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Eberspaecher Exhaust Technology adding 100 jobs in Brighton

Eberspaecher Exhaust Technology plans to hire hundreds of people in Metro Detroit, starting with a 100-person expansion of its Brighton facility.

"They're being hired right now," says Doug Swick, president of Eberspaecher Exhaust Technology. "We're well into the hiring phase."

The Novi-based company has filled a majority of those 100 new positions in Brighton. It has also hired 125 people at its Novi facility in the last two months. The global Tier 1 automotive manufacturer is sinking $122 million into expanding its Metro Detroit operations. The investment is expected to create 545 jobs over the next five years.

The company specializes in the development and manufacturing of exhaust systems. It is currently working to expand its Brighton operations, tripling the square footage to 110,000, as part of an expansion brokered by the Michigan Economic Development Corp and Ann Arbor SPARK.

"It will be a one-stop shop for commercial vehicle exhaust design," Swick says.

Eberspaecher Exhaust Technology is also evaluating potential locations for a new manufacturing facility in Michigan. Swick expects his firm to make that determination within the next 60-90 days.

"We are also looking at consolidating two facilities into one facility in Michigan," Swick says.

Source: Doug Swick, president of Eberspaecher Exhaust Technology
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Northville's Gentherm acquires Global Thermoelectric

Gentherm has acquired Global Thermoelectric in a deal to bring new technology to the Northville-based firm’s portfolio.

Gentherm, which develops thermal management technologies, was interested in Global Thermoelectric's industrial thermoelectric generator systems, specifically their remote power generation. Global Thermoelectric, which is based in Calgary, makes systems that can operate in remote industrial areas.

"We like that concept very much," says Daniel Coker, president & CEO of Gentherm. "We're experts in thermal electrics."

Gentherm has hired 30 people in the last year, expanding its headquarters and research-and-development facility in Northville to 150 employees. It has plans to add more soon.

"We're trying to hire more people as we speak," Coker says. "We hired three people last week."

Gentherm grew its revenue by 19.2 percent last year and 10 percent two years ago. The 23-year-old business expects a double-digit revenue increase this year.

"Our goal is to grow 10-15 percent a year, and we achieve our goals," Coker says.

Source: Daniel Coker, president & CEO of Gentherm
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Cambridge Consulting Group launches healthcare exchange, adds 10 jobs

The bureaucracy that has come with the Affordable Healthcare Act has sent a lot of entrepreneurs scrambling to adapt. Cambridge Consulting Group is growing by running to these businesses with an answer.

The Troy-based company is launching its own healthcare exchange, Cambridge Exchange Solutions, that offers a defined contribution model. It enables the user to set an overall budget for benefits and employees.

"It creates a nice solution for a lot of groups that were thinking of getting out of offered benefits plans," says Cam Kennedy, partner & CFO of Cambridge Consulting Group.

The 29-year-old business offers insurance and financial consulting services, ranging from employee benefits to risk management to wealth strategies. It started to move toward offering the exchange as part of its services when it saw the market shift after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Cambridge Consulting Group has hired 10 people over the last year, mainly analysts and consultants. It now has a staff of 60 employees and five interns. It also has three open positions for analysts and a client services representative.

Source: Cam Kennedy, partner & CFO of Cambridge Consulting Group
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Corrigan Moving Systems looks to hire 200 people this spring

Career opportunities at Corrigan Moving Systems will abound this spring as the moving firm begins to go on a hiring spree.

The Farmington Hills-based company is hiring 200 people this spring to help with the moving season this summer and fall. Most of the hires are for laborers and drivers who work on a part-time basis. Think college students or young people fresh out of high school.

"Every summer we hire a lot of part-time people," says David Corrigan, president of Corrigan Moving Systems. "That's what we’re doing again this summer."

Those part-time positions are often just summer jobs for young people. However, Corrigan says about 10 percent of those people who take the summer jobs parlay those into full-time gigs for the moving company. In years past that meant about a dozen jobs, but the company's recent growth spurt means there are even more opportunities for advancement this year.

