Still Crazy After All These Years
A long winded story of why we're here, where we came from,
and why this company just makes sense
Ed Shotwell - Publisher, Founder and CEO
I remember, back in 1991, our then Director of the DDA for Eaton Rapids, Rick Monroe, was bemoaning the fact that he was forced to carry around with him a tattered and worn copy of the Eaton Rapids section of the Ameritech White Pages. It was the only comprehensive directory of our little community and it was years old and hopelessly out of date. Ameritech had long ago forgotten about small towns like ours. Local businesses were only listed in a small typewritten booklet that was put together by the Merchants Organization (ERMO) and the Community Education Dept of our local schools. Local directory advertising was unavailable. If you wanted to hire a local plumber you were forced to plow through pages and pages of yellow page listings in the Lansing utility book by Ameritech.
I thought there must be a way to revive our old telephone directory. After all, I had published several successful shopping guides and had worked as a sales rep for GTE selling yellow page advertising in other communities like ours. Why wouldn't it work for Eaton Rapids? In 1992 I decided to take the plunge and with the help of friends and relatives we established the Eaton Rapids Community Resource Guide (CRG).
It was an instant success. We had to hand type every white page listing and build every ad on a new technology; desktop publishing. It took us almost six months to get the first book out, but the initial success of our new local directory begged the question; if it works so well here in our little town, why wouldn't it work just as well in our neighboring communities? With the help of several overworked and underpaid employees and friends, CRG Directories was born.
We moved on to Plainwell, then Marshall, Mason and Leslie. As the years went by we found ourselves with a real business; a business that was born from a need from both consumers and businesses. Our type was large and easy to read, it was accurate and complete, and the yellow page advertising rates were low; they were so low in fact, that an average ad with us cost the advertiser as little as one monthly payment in the metro utility book.
So, now we find ourselves, 24 years later, with 20 local community telephone directories serving over 50 small towns like ours. Our delivery area is over 2000 square miles and takes almost two hours to drive from one end to the other. We buy our listings now from the utility company to ensure accuracy, but we still do our best to remember why we are here... why this company was started in the first place.
Over 1/2 million people receive our phonebooks each year... that's a whopping 12.5% of Michigan's non-metro suburban/rural marketplace.
CRG Directories is a small family company of 6 hard working employees, each one dedicated to making every book we publish the best that it can be. Our product manager, David Edmonds, has been with us for 20 years, Mike West, our sales manager, for 18 years, Sue Steward, our operations manager, for 17 years, Deb Lyon, a sales rep, has been with us for 10 years, and Vance Hills, our other sales rep, for 6 years now. Our longtime sales manager, Brendan Gauthier, retired in 2016 after being with us for 25 years. I would certainly be remiss if I didn't also mention our long term employee, Cathy West, who passed away unexpectedly after 17 years with us, beginning in 1988.
If you own a business in any of our market areas in the greater Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek or Ann Arbor markets, then I think you owe it to yourself to take a look at what we have to offer. If you choose not to advertise with us that is fine, but what I can promise is that we will always treat you fairly, with no high pressure sales tactics, and no outrageous monthly bills. If you are a consumer I can promise that we will always do our best to provide the best guide possible to living and shopping in your community.
If you have specific questions or concerns, please call me or send an email. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for references; we're active members in every community we serve. Lastly, if you own or operate a small business, ask our advertisers
about us. See what they think of CRG Directories. We're all in this for the long haul and we look forward to working with you.
PO Box 305 | Eaton Rapids MI 48827 | 517-663-2405 | 800-382-0769 | fax 517-663-4032 | email email@example.com | Copyright 2015-17