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.
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.
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.
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.
Fred Keller, Founder and Chairman
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cascade Engineering (CE) is a global manufacturer serving a broad variety of markets including transportation (auto, truck and bus), environmental services, office furniture, agriculture/industrial material handling and more. CE specializes in plastic injection molding and is a nationally recognized proponent of sustainable and environmentally conscious business practices - one of the largest Certified B Corporations in the world. Cascade’s continued success has led to Executive Vice President Kenyetta Brame being appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the board of directors for the state’s new Talent Investment Agency (TIA).
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.
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).
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.
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.