EPWA Current News
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  • Friday, September 02, 2011 10:50 AM | Deleted user

    Local Mosquito Squad franchise high-ranking

    ST. JOSEPH undefined Mos­quito Squad of Southwest Michigan has ranked third in the nation for growth among first-year Mosqui­to Squad franchises, own­ers Ken and Julie Wuerfel said.

    INC. Magazine’s annual list of 5,000 fastest-grow­ing companies in America ranked Mosquito Squad at 646. Mosquito Squad is America’s largest mosqui­to elimination and tick control brand.

    In addition, Mosquito Squad was listed as the 13th fastest growing fran­chise company out of 100 franchise businesses that were named to the list.

    The Wuerfels, who have owned the Cleaning Au­thority in St. Joseph since 2006, launched their Mos­quito Squad franchise in May. Mosquito Squad of Southwest Michigan cov­ers Berrien, Van Buren and parts of Kalamazoo County.

    With more than 70 fran­chise locations nationwide, Mosquito Squad special­izes in eliminating mosqui­toes and ticks from out­door living spaces, which helps protect people from the diseases the insects can carry, such as West Nile vi­rus, encephalitis and lyme disease.

    Julie Wuerfel said the Mosquito Squad technol­ogy is similar to that used in the dairy farm and horse industries to control an­noying insects. The franchise is quickly growing because the technology works and re­sults are proven, Wuerfel said.

  • Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:53 AM | Deleted user

    To all EPWA Members,

    It is my distinct honor to serve as the EPWA president this year.  Belonging to EPWA is great for your business and for your personal growth. Our membership is over 75 strong and growing!  As we look forward to the year ahead, we are making plans for some great programs, special events and educational opportunities.

    We are excited for our new year to begin and to share some recommendations which came about as a result of our board discussions as well as our new website launch. It will be a great year and we’ll throw in some fun too!

    Please feel free to contact Lorie Hayden and Gennel Schaffer with program suggestions for next year. We’d like to continue bringing you valuable speakers and information on topics that are relevant to you and your business.

    Join us in September for our first official meeting:  You Can't Teach a Pig to Sing-Create Great Relationships…with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere.

    Mark your calendars for this great lesson on networking with Mary Jane Mapes, MA, CSP on Tuesday September 13, at The Whitcomb-Marquette Room. Check your in-boxes for the invitation soon!

    Thanks for continuing to be an important part of our organization!

    Best Regards,

    LeAnna Koerner

    2011-2012 EPWA President

  • Wednesday, June 01, 2011 11:00 AM | Deleted user

    Horse Play wins Venture Quest

    June 1, 2011

    CASSOPOLIS - First place in the Venture Quest 2011 Business Plan Competition was awarded to Horse Play of Buchanan and St. Joseph Tuesday night at the Edward Lowe Foundation.

    Finalists competed for more than $8,000 in prizes.

    Four finalists presented business plans, allowing potential investors to learn and engage with these new ventures.
    • Paradise Coast, a retro recreational vehicle manufacturer, third.
    • 8094 Media, an Internet television production company that focuses on local markets, second.
    • Clear Water Harbor Broadcasting Co., a wholesome Internet radio station that aims to bring southwest Michigan to the world.
    Venture Quest 2011 targeted aspiring entrepreneurs and existing companies to submit business plans competing for cash prizes awarded to the top three entrants.

    The goal from the beginning of the competition has been to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and to cultivate new businesses in the three-county region of Cass, Van Buren and Berrien counties.

    Kristine Proctor and Anne Carpenter of Horse Play, Buchanan and St. Joseph. (The Daily News/John Eby)
  • Monday, April 18, 2011 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    Mosquito SquadMosquito Squad Mosquito Control Opens Location in Southwest Michigan To Put An End To Mosquito Bites


    Contact: Jane Walker
    Tel: 804-353-6999 ext. 241

    St. Joseph, MI - April 2011 - Mosquito Squad Mosquito control is happy to announce Ken and Julie Wuerfel as new franchisees. The Wuerfels have officially opened the Mosquito Squad of Southwest Michigan to provide tick and mosquito control.

