-
es department and is responsible for the cooperative’s employee
relations, recruiting, retention, benefit, compliance, talent man-
agement strategies, and employee
engagement, in conjunction and
coordination with Wolverine’s lead-
ership team.
Wickenhauser earned her Master
of Business Administration degree
with a concentration in human
resources from DeVry University,
Bachelor of Science degree in
psychology from Indiana State
University, and is a certified Senior
Professional in Human Resources
(SPHR) since 2015.

Community Foundation
Energy is essential to the way we live,
Awards Scholarships work and play.
The Cadillac Area Community Foundation has awarded
$47,100 in scholarships this year from seven individual scholar- ITC operates, builds and maintains
ship funds. the region’s electric transmission
During the Cadillac High School senior breakfast $30,000
was awarded: $13,100 to college students for continuing edu- infrastructure. We’re a Michigan-based
cation, $2000 to a CAPS student from the new Youth Advisory
company working hard to improve
Committee Fund Scholarship and $2000 to the new Trent Winn
Scholarship Fund for Career Technical Education. electric reliability, increase electric
The Foundation would like to thank the donors that have made
this possible and our tireless scholarship committee volunteers
transmission capacity, and keep efficient,
who spent the time to review the numerous applications. reliable energy flowing to homes and
businesses across the state.

Services: Building the electric transmission

• Structural Concrete infrastructure that will power the future.
• Site Concrete
• Concrete Pumping
• Telebelt • Excavation ITC Holdings Corp
• Reinforcing
• Polished Concrete ITCHoldingsCorp
Locations in Allendale & McBain
10578 Linden Drive NW McBain, MI 49657
Grand Rapids, MI 49534 Ph. (231) 825-8051
Ph. (616) 677-0053 • Fax (616) 677-0062 Fax (231) 825-8051
Visit us at

3rd quarter 2019 - Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine - 15

Cadillac Area US POSTAGE
Chamber of Commerce PAID
Cadillac, MI 49601-1874 MI

Our community is our future.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network
proudly support those working to strengthen our community.
Our shared commitment is a great reason to be confident in
the future of Michigan.


Our community is our future.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network
proudly support those working to strengthen our community.
Our shared commitment is a great reason to be confident in
Blue Cross Blue future of Michigan.
of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.