William Henderson, President and CEO of Aircraft Precision Products, Inc. (APPI) in Ithaca, Michigan, has been named a Finalist in the 2007 John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award program. The awards, presented by the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA), recognize Michigan manufacturers’ positive contributions to the industry and local communities.
“Bill Henderson’s passion for the manufacturing industry comes through loud and clear in his actions, which make both his company and community stronger,” said John MacIlroy, MMA president and CEO. “We are pleased to recognize his accomplishments.”
Henderson helped his company recover from a major loss of business from a key customer in 2003 by implementing lean manufacturing procedures to cut costs and develop product innovations that appealed to a more diverse customer base. The company hired eight new employees in the past 18 months, it now employs 65, and invested $1 million in capital improvements over the same period. APPI manufactures complex parts for the aerospace industry.
Henderson is a vocal advocate on issues important to the Michigan manufacturing industry’s competitiveness – particularly quality education and affordable health care.
He is co-chairman of the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business-School Alliance Committee and has worked to break down barriers that had existed between the county’s school systems and the business community. He has shared his business expertise with schools and established apprenticeship, job shadowing, and mentoring programs for students.
“Bill makes regular presentations to area service organizations and civic groups, encouraging participation in the Business-School Alliance,” said Robert Schooks, regional director of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center at Saginaw Valley State University. “More than 250 Gratiot County businesses now participate.”
Henderson is a member of the board of the Gratiot Medical Center in Alma and helped the hospital implement Lean Systems, which resulted in 25 percent shorter patient wait times. The hospital was subsequently selected to participate in Governor Granholm’s Lean Health Care Pilot Project.
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