St. Clair County, Michigan – September 22, 2014 

Six businesses have been recognized for their foray into exporting from the I-69 Thumb Region, which includes Genesee, Lapeer, Huron, Sanilac, St. Clair, Shiawassee and Tuscola counties.  More than 170 business, civic and education leaders were on hand as Exporter of the Year awards were presented during the 2014 I-69 Thumb Regional Summit held in Flint on Thursday, September 18.

Awards were presented by Richard Corson, Director, East Michigan U.S. Export Assistance Center at U.S. Department of Commerce along with economic development partners from each of the seven counties.

BioPro, a designer and manufacturer of high quality joint replacement implants and surgical devices in Port Huron, Michigan, was honored as Exporter of the Year for St. Clair County, Michigan.  BioPro has been in business since 1987 and have implants with over 60 years of proven clinical success, making them one of the most experienced medical manufacturers in the U.S market.  Bio Pro offers global distribution throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia/Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.    

“A big thank you goes out to all of our international distributors.  This award is due to your efforts with our products in the field. Also, thank you to the St Clair County Economic Development Alliance and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for all your support,” said Jason Schneider, Director of Marketing at Bio Pro.  

According to Dan Casey, CEO for Economic Development of St. Clair County, “exporting is critical to fueling economic growth and keeping our businesses and community competitive as a place to do business.“  The I-69 Thumb Region partners are working to connect businesses in the region to export opportunities and support.  The businesses honored have taken advantage of the growth opportunities that exporting can provide in a significant way. "That’s the goal of the award to encourage exploration of exporting as a path toward diversification and growth.”

Dr. Yener Kandogan, Associate Dean and Professor of International Business at the School of Management at the University of Michigan-Flint participated in the selection process for the Exporter of the Year honors.  He says it is encouraging to see the number of businesses in the region who have chosen to explore exporting opportunities.

“Reaching beyond the U.S. market successfully can be challenging and rewarding,” said Kandogan. “Today’s business environment is ripe for exploration into global markets.  Each of the businesses that were nominated and selected should be commended for acting locally and thinking globally.  That truly is the future for business.”

The following businesses received Exporter of the Year honors:

  • Genesee County, CFI Medical
  • Huron & Sanilac Counties, Sebewaing Tool & Engineering
  • Tuscola County, Mi-Tech Tooling, Inc.
  • Lapeer County, Motion Machine Company
  • Shiawassee County, Williamston Products, Inc.
  • St. Clair County, BioPro, Inc.

The Exporter of the Year is the product of a partnership between the I-69 Thumb Region, U.S. Department of Commerce, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the University of Michigan-Flint.

The I-69 Thumb Region is a partnership of the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Lapeer Development Corporation, Sanilac & Huron County Economic Development Corporation and Tuscola County Economic Development Corporation.

BioPro website: