The KR Group, Inc. | Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors | ITC Holdings Corp. | Columbian Logistics Netowrk
The KR Group, Inc.
Since 2007, The KR Group, Inc. has been one of Michigan’s leading technology consulting firms. As a local IT company, The KR Group, Inc. specializes in data center solutions, voice over internet protocols (VOIP), and underlying technologies (routers, wireless, switches) required to support those things. The KR Group, Inc. provides advanced communications systems, technical support and a team of heavily certified engineers ready to serve customers with day-to-day support through managed services.
According to company partner Phil Rienstra, their mission is to increase the productivity and profitability of your business regardless of size. “It is our trade and passion to deliver the best solution available,” he said. “Our team takes the time to understand your unique needs and tailor a solution to meet your requirements. Plus, we partner heavily with other local IT companies to provide the best possible solutions for the companies we work with.”
With two partners being former hospital network administrators, there is a wealth of in-house company expertise that enables delivery on a range of services perfect for small business—from disaster recovery to unified communications and borderless networks. Managed services, data center and virtualization enable businesses to go farther with less onsite IT infrastructure to maintain. And, because The KR Group, Inc. aims to provide impactful technology consulting services, they can help organizations assess and define their IT needs and strategy.
A Chamber member since 2008, The KR Group, Inc. has partnered with the Chamber’s IT team to ensure IT solutions are up to date. And, they have reaped other rewards of membership as well. “We became members in order to become better connected to our local community and to stay current on what is happening in West Michigan,” noted Rienstra. “We enjoy hearing about what’s happening locally and value the connections we’ve made with the Chamber and with others through events.”
Download more data on The KR Group, Inc. at www.krgroupinc.com.
Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors
For 72 years, Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors has been providing accounting and advisory services to guide clients through cycles of growth, recessions, and family transitions. Among their many long-term customers, the Grand Rapids-based firm has served closely-held and family-owned businesses, non-profit organizations, school districts and governmental entities.
“We take pride in delivering more—good ideas that enhance the efficiency, profitability and strategic outlook of our clients’ businesses,” said Rick Chrisman, CPA and managing shareholder.
As their tagline “Where Good Ideas Add Up” suggests, clients can expect more than the traditional services of a CPA firm. Today the firm offers auditing, tax planning and preparation, estate and trust tax work, financial statement and accounting services, succession planning, employee benefit plan assessments, and litigation support.
“Although we are a CPA firm, we offer an ever-expanding array of services to be of maximum help to our clients,” noted Chrisman. “We have a deeply held commitment to going beyond expectations to take care of our clients and bring good ideas to the table—ideas on tax savings, streamlining processes, obtaining financing, growing the business and more.”
Many of those good ideas are time tested right at Hungerford Nichols, which has garnered attention for being at the forefront in work-life balance and alternate/flexible work arrangements as well as being a noted leader in developing formal succession plans to identify and develop future leaders within the firm. Hungerford Nichols is also heavily involved in the community with staff contributing 3,537 volunteer hours at over 100 organizations in 2012.
A Chamber member since 1975, Hungerford Nichols is actively involved with issues of importance to Grand Rapids area businesses and takes advantage of networking opportunities at Chamber events. “Through our Chamber activities over the years, we have developed great relationships with many area businesses and like-minded professional services firms,” Chrisman said. “These relationships have led to business referrals and new clients—and helped us develop new good ideas for success.”
Discover more about Hungerford Nichols at www.hungerfordnichols.com.
ITC Holdings Corp.
ITC Holdings Corp. is a super-charged, high-powered company… literally. As the nation’s largest independent electricity transmission company, ITC Holdings Corp. focuses solely on the high-wire act of owning, operating and maintaining Michigan’s high-voltage transmission facilities and electricity grid.
One of the first and only independent electric transmission companies in the country, ITC’s subsidiaries serve a combined peak load exceeding 25,000 megawatts along 15,000 circuit miles of transmission line in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Operating entities in Michigan are ITCTransmission and METC.
“Safe, efficient and reliable electricity is a key enabler for economic development efforts in Michigan,” noted Charlie DeVries, Area Manager for Local Government & Community Affairs at the publicly traded company (NYSE: ITC). “It is an important box for site selectors to check before presenting potential locations for new development to their clients.”
Since 2003, the Novi-based ITC has invested more than $2.2 billion in transmission infrastructure improvements and capital project maintenance in Michigan. Today, Michigan systems rank in the top quartile of performance among all national systems and are a key enabler for bringing new renewables onto the grid—making Michigan and Grand Rapids attractive places to do business.
“When people speak about infrastructure, they often refer to roads, bridges and water supply and forget about the vast infrastructure owned and maintained by utilities which is equally necessary for a modern economy to function,” DeVries continued.
A proud sponsor of Politics & Pints and other advocacy events, ITC joined the Grand Rapids Area Chamber in 2007 specifically to support the business community more visibly and to be an active participant building momentum in and around Grand Rapids. “The opportunity to interact with 2,700 fellow members and to support Chamber programs is a way for us to educate businesses on the role ITC plays in the local economy,” said DeVries.
“The Chamber’s professionalism and tireless advocacy on behalf of the business community is admirable and effective,” he added. “The Chamber is a key driver of the important culture here that nurtures established companies and warmly welcomes new companies to the region.”
Plug in at www.itc-holdings.com for more info.
Columbian Logistics Network
Since 1896, Columbian Logistics Network, a full service logistics company, has been helping customers lower costs and improve service. Columbian provides high-quality, cost-effective, integrated solutions including warehousing, transportation, food logistics, and manufacturing support. Driven by its core values, Columbian delivers supply chain value and legendary customer service on a daily basis.
“A good example that sums our services up in a nutshell is our model of manufacturing support. The goods that you see in grocery stores across the country start from raw materials of every shape and form. Our model supports the receiving and storage of those raw materials, the transportation to the manufacturing facility, storage of work-in-process (WIP) inventory, and the storage, handling, and transportation of finished goods,” said John Zevalkink, CEO of Columbian Logistics Network.
Although Columbian is heavily invested in the food industry, they service more than a dozen different market sectors, from granola bars to brake pads. In addition, the company is the only Foreign Trade Zone Magnet site in Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties and their asset transportation fleet and warehouse operations teams support more than 20 different manufacturing environments every day.
“Our business model fits into the general trend of outsourcing non-core competencies. We exist to allow manufacturers of goods to focus on their “secret sauce,” including R&D, proprietary manufacturing processes, or technology. Those activities that are not a core business function can often be performed in a more thorough, cost-effective manner with Columbian than they can if they are kept in house,” said Zevalkink.
A Chamber member since the mid-1960’s, Columbian looks to the Chamber for multiple resources including education resources, business community involvement, networking and activism on behalf of the West Michigan business community at the state level.
“Logistics firms in Michigan compete directly with counterparts in Ohio, Indiana, and elsewhere. We frequently see Requests for Proposals that specifically ask about the business infrastructure in the state of Michigan. Our responses to those questions have improved in recent years due to hard work by organizations like the Chamber, the Right Place, and the Snyder administration,” said Zevalkink. “A strong Chamber of Commerce serves as a central clearing house to support the growth and development of organizations across industry and in Grand Rapids, we have that.”
For more information on Columbian Logistics Network, visit www.columbianlogistics.com.