All posts by Nicole Vesota

Nicole Vesota is an author at Business Anniversaries, a website that celebrates the milestone anniversaries of businesses and organizations. Nicole writes both anniversary exclusives and blog posts for, and also helps to maintain the website and it's directory.

Pleune Service Company Celebrates 45 Years

Pleune Service Company Work Van

For 45 years, Pleune Service Company has been serving Michigan’s lower peninsula with fast and quality HVAC services and repair. Over time, the company has evolved into a full-service mechanical contractor, with services including new construction, renovation, expedited equipment replacement, project planning, fabrication, and more.

A few unique characteristics set Pleune apart from its competitors:

  • Pleune Service company is 100% employee owned. Pleune touts that as a result, “every customer speaks directly to an owner,” creating more accountability and responsiveness.
  • The company’s HVAC technicians are EPA certified
  • Response is available 24/7/365
  • Fastrac expedited unit replacement department

Started in 1974, Pleune quickly grew, with 37 employees by 1979. About 10 years later, in 1988, Pleune introduced an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Another 10 years later, Pleune developed their Fastrac department, with the ability to evaluate, quote, approve and install equipment in just 3 days. In 2002, Pleune founder and owner John Pleune moved all of his remaining stock to the company’s ESOP, making it 100% employee owned. The Grand Rapids based company continues to grow, with a second office in Lansing, MI and a 10,000 square foot fabrication facility. Pleune is actively involved in community outreach, having sponsored a number of local organizations including Camp O’Malley, Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids, MiCareerQuets, and many, many more.

For its 45th anniversary, Pleune Service Company threw a party for all of its owners and their families, featuring live music, delicious food, and fall harvest decorations. Congratulations, Pleune, on 45 years in business!

Banning’s Restaurant & Pie House Celebrates 40 Years

Banning's 40th Anniversary

Made famous by their large selection of cakes and pies, Banning’s Restaurant in Tigard, just outside of Portland, OR, marks it’s 40th anniversary this year.

The restaurant was opened in 1979 by brothers Craig and Mark Banning. The restaurant met the demand of customers in the 1980’s by staying open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with Christmas Day being the only exception.

This year, the family restaurant celebrates its 40th year in business. 40th anniversary signs are displayed throughout the restaurant and on its website. In addition, the restaurant ran a special contest in celebration of the occasion. Facebook fans were asked to leave a comment with their favorite memory of Banning’s Restaurant.

The restaurant then awarded their favorite story with a $100 Banning’s gift certificate, and 3 names were randomly selected from all comments to each win a $40 gift certificate. The winning story involved one fan having a Monte Cristo sandwich from Banning’s just before heading to the hospital to give birth! Another fan shared how ordering a sandwich from Banning’s led to her meeting her now-husband.

With so many memories, we aren’t surprised this restaurant is in its 40th year of business. Congratulations, Bannings, and we look forward to seeing you celebrate for many years to come!

Paws With A Cause Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Paws with a Cause 40th Anniversary Logo

June, 2019 – Paws With A Cause, an organization that trains assistance dogs and places them with the disabled, is celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year! According to the website, “Paws With A Cause® enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs.”

Paws With A Cause is headquartered in Wayland, Michigan. The organization was founded in 1979, and was originally named Ears for the Deaf® until 1989. The founders, Michael Sapp and his wife Antoinette, created the organization to help train their friend’s dog -their friends were deaf and had just adopted a deaf baby – in hopes that the dog could alert the couple to various sounds like their baby crying. As time went on, more and more deaf and disabled people began asking for trained dogs to help them with their daily life, too.

Paws With A Cause now trains 4 different types of assistance dogs:

  • Service Dogs for people with physical disabilities
  • Hearing Dogs for people who are Hearing Impaired/Deaf
  • Seizure Response Dogs for people with seizure disorders
  • Service Dogs for Children with Autism

Over the last 40 years, Paws With A Cause has trained over 2,500 assistance dogs. The organization has also helped work with the Michigan Legislature to ensure laws are in place that benefit Service Dogs and other assistance dogs.

Paws With A Cause created this 40th Anniversary Video to showcase just some of the incredible work the organization has done in the community over the last 40 years.

In addition, Paws With A Cause held a 40th Anniversary Open House at their headquarters in Wayland, MI. The event showcased its new grooming facilities and included guided tours of the facility, assistance dog demonstrations, and plenty of food and fun.

We’d like to congratulate Paws With A Cause on 40 years of changing lives and assisting the community. If you’d like to get involved please see how you can help!

West Michigan Whitecaps Celebrate 25 Seasons

West Michigan Whitecaps 25 Seasons Logo
Grand Rapids based minor league baseball team, the West Michigan Whitecaps, are celebrating 25 seasons of baseball this year. The team was founded in 1993, and was named by Brian Glass in a “Name the Team” contest. This same year, Old Kent Park ballpark and stadium was constructed. The Whitecaps’ inaugural season was in 1994, with their first home game at Old Kent Park held in April against the Burlington Bees. The Whitecaps won, with a score of 5-2.

