2021 Award of Excellence Winners


Eagle Mine

Eagle Mine is a multi-award-winning underground, high-grade nickel and copper mine located in western Marquette County. It is the first mine to be permitted under Michigan’s Part 632 Non-Ferrous Mineral Mining Law and the nation’s only primary nickel mine. The mine is expected to produce 440 million pounds of nickel, and 429 million pounds of copper, and trace amounts of other minerals over its estimated mine life.


Eagle Mine’s presentation video


Mission Point Resort

Mission Point Resort – In late 2014, Mission Point Resort was purchased by Dennert and Suzanne Ware.  It was the largest real estate transaction in a quarter of a century on Mackinac Island. Two of their five children, Mark Ware the youngest and Liz Ware the oldest, CEO and Vice President of Sales and Marketing, respectively, set a course to reimagine the 18-acre property with 241 guests rooms in much need of maintenance, repair, and improvements.


Mission Point has undergone approximately $15M in massive upgrades and improvements to the facilities, operating procedures, branding, and culture under the direction of this dynamic brother and sister team.


Doing the right things is at their core and with strong leadership, they have experienced the highest guest satisfaction numbers to date in 2021 while being understaffed by 20%.  Departments had contests to see which one can outperform in guest satisfaction scores.  It was not uncommon to see Mark in a Bellman’s uniform carrying guest luggage or Liz in housekeeping or grounds when all hands are needed on deck.


This past year despite overwhelming challenges, Mission Point operated at a profit in 2021 with the highest moral and guest service scores ever.


Mission Point Resort’s presentation video


Mohawk Technology, LLC

Mohawk Technology – Founded in 2013, Mohawk Technology is an automation engineering company headquartered in Mohawk, Michigan. The company’s deep ties in the Upper Peninsula date back to mining and logging heydays when Scandinavian ancestors of current employees worked in Keweenaw Peninsula mines and forests. In the modern economy, Mohawk Technology helps companies keep factories running, increase production, and manufacture new products. MT’s Process Group has experience working in some of the country’s largest cheese plants and for the world’s largest dairy manufacturers. This unit installs cheese vats, CIP systems, pasteurizers, and completes system upgrades for clients. MT’s Mechatronics Group solves automation problems for modern factories and has installed robots and reduced labor costs and human operator involvement for customers across a range of industries, from dairy to automotive. Industry automation projects are supported by the process, controls, mechanical, and robotic engineers. Mohawk Technology has grown to more than 25 employees and continues to expand its capabilities with two major capital building projects in 2022. These include a U.P. panel and robot assembly shop and a Wisconsin welding and process fabrication facility. Company locations in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin serve customers around the country.


Mohawk Technology, LLC presentation video



NEPCO – Northeastern Products Corp started in 1955 in the Adirondack Mountain area in a small community of Warrensburg NY by Eugene Schiavi and his wife Lee. Selling processed sawdust and shavings to various industrial markets, furrier industry, and animal bedding suppliers.


In 1968 the company pioneered the concept of using fiber from a virgin log to produce an animal bedding to meet the needs of the sophisticated laboratory animal science research facilities. In a short matter of time, NEPCO became the premier supplier of bedding for laboratory animals.


As the company grew, a need for another manufacturing facility was needed and in 1982, the plant in Caspian opened at its first location. As demand for the Aspen bedding grew over the next ten years, a move was made to its present site in Caspian at a former manufacturing facility. The Caspian facility has had continued growth over the last 20 years with its dedicated workforce and the availability of the main raw material.


NEPCO – Northeastern Products Corp.’s presentation video