Macomb Business Awards honors area companies and nonprofits

Macomb Business Awards honors area companies and nonprofits

A company that makes suspension systems for military vehicles, a grassroots organization that takes a compassionate approach to working with substance abusers, and a technology center dedicated to supporting manufacturers were among local businesses honored Thursday in Mount Clemens.

In all, seven groups were recognized at the 11th annual Macomb Business Awards presented by Consumers Energy and held at the Emerald Theatre. The idea is to bring attention to the global and local accomplishments of the county’s businesses.

“Business matters in Macomb,” said County Executive Mark Hackel, who was joined by county Planning and Economic Development Director Vicky Rowinski in naming the award winners.

“We always make it a priority in Macomb County to support our businesses and the Macomb Business Awards is a prime opportunity for us to showcase their incredible capabilities and the impact they have on us every single day,” Hackel said.

Winners of the 2023 awards include:

  • Hidden Gem: Horstman Inc., Sterling Heights

Horstman supplies suspension systems for nearly all new military vehicles. Their work is considered a crucial part of military readiness and capability and has helped the company grow tenfold since it was founded in 2010. The company has invested in solutions like artificial intelligence and autonomous technologies to create state-of-the-art products for the military.

  • Hometown Hero: Families Against Narcotics (FAN), Clinton Township

Founded in 2007, Families Against Narcotics has grown from a small group of concerned individuals to an established organization, with 50 employees and 20 chapters across Michigan.  FAN offers free, community- and evidence-based services to anyone who has been impacted by addiction. They also have numerous programs aimed at breaking down barriers, including Hope Not Handcuffs, which has connected more than 9,500 people to recovery resources. These efforts are erasing the stigma that surrounds addiction, and they are saving lives.

  • Manufacturer of the Year: TARUS, Sterling Heights

TARUS creates products for companies that develop complex shapes and forms for manufactured goods. Founded in 1969, the organization is known as the inventor of the Claymill, a tool that revolutionized transportation design. This commitment to new technologies and innovations has helped the company expand and diversify its customer base outside of automotive. TARUS now serves the aerospace, oil and gas, and energy production industries. They sell their machines throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and include among their clients, Mercedes-Benz, Rivian, and Harley Davidson.

  • Small But Mighty Award: Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, St. Clair Shores

Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan is a local nonprofit that provides wigs and support services to children experiencing hair loss due to cancer and other disorders at no charge. Since its creation in 2003, the group has helped 5,200 Michigan children while also providing classes, social activities, field trips, and counseling at its Wellness Center. All of this is made possible through a small but mighty team of six full-time employees who work to advance the group’s mission, which is boosting the self-esteem of young people as they journey through health challenges.

  • Trailblazer of Future Talent: KUKA Systems North America, Sterling Heights

KUKA Systems North America is a leading international supplier of design and assembly tooling automation for industrial and automotive applications. Based in Germany and established in Sterling Heights in 1981, KUKA employs more than 1,500 local workers. The company has long been committed to fueling the talent pipeline, working to build connections with high schools and colleges through Manufacturing Day, AUTOSteam Days, student visits, co-op experiences, and summer internship opportunities. KUKA has also created two successful in-house training programs – including Kickstart Academy and the PLC Programming Academy. Notably, nearly 200 individuals have completed the programs.

  • Workforce Champion: Godlan, Inc., Clinton Township

Clinton Township-based Godlan is a professional manufacturing services company that implements integrated technology solutions. Founded in 1984, the company is dedicated to creating a positive employee experience. Godlan also sponsors a charitable giving program, which in the last three years has seen more than $70,000 donated to projects around the world. These efforts create an environment for retention with an average employee tenure at Godlan being 10 years or more.

  • Economic Development Partner of the Year: Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center

The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center is an organization dedicated to supporting Michigan manufacturers. In 2008, during the recession, the organization stepped up to help businesses diversify their customer portfolios into emerging markets. More recently, they have joined the county’s Macomb Next Industry 4.0 effort by providing assessments and recommendations for technology advancements to more than 70 local businesses.

WXYZ-TV (Channel 7)’s Alicia Smith served as emcee of the awards presentation while Kerry Ebersole Singh, chief talent solutions and engagement officer, provided a keynote address.

Additional sponsors included Clark Construction Company, Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!, Velocity, First State Bank, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Macomb County Chamber, Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce, Macomb Community College, Macomb Intermediate School District, RCO Engineering, ITC Holdings, and Jefferson Street Pub.

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