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Press Release



Congressman Fred Upton Keynote Speaker for Berrien County Manufacturers Annual Meeting


Niles, Michigan.  The Berrien County Manufacturers Council (BCMC) held its annual meeting at Orchard Hills Country Club March 14, 2012.  Invited guests included manufacturers in Berrien County along with representatives of the many organizations working to provide services and support to manufacturers.  Students from Brandywine, Buchanan, Niles, Southwestern Michigan College and Lake Michigan College were also present.


Shelley Klug, executive director of the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance and BCMC welcomed guests and led the business portion of the meeting which included the election of officers and regional representatives for 2012.  Following the approval of the slate as presented, the newly elected board president, Mike Oros of Hoffmann Die Cast Corporation introduced Congressman Fred Upton as the keynote speaker.


Congressman Upton brought updates from Washington and presented his views and positions on legislation most likely to impact manufacturers.  Upton answered questions covering a variety of topics including energy regulation, corporate and income tax reform, healthcare reform, President Obama’s 2012 budget, and the GM bailout.


Following the meeting, Upton toured Clark Engineering Services in Buchanan, Tem-Pace in Niles, and Hoffmann Die Cast in St. Joseph.


The BCMC annual meeting is a popular event for manufacturers to network with each other and discuss topics of mutual interest.  The 2012 Officers elected at the meeting are: Mike Oros, President (Hoffmann Die Cast), Larry Holben, Vice-President (Lakeside Manufacturing Company), Pat Brandstatter, Secretary/Treasurer (Kruger Plastics Products Corporation), Mike Dreher, Immediate Past President (Modineer Company).  In addition to the officers who serve as regional representatives, the 2012 regional representatives include: Gloria Ender (Freedom Finishing), Ed Faulkner (Tafcor, Inc.), Rob Woerdehoff (Arlington Metals Corporation), Matt Tyler (Vickers Engineering), Dominick Saratore (C & S Machine Products), and Christopher Tapper (Buchanan Metal Forming). 


Any Berrien County manufacturer interested in participating in the council as a member or representative can contact Shelley Klug at 269-683-1833.



Delta Industrial Valves Receives Business Award

Niles, Michigan. The Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance (SMEGA) presented their annual President’s Business Award to Keith Stelter, President of Delta Industrial Valves this Monday.  SMEGA President, Dominick Saratore, presented the award to Mr. Stelter at the company’s new offices in the Niles Industrial Park. 

“We want to recognize this company for their growth, quality products, dedication to their employees, and commitment to Michigan.”  Saratore said. 

Founded as a division of Delta Machining, Delta Industrial Valves began production in 1987.  Keith Stelter and Mark Johnson purchased the company in 2001 and have continued to grow and develop the company and its products since then.  Shelley Klug, Executive Director of SMEGA commented on the company’s employment.  “This company has almost doubled the number of their employees in the last two years – that is the kind of job growth we can all celebrate.”

Following the presentation, SMEGA board members and guests toured the facility with Stelter and congratulated the company on their success.

From left to right: Keith Stelter, President of Delta Industrial Valves; Barry Visel, SMEGA Executive Board member; Dominick Saratore, SMEGA President; and Tom Grant, SMEGA Vice President


SMEGA Recognizes Jerry French

The Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance (SMEGA) presented their “President’s Individual Award’ to Jerry French, president of French Paper Company Aug. 17.

Tom Grant, vice president of SMEGA presented the award to French as recognition of his lifelong personal commitment and dedication to supporting economic development and his community.

“Jerry’s leadership of his company and support of community development sets a high standard for us to follow,” Grant said.

French Paper Company is celebrating their 140th anniversary this year and has been recognized as the oldest family-owned and operated in Niles and in the state of Michigan. In addition to leading the company, French has been involved in numerous boards and organizations for many years, providing positive support for Niles.

“We are proud to have such a strong partner and friend guiding economic development efforts through active participation and by example of how to get things done,” said Shelley Klug, executive director of SMEGA.

The Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance has provided economic development support to communities in southern Berrien County since 1982. Every year the organization recognizes those who have demonstrated leadership and dedication to furthering economic growth in Southwest Michigan.


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333 N. 2nd Street, Suite 302 | Niles, Michigan 49120 | Phone: 269-683-9965 | Email: