Business exec wins lifetime achievement award
A West Michigan business leader recently won an award for his long-time “service and impact” at his former company.
Steve Johandes received the Founders Lifetime Achievement Award for his service at Zeeland-based Empire Moulding & Millwork at the company’s annual holiday gathering.
The award was presented by Novo Building Products, which now owns Empire Moulding.
Johandes bought Empire Moulding with partners Tom Highley Sr. and Steve Grossman in 1993. He served Empire for 27 years in various roles, including owner, partner, CFO, CIO, SVP and EVP.
He officially retired in March of 2017.
“Empire will always be part of who I am,” Johandes said. “When myself, Tom Highley Sr. and Steve Grossman bought the company in 1993, we could have never imagined the legacy it would leave and the people it would touch. It is a privilege to be able to pass this legacy into the next generation of leaders there.”
Johandes served at Empire through five ownership changes, which included his part in buying and selling of the company twice.
His time with the company was also marked by significant growth, as the company grew from 100 to almost 800 employees.
Johandes is now the founder and CEO of 100X, an advisory firm designed to help CEOs, owners, family offices, private equity firms and key executives determine “what’s next” for their business endeavors.
He is also a chair of Vistage Executive Peer Group, a business advisory and executive coaching organization, with two active groups in West Michigan.
Empire Moulding was founded in 1946 as a small regional distributor of building materials serviced from a single location.
During the 1960s and ‘70s, the company's focus transitioned from rough construction products to millwork.