Michigan Manufacturers Honor Pro-manufacturing Leaders

LANSING (Sept. 20, 2022) — Manufacturers joined state and local leaders to honor pro-manufacturing legislators in Lansing during the Michigan Manufacturers Association’s (MMA) Legislative Reception last Wednesday, 9/14/22. The evening portion of MFG Legislative Day featured the presentation of the MMA Legislator of the Year Award, the Association’s highest policy honor.

The Association recognized four policymakers in appreciation for outstanding leadership on behalf of Michigan manufacturers with the 2022 MMA Legislator of the Year Award.

The 2022 Legislator of the Year Award recipients are:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake)
  • Senator Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth)
  • Representative Matt Hall (R-Marshall)
  • Representative Joe Tate (D-Detroit)

“Pro-manufacturing policies only happen because MMA can count on the support of pro-manufacturing elected officials at the Capitol,” said Mike Johnston, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Workforce Development, as he presented the Awards last Wednesday at the MMA Headquarters in Lansing. “These policymakers understand the critical importance of manufacturing to Michigan’s economy and its individual communities. Their votes and their voices carry the weight we need to get important issues over the finish line.”

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Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake)

Mike Shirkey serves as Senate Majority Leader. 

“We have been incredibly lucky to have Senator Mike Shirkey in the Legislature for the last 12 years and serving as the Senate Majority Leader for the last four years,” said Johnston. “Senator Shirkey is a manufacturer. He founded and owns Orbitform, a very successful company in Jackson. He is one of us. He understands our issues and brings his leader personality and passion for finding solutions.”

This is the fourth time Mike Shirkey was named MMA Legislator of the Year.  

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Senator Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth)

Senator Ken Horn chairs the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee, along with two Senate Appropriations Subcommittees: Capital Outlay and Talent and Economic Development/MEDC. Much of his work as chair of the Economic and Small Business Development Committee is focused economic development and job creation. He is passionate about growing the economy and maintaining Michigan’s presence as a leader in manufacturing.

According to Johnston, “Senator Horn is truly a paragon of what MMA’s Legislator of the Year should be. I have often said we need to clone Ken Horn. The state would be in much better shape.”   

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Representative Matt Hall (R-Marshall)

Representative Matt Hall is serving his second term representing the people of south and central Calhoun County and eastern Kalamazoo County. Matt is chairman of the House Tax Policy Committee.

“As chair of the House Tax Policy Committee, Representative Matt Hall’s leadership has been instrumental in solving multiple complex and daunting tax issues for businesses of all sizes,” Johnston said. “He championed the effort to end the onerous annual filing requirement for the exemption from the industrial Personal Property Tax (PPT), introduced an R&D Tax Credit and is driving a solution to help achieve PPT exemptions for manufactures facing COVID-19 complications.”

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Representative Joe Tate (D-Detroit)

Representative Joe Tate represents part of Detroit’s Lower East Side, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe City, and Grosse Pointe Farms. As a teenager, he earned a scholarship to play football at Michigan State University before joining the National Football League. After the NFL, Representative Tate served in the U.S. Marine Corps, deploying twice to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Before joining the Legislature, Tate helped small businesses as a program manager for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

“Representative Joe Tate is a leader who has done substantial and meaningful work addressing MMA members’ most pressing issue: talent,” remarked Johnston, MMA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Workforce Development. “Talent is the primary barrier to competitiveness for manufacturers and Representative Tate recognizes that we must solve the talent challenge, if we are going to win the economic battle.”