City, chamber look for sharp Sterling Edge nominations

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published February 3, 2016

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A partnership between the city of Sterling Heights and the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry is poised to be a boon to some local businesses.

Organizers are already laying out the groundwork for the fifth-annual Michigan Week Business Expo and Sterling Edge Awards Luncheon, which will take place May 18 at the Wyndham Garden Sterling Heights hotel, on Van Dyke Avenue.

Five local businesses will be honored with Sterling Edge Awards for outstanding practices. Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor and chamber President and CEO Wayne Oehmke are scheduled to appear at the event.

In an email, Oehmke said the awards were added to the luncheon five years ago and have since been an integral part of the event.

In the meantime, the city and the chamber are asking locals to nominate businesses for the awards. Sterling Heights workplaces, corporations and startups are welcome to be nominated.

Oehmke said the nominating process is open and flexible in scope, and the nominators may suggest a title for the award that they want their nominee to have.

“We’ve learned that the award nominations don’t always match up perfectly with the criteria we’ve established over the years, so this year there’s even more flexibility built in to better include the widely diverse business community located in the city,” he said. “We truly have businesses and professions of all sizes, and the things they all do (are)  absolutely amazing.”

Titles from some of the chamber’s past awards include themes such as legacy partner, advanced manufacturing business, local business, community reinvestment business, Macomb-OU INCubator business, “dream big” company, blue ribbon company, green company and best place to work.

According to organizers, anyone who wishes to nominate a business has to do so by March 15. The process entails either going to the chamber of commerce’s website or to the city’s website and filling out an application.

Last May, Coliant Corp., Dodge Park Coney Island, Fitzpatrick Manufacturing, Gallo Cos. and Penna’s all won awards.

In an email, Sterling Heights city Communications Director Bridget Doyle said the awards event is a wonderful way to bring attention to both large and small businesses that have made an impact on the community.

She called the event a time to showcase the city’s appreciation, and she said the nomination process is open to residents, other business owners and members of the community.

“Whether it’s a favorite restaurant, retailer, service provider or a manufacturer making a big impact, we want to hear those stories,” she said.

“We want to be sure to champion the movers and shakers in our community.”

Learn more about the Sterling Edge Awards at or by contacting the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce at (586) 731-5400, ext. 13.