KEDA, GS Manufacturing garner awards for growing local business opportunities in the Upper Peninsula

HOUGHTON, Michigan (January 28, 2014) – During the annual meeting of Operation Action U.P. in January, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) and GS Manufacturing received special recognition for expanding business opportunities in the Upper Peninsula.

Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance (UPEDA) President Kim Stoker presented KEDA with UPEDA’s Non-Profit of Excellence Award for leading economic development in the U.P. “This award recognizes an organization that moved the U.P. economy forward,” Stoker said. “With Phil retiring, we wanted to recognize KEDA as one that’s made a significant positive impact.”

GS Manufacturing, a new division of GS Engineering, earned the UPWard Initiative Business Plan Award for a new forestry product. The UPWard Initiative Business Plan Award encourages entrepreneurs to explore new ideas, and create and begin new businesses. Competition winners receive startup capital, mentoring services and media exposure. UPWard Business Growth and Development Chair Joel Schultz presented the award to GS Engineering President Glen Simula.

GS Engineering developed a forestry processor winch attachment used for the retrieval of logs, which GS Manufacturing will manufacture and sell. The U.S. patent pending design was initially tested by a Keweenaw County logging contractor and is currently being tested on larger trees by a company in Washington. The award from the competition will be used for design modifications to the first prototype.

“This forestry attachment was designed and will be manufactured in the U.P., then shipped or sold throughout the U.S. and Canada, and exported overseas,” GS Engineering President Glen Simula said. “We’re going to subcontract to local machine shop companies and then we’ll do the final assembly in-house. The gist of it is, ‘let’s keep U.P. businesses going.’”

The UPWard Initiative Business Plan Award is sponsored by the Upper Michigan Chapter of the American Society for Training & Development, Michigan Technological University, Delta County Commerce Center, Northern Initiatives, Lake Superior State University, UPEDA, Operation Action U.P., Upper Peninsula Health Plan, River Valley, Michigan Works!, Michigan Small Business Development Center, Northwest Michigan Procurement Technical Assistance Center and First Bank.

UPEDA is a nonprofit economic development organization consisting of members from private companies, utilities, and local and regional economic development agencies throughout the U.P. Their mission is to enhance, link and promote the U.P. as a location in which to invest and conduct business.

For more information about UPEDA, visit