"Our business has been growing so we need more than we used to," Corrigan says. "We only needed 100-110 a year ago. This year we need every one of 200 people."

For information on the new positions, click here or email a resume to jobs@corriganmoving.com.  

Source: David Corrigan, president of Corrigan Moving Systems
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Giffels Webster helps communities obtain $3.5M in grant funds

Giffels Webster may have moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit a few years ago, but the civil engineering firm isn’t leaving the rest of Metro Detroit behind.

The 62-year-old firm has helped three suburban communities in Metro Detroit score $3.5 million in grants from the state of Michigan over the last year. Those grants include $2 million for the Macomb County Wastewater Disposal District to complete a wastewater asset management plan, $994,410 for Washington Township to a create a wastewater assessment management plan, and $515,700 for Lyon Township to design the township’s wastewater treatment plant expansion.

"That $3.5 million is more than what we normally get for communities in a year," says Jason Mayer, senior project manager at Giffels Webster.

Giffels Webster employs 69 people, including 22 in its Macomb office and 18 in its Birmingham office. The remainder are in the company's headquarters in downtown Detroit. The firm has hired 18 people over the last year, with a dozen of them working in the offices in Macomb and Oakland counties.

Source: Jason Mayer, senior project manager at Giffels Webster
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Lawrence Tech receives $697K grant for entrepreneurial project studio

The Kern Family Foundation is giving nearly $700,000 to Lawrence Technological University as part of an effort to make the university’s curriculum more entrepreneurial in nature.

"We want to transform the educational experience of our students," says Maria Vaz, provost at Lawrence Technological University. "We want our students to have an entrepreneurial mindset."

The Kern Family Foundation is giving Lawrence Tech a $697,000 grant over three years, which is the final in a phase of $2.4 million worth of giving from the Wisconsin-based foundation that started in 2003. The grant is focused on incorporating the entrepreneurial mindset into undergraduate engineering education at Lawrence Tech.

For instance, the grant helped infuse entrepreneurial aspects into 50 courses throughout the college. It also helped to establish a freshman studio for engineering students that is project-based and focused on creating an enterprising attitude in students. The latest installment of the grant will help create a sophomore version of that studio.

"We want to institutionalize even more of the changes we made to the curriculum," Vaz says.

Source: Maria Vaz, provost at Lawrence Technological University
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Realtime Technologies moves to bigger office in Royal Oak

Realtime Technologies has a new home in downtown Royal Oak. The company ended up there a little faster than expected for an unlikely reason: fire.

The simulation firm was planning to move to new offices last year, and then a fire hit its offices late last summer. That accelerated the company’s plans, prompting it to move early that fall to a bigger, nicer facility.

The company, a subsidiary of Ann Arbor-based AroTech, now employs a dozen people in Royal Oak after adding a new software developer. It is also looking to make another hire or two this spring if the right candidate comes around.

"We're always looking for good talent," says Clayne Woodbury, national sales director for Realtime Technologies. The company also hired another person outside of Michigan that was a former employee, he says. "We have added some significant talent in the last year."

Realtime Technologies makes simulation technology and offers custom software design and engineering services. The technical description involves real-time, multi-body vehicle dynamics, and graphical simulation and modeling. Among its projects are a simulation technology for autonomous vehicles, railroads and hospitals.

"One of the things we're doing more and more of as we become more involved with the commercial side of the business is rail," Woodbury says. "We're building a simulator for a light-rail system in Toronto."

Source: Clayne Woodbury, national sales director for Realtime Technologies
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Coliant forms partnership with Harley-Davidson

Coliant, a local startup, is forming a partnership with a name-brand corporation, Harley Davidson, to produce the next big thing in motorcycle gear: microclimate technology.

The Warren-based startup’s newly-developed personal climate-control technology, i.e. Smart Clothing system, works to keep users warm while riding motorcycles and other similar vehicles, like ATVs. Coliant plans to ship its first units to Harley Davidson late next year.

