What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I am a 2010 graduate of Michigan State University’s Broad Executive MBA Program
Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
It was Chrysler
, which we found through a relationship in the design engineering group.
Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Yes, we believe in providing real world experience to high school and university students. We have converted eight interns in the past five years.
Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We have a great private equity sponsor Kinderhook Industries
, along with a new relationship with Comerica Bank. Both organizations are committed to the revitalization of the Michigan economy and are very active in supporting new growth opportunities.
What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
Geographic location and the proximity to the automotive industry. Michigan has a long history of innovation and human talent.
If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
Attitude. Time for some Michigan pride to shine (outlook and cooperation). Michigan was Top 10 state for business and we’ve dropped to nearly the bottom. The people of Michigan are a bit too humble to the point of apologizing for being from Michigan or involved in the automotive industry. It’s time we pulled ourselves up, head held high and extol our attributes; engineering talent, higher education, natural resources, geographic location and leading industries; automotive & life sciences. It’s time for a new Michigan. Private and public sector must come together and understand the inter-dependencies. This is also true in uniting Detroit and other key cities with the State. We cannot move forward without first coming together.