    "Ken and Julie are great additions to the Mosquito Squad team," says Boyd Huneycutt, Vice President of Operations of Mosquito Squad. "As current business owners, they understand what it takes to build a loyal customer following and provide great customer service."

    Mosquito Squad of Southwest Michigan will cover parts of Kalamazoo, Van Buren and Berrien counties.

    Mosquito Squad is North America's fastest growing outdoor living concept franchise. Known as the "mosquito exterminator," Mosquito Squad mosquito control has five ways to ensure affordable, dependable and effective protection against mosquito bites as well as the nuisance and dangers of mosquitoes, ticks and the diseases they can carry, like West Nile Virus, Encephalitis and Lyme Disease.

    1. 21-day Barrier Spray, which kills on contact and continues for three weeks.
    2. 14-day All-Natural Spray, which kills adult mosquitoes on contact and has a two-week repellent effect.
    3. Intensive Tick Treatment to reduce the spread of Lyme disease.
    4. Special Event Spray for mosquito-free outdoor parties, weddings, picnics and concerts.
    5. Automatic Misting System providing continuous control 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via timed bursts of protective sprays at key times when mosquitoes are at their most active.
    Julie and Ken Wuerfel have owned a Cleaning Authority location since 2006. When looking to create more revenue, Mosquito Squad quickly piqued their interest. "Mosquito Squad is a natural fit and extension of our current business philosophy," says Julie. " We strongly believe that 'life's too short" and we want to make sure we are offering services that help people spend more time with their families. Cleaning houses and power washing them takes care of people's homes so they cross another item off their never ending to-do list. Mosquito Squad will allow them to freely entertain at their home and enjoy more time outdoors all summer long. Not to mention the added health benefits for people and their pets by eliminating harmful mosquito bites."

    The Mosquito Squad mosquito control technology is similar to that which has proven to be extremely effective in the dairy farm and horse industries in controlling annoying flying insects. Part of Outdoor Living Brands' franchise company based in Richmond, VA, Mosquito Squad mosquito control keeps families, residences, businesses and special events like outdoor weddings and picnics mosquito-free. Mosquito Squad mosquito control was recently rated one of the Top 50 Franchises by Franchise Business Review and received their 2010 Franchisee Satisfaction Award. Mosquito Squad mosquito control also received the World Class Franchise Designation from the Franchise Research Institute.

    To find Mosquito Squad mosquito control near you, call toll-free 877 MOSQUAD, or 877-667-7823.

    For information on stopping mosquito bites with Mosquito Squad mosquito control franchise opportunities, call 800-722-4668 and ask for Franchise Recruitment.


  • Monday, April 18, 2011 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    Gift Basket Classics20th Anniversary of Gift Basket Classics

    April 2011


    Contact: Carol Brandt
    Tel: 269/985-9000

    Carol Brandt is celebrating 20 years in her unique business with the unveiling of 2 newly re-designed websites. Both and now offer her clients the option and convenience of e-commerce through paypal. Both sites were redesigned by Michael Ostrander, a St. Joseph website consultant.

    Secrets to her longevity in the business are customization and great customer service. Going the extra mile for her clients has led to the design of some quite unique gift baskets by sourcing unusual containers and contents. One of the most popular is her "Dump Truck gift basket", where a toy dump truck is the container, and the contents include construction-related foods such as hammer-shaped chocolates and screwdriver cookies. Other special themes have included: Motorcycle, Music, Symphony, Tow Trucks, Fishing, Golfing, Boating, and Police.

    In April of 1991, in a small corner of her husband's bicycle shop in Stevensville, Carol first began selling gift baskets filled with gourmet goodies and gifts. Catering to both retail and corporate clients, her success prompted a move to a bigger location next door to the Cycle Path. Ten years later, because most of her clients place their orders via phone or e-mail, she was able to make another move to a home-based studio, where the business has been for five years. Carol's focus and passion has always been on sourcing and promoting Michigan-made gourmet foods for her gifts, and has thus found her unique niche.

