The road to high-tech innovation runs through Automation Alley. Who are the visionaries behind the wheel? Join us as we celebrate the thinkers and the makers leading Southeast Michigan’s reinvention.


Sheryl Connelly, Ford Motor Company
Sheryl Connelly,
Global Trends and Futuring,
Ford Motor Company  

Andrew Humphrey
Andrew Humphrey,
Emmy award-winning reporter for
WDIV-TV Local 4


Detroit Yacht Club, 1 Riverbank Dr., Detroit, MI 48207 | Belle Isle
Oct. 14, 2016 | 6-11 p.m.


5:30 p.m. - Comau VIP Reception (by invitation only)
Meet the award nominees

6 p.m. - Cocktail Hour 
Vectorform Virtual Reality Experience 

7 p.m. - Dinner & Awards Presentation 
Keynote: Sheryl Connelly, Global Trends and Futuring, Ford Motor Company   
Emcee: Andrew Humphrey of WDIV-TV Local 4

9 p.m. - RAVE Computer Afterglow
Oakland University student quintet 
S3 Cigar Patio
Vectorform Virtual Reality Experience

Thank you to our sponsors:

Cigar Patio Sponsor

Virtual Reality Sponsor

After Party Sponsor

Award Sponsor

Award Sponsor

Award Sponsor

Contributing Sponsor

Contributing Sponsor

Contributing Sponsor

Spporting Sponsor

Contributing Sponsor

Award Categories and Voting  

Please vote for one nominee in each of the five categories below. To view our past award recipients, click here

Sponsored by: Kelly Services
Automation Alley’s Outstanding Educational Initiative Award recognizes one science, technology, engineering or math initiative that has broken the mold, demonstrating a creative approach to high-skill training of our current and future workforce in new and emerging technologies. 


TechShop is a vibrant, creative community that provides access to tools, software and space. A playground for creativity, TechShop offers open-access, DIY workshop and fabrication space to entrepreneurs, artists, makers, teachers and students. The studio provides access to over $1 million worth of professional equipment and software. Each facility includes laser cutters, plastics and electronics labs, a machine shop, a woodshop, a metalworking shop, a textiles department, welding stations and more. Members have open access to design software, featuring the Autodesk Design Suite and comprehensive instruction and coaching from expert staff. TechShop has also developed experience-driven corporate events to bring teams together and STEAM classes and camps to encourage young makers.

Vote for TechShop 

MAP+ is a partnership between Macomb Community College and Grand Rapids Community College to develop apprenticeship career pathways. MAP+ works with high schools and others to provide pre-apprentice and apprenticeship training, employer/student matching, special events and outreach, associate degree attainment and four-year transferability options. Macomb Community College focuses on manufacturing (CNC machining, tooling, die, mold, welding, industrial maintenance, etc.) as well as supporting other traditional apprenticeship areas (construction, climate control, etc.). Grand Rapids Community College focuses on the information technology sector. MAP+ works with area employers to increase the number of apprenticeships in the Macomb and Grand Rapids areas and beyond.

Vote for MAP+ 

Grand Circus DEVELOP(her) Bootcamp aims to make it easier for women to gain real-world tech experience. Flint and Detroit are experiencing rapid growth in the tech sector and encouraging women to be a part of that growth is vital in creating a flourishing, diverse tech industry. To qualify, women must be Michigan residents and have bachelor's degrees or higher. Training alternates between Flint and Detroit, with participants having access to employers in both cities. Tuition for DEVELOP(her) Bootcamp is being sponsored by Hagerman Foundation and TEKsystems. In the last year, Grand Circus has placed more than 90 percent of its graduating students in well-paying, high-skilled tech jobs across the state of Michigan.

Vote for Grand Circus DEVELOP(her) Bootcamp 

Sponsored by: Foster Swift
Automation Alley’s Startup of the Year Award recognizes one new company that is solving real world problems through industry-disrupting innovation, a company that is poised to accelerate and is making waves with its creative and inventive technologies.