"We're trying to set the standard in this industry, open-cabin vehicles," says John Swiatek, CEO of Coliant.

The 10-year-old company has been producing accessory technology for outdoors vehicles for years. Its Powerlet brand is an electrical accessory in the powersport industry that allows users of motorcycles and ATVs to plug their gadgets into the vehicle. Coliant won the $25,000 prize in the Next Generation Manufacturing category at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition last fall for its technological innovations.

"The technology has advanced," Swiatek says. "Our customers are evolving."

Which has meant the company has shaken up its staff. It hired two new executives over the last year, including a president and head of business development. Right now the team is focused on its microclimate technology for clothing.

"This is the largest project we're undertaking at the moment," Swiatek says.

Source: John Swiatek, CEO of Coliant
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Wright & Filippis expands leadership team with 3 new executives

The executive team at Wright & Filippis is shaking up and expanding from its headquarters in Rochester Hills.

The health-care firm, which specializes in prosthetics, has hired a new vice president of operations, a vice president of sales and a director of IT. Its vice president of facility operations is now the executive vice president of mergers & acquisition, and its former COO and CFO is now company president. The new executive team will oversee the company’s 625 employees, of which 500 are based in Metro Detroit.

"We're moving people so we can grow the company in different areas," says A.J. Filippis CEO & chairman of Wright & Filippis.

The 70-year-old firm has left some markets so it can grow into others. It exited several supply-based ventures, such as diabetic supplies. It is now focusing on prosthetics, orthotics, respiratory care services, and home medical equipment and supplies, complex seating rehabilitation and home accessibility systems.

Wright & Filippis is also in the process of acquiring some other business across the U.S. The firm recently acquired Carolina Orthotics & Prosthetics and is targeting a handful of other acquisitions.

"We have two more mergers and acquisitions we plan to execute in the next 60 days," Filippis says. He adds, "We're looking at other opportunities along the east coast to expand our product line."

Source: A.J. Filippis CEO & chairman of Wright & Filippis
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Living Well Primary Care focuses on preventative medicine

A couple of primary care doctors have launched a new practice in the heart of Oakland County focused on preventative medicine and maximizing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Drs. Alissa Citron and Sandra Lerner have been working in primary care for the last decade. They opened Living Well Primary Care in Farmington Hills in January with the idea of focusing on helping their patients live the most healthy lifestyle they can by focusing on preventative care and making smart, incremental decisions.

"It's not about what not to do, but what do you need to do," Dr. Lerner says.

The new practice is currently staffed by Drs. Lerner and Citron, along with three support staff. The doctors plan to continue to expand their medical staff over the rest of this year as they work to establish their practice.

Living Well Primary Care sees patients of all ages from toddlers to senior citizens. The co-founders hope that working with these patients and their families over the long haul will help them make the best decisions about their long-term health, such as getting vaccinated, eating the right food, and maximizing exercise.
 
"I want us to be a medical resource to guide people through disease prevention," Dr. Lerner says.

Source: Dr. Sandra Lerner, co-founder of Living Well Primary Care
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Gordon Chiropractic leverages customer service for growth

Lots of companies like to credit new technology or a pivot in their business plan when they see their revenues rise. Gordon Chiropractic credits sustained and consistent customer service.

The West Bloomfield-based practice has watched its patient volume increase by 10 percent over the last year. That helped it hire four people, rounding out its staff to 10 people. Daniel S. Gordon, the founder of Gordon Chiropractic, expects to grow his business by as much as 20 percent this year.

"We have established a great reputation in the community," Gordon says. "We have a tremendously high patient satisfaction rate."

The bread and butter of that success is consistently emphasizing mundane but critical business basics when it comes to customer service: employing a friendly/helpful staff and keeping an immaculate office. Gordon Chiropractic has also added new equipment and expanded its service offerings to help ensure its success streak continues in 2014.

"We just want to continue to grow," Gordon says.