    Carol's love for her home state is the inspiration for Michigan Gourmet Travels Specialty Foods, her line of Michigan-made gourmet foods which feature stories about Michigan landmarks on the labels of her products. Recognizing a need for an elegant gift that chronicled Michigan landmarks in a delicious gift idea, the line launched three years ago. The state is home to so many special locations, some found in her home city of St. Joseph, and she wanted to tell their stories. She offers a variety of pre-selected packs including the All-Michigan Collection, the New Buffalo Collection, the Buchanan Collection, and the St. Joseph Collection which includes Silver Beach Strawberry Jam, Lake Bluff Park Cherry Honey Mustard, and North Pier Lighthouse Cherry Salsa. The gifts are available on her website or ordered by calling (269) 985-9000.

    In addition to the website, the St. Joseph Collection is also available at Marie's Hallmark in downtown St. Joseph; the New Buffalo Collection is available at both Michigan Thyme in New Buffalo and at Sawyer Garden Center; and the Buchanan Collection is available at Slocum's Gifts in Buchanan.
  • Saturday, April 16, 2011 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    The Cleaning Authority Local Cleaning Business Wins Mark of Excellence Award


    Contact: Emilee Garber
    Tel: 410/740-1900

    COLUMBIA, MD April 16, 2010 - Ken & Julie Wuerfel of St. Joseph, MI, owner of a local residential cleaning franchise was honored with the Mark of Excellence Award by The Cleaning Authority. Ken & Julie received this recognition for customer service and cleaning quality. This award is bestowed only to top locations in The Cleaning Authority® franchise system. The award was accepted at the company's national convention in Salt Lake City, UT.

    Not your ordinary entrepreneur, Julie was a Marketing Manager for a local Fortune 100 company before she found herself purchasing a business. Julie proudly opened the doors in October of 2006 and services St. Joseph, Stevensville, Bridgman, Sawyer, New Buffalo, Niles, Coloma, Watervliet and Northern Indiana...

    The Wuerfel's office serves over 250 customers with 17 employees.

    For a free no obligation estimate, please call (269) 428-7110.

    ABOUT THE CLEANING AUTHORITY: Founded in 1989, The Cleaning Authority currently operates 185 residential cleaning franchise locations with over 64,000 customers and 4,000 employees nationwide. The company features a commitment to environmentally responsible housecleaning*, a unique Detail-Clean Rotation System®, proprietary operations software, national call center, and an extensive employee training program that is a model for the residential cleaning industry. The Cleaning Authority is privately held and headquartered in Columbia, MD.


    If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please contact Emilee Garber at 410/740-1900 or by email at
  • Sunday, April 03, 2011 3:57 PM | Deleted user

    Recently, the EPWA board of directors approved a new EPWA logo designed by Robin Maxon.  They also approved design work to be completed by Heather Shelby of Luxe Design Group in St. Joseph, MI.

    Luxe Design Group will update (refresh) the front page of our web site with adding area's such as, a join now button, new member area, and why would someone want to join our group.  What's in it for them. 

    Recently I changed the title page heading on EPWA web site to a lake background.  That is not our final look.  We were experimenting with changing up the look, so don't be alarmed. 

    All the work has to be done as a live site, so that is a challenge.  Stay tuned for a new look of our home page!  We hope to have it updated by the end of spring.   Regards, Karen Halleckson

  • Tuesday, September 01, 2009 8:39 PM | Anonymous
    We are pleased to announce the new full service membership website for EPWA! Members can now subscribe and pay for their memberships, meals & events online! Our new site also has a forum feature for members to keep in touch. Premium members are allowed to post and comment, while the public can view but not post. Also we have a new event calendar and news blog where we can keep you up to date on all newsworthy information! We hope you enjoy!
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