Shining a Spotlight on Innovation at the MMA’s Excellence Awards

Jessica Slendak

The manufacturing industry lies in the heart of Michigan, and has for decades. It's here that the melody of machinery harmonizes with the spirit of innovation - standing as the bedrock of the state's economic strength. On November 9, 2023, the Kellogg Center in East Lansing played host to the annual Manufacturing Excellence Awards gala, orchestrated by the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA). This event not only applauded the industry's steadfast resilience but also spotlighted its limitless creativity.

Celebrating Excellence in Manufacturing

The Michigan Manufacturers Association's Excellence Awards gala is a glittering affair that spotlights the industry's best and brightest. This year, the event reached new heights as the winners of the 2023 Manufacturing Excellence Awards took the stage. Among the prestigious accolades, the "Coolest Thing Made in Michigan" award was presented, and IT Resource proudly assumed the role of title sponsor for this particular category.

The Coolest Thing Made in Michigan

The "Coolest Thing Made in Michigan" recognizes the most innovative, game-changing, and downright cool product emerging from the manufacturing industry, one which contributes over $102 billion to Michigan's economy each year.


In attendance were our very own Jessica Slendak, Jake Allen, Dean Exoo, and Gary Lusk, adding a touch of IT flair to the manufacturing event. Dean Exoo, representing the company, took the stage to present the award, embodying the seamless blend of technology and manufacturing.


And the Winner Is...

Drumroll, please! The recipient of the "Coolest Thing Made in Michigan" for 2023 was none other than Detroit-based Kirlin Lighting for their INFRALED PRO Motorized Exam Lights. Designed for ultimate infection control, these lights epitomize the cutting-edge innovation that the Michigan manufacturing industry is known for.


The MMA initiated the "Coolest Thing Made in Michigan" competition in 2018, putting a spotlight on the state's creative thinkers and doers. This year, Kirlin Lighting was an ideal candidate to showcase the visionary spirit that defines Michigan's manufacturing landscape.

IT Resource's Partnership with MMA

For IT Resource, being the program sponsor for this year's "Coolest Thing Made in Michigan" award is more than a title—it's a testament to our belief in the power of visionary and inventive minds propelling technology forward. As the manufacturing industry evolves, technology plays an integral role, and IT Resource stands shoulder to shoulder with the MMA in championing this synergy.

120 Years of Advocacy and Innovation

Beyond the glamour of awards and ceremonies, the MMA has been a champion for manufacturers for 120 years. Through legislative advocacy, workforce development, education, training, networking, and cost savings initiatives, MMA has paved the way for an atmosphere where manufacturing not only survives but thrives. "The Coolest Thing Made in Michigan" is just one manifestation of their commitment to recognizing the brilliance that is Michigan's manufacturing sector.


As the curtains close on another year of recognizing excellence in manufacturing, IT Resource remains committed to fostering a future where innovation, technology, and manufacturing seamlessly converge. The Michigan Manufacturers Association's Excellence Awards have once again affirmed that Michigan's manufacturing legacy is not just about producing goods; it's about forging a path to a future defined by creativity, resilience, and, of course, coolness.