Manufacturing Winners Revealed and Honored at 2023 Manufacturing Excellence Awards

LANSING (Nov. 13, 2023) — Manufacturers move Michigan forward as the centerpiece of the state’s economic strength, stability and prosperity. The industry’s innovation and resilience was on full display at the annual Manufacturing Excellence Awards gala held by the Michigan Manufacturers Association on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023 in East Lansing.

The prestigious awards program celebrated the winners of the 2023 Manufacturing Excellence Awards and this year’s gala featured the announcement of the highly anticipated winners of five award categories.

Armstrong International, a global leader in energy management in Three Rivers, was revealed as the winner of the 2023 John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year – Large Tieraward, which has been awarded since 1981 to honor the important, positive and tangible contributions individual manufacturers make to their employees, customers and communities.

Laminate cabinet leader Case Systems Inc. and BOSTONtec of Midland is the 2023 Manufacturing Community Impact award winner. The award recognizes a manufacturing business that has shown exemplary leadership in serving its community or state and is an example of the involved and giving nature of manufacturers.

The 2023 Manufacturing Innovation Excellence Award winner Storch Products in Livonia has displayed an unwavering dedication to advancing the manufacturing industry. The Manufacturing Innovation Excellence Award showcases a company that has brought an innovative concept to market.

The Manufactured Export of the Year award was created in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to recognize export success. The inaugural award winner was the A64 HD Water Cannon from Getman Corporation in Bangor, which provides significant improvements in safety for the global underground mining industry.

This year's Coolest Thing Made in Michigan award winner was Detroit-based Kirlin Lighting for their INFRALED PRO Motorized Exam Lights, which are designed for ultimate infection control. In 2018, MMA started the Coolest Thing Made in Michigan competition to call attention to the products being made by creative thinkers and doers right here in the Great Lakes State. IT Resource partnered with MMA as the program sponsor for this year’s award, reflecting the value the company places in the visionary and inventive minds propelling technology forward.

Previously announced winners were revered and celebrated at the sold-out event co-hosted by MMA President & CEO John J. Walsh and Donna Kuhr, President, CEO and Co-Owner of PTM Corporation.

Specializing in custom die sets, plates and parallels, Breckinridge’s Integrity Fab & Machine Inc. is the 2023 John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year – Small Tieraward winner, which carries the name and the legacy of MMA’s longest serving president, John G. Thodis, whose lifetime of industry service is one that all deserving manufacturers strive to duplicate.

The Manufacturing Emerging Leader award went to Ronald E. Hall, President & CEO of Detroit based Bridgewater Interiors, who is the second-generation leader of one of the country’s most prominent Minority Business Enterprise firms. The Manufacturing Emerging Leader Award is awarded for noteworthy contributions to the industry and the potential for future accomplishments within Michigan manufacturing.

The recipient of the 2023 Manufacturing Lifetime Achievement Award, Jon Hall, founder and CEO of Glastender Inc. in Saginaw is not only a remarkable leader but also a prolific inventor, which embodies the spirit of the award. The Manufacturing Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a manufacturer who has excelled in the industry and inspires his or her peers, emerging leaders, lawmakers and educators to strive to make significant contributions to his or her company, industry and community.

The 2023 Manufacturing Talent Champion award winner Battle Creek-based DENSO Manufacturing Michigan Inc. is dedicated to building the next generation of manufacturing leaders and developing a skilled workforce. The winner of the Manufacturing Talent Champion Award works to develop Michigan’s next generation workforce and bring attention to the industry’s variety of career options.

This year's Manufacturing Woman of the Year award winner, Sachiko Johnson, CFO of Jordan Manufacturing Company, utilized her superior leadership skills and personal touch to completely transform her family-run company celebrating its 75th year. The Manufacturing Woman of the Year Award was created in 2019 to honor the roles that women play in manufacturing.

“Day after day, year after year, our industry addresses the needs of humankind in ways both well-known and hardly recognized but nevertheless appreciated,” said Walsh. “And all the while, owners, operators and employees keep creating, solving problems and taking risks in market conditions that can seem nearly overwhelming and daunting.”

Walsh continued, “Manufacturing has provided individuals and their families with financial health and stability, strengthened communities and led Michigan and the entire nation to unimaginable financial success and stability. It is our honor to celebrate this industry that has propelled Michigan forward through the best of times and the worst of times.”

The thrilling evening of recognition for the globally interconnected manufacturing industry drew attendees from across the state and the world, including Yusuke Shindo, Consul General of Japan in Detroit.

In congratulating Japanese honorees Sachiko Hosaka-Johnson and DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Shindo stated “Talent has always been the key to Michigan manufacturing. I am thrilled that Sachiko — a talented businesswoman and author — and DENSO Manufacturing Michigan – the largest employer of Michigan manufacturing talent among all in-state Japanese companies — are being recognized for their achievements in this vital economic sector.” Shindo continued “It is my hope that tonight’s honorees will continue to actively promote mutual understanding, strengthen bonds between the United States and Japan, and contribute to the growth of Michigan’s manufacturing sector.”

Learn more about the Manufacturing Excellence Awards at and the Coolest Thing Made in Michigan at

For more information or to schedule a call with the 2023 Manufacturing Excellence Awards winners, contact MMA’s McKinley at 517-487-8530 or

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Delaney McKinleyDelaney McKinley
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Call 517-487-8530