NLEA honors economic development efforts at annual gathering
Steve Foley, Petoskey News Review
BAY HARBOR — With one of the area’s newest venues serving as the setting, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance celebrated a variety of contributions to economic development last week.
About 475 attendees were on hand Friday for the regional economic development group’s annual meeting at Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Bay Harbor.
Welding a success
The keynote speaker of the event was Tom Moran, owner of Moran Iron Works. Based in Onaway, this company has grown to also include facilities in Rogers City and Cheboygan.
Moran, a self-taught welder, entrepreneur and innovator, spoke of how he grew his business from limited means.
“We were very poor, four of us boys slept in the same bed and we lived in the basement of a house,” Moran said. “My father was a lumberjack and that taught me a lot. Lumberjacks really specialize in destroying equipment and my grandfather was constantly looking for welders.