Full house at Rockford Business Center good economic news

by BETH ALTENA

Rockford Business Center professionals Neil Blakeslee of Blakeslee Rop, PLC; Ryan DeVries of White Insurance Agency, Lynda Nance, Rick Hansen, Lisa Hansen of HS&C Wealth Management and Tim Caywood of Ameriprise Financial Inc. Photo by ASHLEY CLONAN

A year ago the restructure of the law firm which is now Blakeslee Rop PLC at 240 Northland Drive resulted in additional space. Today the building is brimming with business professionals who are able to offer a wide variety of services from under one local roof.

“Jim Scales put me in touch with Tim Caywood, and the others came with him,” Blakeslee described.

In the financial offices in Rockford’s “east side” are Caywood’s Ameriprise financial planning and wealth growth expertise, White Insurance, and H&S Companies, three interrelated companies that work together.

Ashely Clonan, marketing coordinator for H&S Companies, said her firm saw a move into Rockford as a natural fit.

H&S Companies, CPAs and Business Consultants, has other offices in addition to the new Rockford branch. They are providers of services such as tax and accounting, business strategy, marketing, payroll services, auditing, restaurant and brewery specialists, fraud examiners, human resource consultation, and pension administration.

The White Insurance Agency was established in 1873—not much different than The Rockford Squire’s start at the Rockford Weekly Register in 1871—and is thrilled to open with their Rockford location their fourth branch. The White Insurance Agency has been providing quality products, excellent service and competitive prices to Western Michigan through their main branch in Fremont and offices in Grant and Twin Lake.

With their new location, they are excited to share their wealth of knowledge, experience and customer service with the Rockford community. The new Rockford office represents many well-known and respected insurance companies and can meet all your home, auto, life, health or business insurance needs.

Ryan DeVries, the insurance agent at the Rockford branch, has been with The White Insurance Agency for nine years. He resides in Rockford with his wife and daughter and is eager to share his know-how and expertise with the community of Rockford.

Blakeslee is pleased with the new opportunities provided by the grouping of business men and women in the building constructed in 2000. Blakeslee is a lifelong Rockford resident, long-term member of Rockford City Council and former mayor of Rockford. He began practicing in 1981 with his first office, located on Main Street.

“I’ve seen more stability than change in Rockford,” Blakeslee said of the progress of the town since he first began his work here. “There has been a continued economic stability, and there are many businesses that have been around as long as me or longer.”

Blakeslee said one change he has noted over two decades is Rockford’s restaurant presence. “We’ve gone from a shortage of restaurants to many,” he commented.

The Rockford Planning Commission is to be recognized for their foresight in preparing the Northland Drive corridor for business growth.

“The planning commission’s work has allowed this area to be more vibrant,” said Blakeslee.

“We are very happy,” Blakeslee said of the professional services working together. “It’s a good relationship with a lot of referrals available, especially to business clients.”

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