Since then, the team has seen many changes and accomplishments, including:

  • 13 Managers, including former major league player & manager and 2000 Olympic baseball coach Phil Regan, Former Detroit Tigers third baseman Tom Brookens, former Tigers and major league manager Larry Parrish, and former Tigers catcher Lance Parrish (current team manager).
  • Six MWL Championship wins
  • Renaming of the team’s home field, from Old Kent Park to Fifth Third Ballpark.

This year mark’s The Whitecaps’ 25th Season. Some of the planned celebrations include:

  • 25th season logo
  • 25th Season commemorative t-shirts, sweatshirts, and lapel pins available for purchase in the “Capsized Shop.”
  • A 2018 Ticket kickoff sale featuring a free 25th season t-shirt for the first 50 ticket purchasers, as well as a bounce house, speed pitch game, the Whitecaps Mascots, and free popcorn, cocoa, and Dippin’ Dots.
  • A 25th Season Replica Jersey giveaway for the first 1,000 guests at the Whitecaps’ opening day on April 5th.

More celebrations are expected to be announced in the coming months. Congratulations to the West Michigan Whitecaps on 25 Seasons of Minor League Baseball!

Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Celebrates 125 Years

Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce 125th Anniversary Logo

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1893 by Charles Hackley. Previously known as the Muskegon Board of Trade (est. 1979), Hackley and other pertinent members of Muskegon’s lumber industry worked to create an organization that would support economic development and revitalize Muskegon, Michigan.

Since then, the chamber has continued that mission. Major efforts have included establishing the Muskegon County Airport, raising funds to construct the L.C. Walker Arena, and promoting the Milwaukee Clipper ferry.

MLCC January Hist-o-gram story featuring chamber founder Charles Hackley
MLCC January Hist-o-gram Story featuring chamber founder Charles Hackley

Additionally, the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce has been recognized for numerous achievements, including the “Freedom Week” program in 1953, and being commended by the US Chamber of Commerce for having one of the country’s top safety programs in 1957.

The MLCC is celebrating its 125th year by highlighting historic moments in its history each month using “Hist-O-Gram Stories,” a cute play on Instagram Stories. You can learn more about the MLCC’s history and 125th anniversary celebration at

Congratulations on 125 exciting years, and we wish you an even brighter future!

John Ball Zoo Celebrates 125 Years

They say that from death comes life. If bringing joy and enrichment to millions of children and adults is any indication of life, then this old saying rings true as the John Ball Zoo celebrates it’s 125th Birthday.

John Ball Zoo Celebrates 125 Years Entrance Sign

John Ball’s Land Willed for Public Use

In 1884, Grand Rapids native John Ball died, and left in his will a 40 acre plot of land – not to family – but to the City of Grand Rapids for public use. In its infancy, the plot was used as a public park. Around 1891, the land slowly began acquiring animals. First, just a few birds in cages and native animals like squirrels, raccoons, and rabbits. Over the years, deer, bear, peacocks and other more spectacular animals of the time were introduced to the park.

Ups and Downs During the Depression

The zoo saw additional growth in its animal population from 1902 to 1925, and a pavilion and statue were constructed in dedication to John Ball also during that time. When the Great Depression hit, many animals were forced to be moved due to inability to meet the cost of food and care for the animals. Records show many purchases and sales of animals as the Depression continued, as well as DNR boarding of animals at the zoo during this time.

Zoo Grows to 140 Acre Park, 1000+ Animals

As WWII ended, Grand Rapids residents became frustrated with the lack of funding for the zoo, and made their voices heard that they wanted to rebuild the zoo. From the 1950’s on, the John Ball Zoo received funding from many of Grand Rapids’ prominent residents, and grew over the decades to become what is now a 140 acre park that is home to 237 species and over 1,000 animals.

Happy Birthday Tiger Shark John Ball Zoo 125 Animal Birthdays

125th Birthday Celebration

This year, the John Ball Zoo celebrated 125 Years with many festivities. Most notable was the ‘125 Days of Animal Birthdays’ event. Each day for 125 days, an animal was honored with a Birthday sponsored by local businesses and individuals. On the day my daughter and I attended the Zoo, we celebrated the Birthday animal of honor: the Tiger Shark. I thought it was a fun way to put the spotlight on each of the animals, and also use a memorable event like a Birthday to show kids that animals are living, breathing things just like them.

Other 125th Birthday celebration events for John Ball Zoo included:

  • RendeZoo 2016 – Let Them Eat Cake – This annual event is the largest fundraising source for the Zoo each year. This year’s event highlighted the zoo’s Birthday theme with cupcakes, party hats, live music, and more.
  • Public Celebration Week – In addition to animal birthdays, special Birthday treats were served to park guests throughout the week, along with giveaways and special entertainment.
  • Members Night – Pass-holding Zoo members were able to party at the zoo, which included photos with the John Ball Zoo statue, animal training demonstrations, and frosted Birthday cookies.