Automation of Things is building a next generation software platform that accelerates the development of connected distributed industrial controls and automation systems for Industry 4.0 and smart factories of the future. The Automation of Things' platform handles the complexity of modern control systems by combining the backing of private, international investors with years of experience in machine automation and manufacturing process. These revolutionary software tools are available for industries ready to embrace modern design patterns and communication technologies at the control level.

Vote for Automation of tHings 

ShapeLog, Inc. is revolutionizing strength and fitness training by putting deep data analytics to work for gyms, hospitals, trainers and athletes. ShapeLog offers cloud-connected gym equipment and supporting fitness software. ShapeLog's strength tracking devices, sold directly to gyms and physical therapy centers, automatically capture and interprets data from every workout. Clubs don't need to purchase new equipment because ShapeLog devices work with all brands of legacy equipment. ShapeLog's client platform provides a personalized view of real-time performance and historical trends. Anyone looking for a better gym experience now has access to an elite-level personal trainer — including assessments, workout plans, and coaching — at a fraction of the cost.

Vote for ShapeLog, Inc. 

QuipzOR provides a more efficient solution for pre-surgical collaboration between hospitals, physicians and surgical device company representatives. The company's service includes a remote surgical device support platform and a surgery scheduling app that eliminates unnecessary foot traffic in operating rooms, reducing the risk of infections, liabilities and costs associated with onsite support.

Vote for QuipzOR 

Automation Alley’s Excellence in International Business Award recognizes one advanced manufacturing or technology company in our region that has successfully launched its products, services or technologies abroad.


Hosco Fittings LLC is a finishing system components manufacturer serving the finishing industry worldwide through systems integrators, and an extensive network of regional authorized distributors and agents. Hosco offers standardized capability for circulation systems and application finishing on a Global basis while being the only supplier of both inch and metric smooth-bore, cavity free and micro finished valves and fittings designed specifically for paint. All Hosco products are certified "silicone free" and ready for installation in paint systems.

Vote for Hosco Fittings LLC 

Gehring L.P. designs and builds honing machines for processing bore diameters ranging from 0,8 – 2000 mm and bore lengths up to 24 meters. The company’s product line ranges from highly flexible single spindle machines to multi-spindle high volume transfer machines. Gehring L.P. provides in-house manufacturing of super abrasives by Diato L.P. Since 1979, Diato has been manufacturing a wide range of diamond and CBN abrasive products. The company use proprietary metal and ceramic bonding materials for unique results and are fully equipped to supply honing stones and superabrasive products for every type of machine and tooling in use today. With 90 years of experience in the field of honing technology and subsidiaries all over the world, Gehring L.P. provides service and consultancy on site. Aside from their production and sales subsidiaries, they serve the entire world.

Vote for Gehring L.P.

Magnetic Products, Inc. (MPI) is a worldwide provider of both magnetic and non-magnetic material handling solutions. MPI leads the industry in engineering inventive magnetic equipment and advancing customer education though significant investments in research and development and proactive product training. MPI is proud to have established the industry standard for permanent magnet separator equipment design and performance. As MPI has grown over three decades, the company has expanded to include magnetic conveying, automation and material handling equipment systems as well as metal detection. MPI is now focused on expanding its line of metal control systems and material handling equipment solutions. By interacting closely with its customers and focusing on a market-driven product line, MPI has positioned itself to readily meet the challenges of today's dynamic global economy.

Vote for MPI 

Automation Alley’s Advanced Manufacturer of the Year Award recognizes a local company that has successfully applied innovative technology into manufacturing products and processes, creating U.S. manufacturing jobs and enhancing global competitiveness.


