Regional manufacturers star at statewide awards

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Posted by of Insight Publications

The New North was well represented at the annual Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Awards, sweeping all four grand award categories.

Four manufacturers from the region received awards: Mercury Marine in the mega category; Robinson Metal Inc. in the large category; Winsert Inc. in the medium category; and J&R Machine in the small category.

This year’s award marks the third one for Mercury Marine, which previously won in 2006 and 2014. During the past 10 years, the company has invested more than $1 billion in research and development and expansions. Mercury also surpassed $3 billion in sales for the first time ever in 2018.

“Although Mercury has unveiled many new innovations and has amassed many successes through the years, 2018 stands out as a particularly remarkable year of achievements that will help to shape the future of both Mercury Marine and the entire boating industry, and it is gratifying to be recognized for this honor by the WMC,” Mercury Marine President John Pfeifer said in a release.

Founded 96 years ago by Al Robinson, Robinson Metal Inc. of De Pere is a metal fabricator with six divisions. The company has 400 employees between its operations in De Pere and Manitowoc.

Winsert Inc. of Marinette is a global provider of innovative alloy solutions to multiple industries.

J&R Machine of Shawano is a 27-year-old contract manufacturer that produces custom, complex machined parts. It serves customers in such diverse fields as defense, medical technology, oil and gas, and auto racing.

This is J&R Machine’s second manufacturing award in the past six months. Last fall, it won a manufacturing award of distinction from the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce.

“It speaks to the effort of everyone on the J&R Team in serving our customers and the community and is recognition of the manufacturing industry’s critical role in Wisconsin’s economy,” said Tim Tumanic, president of J&R Machine.

In addition to the four grand awards, two special awards were announced: Gamber-Johnson LLC of Stevens Point was honored for exceptional customer relations, and Klement Sausage Co. of Milwaukee was honored for market innovation and leadership.

The Manufacturer of the Year awards are sponsored by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce — the state chamber and manufacturers’ association — the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP and the accounting and advisory firm of Baker Tilly.