Five businesses awarded for showing their edge

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 10, 2015

Five local businesses recently took a breather from their busyness to receive recognition from the city of Sterling Heights and the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The city and the chamber announced the winners of the Sterling Edge Business Awards on May 20 during the Michigan Week Luncheon held at the Sterling Inn Banquet & Conference Center in Sterling Heights.

Below are the winners:

• Coliant Corp., Macomb-OU Incubator Business of the Year.

• Dodge Park Coney Island, Local Business of the Year.

• Fitzpatrick Manufacturing Co., Advanced Manufacturing Business of the Year.

• Gallo Cos., Community Re-Investment Business of the Year.

• Penna’s, Legacy Partner of the Year.

In a video, Pashko Ujkic, of Dodge Park Coney Island, credited word of mouth for his business’ success. Sterling Heights City Council members Joseph Romano and Barbara Ziarko gave testimonials in the video on why they like the establishment, which Romano described as a popular place for city workers to eat — to the point that it has become like a “second City Hall.”

“It’s probably one of the friendliest places in the city,” Ziarko added.

John Swiatek, of Coliant Corp., which makes electrical accessories and heated apparel, acknowledged his employees’ hard work and the role the city plays in his business’ success.

“Sterling Heights is the central hub for the Department of Defense here in Michigan,” he explained in a video. “We are closer to our customers, closer to the resources that we need to continually develop our Department of Defense relationships and customer base.”

Chamber President and CEO Wayne Oehmke said the chamber and Sterling Heights received a substantial number of entries, and they tried to pick winners that best represented the categories. However, he said the categories were flexible, as applicants were invited to suggest their own category ideas.

Oehmke said the business representatives who won were very gracious, and he said the most animated was Ujkic from Dodge Park Coney Island.

“He was thrilled,” Oehmke said. “It was like he was doing the Academy Awards.”

Oehmke said all the winners were excellent choices, and he praised Gallo Cos. for upgrading shopping centers and Coliant Corp. for its innovative technology.

Winners received a plaque, publicity and a thank-you, Oehmke said, adding that people enjoy being acknowledged.

“This stuff goes on all around us, and we don’t see it,” he said.

Find out more about the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry by visiting or by calling (586) 731-5400.