September 25, 2015

Commercial Banking Spotlight:

Gilson Graphics

Gilson Graphics’ President, Dave Gilson, recalls a defining event that led to his cutting ties with traditional banks in favor of Lake Michigan Credit Union’s commercial lending division.
“Our Comptroller and CFO, Jim Vosburgh, was the one who initially suggested we investigate LMCU for our commercial banking needs. One afternoon, we posed a question to LMCU’s commercial loan officer, Dan McLean, about our interest in buying out the land contract on our building. Within 24 hours, Dan was in our office with multiple options on how we could accomplish our goal. In the end, he provided an innovative way to help us reduce the outstanding loan term by seven years, and our monthly payment by 20%.”

It’s that kind of responsiveness that has Gilson Graphics smiling and well-poised for future growth and success.

Gilson Graphics is a family owned and operated commercial printing business based in Grand Rapids, MI. Founded in 1948 by Lars Gilson, their success has often been keyed to growth by acquisition, in which commercial lending plays an important role.

Gilson said, “This is a capital-intensive business, which can have significant lending requirements. Changing all of our financial needs to LMCU from a traditional banking environment has been a very positive growth step for us. We’ve come to use virtually all of LMCU’s commercial lending products.”

With current gross annual revenues of some $25 million and a staff of 165, Gilson Graphics operates out of two locations in the Grand Rapids area, as well as a composition facility in Atlantic, IA. Additional subsidiaries include North Star Teacher Resources and Ignition New Media Workshop providing classroom decorative,  marketing services and website and e-mail products, respectively.
Jim Vosburgh added, “Julie Leavenworth (our deposit manager) gets back to me almost instantly with any concerns I have.  If she doesn’t have an immediate answer, she promptly gets the correct person involved and makes sure our needs are being handled.”

Gilson concludes, "Lake Michigan Credit Union has been extremely responsive and flexible in meeting the unique challenges and needs we experience in our ever-changing industry."
Dave Gilson, President