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Pure Michigan Business Success Stories A-D

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  • 906 Technologies

    Lee Francisco, CEO and Founder

    Launched in 2005, 906 Technologies offers a full range of services including IT support, website design, app development and custom software programming. Since it opened its door, 906 has doubled its revenue each year and projects a 50 percent increase in 2013. This success hasn’t gone unnoticed as they were the proud recipient of Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Award in 2013.

  • Aisin

    Masayasu Saito, President

    For more than 30 years, Michigan has been the North American home to Aisin, the fifth largest Tier One automotive supplier in the world. Over that time, the company has expanded several times in strategically located facilities in Northville, Plymouth and Fowlerville – home to FT Techno of America, Aisin’s 950-acre, state-of-the-art test track and proving ground. And thanks to the highly skilled workforce found in Michigan, Aisin designs, engineers and manufactures a diverse portfolio of world-class, automotive solutions.

  • Algal Scientific

    Geoff Horst, CEO

    How do you solve the problem of toxic algal blooms in the Great Lakes? The answer to that question became the impetus for Algal Scientific, which was founded in 2009. Its mission is to use algae to treat high-strength wastewater from a variety of industries. After winning several prizes and awards for innovation, the Michigan company was able to obtain cutting-edge biotech lab facilities at the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center. Algal further expanded its research team with world-class experts in Michigan and is now commercializing a technology to produce high-value nutraceutical compounds from pure algal cultures.

  • American Axle

    Terry J. Woychowski, Senior Vice President, Advanced Engineering & Quality

    Proudly headquartered in Detroit, American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) is a world leader in the manufacture, engineering, design and validation of driveline and drivetrain components and systems. AAM’s technical center in Rochester Hills, Michigan, is at the center of the company’s growth and innovation and is home to AAM’s most advanced prototypes and technical engineers. In fact, AAM has invested more than $80 million in the state-of-the-art facility since it was founded in 1994. Globally, AAM has nearly 13,000 associates and serves more than 100 customers from more than 30 facilities in 13 countries. With an intense focus on engineering and manufacturing, AAM builds value for its customers through quality, technology leadership and operational excellence.

    American Axle
  • American Seating

    Ed Clark, Chairman and CEO, American Seating

    American Seating was originally founded as the Grand Rapids School Furniture Company in 1886. Its first product, the combined student desk and chair unit, set a history of innovation in motion. When introduced, it was the first of its kind and the design revolutionized classroom seating. Its success helped the company expand over the years into other major markets, including education, entertainment, sports and transportation. The company has also been chosen to install timeless sports seating in stadiums across the country as well as Comerica Park, old Tiger Stadium, University of Michigan stadium and Michigan State University theaters and auditoriums, just to name a few.

  • Bell's Brewery

    With just a 15-gallon soup kettle and a quest for better beer, Bell’s Brewery got its start in 1985 when most didn’t even know what a Russian Imperial Stout or even an IPA was. Since then, they have grown into a regional craft brewery that produced 216,000 barrels of award-winning beer in 2012. Expansion efforts are underway in Comstock with the addition of a canning line and additional fermentation space. Also, a division of Bell’s called Upper Hand Brewery will open in Escanaba to brew and bottle an entirely new line of beer for distribution across Michigan’s U.P. and neighboring northern states, part of a company-wide investment of $15 million.

  • Belle Isle Conservancy

    Michelle Hodges, President, Belle Isle Conservancy

    The Belle Isle Conservancy is a nonprofit organization working to restore, preserve and protect Detroit’s Belle Isle. In 2005, the Albert Kahn-designed Belle Isle Aquarium was closed after over one hundred years of operation due to Detroit’s economic difficulties. After a seven-year closure, the Belle Isle Conservancy was able to reopen the Aquarium on September 15, 2012. The Conservancy immediately began a major building restoration including replacing the roof, windows and restoring the Aquarium skylights. Currently, approximately 50 of the 60 tanks are open and display aquatic life from stingrays and electric eels to seahorses and starfish. The Belle Isle Aquarium is the oldest aquarium in the country and the last surviving Victorian-era Aquarium/horticultural facility in the world. This year, the Belle Isle Aquarium will be one hundred and eleven years old. The Aquarium is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.

  • Biogenic Reagents

    James Mennell, CEO

    While looking to expand his business of sustainably producing and selling activated carbon, Biogenic Reagents CEO James Mennell saw the potential in the Upper Peninsula’s Marquette County and set up the firm’s first commercial-scale reactor. Mennell wanted to take advantage of the increasing demand for activated carbon and was able to start operations with the help of a $2 million dollar loan from the state that has since created 40 jobs. Attracted by the growth potential of the business, Biogenic has been able to get additional capital of over $30 million from public and private sources to build up their technology.

  • Chateau Chantal

    Jim Krupka, President and CEO

    Rated a Top 10 Wine Country Inn, Chateau Chantal was founded in 1993 along the shores of Grand Traverse Bay. In 2003, the winery and B&B was expanded with a 15,000-square-foot addition. The 65-acre estate on Old Mission Peninsula provides guests with a unique destination that combines vineyards and a winery, a bed and breakfast, winding roads, fresh air and beautiful views. Chateau Chantal focuses on vinifera varietals of wine including Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and other varietals.

