2017-05-25 / Front Page

Northern Wings Earns Regional Recognition

By Kevin R. Hess


Northern Wings Repair has been awarded the Small Business Association 2017 Region 5 Small Business Subcontractor of the Year award. The company is owned by St. Ignace native David Goudreau. Region 5 covers the Great Lakes region and is one of 10 regions in the United States, placing Northern Wings Repair in the top 10 of Small Business Subcontractors in the nation. Congressman Jack Bergman visited the Newberry facility to offer his congratulations for the award. Pictured here are (back row, from left): Richard Wos, Jon Brown, A.J. Downey, Dan Hackman, Kyle Bryers, Dee Plominski, Katie Clark, David Goudreau; (front) Steven Lowery, Denise Compton, Congressman Jack Bergman, Christopher Burger, Kim Cutrer, Kirstin Nalette, and Drew Zitnik. (Photograph provided by Northern Wings Repair) Northern Wings Repair has been awarded the Small Business Association 2017 Region 5 Small Business Subcontractor of the Year award. The company is owned by St. Ignace native David Goudreau. Region 5 covers the Great Lakes region and is one of 10 regions in the United States, placing Northern Wings Repair in the top 10 of Small Business Subcontractors in the nation. Congressman Jack Bergman visited the Newberry facility to offer his congratulations for the award. Pictured here are (back row, from left): Richard Wos, Jon Brown, A.J. Downey, Dan Hackman, Kyle Bryers, Dee Plominski, Katie Clark, David Goudreau; (front) Steven Lowery, Denise Compton, Congressman Jack Bergman, Christopher Burger, Kim Cutrer, Kirstin Nalette, and Drew Zitnik. (Photograph provided by Northern Wings Repair) Northern Wings Repair of Newberry, developed and owned by former Mackinac County resident David Goudreau, has been awarded the Small Business Administration’s 2017 Region 5 Small Business Subcontractor of the Year award. Region 5 covers the Great Lakes region, and is one of 10 regions in the United States. Northern Wings Repair is one of 10 businesses in the U.S. to receive this award.

The company was nominated by L-3 Aerospace Systems, a large defense contractor in Greenville, Texas for its efforts in supporting aerospace and defense projects across the U.S.

“A small business from Newberry, Michigan in the EUP gets nominated by a company in Texas, and awarded by Washington, D.C.,” said Mr. Goudreau.

The award was presented to Mr. Goudreau at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business Award Ceremony Thursday, May 4, in Lansing.

“They call it the Oscars of small businesses in Michigan,” he said.

Northern Wings Repair offers aviation fabrication, repair, testing, purchasing and distribution services, and is used by many government contractors and agencies. Mr. Goudreau served in the Marines as a combat helicopter pilot and left with experience in leadership, management, and aviation. He worked for a small company in Wisconsin before launching his own business. He located in the EUP because of his deep roots, and wanted to contribute to the economic development of the area.

“My family goes back about 200 years” in the area, he said. For the business, “we chose to plant ourselves here so that we could ‘raise the tide’ of the Eastern Upper Peninsula.”

The business was launched in August 2001 and has grown from a barn in Engadine with two employees to a modern manufacturing operation housed in a 13,000-squarefoot facility in Newberry. Northern Wings Repair is a certified aerospace manufacturer and a Federal Aviation Administration repair station and stocking distributor of certified material and parts for commercial and military aircraft.

“We do a lot of different things for a lot of different people,” said Dan Hackman, quality manager of the company. “We tailor our needs to our clients. We do custom fabrication and machining, manage subcontracts, repair and overhaul, and offer procurement and logistic management services to major prime contractors. We do distribution and sales, as well as in-house manufacturing. It helps us to withstand the ups and downs of the economy.”

Mr. Hackman served in the Marines with Mr. Goudreau. When Mr. Goudreau launched his company, he used Mr. Hackman as a part-time consultant. For the past five years, Mr. Hackman has worked full time as the quality manager. He believes this award will help open the door to work with other large companies that will then give the company the staying power that it needs and the customer base to draw more workers to the EUP. In 2016, they added 3,000 square feet to their facility.

“A lot of businesses don’t come here because there aren’t a lot of qualified workers, and qualified workers don’t come here because there aren’t businesses for them,” said Mr. Hackman. “Someone needed to be the first to step up. Northern Wings has done that.”

Northern Wings’ Newberry facility has 20 employees. They have hired four new employees since January. They also have sales offices in North Carolina and Wisconsin.

“It’s been a lesson in patience,” said Mr. Goudreau, “but we believe we’re on the edge of our next growth step. Dan likes to say we are ‘sharpening our saw.’”

Mr. Goudreau credits his employees for the award recognition.

“Doing what we do, failure is not acceptable,” he said. “Failure here is fatal. We have people here in the EUP that are impacting things on a national level. Many of them don’t even understand how good and talented they are, and it’s hard sometimes to convince them of that.”

“We have incredible talent here in Newberry,” said Mr. Hackman. “They are contributing to the department of defense and national aviation. They are hardworking, talented people that are equal to or better than anyone on a national level. I believe we more people that can do (the job), they just need the op- portunity.”

“We want to train our own,” said Mr. Goudreau.

Friday, May 12, Congressman Jack Bergman, a former Marine General, visited Northern Wings Repair to offer his congratulations for the award.

Return to top


Click here for digital edition
2017-05-25 digital edition