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Snyder's "Reinventing Michigan" award goes to…

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Governor Snyder hands memebers of the Slikkers family his first ever "Reinventing Michigan" award Wednesday. The Slikkers own Energetx Composites, a spin-off of Tiara Yachts.

Governor Rick Snyder is honoring a West Michigan company for diversifying its business. Snyder presented Energetx Composites with his first “Reinventing Michigan” award. The award is part of a campaign promise to highlight more business success stories in the state.  

Energetx is a spin-off of Tiara Yachts. Luxury boats sales crashed during the recession.  In 2008 the company realized they could use the same strong but light-weight material used to make yachts to make other things, particularly parts for wind turbines. 

Steve Bucsh directs human resources for both companies. Now he says they’re looking to expand beyond wind turbines to make components for solar panel technology, and alternative energy vehicles.

Combined Energetx and Tiara Yachts employ around 350 people. That’s still only half as many as the company employed during the boom years. But they plan to hire up to 300 people in 2012.

Snyder praised the luxury boat maker for branching out its business during the recession.

“It’s a case of keeping what we’ve done so well, building on that, but expanding and diversifying and being thoughtful.”

Leaders of around 50 green energy businesses at the event urged Snyder to focus on how renewable energy could change Michigan’s economy.

Snyder says he hopes to concentrate more on the issue once he wraps up work on the state budget.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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