Thom Arends

Business leaders recognized at Chamber dinner

February 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Keynote speaker describes huge growth opportunities in store for Rockford Photos by TOM SCOTT The cost of the “Taste of Rockford” buffet at the annual Rockford Chamber of Commerce ceremony was likely the best dining deal members’ have ever experienced. The evening’s entertainment, included election of board members, an awards ceremony recognizing Business of Distinction and Business of the Year, and a humorous Year in Review. The restaurants who provided food and beverages included D&W Fresh Market, the Corner Bar, Jody’s Restaurant, Herman’s Boy, Epic, Polly’s Passions, the Gristmill, Twisted Vine, and Grill One Eleven. Dad’s Tents provided the linens and centerpieces for the tables. Floral arrangements were provided by Polly VonEschen. Andy Tidey, of the Corner Bar and Chamber Board member, announced he is leaving Rockford and moving his family out west. Businesses and individuals received recognition in a variety of categories with Blaine Kellermeier of Kellermeier Plumbing, Inc. receiving the highest honor of Business of the Year. Other winners were Dan Biemer in the new category of Networker of the Year. Lynda Nance and Polly VonEschen tied in the category of Volunteer of the Year. Beth Altena, Managing Editor of the Rockford Squire newspaper was struck speechless at the announcement that the newspaper had earned the Business of Distinction Award in the Community Service category. Joel Koch of Bluegrass Promotional Marketing was recognized in the category of New Business. Keynote speaker Mike Guswiler, Executive Director of the West Michigan Sports Commission, touted the economic benefits of the sports complex which will be built in Plainfield Township off Ten Mile Road. He said there was “no better community than Rockford” for the sports venue. Hosting baseball, softball, cross country skiing, archery and more, the complex will be a boon in visitor spending and an economic engine for the greater Rockford area. Guswiler said a complex of similar size in a town comparable to Rockford made a huge difference in economic vitality. He said the sports complex there spurred the growth of three hotels to fifty hotels with an eighty-five percent occupancy rate. “It’s all about economic growth enhancing our quality of life.” The annual meeting, open to members of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, was held at the American Legion banquet facility, 330 Rockford […]

All the comforts of Rockford in Utah!

January 27, 2011 // 0 Comments

For the first time in 25 years, Thom Arends decided to close his “tonsorial parlor” (make that barbershop now days) during Christmas week to take a family vacation. He and his wife Sue planned to spend the holidays with extended family and friends in Sandy, Utah. When Arends asked the members of the three families they were about to visit, all formerly from Rockford, what they wanted for Christmas they responded without a second thought, “Bring Corner Bar Hot Dogs and our hometown newspaper, The Rockford Squire!” Before leaving town Arends laughingly told Andy Tidy, of the Corner Bar, of the unusual request. Tidy didn’t think the request so unusual at all and told Arends, “No problem!” So when the Arends packed their car for the trip west part of their cargo was a freezer chest full of 5-dozen Corner Bar hot dogs along with the eateries chili topping and all the trimmings, earlier assembled by Tidy. Of course, they didn’t forget the Rockford Squire! Between skiing, sledding, and holiday festivities, Thom and Sue gathered with the three families to celebrate Christmas Rockford style. Pictured at the far left is Thom and wife Sue, reading from the Rockford Squire, while the rest of the families prepare to chow down on their surprise Christmas gift, World Famous Corner Bar Hot Dogs. Also pictured are Arends’ son Scott Hay, niece Lori (Shay) Miner & daughter Ellie, son Todd Hofert & wife Deb & daughter Madison from nearby Colorado. Also present were the Strobel family, Todd & Sheryl, and children Michael, Nichole, Ben & Matthew who just moved from Rockford to Utah one year ago. Everybody present thought the Squire reading was better than “The Night Before Christmas” and young Matthew (9) proudly holding up the famous dog said, “One of my best Christmas gifts ever was the Corner Bar hot dogs!”

Rockford East Business Association revitalized

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

REBA (Rockford East Business Association) is revitalized” says Thom Arends of Thom’s Hair Design. “We will meet at 8:00 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month at D&W. We invite area businesses to join us.”  New officers are President Char Bouwkamp of D&W, Secretary Kathy Perez of United Bank, and Treasurer Jane House of Comerica Bank. REBA is the golf ball sponsor for the Rockford Chamber this year and Genesis Salon and Day Spa won the drawing for four greens fees for the golf outing at Blythefield Country Club on Monday May 4. REBA also will sponsor the Start of Summer Shuttle Bus in mid-June. “We are excited to get organized again as a strong business association.”