Three Takeaways: Northern Wings

Courtney Overbey

Monday, December 20, 2021

Fifth-generation Native American Entrepreneur David Goudreau shares his “bottom line” advice to expand, grow and maintain a successful business in Michigan.

After spending 24 years in the military as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot, David Goudreau moved back home to the Upper Peninsula. Leaning on his military experience, David created Northern Wings—an aircraft welding and machine shop specializing in wheels and brakes. David has taken a two-employee company that started in a barn and grown it into an aerospace contractor that works with organizations like NASA, Boeing and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In this edition of 3 Takeaways, Northern Wings owner and president David Goudreau shares this advice for entrepreneurs looking to launch and grow their businesses in Michigan.

  1. Advocate for your quality of life. Surveys have shown that students entering the workforce highly value the quality of their workplace and surroundings. There are healthy opportunities all around us to improve our quality of life, and they are generally free, so always take advantage of them.
  2. Stay up to date on requirements. If you are a government contractor or subcontractor, staying knowledgeable about changing IT and security requirements is essential.
  3. Embrace international trade. Most industries generally operate in a global marketplace, so you’d better catch that wave. Organizations like the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and its International Trade team can help you expand your business beyond Michigan.

To learn more about resources the MEDC can provide for your business, visit

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