  • Cherry Republic

    Bob Sutherland, Founder and President

    Cherry Republic started over 25 years ago as a T-shirt sold out of the trunk of a car. Since then, the company has grown to sell over 175 different cherry products. Cherry Republic now has four stores, a large catalog and Internet business and they sell their products to 450 other stores in the Midwest. Located in Glen Arbor, the company’s main campus is home to the Grand Café, featuring an everything cherry bakery, ice creamery and sandwich counter; the Stomphouse Winery, which offers cherry wine and soda pop tasting for all ages; and finally, the Great Hall, a sampling and gifting cathedral to everything cherry. During the holidays, the company employs 275 employees.

  • Children's Hospital of Michigan

    Children's Hospital of Michigan

    Ranked among America’s best children’s hospitals in U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Hospital of Michigan is the first and most experienced hospital in the state completely dedicated to treating and researching childhood illness and injury. With more than 40 specialties, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan sees more kids and trains more pediatric medical and surgical experts than any other hospital in the state. Additionally, Parent’s Magazine named Children’s Hospital of Michigan one of the 10 Best Children’s Hospitals for Emergency Care and Preemie Care in 2013. Children's Hospital of Michigan is one of eight hospitals operated by the Detroit Medical Center (DMC).

  • Connor Flooring

    Ron Cerny, President and CEO

    It’s not a stretch to say Connor Flooring is the champion of wood gym flooring. After all, the company has made courts for the NCAA Final Four tournament, as well as courts for the NBA and USA Volleyball. With a key plant in Amasa, Michigan, the company uses hard maple from the Upper Peninsula and employs over 125 people in Iron County. That prized Michigan lumber is put to good use on over 750 new playing courts every year.

  • Crooked Tree Golf Club

    Bernie Friedrich, Senior VP of Golf and Resort Sales

    It’s not easy making a good thing even better, but the Crooked Tree Golf Club’s redesign delivered by taking even more advantage of the breathtaking views of Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan and offering better playability. Bernie Friedrich, Senior Vice President of Golf and Retail said of the changes, "With the new finishing holes like that, they will complement the beautiful views from the rest of the golf holes." Perched on the bluffs high above Bay Harbor, the par-71 course was sculpted from centuries old hardwood stands and is one of the more unique golf courses in the Petoskey, Michigan, area.

  • Crystal Mountain

    Chris Maclnnes, Chief Operating Officer

    The last ten yards of a race can be the most challenging. As it nears the homestretch of its latest development and growth project, Crystal Mountain is poised for a remarkably bright future. Receiving in upwards of $1 million dollars in grants from the MEDC over the last 25 years, ownership of this premier, four-season resort has also made significant investment of its own to strengthen its position for years to come. Crystal is also proud of its involvement and investment in the ongoing tourism campaign, being a true partner and representing what it is to be Pure Michigan.

  • DeNovo Sciences

    Priya Gogoi & Saedeh Sepehri, Co-Founders

    After winning the $500,000 grand prize at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, DeNovo Sciences never looked back. They are now one of the leading companies in the development of cutting-edge technology for early cancer detection. With access to two world-class cancer hospitals and an ideal mix of talent and resources, DeNovo Sciences is utilizing the resources of Michigan to succeed worldwide.

  • Detroit Bus Company

    Andy Didorosi, President, The Detroit Bus Company

    Detroit Bus Company is a private bus line designed to fill the current transit gap in the city. The company offers daily routes, special events and private rents that will help alleviate Detroit’s growing transit issue, get people back to work and make it easy for more people to travel into Detroit. DBC is hoping to relieve Detroit of much of its car-based problems which involve traffic congestion and parking scarcity. The company’s goal is to develop a new system that will help people, and students, travel efficiently.

  • Detroit vs Everybody

    Tommey Walker, Founder and Designer, Detroit vs. Everybody

    Graphic designer Tommey Walker designed album covers for some of Detroit’s biggest names in music. But then he launched Detroit vs. Everybody, an effort to inspire the city and promote unity. And when his line was featured on Stephen Colbert’s comedy show, sales took off. Sales have skyrocketed and walk-in business at his store in Detroit is booming. Walker believes his Detroit vs. Everybody line of apparel is helping remind people of how much Detroit has contributed to the culture of America.

  • DTE Energy Foundation

    Faye Nelson, President of the DTE Energy Foundation and Vice President of Public Affairs

    DTE Energy was established 1903 and is Michigan’s largest energy company. For more than 150 years, DTE has served the homes and businesses of Michigan with reliable and affordable electric and natural gas service. Currently, DTE Energy has more than 2,500 employees and services an area of nearly 7,600 square miles. The company’s operations include about 1 million utility poles, 44,000 miles of power lines, nine fossil fuel generating plants as well as the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant. In addition to relying on Michigan’s abundant supply of natural gas, DTE Energy uses its pipelines to link customers to energy sources in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, the Rockies, the Gulf of Mexico and Western Canada.

  • Duo Security

    Dug Song, Co-Founder and CEO, Duo Security

    Providing advanced security solutions for organizations of all sizes is the mission of Duo Security. Due to significant growth over the past year, the company moved to a more central downtown area of Ann Arbor. Duo plans to add to its incredible team of talented employees, thanks to a recent series C funding round of $30M. Duo will continue to grow and expand the company, opening an office on the West Coast and also in London, to address the EMEA market and provide support to their existing customers in those locations. The company also will leverage the funding to address the emerging security challenges faced by organizations everywhere who struggle to secure their users against breaches in a modern IT environment.