Kalkaska Screw Products is 2013 Hagerty Small Business of the Year
TRAVERSE CITY, MI ¬¬– An employee-owned manufacturing firm in Kalkaska was honored today as the 2013 Hagerty Small Business of the Year by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.
Kalkaska Screw Products, which supplies critical safety components to customers in the automotive, energy, safety and related fields, was honored at the Chamber’s ninth annual Small Business Celebration Awards Ceremony held this afternoon at Northwestern Michigan College’s Hagerty Center.
Kalkaska Screw Products was founded in 1963, originally as part of a machining division of an aerospace manufacturer. In 1996 it was purchased by Tedd H. Stewart and evolved into a globally competitive company manufacturing highly engineered machining components.
KSP completed another extraordinary step last year when employees bought the company and converted to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan – or ESOP. It’s the only employee-owned company among this year’s Small Business Celebration Top 10 finalists. It employs around 60 workers, and Kevin Schlueter is the president.
Terry Berden, owner of Great Lakes Stainless who served as one of the SBC judges, said the company stood out through its strong sales growth during challenging economic times in Michigan. KSP almost doubled its annual sales over the past three years, and it also has a strong environmental record and a long history of community service in the Kalkaska area.
“In a couple of different ways, that’s very impressive,” Berden said of the company’s sales growth. “I think that speaks to the folks and the attitude there.”
The other SBC finalists included: Bay Area Contracting Inc.; Brilliant Books; Cartridge World; Cherry Capital Foods LLC; Grand Traverse Distillery; Keen Technical Solutions LLC; Pathway Homes; Signs Now; and Stromberg Carlson Products Inc. Berden said the SBC judges faced a difficult task evaluating a strong field of applicants.
“In all of these operations, the employees really stood behind these companies,” Berden said. “All of these people have found a way to move their companies forward in a challenging time.”
Kalkaska Screw Products joins past Chamber Small Business of the Year recipients that include:
2012 – Plascon
2011 – Integrity Home Health Care
2010 – Great Lakes Stainless
2009 – FAST Physical Therapy & FAST Fitness
2008 – Springfield Roofing
2007 – Grand Traverse Ophthalmology Clinic
2006 – Traverse City State Bank
2005 – Distribution Solutions International
The Chamber’s Small Business Celebration is made possible through the generous support of Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge Attorneys at Law.
About the Chamber
The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce started in 1915 and is Michigan’s third-largest chamber, serving nearly 1,900 businesses in the Grand Traverse region. It partners with government, nonprofit and other organizations on a wide range of programs and services to grow the area’s economy, protect the environment and enhance quality of life. Learn more at www.tcchamber.org
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