One of the overall themes that emerged at the 5th Annual Macomb Business Awards is how interconnected Macomb County’s business community is. Successful partnerships are constantly being forged. This can be seen when two corporations do business together, when a business leverages the media or resources offered through a professional organization, and even when a customer benefits from the products being made by Macomb County companies.
In acknowledgment of one such successful partnership, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development (MCPED) honored Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! with the Economic Development Partner of the Year award. MCPED Deputy Director Vicky Rad presented the award, stating how important workforce development is to Macomb County companies. Executive Director John Bierbusse accepted the award on behalf of his organization and credited their partnership with MCPED for extending Michigan Works’ reach into Macomb County’s business community.
A physical representation of MCPED’s partnership with Digital First Media was also on display via copies of Macomb Momentum placed at each seat. This was the second issue of a new publication that highlights Macomb County’s unique businesses in a vivid magazine used to promote the county to potential business investors. Digital First Media Publisher Jeannie Parent also spoke at the event, giving businesses tips for how to successfully partner with the local media to share their stories.
Each of the award winners thanked and acknowledged the networks of people that support them. Bob Binson accepted the Corporate Citizen award on behalf of Center Line-based Binson’s Medical Equipment and Supplies for their charitable community engagement. As Binson exited the stage after accepting the award, emcee Huel Perkins, anchor at Fox 2 Detroit, stopped him. Perkins shared that his 90-year-old mother was only able to attend her grandson’s high school graduation because they were able to get a special chair that helped her get up the stairs – a chair acquired at Binson’s.
More partnerships were highlighted when MCPED Director John Paul Rea presented Dr. Jim Jacobs, Macomb Community College president, with the Beacon of Economic Development award. Jacobs pointed out that the college collaborates with this year’s keynote speaker, Richard Sheridan, founder, CEO and chief storyteller for Menlo Innovations, on the college’s Innovation Fund. He said many of the award winners have connections to the college as well.
“I accept this award, but I see this as part of all of us working together,” said Jacobs. He said we can leverage our strengths when we all work together.
A business is more than just a company engaged in commerce. It’s a team of employees, it’s a network of industry professionals, and it’s a partnership with the community.
Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.