Page 10 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- May 2019
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PROTEA Floral Design
Bobbi Bicigo 906.275.9163
Uppertunities Tourism Conference Coming
ESCANABA — Uppertunities, an annual business and tourism conference, is set for May 21 at the Island Resort and Casino Convention Center.
The conference will offer a day of tourism and professional development-oriented breakout sessions on subjects ranging from social media tools, business and board governance, and human resource strategies. This conference is designed for both tourism and non-tourism businesses, that are hoping to improve customer service and obtain tools to assist employees in becoming more positive and service oriented.
Gordon Food Service’s Customer Effective- ness Manager Ken Wasco will be the breakfast keynote speaker. He has conducted hundreds of seminars and workshops on ways to achieve higher levels of personal effectiveness through an emphasis on communication skills.
During lunch, Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, will present updates pertaining to the Pure Michigan campaign. He is responsi- ble for leading the state’s tourism branding, advertising and public relations efforts. He over-
sees the award-winning Pure Michigan tourism campaign, and, coordinating overall statewide tourism initiatives.
Businesses and organizations interested in showcasing their products, events or services are encouraged to reserve a spot at the trade show. The space is available and includes one ticket to theconference.
Uppertunities is sponsored by the Delta Coun- ty Chamber of Commerce, Delta County Eco- nomic Development Alliance, Visit Escanaba, UPWARD Talent Council Michigan Works!, Island Resort and Casino, and Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association. For additional sponsorship opportunities please visit
There is a fee for the one-day event, which includes breakfast, lunch, and educational and networking opportunities.
For additional information, registrations, or sponsorship opportunities, contact the Delta County Chamber of Commerce at 906-786- 2192 or register online at
Protea Floral Designs
Is A Unique Flower Studio
Michigan’s Best Small Business of the Year
Protea Floral Designs is a unique flower studio owned and operated by Bobbi Bicigo of Han- cock. Bobbi, a single mom, has managed to turn her passion into a rapidly expanding business. Bobbi’s background in floral design began in Portland, OR in 2009, where she worked for a top floral designer for 2 years. After purchasing a coffeehouse in 2011, Bobbi added a floral sec- tion to her popular coffeeshop and gained recog- nition around Portland as the floral artist for all of the Mount Hood Meadows events and cele- brations.
In 2016, Bobbi returned to her Upper Penin- sula roots, where she found a position as the manager of the Econo Foods Flower Shop in Houghton. This opportunity allowed her to get back to her passion; floral design. “The chance to successfully expand the floral department at Econo for 2 years gave me the confidence to strike out on my own” Bobbi said. “This was the perfect stepping stone back to opening my floral design business. I now work out of my own stu- dio designing original floral bouquets for wed- dings, events, and daily and subscription orders all across the U.P”.
Protea Floral Designs offers more than the ordinary floral shop. Bobbi does “pop-up shop” events locally and across the U.P.; she encourages any road trip that gives her the opportunity to meet new people and to market her designs in a unique way. Being a talented artist doesn’t hurt either; Bobbi’s designs have a distinctive style;
fresh and a little bit trendy. “ My goal as a floral designer is to bring creative and unique designs to a community that is wanting something a lit- tle off the beaten path” she says. “By staying up on current trends, Protea strives to keep it fresh and simple with a funky vibe”.
Bobbi sees another opportunity; to spread the natural beauty of her designs to local hospice and assisted living communities at her own cost. She delivers a vase of flowers every other week to every resident at Omega House in Houghton just to see their faces light up when she comes into their room. “It is my honor to be able to do this simple thing that brings a little joy when it is sorely needed”, Bobbi said.
Protea Floral designs offers a few different services that are a little outside the box. ‘Green Space’ is a service that chooses and maintains beautiful plants for homes or businesses. ‘Sub- scription Blooms’ is a delivery service where the customer chooses the frequency, budget and time period for fresh seasonal designer bouquets.
Bobbi’s Protea Floral Designs are branded with her signature dried orange slice. No matter where you are in the U.P., if you see a charming bouquet with that little dried orange tied up with burlap, you have met one of the most unique and creative floral designers in the U.P. community.
Protea Floral Designs can be found on Face- book and Instagram or reached by phone at 906.275.9163.
NEWBERRY, MI – A Newberry-based aero- space and military support system is receiving statewide recognition. Northern Wings has been selected as the Michigan Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Best Small Business of the Year. Northern Wings, a long-time client of the Northwest Michigan PTAC, was recog- nized for using PTAC assistance to grow their business and for their involvement in the com- munity. The Northwest Michigan PTAC is based in Traverse City and serves businesses in the northwest Lower Peninsula and the entire Upper Peninsula.
Northern Wings works with the military and other government programs and offers a variety of services including maintenance, repair, supply chain, manufacturing, and importing and exporting. The company has been using PTAC services since it formed in 2001. Northern Wings President, Dave Goudreau, says starting and growing Northern Wings would have been “virtually impossible” without the assistance of the PTAC.
“I don’t know that there are very many employees here who haven’t been touched by some level of PTAC training and/or orienta- tion,” said Goudreau.
“We’re proud to play a small part in Northern Wing’s success,” said Cathy Fairbanks, North- west Michigan PTAC Regional Director. “I often hold them up as an example of how to be successful in the government marketplace.”
Through the efforts of only four full-time
PTAC employees, over $79 million dollars have been awarded to companies in Northwest Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula in 2018, and nearly 400 jobs have been created or sustained due to Client Contract Award dollars. North- west Michigan PTAC staff members also received special recognition during the past year. Procurement Counselor, Don Makowski, received a Silent Partner Award from the Wis- consin Procurement Institute (WPI) for his ded- ication to development of the federal contract- ing community. Northwest Michigan PTAC Regional Director, Cathy Fairbanks, received the Women in Defense (WID) Michigan Chap- ter Horizon Industry Award for her work within the defense industry.
The Northwest PTAC provides no-cost tech- nical consulting, training, and marketing servic- es aimed at assisting companies with obtaining and performing under local, state, and federal contracts. PTAC’s services include personalized one-on-one counseling, bid match notifications, contracting and subcontracting assistance, pre- and post-award assistance, and more. PTAC offers assistance through all stages of govern- ment contracting.
The Northwest Michigan PTAC is a program of Networks Northwest and is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency and in part by the Michigan Economic Development Corpora- tion (MEDC). To learn more about PTAC’s services, visit
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