The Zoo’s 125th anniversary was topped off with the final event of the season, the annual ‘Zoo Goes Boo!’ with trick-or-treating, decorations, and other Halloween Fun. Congratulations to the John Ball Zoo on 125 years of bringing the love of animals to so many!

Michigan Community Credit Union Celebrating 80th Anniversary

Michigan Community Credit Union Celebrating 80 YearsWhat began as a small community credit union for teachers has become an established 80-year-old cooperative, poised to provide financial services to Michigan residents.

A Financial Community for Educators

First serving only City of Jackson public school teachers, the Michigan Community Credit Union began as the Jackson County Teachers Credit Union in 1936. Over the years, the credit union began expanding its services – first in 1968 to all Jackson County school employees, then in 1979 to both educators and employees of educational facilities in Jackson and Hillsdale Counties.

Opening Doors to the Community

In 2009, after several name changes and further expansion of membership, the Educators and Employees Credit Union invited anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Eaton, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, St. Joseph, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties, Michigan, to utilize their services. This led to a final name change in 2013, to the Michigan Community Credit Union. With nearly 16,000 members and assets exceeding $131 million, the MCCU has become a financial institution, owned by its members and serving the community with low interest rates and minimal fees.

Community Outreach

The Michigan Community Credit Union doesn’t only serve its community’s residents by providing low interest rates, high yield savings accounts, and free checking accounts. MCCU is dedicated to helping the community grow, as demonstrated by their many charitable contributions to community schools, organizations, and residents. From quarterly grant programs and scholarships to 5k sponsorships, and even special events like “Free Ice Cream Fridays,” the city of Jackson and surrounding areas can see the positive impact of the MCCU and its members.

80th Anniversary Celebration: Prize Patrol Days

In celebration of 80 years in business, the Michigan Community Credit Union is surprising it’s loyal members. 80 scratch-off tickets will be awarded each month on unscheduled Prize Patrol days. Each month’s Prize Patrol days will occur at one branch, alternating at each of the credit union’s four branches in Jackson, Michigan Center, Hillsdale, and Spring Arbor throughout the year. Scratch-off ticket prizes include:

  • Limited edition MMCU 80th Anniversary Mugs
  • $50 Visa Gift Cards
  • One $500 cash prize

To improve chances of getting a scratch-off ticket, MMCU members are encouraged to follow the credit union on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on where and when the Prize Patrol will take place.

Congratulations to the Michigan Community Credit Union on 80 years of success and growth!

Detroit-Based Better Made Celebrates 85 Years of Snacks

Better Made Snacks LogoBetter Made Snack Food saw its beginnings in August of 1930 as the Cross and Peters company, named after its founders first names.The company started out with one goal: to produce a better potato chip – this led to the company adopting the name “Better Made” in 1934.

Producing a Better Potato Chip

What Better Made believes sets it apart from competitors is using Michigan-grown potatoes 10 months out of the year. Long before locally-sourced became a trend, Better Made was making a commitment to supporting local potato farmers, and in doing so, creating a fresher, better product. The company packaged their potato chips in crude, grease-less, burlap bags, and sold them primarily from their own store outlets, and later on delivery routes.

It Keeps Getting Better

85 years later, Better Made chips are still made solely in the Detroit facility. Approximately 60 million pounds of potatoes are used every year, and from the time the potatoes leave the farm to the time you put a potato chip in your mouth, the product is completely untouched by human hands.

Flavor varieties of potato chips that have been introduced over the years include Bar-B-Q, Sweet Bar-B-Q, Red Hot, Sour Cream and Onion, and Salt and Vinegar. Better Made has also expanded their product line to include popcorn, pork rinds, pretzels, tortilla chips, and even beef jerky.

Better Made also takes philanthropic strides to make their community better. For example, they took a portion of proceeds from their Family and Value Size Potato Chips and $0.99 Pork Rinds during the month of April, totaling over $23,000, and donated it to a former Detroit Red Wings player’s organization, the Ted Lindsay Foundation for Autism Awareness.

85 Days of Summer Celebration

For this monumental anniversary, Better Made wanted to thank their fans for 85 years of snacking, with the 85 Days of Summer Celebration. June 15th through Labor Day, Better Made will give away 50 cases of potato chips each week. Their trucks will show up in locations throughout the state of Michigan, surprising unsuspecting fans with the state-famous snacks. Additionally, one grand prize winner will win a trip to Soaring Eagle Water Park and Hotel in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Weekly winner of the Better Made 85 Days of Summer Celebration giveaway
One of the weekly winners of the Better Made 85 Days of Summer Celebration giveaway