Source: Daniel S. Gordon, founder of Gordon Chiropractic
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

CORE Partners completes merger, plans to hire in Birmingham

What is now CORE Partners was actually three separate real-estate/construction companies last summer. Today they are setting the stage to become a more dynamic, full-service real-estate firm based out of downtown Birmingham.

"These were three companies that functioned in different silos of the real-estate industry," says Bob Waun, vice president of business development for CORE Partners and recent addition to its team.

CORE Partners functioned as a commercial brokerage before the merger with Burton-Katzman (a construction firm) and ReAlta (a real-estate development firm based in New York City). The new combined company, which employs 85 people and plans to add 3-5 summer interns, has spent the last six months combining and streamlining its operations.

"The growth phase is what happens next," Waun says. "The market can now see that we are a full-service real-estate brokerage firm."

CORE Partners plans to spend the rest of this year acquiring new projects, such as helping reposition bank-owned properties back on the market. It will also continue to evaluate its own portfolio to see what it should keep and what it should sell.

Source: Bob Waun, vice president of business development for CORE Partners
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

BorgWarner expands tech center in Auburn Hills

BorgWarner is expanding its Powertrain Technical Center in Auburn Hills with an investment of up to $11 million.

The Auburn Hills-based automotive supplier is expanding the tech center with the aspiration of improving automotive fuel economy, lowering engine emissions and upping vehicle performance in its products.

The firm expects to create 200 new jobs at the site over the next five years. It currently has 60 open positions for the space, and the company expects to fill the bulk of those jobs within the next three years. The openings can be seen here.

"We believe in the power of collaboration," says Scott Gallett, vice president of marketing & public relations for BorgWarner. "We're going to add new engineers and equipment. It makes sense to put them all under one roof."

BorgWarner already had its Powertrain Technical Center in Auburn Hills, so the expansion of the facility was a logical move, according to Gallett. He says the new space will be able to easily accommodate another 200 employees.

BorgWarner is receiving a $3.2 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp to make this investment in Auburn Hills. The city of Auburn Hills is also offering to provide a property tax abatement.

Source: Scott Gallett, vice president of marketing & public relations for BorgWarner
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

LevelSet Solutions adds 4 jobs, maximizes existing customer base

LevelSet Solutions is growing its bottom line not by focusing on new clients, but making the most of the work it does with its existing clientele.

The downtown Royal Oak-based firm, which specializes in digital marketing and tech consulting, has grown its revenue and staff significantly in the last year by solidly executing for its customers and helping them complete a deep dive to streamline and maximize their own businesses.

"We find clients who are looking for complete solutions instead of one-off projects," says Steve Swanson, president of LevelSet Solutions.

That has allowed the 5-year-old company to hire four people over the past year, expanding its staff to 17 employees, a handful of consultants and one summer intern. The newly created jobs include positions in Internet marketing, software development and business analysis.

"We're always looking (to hire)," Swanson says. "We never stop looking because it takes us a while to find the right candidate with the right skill set."

Source: Steve Swanson, president of LevelSet Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Electro-Matic Products executes move to employee ownership

Many employees dream of owning a significant chunk of the company they work for. The workers at Electro-Matic Products recently made that dream come true.

The Farmington Hills-based manufacturing technology company executed a move to an employee stock ownership plan, also known as an ESOP, last fall. About 170 people and the occasional intern work there today.

"ESOP is a pretty good thing for all of the employees and the company itself," says David Scaglione, vice president of sales & marketing for Electro-Matic Products. "It gives a solid path forward for ownership in the future."

The 42-year-old firm has handled that transition pretty expertly so far. Its revenue jumped 10 percent last year, allowing it to hire about 10 people. It now has in excess of $100 million in sales, and expectations that such growth will continue for the foreseeable future.

For instance, Electro-Matic Products' connectivity group is expanding into the machine tooling industry. It's also moving into the energy sector by selling LED light retrofits to its customers.

"It (LED light sales) is just getting started," Scaglione says. "The adoption rate in the U.S. is just under 5 percent."

Source: David Scaglione, vice president of sales & marketing for Electro-Matic Products
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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