Michigan’s biggest small business event took place Thursday night in Lansing, as Michigan Celebrates Small Business packed the Lansing Center.
Gov. Rick Snyder gave opening remarks and Richard Sheridan of Ann Arbor-based Menlo Innovations provided the keynote, describing how he chose entrepreneurship as an alternative to unemployment. His advice for entrepreneurs — get out of the building, make contact with the community and your fellow entrepreneurs; and understand your new responsibility to give back to the community and the economy.
A variety of awards were also granted, from the United States Small Business Adminsitration as well as the 50 Companies to Watch from the Edward Lowe Foundation.
Michael Uckele, CEO of Uckele Health and Nutrition in Lenawee County, was named small business person of the year. Amy Engelsman, CEO and president of Proos Manufaturing in Grand Rapids, was named family owned business person of the year. Darryl Bartlett of kSpace Associates in Dexter, was named small business exporter of the year.
Cynthia Grubbs, small business liaison at the Michigan Economic Development Corp., was named minority small business champion. Jane Sherzer, president of Michgian Certified Development Corp. in East Lansing, was named financial services champion. Michelle Richards, executive director of the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development in Ann Arbor, was named women in business champion.
Matthew Sherwood, assistant director of of VetBiz Central in Flint, was named veteran small business champion. Michael Carmichael, online editor and contributing writer for Corp! magazine in Warren, was named small business journalist of the year. And Lorne Greenwood, counselor at SCORE chapter 18 in Detroit, and Lola Are, Oakland County Business Center in Waterford Township, were named small business counselors of the year.
The 50 companies to watch were:
Action Fabricarors Inc., Grand Rapids; Alto Precision Inc., Grand Rapids; Applied Imaging Co., Grand Rapids; Bay View Food Products Co. / Mr. Chips Inc., Pinconning; Biophotonic Solutions Inc., East Lansing; BS&A Software, Bath; Comfort Keepers Co., Traverse City; Computerized Facility Integration LLC, Southfield; Cops & Doughnuts Bakery Co., Clare; Diversified Industrial Staffing Co., Troy; Draths Corp., Lansing; Grand River Inc., Ann Arbor; Great Lakes Stainless Inc., Traverse City; Hesco Co., Warren; Higher Grounds Trading Co., Traverse City; Hygieia Inc., Ann Arbor; Image One, Oak Park; Innovative Analytics Co., Kalamazoo; Integrated Strategies Inc., Okemos; Intervention Insights LLC, Grand Rapids; Kantorwassink Co., Grand Rapids; L’Anse Manufacturing Inc., L’Anse; Lakeshore Cutting Solutions Co., Zeeland; Leon Speakers Inc., Ann Arbor; Livio Radio Co., Ferndale; MacUpdate Co., Kalamazoo; Marketplace Homes Co., Plymouth; Maximum Mold Co., Benton Harbor;
MessageMakers Co., Lansing; MFP Inc., Grandville; Mutually Human Software Co., Grand Rapids; My Insurance Expert Co., Troy; New Age/Landmark Inc., South Haven; Novo Motor Acoustic Systems Co., Warren; Plascon Group Co., Traverse City; Relume Technologies Inc., Oxford; Running Fit Inc., Ann Arbor; Sakti3, Ann Arbor; Shelving Inc., Auburn Hills; Shorts Brewing Co., Bellaire; SRT Solutions Co., Ann Arbor; Translume Inc., Ann Arbor; TransPharm Preclinical Solutions Co., Jackson; Tri-Pac Inc., Vandalia; Tri-Star Molding Inc., Marcellus; Underground Printing Co., Ann Arbor;
Unified Business Technologies Inc., Troy; Wellco Co., Royal Oak; Xcend Group Inc., Brighton; and YourAreaCode Co., Grand Rapids;
For a complete list of honorees and further details, visit http://companiestowatch.org/index.ctw?page=honorees&honoreeYear=2011&-session=ctw:62FA74F40a73b25FD5GUgUAE3084.