eMacomb - Featured Article, Spring 2014
Macomb Business Awards Announced
A sold-out crowd of nearly 400 individuals joined together on Tuesday, Feb. 11 to network, honor nominees and celebrate businesses in Macomb County.
Organized by the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) and in its second year, the Macomb Business Awards has become an annual tradition that emphasizes MCPED’s goals: retain, grow and attract Macomb County businesses. “It showcases that our businesses excel; they’re in an environment that is thriving,” said Stephen N. Cassin, director of MCPED.
Governor Rick Snyder spoke at the event, and former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda delivered the keynote address.
“You’re one of the leaders, you’re one of the places I’m counting on to lead the charge, to say Michigan is back, and to be loud and proud,” Snyder said to the crowd of Macomb County business leaders.
LaSorda, founder of IncWell, spoke candidly as he explained the premise of his venture capital firm. It is similar to the TV show Shark Tank; he encourages entrepreneurs to present their business plans for a potential investment opportunity from IncWell. LaSorda emphasized the importance of supporting businesses in Macomb County and warned of both the necessity and the pitfalls of the internet for small and local businesses.
Fox 2 Anchorman Huel Perkins served as emcee and was joined by Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel to announce the Macomb Business Award recipients.
“What’s happening here in Macomb County is incredible energy and drive among people who know how to make things happen,” Hackel told the audience.
35 nominees in five categories were narrowed down to 14 finalists. Energy-infused video montages were played to reveal the finalists in each category. Full interviews can be viewed on the county’s YouTube channel by searching MacombGov.
The awards went to:
Champion of Workforce Development: Proper Group International, Warren
Proper Group manages a number of programs designed to build their own skilled and ready workforce. They offer current employees opportunities to advance their training and tuition reimbursement, they have been one of the first companies to participate in the Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program and they collaborate with the mentoring program Winning Futures to introduce middle and high school students to the manufacturing industry.
Corporate Citizen: First State Bank, headquartered in St. Clair Shores
Established in Macomb County in 1917, First State epitomizes the phrase “hometown bank.” Their investments in the community includes sponsorship of many local events including fireworks, the Gratiot Cruise and free summer concerts. First State is actively involved with area chambers, donates to the East Detroit Public Schools scholarship program and supports the Michigan Senior Olympics.
Diversification Leader: Omega Plastics, Clinton Township
Founded in 1984 as a supplier of plastic molded components to the automotive industry, Omega has expanded its services to include mold making for a wide range of clients including medical devices, consumer packaging, consumer electronics and the defense industry.
Energy Efficiency Expert: New Haven Community Schools, New Haven
When building a new campus to house Endeavour Elementary and Endeavour Middle School, the district took advantage of new technologies to optimize energy efficiency including automated heating, cooling and lights and erecting a 60-foot wind turbine to generate electricity for the buildings. Led by the example of district leadership, district students are learning about careers in energy efficiency and have also initiated a comprehensive recycling program as well as tending a garden designed with native species to create habitat for wildlife.
Start-up Business of the Year: Ethel’s Edibles, St. Clair Shores
Started in 2011, this gluten-free bakery produces a high quality product for a growing target market. Now shipping their products to retailers across the country, they are well on their way to increasing run rate by more than 300 percent in the next year.
Economic Development Partner of the Year
Automation Alley, the technology business association and business accelerator dedicated to growing the economy of Southeast Michigan was recognized by the department for its collaborative efforts to build our economy here in the county as well as for its efforts to enhance the region’s reputation around the world.
Beacon of Economic Development
Recently retired from his role as Deputy Director, Don Morandini was honored for his 41 years of service. “Don truly brought economic development to the forefront of county services offered,” said Cassin. “In his honor, we created the brand- new category of Beacon of Economic Development and made him the first-ever recipient.”
“I love this because it’s about celebrating success in job creation,” Snyder said after the event. “There are wonderful companies in Macomb County that are due to be complimented on their wonderful activities going on, and when you talk to these companies, they’re innovating, they’re creating new things and they’re generating new jobs for hard-working people.”
The breakfast was held at the Andiamo Banquet Center in Warren. Leading sponsors included the Detroit Regional Chamber, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, AT&T, First State Bank and the IBEW – NECA Electrical Industry Training Center.
Information on how to become a nominee or sponsor at next year’s Macomb Business Awards will be available at MacombBusiness.com between October and December.
ADDITIONAL INFO/RELATED LINKS
Did you attend our event? Please help us to evaluate it
To see videos of this year’s finalists, visit our channel on You Tube
To see photos of the Macomb Business Awards, see our photo album on our Facebook page