Southwest Michigan First

Success Story

Ron Kitchens - Southwest Michigan First

Treystar was one of Southwest Michigan First's (SWMF) inaugural partners. Upon its founding in 1999, the business and job development organization partnered with Treystar.

Chief Executive Officer Ron Kitchens was happy to describe the organization's ongoing relationship with Treystar and why he confidently recommends his clients to them.

"Members of Treystar's leadership team were with us from the start and played an integral role in laying our organization's foundation. Like us, they believe that the greatest force for change is a job."

Treystar is Bold

"Treystar's ability to create world-class, creative space is an attractive service we can offer when working with Southwest Michigan companies looking to grow, as well as companies from outside our region who are looking for unique space," Kitchens said.

"For example, their foresight helped one of our clients, Arcadia Ales, find the right urban environment for its barbecue-themed brewpub and beer production facility. This new space will play an important role in transforming downtown Kalamazoo's riverfront."

"Treystar's commitment to redeveloping 'old,' industrial properties in Kalamazoo, while also developing completely new sites, presents us with great opportunity as we work to strengthen the region's economy through the growth of our urban cores," he said.

Added Value

Treystar's services do not stop once a location is secured, Kitchens said, adding value to the relationship.

"Treystar has served and continues to serve as a valued partner in supporting the expansion needs of our customers. They have served as a valued partner as we've grown, too," said Kitchens.

"Our downtown Kalamazoo office space (in Main Street East) is a great example of how Treystar redevelops 'old' spaces. We have worked with Treystar-not once, but twice now-to redevelop our offices on Michigan Avenue to accommodate our growth. They're always thinking forward, too-like us, which we appreciate."

Attractive Features

Treystar worked to create an inviting yet striking atmosphere in SWMF's most recent office redesign.

"Our office space is world-class, paying attention to historic detailing while inspiring creativity with modern design. It is designed that way for our customers. When we are working to attract companies headquartered in other locations around the globe to a Southwest Michigan location, we want them to walk through the doors and think, 'Wow! This is where I want to be.' Along with the energy of our team, our space helps do just that," Kitchens explained.

Southwest Michigan First staff at Go Red for Women Event

Customer Recommendation

There is no better compliment than a client referral in the business world.

"When you think of customer service, you think of Treystar," Kitchens said. "Treystar has always treated us and the clients that we bring to them with the highest customer service. As customer service is our top priority, we respect how they treat us and our clients."

"Great partners are great listeners. Treystar is a great listener. When you bring them a problem, they hear your needs, wants, and desires. Why? Because they care."

SWMF's Economic Impact

Kitchen said SWMF specifically chose its Michigan Avenue location to cultivate business growth within the city's urban areas.

"We understand that the urban core is essential to job creation and economic activity throughout Southwest Michigan," he said. "Creating and maintaining a vibrant downtown for the City of Kalamazoo continues to be a major goal for the community leader we work alongside. Our strategy is to actively ignite a spirit of connectivity of people to places where they can live, work, play, and innovate. The community's progress to date has earned it recognition as a leader in redeveloping its downtown. We are committed to continuing the momentum!"