Community EventsNewsSocial Issues





Grand Rapids, Michigan – – Friday, November 13 – 2015 – – Six regional recipients of the world’s largest prize for great customer service have just been announced!  The Celebrated Service Award – spearheaded by Celebration! Cinema and supported by sponsors Beene Garter LLP, Fifth Third Bank, MLive Media Group, and Zingerman’s Community of Businesses – was created to ignite a conversation about service in the community.

“People go to businesses that take care of their needs,” said Emily Loeks, Director of Community Affairs at Celebration! Cinema.  “But we love the places where we feel personally recognized and appreciated!  These award recipients are deeply connected to their community and care about using their particular area of expertise to make this region a special place.  They make their customers feel really great.”

32,600 votes were placed via web and text for award finalists in six cities.  The 2016 Celebrated Service Award recipients are:



Grand Rapids:                       Helm’s Family Optical

  • Barbara Helms: 365.2020 

Benton Harbor:                     Bob Evans

  • Bryan Long: 925.0004

Portage:                                 Y’OPA

  • Michael Tirikos: 323.7130

Lansing:                                 Capital Area District Library – Main Branch

  • Trenton Smiley: 367.6348

Muskegon:                             Wasserman’s Flowers & Gifts

  • Troy Wasserman: 755.6536

Mount Pleasant:                    Kaya Coffee House

  • Emily Miller & Abigail Chambers: 906-430-7586


“This award means the world to us,” said Troy Wasserman, of Wasserman’s Flowers & Gifts.  “We feel it’s so important that our employees treat and care for each other well. We can see that flow straight out into our showroom into interactions with our customers.”  Barbara Helms commented “At Helms Optical, we provide service from our heart.  We are completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we received during this process.  We are thankful for the opportunity to serve our patients.”  Bryan Long, General Manager of Bob Evans added, “We will continue to deliver heartfelt hospitality to each and every guest who walks through the door.”

The package for the six regional business recipients totals more than $360,000 in recognition and cash, making this the biggest award for service in the world.  It includes a recognition package for the year on Celebration! Cinema movie screens, lobbies, website, Facebook, radio, and more. It also includes $30,000 total in cash prizes, specialized training at Zingerman’s consulting and training business, ZingTrain (Ann Arbor), and movie watch parties for the employees of the business recipients. More about the award can be found at

“There is no script or formula for providing celebrated service,” says Emily Loeks, Director of Community Affairs for Celebration! Cinema.  “It requires genuine connection and creativity.  We hope that telling stories about places and people that get it right help us to continue to grow a culture that we are proud of in this region.  We’d like to thank each of our award finalists for inspiring us.”


#   #   #


About Celebration! Cinema:  John D. Loeks owns and operates Celebration! Cinema movie theatres in Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Gaines Township, Grandville, Lansing, Okemos, Muskegon/ Norton Shores, Portage, Benton Harbor and Mt. Pleasant, MI. Celebration! Cinema is a state-of-the-art shared entertainment experience with first rate amenities at each location. For more information contact Emily Loeks 616.447.4232 or visit us online:


About Beene Garter:  Founded in 1949, Beene Garter is West Michigan’s largest independently owned accounting and consulting firm. Located in downtown Grand Rapids and providing a range of audit, tax, business advisory and support services, we focus on serving businesses and organizations based right where we are. Beene Garter was recently named the “2012 Fastest-Growing Firm in the Great Lakes Region” and has been one of “West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” for over a decade.

About Fifth Third Bank:  Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $126 billion in assets and operates 18 affiliates with 1,321 full-service Banking Centers, including 102 Bank Mart® locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 2,398 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has a 25% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of September 30, 2013, had $318 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $27 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® National Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.


About MLive Media GroupAt MLive Media Group we love options. What to eat for lunch? Which local brew pub to choose for happy hour? Which audience target segment is right for a local retailer? We love having options. We love aligning our options with your marketing goals and objectives. Print, online display, video, mobile, SEO, SEM, email, social media, content marketing, graphic design, web development, and analytics/business insights… to name a few. Our solutions don’t end with the great products we offer … we also have great people with real world business experience. Strategic thinking centered around our “discovery” meetings and “whiteboard” incubator sessions. We pride ourselves on all of the solutions we can offer. We are passionate to develop a new solution, a custom solution instead of fitting you into a package we built last year. Like we said in the beginning, we love options. Give us a shout and tell us what you’re trying to accomplish, and we’d love to introduce ourselves.


About  ZingTrain : ZingTrain, founded in 1994, is part of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. ZingTrain shares Zingerman’s unique and uniquely successful approach to business through public and private training. Public training, offered as 2-day seminars and 4-hour workshops, covers business topics ranging from customer service to visioning, marketing, open book finance and HR. The list of ZingTrain’s private training clients is quite diverse – including large organizations like the University of Michigan Business School and Hospitals, as well as small bootstrapped businesses all over the country. Further training resources offered by ZingTrain include business books written by Zingerman’s co-founding partner Ari Weinzweig and several training DVDs.


#   #   #



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.