Comau is the worldwide leader in manufacturing flexible, automatic systems and integrating products, processes and services that increase efficiency while lowering overall costs. Comau uses the latest technology and processes to deliver advanced turnkey systems that consistently exceed the expectations of its customers. The company specializes in body joining and assembly, powertrain machining and assembly, robotics and maintenance, as well as advanced production systems and environmental services for a wide range of industrial sectors. The continuous development of its products and services enables Comau to lead the automation industry in meeting the unique requirements of each customer, and through all phases of the project – from design, implementation and installation, to production startup and maintenance services.

Vote for Comau

Fori Automation Inc. has built a strong reputation by designing and integrating state of the art automated systems for the aerospace, automotive and defense industries. Fori's products have expanded over the years to include automated guided vehicles, chassis marriage systems, 3D wheel aligners, toe automation, headlamp aimers, fluid fill systems, roll and brake testing systems, tire and wheel systems, tire loading and installation, caster/camber set systems, front corner and engine dress up, motor and transmission assembly, carpet and cockpit installation, door and seat installation, and urethane and glass systems. Fori's special machining division produces aluminum and steel welding systems in primarily under body applications, frame assembly and handling systems. With mechanical and software engineering/manufacturing facilities on four continents and sales and service representatives on five continents, Fori Automation is in position to supply systems and support anywhere in the world.

Vote for Fori Automation Inc.

Wenzel America is an innovative and flexible solver of customer problems build on a solid foundation of family, German precision engineering, flexibility and strong partnerships. Wenzel supports metrology and automotive styling customers around the globe and focuses on those customers as individuals, requiring unique solutions. The company strives to compete strongly and honestly in all sectors and has realistic goals to become the number one provider of automotive styling solutions and aero engine metrology.

Vote for Wenzel America

Sponsored by: New Horizons Computer Learning Centers
Southeast Michigan’s technology companies are pushing the boundaries to develop the products and solutions shaping our future. Automation Alley’s Technology Company of the Year Award recognizes one local company that’s on the leading edge of its industry, taking Silicon Valley by storm and enhancing our region as a center for innovation.


PTC delivers technology solutions that transform the way people create, operate and service products in rapidly-evolving, globally distributed manufacturing industries, including industrial equipment, automotive, high tech and electronics, aerospace and defense, retail, consumer, and medical devices. PTC solutions for Computer Aided Design (CAD), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), and Internet of Things (IoT) enable process transformation and deliver closed-loop lifecycle management for products and services that are increasingly smart and connected. The company's solutions help manufacturers optimize activities and align them across the entire enterprise.

Vote for PTC 

RIIS is a boutique web and mobile development house and IT consulting firm. The company's primary service includes accelerated application development through visualization and automated tools for the web and mobile technologies. RIIS helps companies get the applications they need, faster. Industry experience includes software, eCommerce, advertising, defense, insurance, banking/finance, and telecommunications. RIIS embraces a good challenge, taking complex problems and finding simple solutions and takes pride in hiring people that are creative thinkers and continuous learners that have a passion for collaboration.

Vote for RIIS 

Vectorform is an elite team of artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and technologists, Vectorform is changing the way you experience the world. In the car. At the hospital. At the store. On the phone. Vectorform invents digital products and experiences for the world’s leading brands with a focus on mobile, augmented and virtual reality, Internet of things, smart home, connected vehicle and wearable technology. Founded in 1999, Vectorform has five global offices: Detroit, New York, Seattle, Munich and Hyderabad.

Vote for Vectorform  

2015 Outstanding Educational Initiative Award Winner:

2015 Startup of the Year:
Halley Orthopedics

2015 Excellence in International Business Award Winner:
Rugged Liner Inc.

2015 Advanced Manufacturer of the Year:
Loc Performance Products, Inc.

2015 Technology Company of the Year:
Tata Technologies

2015 Member Company of the Year:
IPS Technology Services

2015 Automation Alley Champion Award:
Tom LaSorda

Thank you to our 2016 Luminary Committee:

Tim Attalla
Wayne County

Sandy Baruah
Detroit Regional Chamber

Rose Bellanca
Washtenaw Community College

Carolyn Bennett
DTE Energy

Stephanie Bergeron 
Walsh College

John Blanchard 
General Motors

Carol Cain 
CBS Detroit

Dr. Louay Chamra 
Oakland University

Donald Clayton 
Clayton & McKervey, P.C.

