Armstrong International - 2023 John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year (Large Tier)

This article appeared in the July/August 2024 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Preserve the core and stimulate progress.

That’s a foundational principle at Armstrong International, a 124-year-old business that maintains its company values while continuing to innovate year after year.

A fifth-generation, family owned company based in Three Rivers, Armstrong specializes in thermal systems, including those based on steam, hot water and conditioned air. The company provides intelligent system solutions that improve utility performance, lower energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. Armstrong also assists its customers in improving the safety, reliability and energy efficiency of their existing thermal utility systems.

The company is active in many community events, is focused on training the next generation of industry professionals and works to educate end users, all while maintaining a positive internal culture.

For these reasons, MMA has recognized Armstrong International with the 2023 John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year - Large Tier Award.

Progress with A Bigger Purpose

Armstrong International team members are inspired by the fact that they are working for a bigger purpose: keeping people safe and improving the environment.

“A steam system can be very unsafe if not managed properly, so our products and solutions help keep people safe,” says President Patricia Provot. “We also help with reducing energy and CO2 emissions. We really operate for the greater good of the planet and the community around us.”

This mindset keeps team members dedicated to providing the exceptional products and services customers expect from Armstrong, while innovating with the times in order to give them the solutions they need in today’s world. Central to all of this is the core principle of “doing unto others as you would have done unto you,” Provot says.

“We are a faith-based company — faith in God, family and job, in that order,” says Brian Armstrong, a fifth-generation family member who currently is the Director of the business’s Hot Water Group. “It goes all the way back to my great-great-grandfather, who built the core values in the foundation of Armstrong that we still have to this day, 124 years later. Even now with 3500 employees globally, we still follow the Golden Rule, and our culture lives on.”

At the same time, the industry is changing drastically as people look into using alternate sources of energy, so they need to remain flexible and agile, Provot says.

“We’ve been in business for 124 years, and we’ve really evolved over our five generations,” Armstrong says. “We want to continue to help the generations to come with the different products that we manufacture in steam, air and hot water.”

Training and Community Involvement

As a long-time supporter of the Three Rivers community, Armstrong International invests time and money into training and events that bring the community together and contribute to the growth of the industry locally.

One of the most notable projects was a major investment  in Armstrong Park in Three Rivers, which features a sports complex that the community greatly needed.

Several Armstrong employees also volunteer with the local fire department, and the company has helped local schools renovate their sports complexes. The company also contributes to various causes around the world.

In addition to philanthropic activities, the company focuses on training customers and future industry professionals. In fact, it has transformed its original building into a learning center for that purpose and also offers an online university. Armstrong says programs include those based on thermal utility optimization, sales, marketing, engineering and other skills that tie into thermal utility management in processing, manufacturing, and institutional markets.

Manufacturing Manager Dan Shapton adds that they partner closely with the St. Joseph County Career and Technical Education program through on-the-job training and tours at Armstrong to increase students’ interest in manufacturing.

“For any opportunity that we have to bring students on site and get them interested in manufacturing, our door is open,” Shapton says.

With its stellar core values, exceptional products and influential global workforce, Armstrong International has distinguished itself as a pillar of the community and a leader in the manufacturing industry in Michigan.

Manufacturing Excellence AwardsThe Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award – Large Tier is part of the annual Manufacturing Excellence Awards which celebrates the leaders and products that are pushing the industry forward. Learn more about the awards program and gala.

Excellence Sponsor LogoThe 2023 Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award – Large Tier was sponsored by Brown & Brown. Visit online: