KALAMAZOO — Southwest Michigan First honored more than 50 regional companies, organizations and individuals during its 2013 Catalyst Awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 22.

Presented annually since 2005, this event is designed to recognize significant contributions by community partners that have resulted in economic growth and job creation in Southwest Michigan.

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“The contributions made by these award-winning companies, organizations and individuals truly define Southwest Michigan’s economic growth and jobs creation efforts using a regional strategy,” said Ron Kitchens, CEO of Southwest Michigan First.

The following companies received 2013 Catalyst Awards for jobs creation:

• AluTech
• American Axle & Manufacturing
• Arcadia Brewing Co.
• Asama Coldwater Manufacturing
• Behnke Trucking and Warehousing
• Borgess Health
• Bowers Manufacturing Co.
• Brembo North America
• Catalyst Development Co.
• Cosma International
• Delta Industrial Valves
• Denso Manufacturing Michigan
• Dimplex Thermal Solutions
• EPI Marketing Services
• Fabri-Kal
• Faulkner Fabricators
• Geislinger
• Getman Corp.
• Gokoh Coldwater Inc.
• Graphic Packaging International – Consumer Products Division
• Graphic Packaging International – Mill Division
• Hanson Mold
• Hark Orchids
• II Stanley Co.
• Janesville Acoustics
• Lovejoy
• MacAllister Machinery
• Mach Mold
• Marrone Bio Innovations
• Mastronardi Produce
• Mayer Tool & Engineering
• Mophie
• Mueller Industries
• Musashi Auto Parts
• MVB Improvements
• Perrigo Co.
• Riveer
• RSB Transmissions NA
• Schupan & Sons
• St. Joe Tool Co.
• Summit Polymers
• TecNiq Inc.
• T-Shirt Printing Plus
• W.E. Slitt
• Whirlpool Corp.
Southwest Michigan First also recognized contributions that moved our region and people toward greatness. Those who exemplified the ability to inspire others to lead, the desire to collaborate for greater good and the innate drive to make our communities worthy of generations to come were recipients of Community Partner of the Year awards.  Honored for their dedication to making the local community a better place to live, work, play and innovate were:

Partner for Jobs
• Dan Jaqua of Jaqua Realtors
• Blaine Lam of Lam & Associates
• Lisa Miller of Branch County Economic Growth Alliance

Philanthropic Impact 
• American Axle & Manufacturing

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• Kalamazoo Area Building Authority
• United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region

Educational Impact
• Kalamazoo College
• Western Michigan University

Mentor of the Year
• Jim Heath of Stryker Instruments

Community Capitalism
• Cornerstone Alliance
• Whirlpool Corp.

Each award winner was presented with the Catalyst, a beautiful hand-blown glass sculpture created exclusively for this event by local artist Judith Konesni of Tidal Wave Glass. This award is a symbol of the commitment to excellence demonstrated by each of this year’s winners.

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For more information on the Catalyst Awards, please visit: www.southwestmichiganfirst.com/events/catalyst_awards.cfm