Winner: Colmac Coil Manufacturing, Seattle
What’s a big manufacturing operation doing in the wilds of Eastern Washington? Staying close to its customer base and building the products that make one of the state’s most important industries—food production and processing—possible. Colmac Coil produces the components of large heat transfer and refrigeration systems for packing and cold-storage warehouses, as well as many other industries, such as pharmaceuticals, health care, petrochemicals and electronics, where something more than standard equipment is required. It operates a 225,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Colville, configured for flexible production of customized systems, and a second in Illinois (acquired in 2009).
This third-generation, family-owned company has long had an international outlook. The proximity of Colville to West Coast ports gives it access to customers in Asia and the Middle East. Now, Colmac is looking at another growing market with a huge agricultural core: Latin America. In 2012, Colmac opened a regional sales office in Guadalajara, Mexico, to provide faster response on project quotes and assistance. It also is going after more sales to Europe.
Silver Award Winners:
Canyon Creek Cabinet Company, Monroe
It’s been a rough half-decade for businesses associated with home construction and cabinet makers like Canyon Creek weren’t exempt. The company took its lumps with workforce reductions, but it also kept pushing ahead. In the thick of the recession, it launched a new line of products for closet cabinet and storage systems. Last December, its new-product introductions included a line of finishes to mimic weathered wood and new decorative hardware for its four cabinet lines. Through the downturn, it has continued a commitment to improving workplace conditions, partnering with the University of Washington and the state Department of Labor & Industries on programs to improve work ergonomics and prevent hearing loss.
Mervin Manufacturing, Seattle
Surf’s up—in Sequim? The water might be a little chilly but, then, Mervin Manufacturing knows about cold. The maker of snowboards and skateboards recently added a surfboard division at its Olympic Peninsula facility. The boards use fibers extruded from the volcanic rock basalt, one of a host of features Mervin says are new to the business of building water boards. Marketed under Mervin’s Lib Tech brand, the boards are designed to be ding resistant, lively and responsive in handling, and environmentally friendly to make—not to mention actually made in the United States.