Six U.P. businesses Honored as 2017 "Michigan 50 Companies to Watch"


(Escanaba) – Six U.P. companies have been recognized as one of the 2017 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business:

Hurley Marine, Inc. – Escanaba
IMC – Independent Machine Company – Escanaba
K & M Industrial – Gladstone
Van Straten Brothers, Inc. – Baraga
Vollwerth & Baroni Companies – Hancock
Xeratec Corporation – Hancock

The businesses will be honored at an awards ceremony during the thirteenth annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business gala event, May 4, 2017 in Lansing, Mich.

IMC is a full-service steel fabrication facility that specializes in pilot plows, gear cases, portable wheel lathes, wear plates, and many other locomotive accessories. IMC also manufactures many non-railroad fabrications including steel containers, dumpsters, and mezzanines. Serving the railroad industry since 1975. IMC has since become the world’s largest aftermarket supplier of traction motor gear cases and pilot plows.

According to a press release from the company that supplies products to all Major Tier 1 railroads and many Short-line railroads located in the United States and Canada, "Our products are shipped around the world and can be seen on locomotives in six of the seven continents. We are proud to be a U.S. based company with 100% in-house design and build capabilities using U.S. made materials and products."

Hurley Marine is an aftermarket marine accessory manufacturer that provides innovative boat accessories for boaters who demand the best in function and style. The company is known best for dinghy davits, now offered in three models, as well as their underwater boat lights. Aside from dinghy davits and underwater lights, Hurley Marine offers muskrat guards, chocks, personalized placards and dock signs, gill gaffs, and their latest release, the game changing Fish ConTroll.

“Without the hard work and dedication from our team, none of this would be possible. 2017 is certainly going to be our best year to date,” Todd Hurley, Owner/President of Hurley Marine, Inc.

K&M Industrial is an industrial maintenance and repair facility that was started in 2009 out of the founder’s garage doing pump repairs for local municipalities and businesses. K&M stands for King and Men - based on the founder’s philosophy that “We are who we are due to who we have on board”. Keeping this in mind, K&M Industrial grew over the next few years by hiring quality staff, growing product lines, and perfecting quality control processes. 

  • In 2011, K&M moved operations to Escanaba, allowing for the expansion of manufacturing capabilities to include crane cab assemblies and custom fab projects, specializing in aluminum welding.
  • Since 2011, K&M also expanded to provide on-site repair services. In 2015, K&M moved into its new waterfront facility in Gladstone, to expand office space, upgrade repair facilities, and house larger equipment. K&M is now in the process of installing a dock on the waterfront to allow easier access to its services for ship repairs.
  • In 2014, K&M purchased a local metal supplier and service center; and in 2015, became the authorized Napa Genuine Parts supplier for this region – bringing both entities under one roof. This expansion has allowed K&M to increase its buying power and greatly reduce lead times

Companies making it to the “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” list are a remarkable group of second-stage companies. Defined as having 6 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generating $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants, these companies form the backbone of Michigan’s economy.

Representing all regions of the state and a diverse range of industries, companies like Hurley Marine, Inc. are known for their exceptional entrepreneurial leadership, creation of innovation or use of innovation in creative ways, and their sustainable competitive advantage. Winners were selected by Michigan-based judges from the banking, economic development, entrepreneurship development, and venture capital communities.

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch is presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.Founding underwriters are the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, PNC Bank, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, and Dynamic Edge, Inc. Contributing Underwriters include Clark Hill, Comcast Business Class, Consumers Energy,Dean Transportation, DTE Energy Foundation, EDGE Partners, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Fifth Third Bank, Hungerford Nichols CPAs and Advisors, Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates, Rehmann, Varnum Attorneys at Law, and Vistage Michigan.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business was founded by the Michigan Small Business Development Center, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business

Information about Michigan Celebrates Small Business can be found at

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch

Advanced Blending Solutions – Wallace
Advanced Battery Concepts – Clare
Air and Liquid Systems, Inc. – Rochester Hills
Ambassador Software – Royal Oak
America’s Preferred Home Warranty – Jackson
ASK – Lansing
Brown Iron Brewhouse – Washington
Collective Idea, Inc. – Holland
Continuity Programs, Inc. – Walled Lake
Dataspeed Inc. – Rochester Hills
Decypher – Berkley
Doberman Technologies – Mason
Downtown Restaurant Investments – Bay City
DROUGHT – Royal Oak
Edify North – Holland
Environmental Testing and Consulting – Romulus
Freshwater Digital – Grand Rapids
Goldner Walsh Garden & Home – Pontiac
Hurley Marine, Inc. – Escanaba
Image360 – Traverse City
IMC – Independent Machine Company – Escanaba
inFORM Studio – Northville
J Keller Properties, LLC – Ann Arbor
JetCo Solutions – Grand Rapids
K & M Industrial – Gladstone
Kalkaska Screw Products – Kalkaska
K-Tec Systems – Farmington Hills
Latitude 42 Brewing Company – Portage
Love & Buttercream – Royal Oak
ManoByte, Inc. – Grand Rapids
McCreadie Group, Inc. – Ann Arbor
Mixed Staffing & Recruiting – Grand Rapids
Mobile Defenders – Kentwood
Motor City Carpet & Flooring – Warren
MTW Industries LLC – Mt. Pleasant
Northern Promotions, LLC – Lachine
OneStream Software – Rochester
J. Wallbank Springs, Inc. – Port Huron
RBV Contracting – Detroit
Safety Net Inc. – Traverse City
Sandalwood Engineering & Ergonomics – Livonia
Stone House Bread – Traverse City
Tech Defenders – Grand Rapids
Torrent Consulting – Ann Arbor
Towel Tracker – Grand Rapids
United Technical Inc. – Whitmore Lake
Van Straten Brothers, Inc. – Baraga
Vollwerth & Baroni Companies – Hancock
Xeratec Corporation – Hancock
Youngtronics, LLC – Wixom


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