TRAVERSE CITY — Three Traverse City companies that sell products as varied as magazines, medical care and potato chips have one thing in common — they’re recognized among the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch.
“It’s a win for the company, it’s a win for northern Michigan, it’s a win for the staff,” said Rachel North, marketing director of one such winner, MyNorth Media. “It means you can stay true to your core mission and be successful.”
MyNorth Media, Hospitalists of Northern Michigan and Great Lakes Potato Chip Co. were selected out of more than 300 nominations for the list of Michigan 50 Companies to Watch. Michigan Celebrates Small Business, a 10-year-old program that recognizes the state’s small businesses, puts together the annual list.
Selected businesses have to be headquartered in the state, have between six and 99 employees and do between $750,000 to $5 million in annual sales. Judges who select the top 50 look for businesses that are ready to grow.
That’s exactly what Great Lakes Potato Chip Co. is going for. The company opened almost five years ago and distributes throughout the state, but operations coordinator Kevin Paveglio said employees want to cover more ground and hire more people.
“Michigan really didn’t have, besides Better Made, the potato chip operations most states have,” Paveglio said. “We wanted to bring a little taste of northern Michigan to the Great Lakes region, and that’s why we named the company Great Lakes Potato Chip Co., because we’d like to service all the Great Lakes.”
MyNorth Media has been around for more than 30 years, and in those decades has evolved to keep up with new technology and economic swings. It expanded from print publications to online media, and always tries to celebrate and protect northern Michigan.
“There is a culture of learning here,” North said. “These people are not doing the same thing they were doing 30 years ago.”