Michigan 50 Companies to Watch! 2009

Traverse City  – Alfie-Logo Gear for Work & Play is one of four Northern Michigan Companies to be recognized as a 2009 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation and presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

Alfie will be honored at an awards ceremony during the fifth annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business event, April 30 in Lansing, Mich.

“In today’s economy, Companies to Watch has become a real game changer,” says Penny Lewandowski, director of entrepreneurship development at the Edward Lowe Foundation, a nonprofit operating foundation based in Michigan. “It changes the conversation from slow-growth, layoffs and closings, to companies that are expanding, hiring, and moving beyond traditional markets.”

“Presenters of the Michigan program recognized this potential since its inaugural year, five years ago,” Lewandowski says. “With a vow to find 50 new companies to celebrate each year, Michigan 50 Companies to Watch is now 250 strong. These are the companies that sustain Michigan through tough times and are transforming how the rest of the nation views the state.”


Alfie creates exceptional logo gear for work & play with embroidery, screen-printing, promotional products & incentives.  The company focus is on building client relationships and working as an innovative resource to provide bright solutions that recognize, reward and promote each client’s organization, mission and people.

“It’s an honor for Alfie to be recognized as one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch. We are so fortunate to live in the bright spot of Michigan, have incredible relationships with our clients and be a part of such a thriving community,” says Bonnie Alfonso, President and CEO of Alfie.  “In the last year our team has embraced dynamic changes that have significantly impacted our company. Staff training and development, updating our name, spicing up our logo, and transforming our product showroom into “The Logo Lounge” have brought out the best in each team member and let Alfie shine.” 

Companies nominated for the “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” list must be second-stage companies, defined as having 6 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generating $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants. In addition, the companies must be privately held and headquartered in Michigan.

Other Northern Michigan Companies selected for this award are:  Opti Temp of Traverse City, Northern Design Services of Kalkaska, and Springfield Roofing of Kingsley.  Winners were selected by judges from the banking, economic development, entrepreneurship development and venture capital communities. Judges evaluated the nominees’ demonstrated intent and capacity to grow based on one or more of the following:

• Employee or sales growth.
• Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership.
• Sustainable competitive advantage.
• Other notable factors that showcase the company's success.

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch is presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

National City, now part of PNC, is the lead underwriter for Michigan Celebrates Small Business. Other supporters include Clark Hill PLC, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, Michigan Certified Development Corporation, IBM and Dynamic Edge.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business is presented in association with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, Small Business Association of Michigan, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Information about the 2009 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch program can be found at http://Michigan.CompaniesToWatch.org. For information about Michigan Celebrates Small Business, visit http://MichiganCelebrates.biz.