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Pure Michigan Business Success Stories E-J

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  • Eissmann Group Automotive

    Brian Tinney, President

    A leading German automotive manufacturer of high-end interior components, the Eissmann Group sought to expand by establishing a North American headquarters. After considering multiple states, the company chose Port Huron, MI, in part to an $850,000 Michigan Business Development Grant. That’s in addition to the $13.5 million the company plans to invest, which will create over 200 new jobs. “Ultimately, Michigan’s location and availability of workforce drove the site decision,” said Brian Tinney, President of Eissmann Automotive North America, Inc. Proof yet again that nothing drives business like Pure Michigan.

  • EJ

    East Jordan Iron Works is now EJ. Founded in 1883, EJ is the global leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of infrastructure “access” solutions for water, sewer, drainage, telecommunications and utility networks – requiring modern and innovative features. In early 2012, East Jordan Iron Works and its affiliated companies around the world began doing business using the same name and brand, EJ. One identity and brand has unified the company and supported its vision of market leadership. EJ remains a family owned and operated company. It has a commercial presence in several European countries, Canada, Mexico, China and Australia – including sales offices, best-in-class manufacturing facilities, and research and development centers, with product distribution worldwide.

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  • Empirical Biosciences, LLC,

    Empirical Biosciences, LLC, is a company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company, with its focus on the rapidly changing life sciences industry, develops products that are fundamental components of life science activities involving DNA. Empirical Biosciences’ vision is to lower the cost of biological reagents to foster life science research and education to make diagnostics more affordable. The company, which began in an attic in Southeast Michigan, found a home in Grand Rapids at the West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative in 2010. Additionally, the company received a $100,000 investment from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund in 2011.

  • FarmLogs

    Jesse Vollmar, Co-Founder & CEO and Brad Koch, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer

    Michigan company helping farmers increase yield and profitability. After securing $1 million in seed funding, Michigan-based FarmLogs received an additional $4 million in financing that has allowed the company to execute an aggressive product growth plan. By providing growers revolutionary software to predict and optimize crop rotations, as well as automate activity data collection, FarmLogs is taking farming where it’s never been before. “We’ve helped thousands of farmers around the world take advantage of technology,” said FarmLogs CEO and co-founder Jesse Vollmar. Because working hard, and thinking smarter, is Pure Michigan

  • Ferris State University – Digital Animation and Game Design

    Professor David Baker, Program Coordinator, Ferris State University

    The Digital Animation and Game Design Program (DAGD) at Ferris State University was once again chosen by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s top 25 video game development programs. The program is focused on educating students in the latest tools and technology used to create digital and interactive content for everything from 3D animation to simulation to game design. The DAGD Program is now part of the School of Digital Media, which brings together television and digital media production and software engineering.

  • Ford Motor Company

    Mark Fields, President and CEO

    Opened as the world’s largest integrated factory back in 1928, Ford Motor Company’s Rouge Complex continues to turn raw materials into running vehicles within a single facility. In more recent days, it became home to the nation’s largest living roof – addressing ecological concerns while saving on roofing and cooling costs. And today, after only an eight-week transformation of its assembly facilities, the Rouge is using more than 500 robots to transform the new F-150 pickup and its innovative aluminum body. A perfect example of how being at the forefront is Pure Michigan.

  • Grandpapa's Snacks

    Michael Robin, President and Michael Robin Jr., Vice President

    Michigan snack manufacturer makes the world his market. Forty-five years ago, H. Michael Robin began his career in Detroit as a driver for a food distribution company. Yet, it was his inner drive that led him to strike out on his own to both manufacture and distribute canister snacks to markets including the Middle East, the Caribbean and South America. The results are a $15-million-a-year business, and with help from the Michigan Small Business Technology and Development Center, a 140,000-square-foot factory that Robin Distributors now calls home. It’s more food for thought for doing business in Pure Michigan.

