Since my office at Neuvokas is the only office regulated by an AC unit, this summer is off to a great start. And, well, the Yoop (Upper Peninsula of MI) is beautiful in the summer. But mainly, things are picking up at Neuvokas!

Customer Appreciation:

Last month, I promised to share the details of our first placement in an MDOT project. GatorBar was used in the curbs on either side of Reservation Street in Hancock, Michigan. This section is part of the big Quincy Street renovations in downtown Hancock, right down the road from Neuvokas! Bacco Construction of Iron Mountain was the contractor in charge. A slip-form machine was not allowed for this portion of curb, so all forming was done by hand. Bacco typically uses epoxy coated steel rebar in curbs so the State of Michigan saved about 50% by using GatorBar!

Click here to view the Project Gallery!

Download job summary PDF here!

GatorBar will be used in another section of curb later on in the project, said to be happening in August. The second portion will be slip-formed so they were eager to see how that was going to go! Thank you for your business, Bacco Construction!

Speaking of slip-form machines, August won’t be the first rodeo for GatorBar in that application. Arrow Constructions of Negaunee, Michigan gave GatorBar a shot in some slip-form curb work they were doing in Ishpeming, and were impressed with how well it went. They too are enjoying the 50% cost savings by using GatorBar as opposed to epoxy coated steel. The corrosion resistant aspect is a big deal in the UP where the harsh winters are accompanied by loads of road salt. Arrow has more GatorBar on the way to use in Northern Wisconsin for more curb work using a slip-form machine.

GatorBar being used in a slip form machine.GatorBar being used in a slip form machine. Click photo to view gallery!

GatorBar being used in a slip form machine. Click photo to view gallery!

Investor Appreciation:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) helps fund research and education for many organizations in the science and engineering fields. Neuvokas was fortunate enough to be awarded a grant to support our research and development efforts to improve our manufacturing process. This years’ grantee conference was held in Atlanta. Matt Kero, our VP of Engineering, and Ken Keranen, our COO, represented Neuvokas at the event. The NSF put on many helpful presentations focusing on how to grow and accelerate your business. There was great information, great company, and most importantly, exceptional food. At least according to Matt. However, being that he eats a plain can of tuna for lunch, or doesn’t eat lunch at all, his standards for food can’t be very high. A big thank you to the NSF for helping Neuvokas push the limits of the composites industry.

Phase II Grantee Conference

Matt and Ken at the 2016 SBIR Conference

The First Customer Program (FCP) through University of MI has helped us out with funding for various projects through the past three years. A group of FCP representatives and U of M students paid us our yearly check-up visit in late June. They were, of course, especially interested in projects that were made possible by FCP funding. I was able to give a brief presentation on Hubspot, our CRM and Marketing software that is partially funded by FCP. The Hubspot Marketing Platform is great for managing web content and social media, building landing pages, blogging, and measuring success from your inbound marketing efforts. Thank you First Customer Program for all of your support! It was great to have you, see you next year.

Giving back to the local community:

In case any of you local folks are unaware, the City of Houghton will be getting a skatepark in the near(ish) future!. The skatepark will be located near the Super 8 Motel in Houghton, right on the Houghton Canal, and is set to be complete by 2018. A group of volunteers organized the Houghton MI Stakepark project, and are working hard to find funding for this development. GatorBar is going to be used to reinforce the structure, and Neuvokas Corporation has agreed to donate $1,000 of the bill! We are happy take part in this great community project! We’ll see how many local kids have skater skills once it’s ready for action. I’ll probably stay away; I don’t want to send the little boys home crying after getting shown up by a girl. Or, I suppose I could just tell them I identify as male, more specifically, Tony Hawk, to soften the blow.

Houghton Skatepark logo

Houghton_MI_Skatepark.png Houghton MI Skatepark garb is available at Rhythm in Downtown Houghton!

Well that’s enough of my shenanigans for now. Come back next time to see what’s new at Neuvokas!

Matt Downey

Downey Concrete

I used GatorBar for four pours this summer.  I love the way it handles, the concrete just flows around it and it doesn’t bend and get left in the bottom of the slab it stays where you put it.  Also my back enjoyed the break!   I look forward to using it again.