Notable News for December 2020

Professional highlights from the Great Lakes Bay Region

Associated Builders and Contractors Welcomes New President

The Greater Michigan chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. welcomed Angela Latino as its new president in October. A graduate of Tulane University, and native of south Louisiana, Latino found herself shifting her career focus after Hurricane Katrina when she had the opportunity to work with volunteer contractors supporting the rebuilding efforts of Habitat for Humanity and the Greater New Orleans business community. Soon after learning about the mission of Associated Builders and Contractors, Latino began her tenure as an association executive. She is now in her 12th year and ready to take the helm in Michigan.

“Based on the merit shop philosophy, we help our members develop people; win work; and deliver work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work,” said Latino.

Providing services to the association membership across the region while overseeing the operations of a professional staff dedicated to business development, education and political advocacy, Latino and her staff are based in the Midland chapter office building.
Latino appreciates days on the job when she has the opportunity to learn something new and creative from her members and staff, and when she can in turn provide that opportunity to others.

“Being of service and knowing your staff gives their best every day is the greatest reward any business leader could receive,” she said.


Groundbreaking Held for United Financial

United Financial Credit Union broke ground Oct. 8 at its new location at 6354 Westside Saginaw Road in Frankenlust Township. The one-level, 3,500-square-foot building is expected be completed in spring 2021.

United Financial Credit Union is working with TSSF Architects Inc. and Serenus Johnson Construction on the project. The location will feature some of the newest technology in member service delivery. The one-story full-service branch will be able to process new accounts, mortgages, consumer loans, insurance products and wealth management services for personal or business members.

The lobby will feature a teller pod for one-on-one personal attention, along with three private member offices. The nontraditional standalone drive-thru will feature live tellers and expanded hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Visit to learn more about the credit union.
Manufacturing Day Video Released to Schools

The Great Lakes Bay Manufacturers Association released its Manufacturing Day video on Industry 4.0 and the Great Lakes Bay Region.

On Oct. 2, the association released the Industry 4.0 video to 30 schools in six different counties. The 40-minute video is to educate the next generation on manufacturing changes over the last decade and how technology has increased in the field. Local celebrities speak about how manufacturing touches their lives and influences their careers.

“The GLBMA manufacturing video presentation was very informative and exposed my students here at the Saginaw Career Complex engineering/advanced manufacturing program to several of the local manufacturers that are right here in the state of Michigan,” said engineering instructor Oliver Johnson. “The video displayed various industries that are utilizing automation by implementing robotic assembly cells/lines to enhance manufacturing at their facility. The video also spotlighted various leaders in the manufacturing sectors of Michigan that provided insight as to the need for individuals that can use their head and their hands to make a living. To summarize, I thought it was a great video.”

The association encourages everyone to share the video to discover the rich history manufacturing continues to have in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The video is available on YouTube under the Great Lakes Bay Manufacturers Association or at the website under resources.

Robb Named Community Affairs Specialist at Jolt

Jolt Credit Union announced that Allie Robb has joined the credit union as community affairs specialist.

Robb brings three years of event promotion and youth education experience to the credit union. She has a bachelor’s degree in applied science from Central Michigan University. Her responsibilities as community affairs specialist include implementing, coordinating and actively participating in local community relations projects to help promote the credit union in a positive manner.

“We are thrilled to have such a fresh and talented new member as part of our team. Allie’s dynamic personality and can-do attitude is a perfect fit for Jolt,” said Bridget Staffilleno, vice president of community affairs at Jolt Credit Union.

Jolt is a member-focused and community active credit union that has been helping members build stronger, happier lives for over 60 years with easy-to-use banking tools.


Whine Taps DRI to Manage Operations

The Whine Restaurant in Midland announced that it has entered into a management agreement with Downtown Restaurant Investments. DRI will work with Whine ownership and the management team to begin transitioning management duties. DRI will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, including staffing, scheduling, menu development, events, etc.

“We are excited for our staff, the restaurant and our customers to be a part of the DRI family. Things have changed so much in this industry over the last six months that it only makes sense to partner and leverage resources to run the most efficient operations as possible,” Wendy Traschen, owner of the Whine, said in a news release. “I have so much respect for Dave (Dittenber) and his team and what they have accomplished in this region over the last 15-plus years. This is another great step forward to enhance the dining experience for our loyal customers and for the region.”

Traschen will remain as owner, but the contract will allow for DRI to provide additional analysis, innovation and oversite to the operations.

“This is another big day for DRI, adding oversite to another premier dining establishment within our portfolio. Whine has been, and will continue to be, a regional dining destination. We are excited to work with Wendy. She has been a pillar in this community for almost two decades and is one of the benchmarks for women-owned businesses in the region,” said Dittenber, CEO of DRI.


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