The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization representing more than 1,200 businesses and affiliates. We also work with hundreds more each year through our Economic Development arm. That’s a lot of business. It’s also a lot of people. In recognition of the entrepreneurs and business owners driving our economy forward, we present FACES, a monthly Q&A series featuring our members and clients. If you’ve ever wondered who it is you’re doing business with – or could be doing business with – in Flint and Genesee, here’s your chance to find out.
Jeff Valley, Valley Tent Rental
Jeff Valley started his business, Valley Tent Rental, soon after he graduated from Goodrich High School. The idea stemmed from a comment his father made.
“We rented a tent for my graduation party,” says Valley. “My father said, ‘You should buy a tent and start renting it out’ and I did.”
In 2003, after working in the security sector in the Flint area for six years, Deborah Johnson and her husband, Michael, decided to take the business into their own hands.
“Why not go out on a limb?” says Johnson. “Isn’t that where the fruit is?”
One business still serving the community is Hoffman’s Deco Deli. Owner Heath Hoffman thinks it’s important to continue to serve his customers.
“Overall, the impact of the virus has hit us hard,” says Hoffman. “But I still want to be there for my customers.”
Local business owner Rachel Hougen opened her business after she discovered a need in the restaurant industry.
“I got the idea when I was working in a restaurant that couldn’t afford a dedicated pastry chef,” says Hougen. “I went to a few of my old chefs and asked if they’d be interested in buying pastries from me and they said, ‘Absolutely, we would do that.’”
Alicia Gibbons, the third-generation owner of Donna’s Donuts, has always been a part of the local business.
“Donna’s was the first place I went before they took me home from the hospital,” says Gibbons. “My parents and grandparents had to show me off.”
The shop was originally under ownership outside Gibbon’s family, but a few years after it opened her grandparents, who worked at the donut shop, fell in love and got married and together they bought Donna’s Donuts.
- Tracy Aubuchon, Rejuv Ave
- Ben Baker, Cool Bus Party Rental
- Jackie Berg, TheHUB Flint
- Kevin Begola, Bridge Street Exchange
- Ed Benning, MTA Flint
- Daniel Buccilli, Refinery Hair Co.
- Joanie Butler, John P. O’Sullivan Distributing
- Dwayne & Sonyita Clemons, Total Life Prosperity
- Dan Crannie, Signs by Crannie
- Michael Elias, Common Citizen
- Bob Ennis, Ennis Center for Children
- David Gaines, Gaines Jewelry
- Ryan Garza & Courtney Simpson, Pop Mod Photo
- Aaron Hamp, NC Systems & POS Michigan
- Dwayne Harrington, Park Place Hair Studio
- Frank Kizy, Deluxe Dental
- Kelsey Koch, Serenity Yoga
- Charles Kuta, Ashlor Staffing
- Bob Landaal, Landaal Packing Systems
- Julie Lopez, Crime Stoppers of Genesee County
- Adam Martin, Martin Funeral Services
- Luz Martinez, Poco Loco
- Matt Miller, Miller Industries
- Grace Peabody, Peabody Insurance Inc.
- Diana Phillips, Knob Hill Bed & Breakfast
- Ray Porter, Porters Orchard
- Pharlon Randle, Bangtown Productions
- Manal Saab, SGCS
- Lorrie Sage, Special Occasions
- Amber Schlemmer, Primary Prevention Physiotherapy
- Marcus Schulmeister, Signal 88 Security
- Derek Sommer, Spud Software
- Erica Soriano, Soriano’s
- Amanda Szumowicz, Wears Like New
- Nick Wambach, Mr. Brightside Exterior Cleaning
- Mary Webber, L&R Human Resource Consulting
- Shannon White, Funchitecture
- Melissa Withey, Pure Bliss Salon
- Steve Wolbert, SIPI
- Christie Wong Barrett, Mac Arthur Corporation