Cliff & Nancy Hill

Advanced Aquariums Celebrates Anniversary with Expansion

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF and NANCY HILL On February 15, 2007, John and Heather Richardson moved Advanced Aquarium Services from their Rockford home to a storefront location in Rockford at the corner of Northland Drive and East Main. Little did they know that the country was about to begin a downward economic spiral. Sunday, February 15, Advanced Aquariums celebrated their second anniversary. Customer response to the opening of a high-end aquarium store specializing in an ever-changing selection of vibrant saltwater fish, coral, and invertebrate has been nothing short of phenomenal. The Richardson’s story is one of success and they are thrilled that their business has not only survived these times, but has thrived. The store offers a nice selection of supplies and equipment to support aquarium needs. In addition, the Richardsons can professionally install and maintain a tropical fish aquarium in your home, restaurant, office, or waiting room. “Aquarium locations are limited only by one’s imagination. In a home setting an aquarium provides, relaxation, education, and entertainment. In a business, a well-kept aquarium enhances company image and makes wait time more enjoyable for clients,” said John. John points to Ed’s Restaurant in Howard City and locally, in Rockford, the dental office of Steven Dater, DDS as two of many business clients. Watching fish has been clinically proven to reduce stress, stimulate brain activity, and lower blood pressure. Receptionist and Office Manager Bonnie Davidson, at the Dater Dental Office, said, “Patients, especially the kids, love our beautiful 60-gallon tank located in our waiting area. For many, especially children, a visit to a dental office is quite stressful. The display of tropical fish and live coral seems to have a calming effect on everyone.” She also added, “John often sends prospective business clients over to view our installation in a business setting. We love the attention it brings to our office.” Because of Advanced Aquariums success in spite of the economic storm battering the country the Richardsons have decided to add, for the first time, a new line of freshwater tropical fish and related supplies. “We are doing this as a stepping stone for folks who have always wanted to get involved in the hobby but don’t have the means to go the saltwater route,” Heather noted. To accommodate […]

Concert Continues Tradition of Excellence

January 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF and NANCY HILL The mission of the Rockford Education Foundation (REF) is to promote excellence in education for people of all ages in the Rockford community. Toward that end the REF annually sponsors an eagerly awaited and excellent benefit performance usually held in the acoustically correct and comfortable confines of the Rockford High School Fine Arts Auditorium. Every year REF Administrator Sue Arend and a committee of REF trustees agree upon and book the finest available performing artist(s) to headline the annual concert. Over the years the selections have been an eclectic mix chosen to appeal to the diverse tastes of the Rockford area. Last Saturday evening the REF was proud to present the multi-talented singer/songwriter and recording artist, Brian Vander Ark. Vander Ark is a native of West Michigan who currently resides in East Grand Rapids with his wife and three-year-old daughter, Evie. Wife, Lux Land, is an accomplished singer/songwriter in her own right. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s Vander Ark was the principal songwriter and frontman for the Verve Pipe, a band that has sold over three million albums worldwide. In 1997 he wrote and, along with the band, recorded the hit single The Freshmen. His gift as a songwriter has resulted in a collection of original songs of a storyteller relating life experiences that he as well as his listeners, have lived. His melodies and rhythms are unique, intensely personal, and riveting. Leading off the evening’s concert was Vander Ark’s beautiful and talented wife, recording artist Lux Land, who warmed the crowd up singing a collection of her own penned songs. What followed was a performance by Brian Vander Ark that resulted in a standing ovation at its close. Vander Ark had brought in a group of accomplished musicians from Texas to back him up for the evening. The group, which remained nameless, was composed of Richard Hewett on drums, Dylan Sneed on guitar, Bryan Frink on bass, and featured Kristy Kruger on keyboard and pedal steel guitar, while at times providing vocal accompaniment. For the better part of two hours Vander Ark and the band performed a selection of his songs that explored themes of life and family along with love and loss. Crowd favorites included Monday […]

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