Emanuel Z. Manos
Detroit Salt Company
2016 John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award
There probably aren’t very many Michiganians who know that there’s a salt mine in the middle of Detroit and even fewer who realize how much our state could be impacted by that mine or the man who manages it.
Emanuel Z. Manos plays a large role in the ability of salt trucks to clear our state’s roads and highways in the wintertime. He is also the man behind hundreds of site-cleaning efforts throughout Detroit, helping residents to rediscover the beauty of a city still fighting to change its image and it is for his role in helping others discover the real Michigan that E.Z. Manos was recognized with the 2016 John G. Thodis Special Achievement Award for Dedication to Community Progress.
“I think in our own way, we’re making the world a safer place,” said Manos, president of the Detroit Salt Company, a major supplier of bulk road salt in the Midwest. “Sometimes I hear people say ‘it’s just salt’ but the fact is that, in many parts of the country, salt is the difference between safe travel or hundreds of avoidable accidents and millions of dollars in annual added costs.”
A mineral-rich asset that predates the rise of the auto industry, the Detroit Salt Company gained new life when Manos came aboard in 1997 and, since becoming president in 2010, Detroit Salt Company has become a force in industrial manufacturing throughout southeast Michigan. Under his direction, the company is a leader in job creation, community safety partnerships, business associations, environmental stewardship and workplace safety.
“Sustaining a mining operation within an urban environment isn’t easy, but many of life’s most vital efforts are full of challenges,” said Manos. “We’re constantly challenging ourselves to do things better, faster and more efficiently to meet the needs of our customers.”
Beyond his business commitments, Manos is regarded as a strong presence throughout Detroit. His sponsoring of neighborhood clean-ups of illegal dumping sites has challenged other business leaders to follow his example. Since joining the Advisory Committee for Illegal Dumping in southwest Detroit, more than 400 sites have been improved to create a brighter, healthier and safer community.
“Business leaders cannot be walled off from their community — they must be leaders of it,” said Manos. “Whether it’s upgrading our roads, installing street lights, expanding police patrols, targeting illegal dumpers or rebuilding forgotten parts of the city, we need to each contribute what we can to the task of leaving something better for the next generation.”
Manos is also dedicated to fostering a love of science among Michigan’s next generation. He has engaged teachers in presentations, provided select tours of the mine for educators and has supported college fairs and internship programs to grant young people invaluable work experience and lifelong mentors.
“This Award is a tremendous honor, but I’m more proud of what it represents,” said Manos. “By being able to tell my story and the story of this great company, maybe another manufacturer will step up and say ‘I can do more for my community’ and then go out and do it. That’s how real progress happens.”
This article appeared in the May 2016 issue of MiMfg Magazine.