Recipients at the Macomb Business Awards are flanked by Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development Director Vicky Rad and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. The event was held April 23 at the Sterling Inn Banquet and Conference Center in Sterling Heights.

Recipients at the Macomb Business Awards are flanked by Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development Director Vicky Rad and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. The event was held April 23 at the Sterling Inn Banquet and Conference Center in Sterling Heights.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Macomb Business Awards winners recognized

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published April 30, 2019

 Ed Lanko, president of Godlan, Inc., speaks to the crowd after receiving the Champion of Work/Life Integration award for offering innovative benefits that enable employees to balance work responsibilities with personal passions.

Ed Lanko, president of Godlan, Inc., speaks to the crowd after receiving the Champion of Work/Life Integration award for offering innovative benefits that enable employees to balance work responsibilities with personal passions.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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MACOMB COUNTY — Winners of the Macomb Business Awards were announced April 23 at the Sterling Inn Banquet and Conference Center in Sterling Heights.

Over 400 business and community leaders were in attendance to see which of 71 nominees were named a Macomb Business Award winner in six categories.

The 7th annual event was emceed by Fox 2 WJBK’s Huel Perkins and Charlie Langton. Mark Ostach, the event’s keynote speaker, discussed digital health and well-being, helping attendees defeat distractions and interruptions so they can become purposely connected to their work and the people around them.

“There’s a reason people make Macomb their home,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said. “In the business sector, I think there’s been more of an uplifting connectivity we’ve seen in the entire county with businesses, and I attribute it to the work that’s been done with our planning department.”

The Macomb Business Awards is an initiative which recognizes outstanding businesses located in the county’s 27 communities. To be nominated, businesses were asked to complete an online form with a brief statement about the company and a 300-word summary about how it achieves success in the category.

The event honored businesses in the categories of Champion of Work/Life Integration, Corporate Citizen, Hidden Gem, Manufacturer of the Year, Model of OneMacomb and Trailblazer of Future Talent.

The Trailblazer of Future Talent award was presented to L&L Products of Bruce Township. This award was about creating partnerships that provide opportunities for the next generation of the workforce to explore career possibilities and experience work-based learning. L&L Products has more than 1,300 global employees, 15 global locations and eight manufacturing facilities.

CARE of Southeastern Michigan took home the Corporate Citizen award for providing meaningful support to the community through service and/or philanthropy.

“We are on the frontlines of serving the community,” CARE President/CEO Monique Stanton said. “I want to thank our staff who help people who sometimes are in the most dire circumstances.”

CARE is a nonprofit organization with a 42-year history of serving the residents of Macomb County.

Champion of Work/Life Integration award went to Godlan, Inc., a Clinton Township based leading professional manufacturing services company that has been implementing integrated technology solutions since 1984. This award went to a company that offers innovative benefits that enable employees to balance work responsibilities with personal passions.

Ed Lanko, Godlan president, said about 70% of employees work out of a home office.

“One of our core values is we want to be God-honoring in our community and believe that begins with honoring those that come to work for us,” he said.

For cultivating an environment where diversity is valued as evidenced by inclusive practices, PACE of Southeast Michigan was recognized with the Model of OneMacomb award.

PACE has cared for low-income, chronically-ill seniors by helping them remain independent and engaged in the community.

“On behalf of the employees at PACE Southeast Michigan and all our participants, we are truly honored to be recognized,” Sue Hammel, director of operations at the Warren and Sterling Heights center said. “Our diversity is something we embrace as our organization grows.”

The Hidden Gem award, which recognized a unique made-in-Macomb product or place that more people should know about, went to Great Lakes Pickling Company of Sterling Heights.

It is a family-owned and operated pickle making business which uses farm-fresh cucumbers, spices and Michigan water that gives their product 42 percent less salt than that found in typical jars using traditional recipes.

Drake Enterprises of Clinton Township was named Manufacturer of the Year. It is a manufacturer of machined parts for major original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, in the heavy truck, agriculture and automotive markets.

“The company has been providing powertrain components for over 50 years,” John Yezback of Drake said. “We are committed to aggressive growth strategy over the next 10 years, and our goal is to be $100 million-plus through acquiring a new business and diversifying our customer base.”

Also announced were the Economic Development Partner of the Year — Macomb Intermediate School District, and two Beacon of Economic Development winners — Glenn Wynn, director of Shelby Township Planning and Zoning Department, and Grace Shore, the former CEO of Macomb County Chamber of Commerce.

“One of the foundational building blocks of our county’s economic resurgent is partnership,” Deputy County Executive John Paul Rea said. “It’s the convergence of forces that’s providing unimaginable outcomes for so many of us.”

Shore said it’s an honor to work with the Macomb County economic development team.

“I feel they’re the ones who should be getting the award, not someone like me,” she said.

Judges who reviewed nominations in each category included Gene Lovell, the president and CEO of First State Bank, Karen Smith, the executive director of Leadership Macomb, Macomb Community College President Jim Sawyer, and Vicky Rad, the Macomb County director of planning and economic development.

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