  • Grand Traverse Pie Company

    Mike Busley, Founder

    In 1996, the Busley family quit their jobs and risked everything they had to open the Grand Traverse Pie Company. Now, there are 15 shops across Michigan and Indiana serving gourmet soups, sandwiches, salads, pot pies, quiche, espresso and 40 varieties of pie. The company’s slogan is “Warming Hearts and Community through Pie.” Committed to quality products, warm and friendly service and truly making a positive difference in their customers’ day, the company has just opened its newest GTPie Shop in Portage, Michigan, and its products are available for delivery across the country by Foodydirect.

  • Hacienda Foods

    Lydia Gutierrez, President, Hacienda Mexican Foods

    It started over two decades ago, with passion and love. From a small tortilla shop on Vernor Avenue in the heart of Southwest Detroit, making traditional Mexican tortillas and tortilla chips. Since its humble beginnings, Hacienda Mexican Foods has grown into a multimillion dollar food manufacturing business, with products available in five states and Canada. Hacienda prides itself on their deep commitment to quality, community, social responsibility and an endless love of Detroit, all of which was built from family values. Offering a wide array of Mexican foods and other consumer-demanded products, Hacienda continues to grow and expand their business.

  • Harbor Shores

    Jeff Noel, President, Harbor Shores

    Energized by a $2.1 million infrastructure improvement grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund and a $900,000 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant, The Harbor Village at Harbor Shores project is moving forward. The plans to redevelop a vacant industrial site along the shores of Lake Michigan into a 92-room waterfront inn and spa also create more than 70 full-time jobs.

    Harbor Shores
  • Henry Ford Innovation Institute

    Nancy Schlichting, CEO, Henry Ford Health System

    Bringing together innovators, clinicians and corporate partners from around the world to foster cutting edge solutions at the intersection of healthcare and information technology. That’s the mission of the William Davidson Center for Entrepreneurs in Digital Health, housed in the Henry Ford Innovation Institute and supported by a $3 million, three-year grant from the William Davidson Foundation.

  • Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch

    A third and fourth generation family business, Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch provides premium eggs for local, regional and national customers. The company’s roots go back to the 1920s. Thanks to a focus on the highest possible standards and a commitment to excellence, Herbruck’s has grown from 3,000 laying hens in the 1950s to six million today. The Ranch is currently embarking on a $17 million expansion that will add numerous jobs over the next three years.

  • Heritage Sustainable Energy

    Formed in 2004 to pursue the development of renewable energy facilities, primarily wind energy, Heritage Sustainable Energy, LLC has successfully developed a series of wind farm projects in Michigan and continues to develop Michigan-based projects based on that success. The company has developed a strong reputation with landowners, utility companies, contractors, local community residents and all branches of government. Heritage is widely viewed as the best choice of Michigan’s utilities to maximize their investment in wind energy generation, not only to meet Michigan’s renewable energy mandates, but to achieve the most cost-effective renewable energy generation for their customers.

  • InfoReady

    Bhushan Kulkarni, Co-Founder, President and CEO

    InfoReady is an IT company that creates apps to help other companies manage their data more efficiently using their Knowspace platform. The company is led by veteran technology entrepreneurs Bhushan Kulkarni and Jim Diggs. Kulkarni has won a host of awards, including “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, and a Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40” award. Diggs was an original executive team member of the successful start-up, BlueGill Technologies. InfoReady is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and its resources are used by more than 35 universities, economic development organizations and local governments.

  • Jiffy

    Howdy Holmes, President and CEO

    Introduced as the first ever commercially prepared baking mix product in April, 1930, by the Chelsea Milling Company, Jiffy is the market leader in the retail prepared muffin mix category, serving customers in the retail, Institutional and Foodservice markets. “Our milling operation really benefits from Michigan’s strong agriculture industry and is one of our many reasons to operate in this state,” says Howard S. Holmes, company President and CEO.