5.8.12 The e-merge Entrepreneur Network of West Michigan is pleased to announce that four West Michigan lakeshore entrepreneurs have been recognized with 2012 Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Awards by the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA).
Area individuals receiving MMA awards include:
Large Tier Finalist Awards
· Steve Moreland, President – Automatic Spring Products Corporation, Grand Haven
· Mark Fazakerley, President and John Workman, Vice President – Eagle Group., Muskegon
Small Tier Finalist Award
· John McIntyre, President and CEO – Anderson Global, Muskegon
A recent announcement released by the MMA cited the following reasons for recognizing these individuals and their organizations:
Steven Moreland, President of Automatic Spring Products Corporation (ASPC) in Grand Haven, was named as a finalist for the Large Tier category in recognition of outstanding achievements in continuous improvement, lean implementation and successful strategic planning efforts, which helped the company to rise above the challenge of having three of their top five customers file for bankruptcy — two immediately following the completion of construction of a new 53,000 square foot facility. Through Moreland’s leadership, the company implemented the Theory of Constraints and Lean Manufacturing principles, resulting in significant savings and enabling the company to survive not only the initial financial threats represented by customer challenges, but the 2009 recession as well. In the last three years, ASPC has increased employment by 130%, and Moreland’s call for innovation has led ASPC to introduce at least one new product or process each year for the last six years — especially significant since the company had not introduced a new product or process in the 20 years prior to his 2006 goal of 30 new products or processes each year for the next 30 years. Like any true leader, Moreland is quick to point out that while he has been singled out for recognition, the company’s accomplishments are due to the entire leadership teams' effort, not just his.
Muskegon-based Eagle Group’s President, Mark Fazakerley, and Vice President, John Workman, were jointly nominated and chosen to be honored by the judging panel as Large Tier finalists for their entrepreneurial vision and ability to find innovative solutions for the never-ending challenges faced as manufacturers, and specifically as the owners of multiple businesses: three foundries and a machine shop. The productivity improvements and cost-cutting strategies put in place during the recession have translated into more efficient companies today, capable of competing with the rest of the world. Under their leadership and “guidelines for growth”, Fazakerley and Workman have made each of the companies under their ownership a dynamic, growing company hiring new workers at all levels of production and management, and investing in equipment. Together, their four companies employ almost 500 individuals.
John McIntyre, President and CEO of Anderson Global in Muskegon, is being recognized for his efforts to apply the advanced manufacturing techniques, continuous improvement, employee empowerment and community involvement used successfully in the auto industry to a growing, diverse group of customers. McIntyre put together an impressive investor group to be able to purchase a financially upside-down business in an old plant with a dwindling U.S. customer base, an aging workforce and a challenging union environment. In the purchasing process, he also negotiated the first concessionary labor agreement in history. Another industry first, McIntyre invested in systems, software, machinery and equipment to allow automation of a “skilled trade”, which was something that had never been done before, creating a culture built on knowledge workers, with the machines doing the work. Today, Anderson Global and sister company Anderson Express have gone from 2 major customers in two major market segments to over 20 customers and a continually growing market profile. The company has also gone from 45 employees to over 140 highly-compensated, highly-educated associates, and sales of over $30 million. The two companies are net exporters with over 60% of their products being shipped to other countries.
About the e-merge Entrepreneur Network – e-merge is a community-based initiative to support job growth by supporting entrepreneurs. The initiative is focused on, but not limited to the West Michigan Lakeshore region. More than 20 organizations are now collaborating through e-merge – organizations like Chambers of Commerce, business incubator facilities, SCORE business counselors and training and education institutions – to create a “continuum of care” for entrepreneurs. For more information, go to www.e-mergewestmichigan.org.