Pure Michigan Business Success Stories

Pure Water Works

Founded in 1980 by William Siegmund, CWS-V, Pure Water Works is a Michigan company created on the philosophy of changing the quality of life with quality water. Located in Traverse City, Michigan, Pure Water Works has pioneered standards and new developments for the water industry. The company sells, rents, assembles and services complete lines of water treatment equipment, including UltraPure™ Cleanroom systems and utilizes scientific analysis with a state certified lab and a well-trained staff with a combined 70 years of work in the field.

Roush Enterprises

What began in 1976 as Jack Roush Performance Engineering is now recognized internationally as a premier provider of engineering and systems integration solutions with over 3,500 employees in facilities across the globe. With a belief that Michigan has excellent talent, capital and skill, Roush Enterprises acquired a new 60,000-square-foot building adjacent to its existing campus in Livonia, Michigan, to accommodate the growth of Roush Clean Tech.

Rush Trucking

Andra Rush, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Rush Trucking is a minority-owned freight transportation firm founded in 1984 by Andra M. Rush, chair and chief executive officer. Headquartered in Wayne, Michigan, Rush Trucking is an industry leader for cost-effective truckload and milk run transportation solutions for local, over-the-road and just-in-time operations. Rush, a Mohawk Native American, borrowed $5,000 from her parents and used her credit cards to launch her company more than 30 years ago with one van and two pickup trucks. Today, Rush Trucking transports goods across the U.S. and Canada with 850 tractors, 1,450 trailers and 800 employees for Fortune 100 companies, including Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Toyota, Honda and Tier 1 automotive suppliers.


Moses Lee, Michael Deming, and David Jsa , Co-Founders

Located in Ann Arbor, Seelio is an educational services and technology company that lets students easily and beautifully document their works, projects and passions with professional online portfolios. Initially, the platform was open only to students at the University of Michigan, but in August of 2012, Seelio launched to the world with a vision that college students everywhere could use it to show who they truly are and what they can accomplish. Seelio enables students to create a professional persona and allows them to take control of their online presence in a way they can’t on popular sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Backed by investors with decades of experience in higher education, Seelio is deploying full-service, custom portfolio networks for leading universities such as the University of Michigan, the University of Texas at Austin and West Virginia University.


Detroit is where America drew its blueprints for manufacturing. Surpassing its goal of manufacturing 170,000 handmade watches, along with bicycles, leather goods and more, Shinola and its growing leather and watch factories are contributing to Detroit once again becoming the nation’s manufacturing capital.


Nathan Labenz and Jay Gierak, Founders, SocialProof

For the founders of SocialProof, a service that helps companies collect and showcase customer reviews, true success didn’t coincide with their arrival in Silicon Valley. More accurately, it came with their departure from Silicon Valley and a return to Detroit. In Michigan, they found an unbeatable talent pool, a vast support network, and a culture of innovation. Now, SocialProof is growing faster than ever before, right here in Michigan.


Brad Wardell - President/CEO, Angela Marshall – COO

Founded in 1991 by technology expert and CEO Brad Wardell, Stardock is a developer and publisher of PC games and desktop software located in Plymouth, Michigan. When asked about expanding his business in Michigan, the CEO stated, “We think Michigan is well placed to become a hub for technology companies thanks to new programs from the state to make Michigan more competitive to do business in. We look forward to continuing our strong growth with additional development projects over the next couple of years." Michigan's aggressive film incentive package also applies to the gaming industry, making it one of only two states to offer enticements to the rapidly-growing industry

Stormy Kromer

Gina Thorsen, Vice President

In 2001, Bob Jacquart, CEO of Jacquart Fabric Products in Ironwood, Michigan, learned that the Kromer Cap Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was about to discontinue production of its legendary Blizzard Cap. Less than a month later, Bob was the proud new owner of the Kromer Blizzard Cap. He quickly made a few subtle changes to the iconic headgear, including changing the name to the Stormy Kromer Cap. Over the next 10 years, Bob invested in Stormy Kromer and today, annual production of the caps is 20 times what it was in 2001 and the product line has expanded from 16 to over 100 SKUs in men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, all made in the U.S.A.

Stryker Corporation

Kevin Lobo, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Stryker Corporation

Meeting the unmet needs of medical patients since 1941. That’s been the goal of Stryker, a FORTUNE 500 medical technology company based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Driven by over 26,000 employees worldwide, Stryker offers a diverse array of innovative medical products and services to help people lead more active and satisfying lives. This dedication resulted in the Prix Galien USA 2014 Award for Best Medical Technology.


Manish Senta, Director of Business Development, TekWissen

TekWissen is a technology services company that specializes in global innovation and design. Established in 2009, the firm’s founder selected Michigan based on its talented pool of well-educated experts in the technology field. Utilizing these resources has been a boom to the company as it keeps its fingers on the pulse of a rapidly changing industry. TekWissen has built an enviable portfolio of capabilities and is continuing to develop new and innovative projects.