Dean Charles Crespy 
Central Michigan University

Rick Darter 
Rave Computer

Gerald Deren 
Siemens PLM

Christine Estereicher 

Warren Evans 
Wayne County

Matthew Gibb 
Oakland County

Scott Goemmel 
A&G Advisory Services 

Mark Hackel 
Macomb County Government

David Hay 
Kelly Services, Inc.

Donald Ishmael 
General Dynamics Land Systems

Pete Karsten 
Baker College

Mark King 
DTE Energy

Martin Kinsella 

Kelly Kozlowski 
Downtown Detroit Partnership

Kathryn Levine 
Blue Cross Blue Shield

Dr. Tonya Matthews 
Michigan Science Center

Brian McGinnity 

Dr. Timothy Meyer 
Oakland Community College

Dr. Virinder Moudgil 
Lawrence Technological University

Eddie Murray 
GLD Group

Jennifer Nelson 
Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Jacques Panis 

Cynthia Pasky 
Strategic Staffing Solutions

L. Brooks Patterson 
Oakland County

John Paul Rea 
Macomb County

Kurt Saldana 
Quality Metalcraft

Jennette Smith 
Crain’s Detroit Business

J. Grant Smith 
Clarkston State Bank

Ned Staebler 

Nataliya Stasiw 
Michigan Economic Development Corporation


See and be seen by the top influencers in Southeast Michigan’s business community. Each year, we recognize our region’s most influential innovators at our Annual Awards Gala. Become a Gala sponsor and align your company with top tech talent at this marquee event. To secure your sponsorship, email

Event Sponsor - $15,000
Receive top billing on all digital and print media, 10 tickets, full-page program ad and 2017 first right of refusal. 

Dinner Toast Sponsor - $10,000
Toast the room at dinner, second billing on all digital and print media, 10 tickets, full-page program ad and 2017 first right of refusal.

Registration Sponsor - $7,500
Your logo prominent on all name badges, digital and print marketing visibility and 6 tickets.

Cigar Patio Sponsor - $7,5000 SOLD to S3! 
Naming rights to patio, your logo on patio favor, digital and print marketing visibility and 6 tickets.

Valet Sponsor - $5,000
Your logo on multiple signs on Belle Isle directing attendees to the event, valet signage at the Detroit Yacht Club, digital and print marketing visibility and 2 tickets.

VIP Reception Sponsor - $5,000 SOLD to Comau! 
Naming rights to party, your logo on signage, digital and print marketing visibility and 4 tickets.

Program Sponsor - $5,000
Full-page ad in program, digital and print marketing visibility and 4 tickets.

After Party Sponsor - $5,000 SOLD to RAVE Computer! 
Naming rights to party, your logo on signage, digital and print marketing visibility and 4 tickets.

Individual Award Sponsors - $3,000 Only 2 remaining!   
Place your logo on an individual finalist video presentation, digital and print marketing visibility and 2 tickets.

Water Bottle Sponsor - $3,000
Your company logo on water bottles handed out at the end of the event, digital and print marketing visibility and 2 tickets.

Contributing Sponsors - $1,500
Your logo on website and event signage and 2 tickets.

To download a printable version of our sponsorship opportunities, click here.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Cigar Patio Sponsor

Virtual Reality Sponsor

After Party Sponsor

Award Sponsor

Award Sponsor

Award Sponsor

Contributing Sponsor

Contributing Sponsor

Contributing Sponsor

Spporting Sponsor

Contributing Sponsor

Would you like to sponsor this year's Awards Gala? Fill out the form below.

Foundation Members