Whenever Providence Business News starts a new program, there is a great deal of enthusiasm, optimism and just all-around warm, fuzzy feelings. This year’s Manufacturing Awards are no exception.
While not the employment juggernaut it once was, manufacturing is a potent part of the region’s economy. It was our intent to highlight the high achievers in the state, and bring to light many companies that few outside their close circle of friends could identify. I am sure that you will agree that we have succeeded on that charge.
Coto Technology, for example, has been around for nearly half a century, making switches like those that help refrigerator lights turn on and off. But suddenly the company has built a game-changing switch, one that is one cubic millimeter in volume and is just now being considered for new uses, including as part of diagnostic medical devices or even more miniaturized hearing aids.
G-Form is revolutionizing protective gear for athletes, military personnel and electronic devices, but those are only the first blush of uses for the mostly pliable, suddenly solid material the company has invented.
And our first winner in the Leadership & Strategy category is Cheryl Merchant, the hard-driving president and CEO of Hope Global, a company she has helped transform into an international leader in the creation of “engineered textile solutions,” as the company says. He career path started on a Michigan farm, but it’s all manufacturing now.
As is always the case, sponsors are key to any of our programs. The presenting sponsor for this initial PBN Manufacturing Awards program is Polaris MEP. Partner sponsors include BlumShapiro, Bryant University’s John H. Chafee Center for International Business, Executive Development Center and the Graduate School of Business, Hope Global and USI Insurance Services. The media partner is AM790.