North River Boats aims to grow by tapping the best talent and leveraging key partnerships.

By Bianca Herron

North River Boats is one of the largest heavy-gauge aluminum boat manufacturers in the United States, and it has a national and international customer base serving three distinct segments: government, commercial and recreational.

The Roseburg, Ore.-based company’s customers include the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Trinidad Pilots Association, Authority Canal de Panama, and many commercial businesses, and state and county municipalities throughout the U.S.

North River Boats prides itself on building world-class products on time and within budget. Its mission is to enhance the lives of its customers, employees and community by building the best aluminum boats in the industry.


Myers Container’s commitment to continuous improvement helped the company reach the 100-year mark.

By Jim Harris

Most family businesses have a clear line of succession, with each generation taking over seamlessly from the one before it. For Myers Container, however, keeping the company going for a century has required a major commitment and investment from the past two generations of its family owners.

“We’re a 100-year-old company in its fourth generation, but the company has left the family and come back a few times,” CEO Kyle Stavig says. Portland-based Myers Container manufactures, reconditions and recycles 55-gallon steel and plastic drums and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) used in a variety of industrial applications.


Premio is focused on doubling its size by transforming itself into a design, manufacturing and service company.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers

Premio designs and builds world-class computing technology solutions for businesses with highly specialized needs, including some of the world’s top technology companies. In a market with fierce competition, the company differentiates itself by stepping into its customers’ shoes and remaining flexible to meet any business need. 

Tom and Crystal Taso founded the City of Industry, Calif.-based company in 1989 to design computers for the K-12 education segment. Kevin Wu was recruited in 1997 as executive vice president to help manage the challenge of operation complexity due to the significant sales growth. “However, when the PC became a commodity in the late ’90s, it was believed Premio had to find a different way to sustain as a business,” he remembers. “We had been in the business for 10 years. Our business infrastructure, resources, practices and partnerships with all major suppliers should make Premio a contract manufacturer. It would be an easy and simple role for Premio to step into.”


Cobey is ready to take on any challenges that its clients bring.

By Alan Dorich

Cobey Inc. may not be as large as some of its competitors, but the company’s modest size allows it to be more nimble when meeting customers’ needs. “We’ve been able to swing from oil and gas to petrochemical to power gen or any of the different industries that utilize rotating equipment,” co-owner and Vice President Eric J. McKendry declares.

The company also can go wherever its clients need it, which can range from the Alaska North Slope to a desert in Saudi Arabia. “We’ve really had to cover it all,” he says.


Towlift expanded into the Pittsburgh region as the exclusive dealer for MCFA and Kalmar products.

By Tim O’Connor

Since Gerald Cannon founded the company in 1965, Ohio-based Towlift has been a leading provider and servicer of material handling equipment. With over 50 years in business, Towlift’s experience working with diverse industries helps it understand its customer’s unique needs and advise them on material handling best practices. Towlift offers a diverse portfolio of products including industry-leading forklifts, warehouse equipment, pallet racking, rail car movers and many other related industrial products from top manufacturers.

Much of its longevity can be attributed to committed long-term employees and consistent family-owned leadership.  Towlift has successfully transitioned into its third generation of family ownership.

“Exciting changes are happening at Towlift”, comments Ryan Harmon, general manager of Towlift-Pittsburgh. “Matt Adams, Towlift’s current third-generation president has a long-term strategy and is making investments for the company to continue to grow in the future.”


Desert Aire’s flexible controls allow for fine-tuned dehumidifying solutions.

By Tim O’Connor

Humidity is a unique challenge for every building. A number of variables can impact the moisture within a space, from the local climate to the structure’s purpose. Flexibility is critical to developing a dehumidifying solution – which is why even Desert Aire’s standard dehumidifier product lines have 5.9 million permutations. That’s not even including its custom products, which are built from scratch for specific applications.

When Desert Aire was founded in 1978, its focus was on solving indoor swimming pool dehumidifying applications for residential homes in the Milwaukee metro area. The company has since evolved its products to handle a much wider range of applications, from creating comfortable office environments to controlling the humidity in facilities where mink fur is dried. “If the need for dehumidification is part of what the customer wants, then we have an interest in talking,” President Keith Coursin says.


Engman-Taylor’s technical services help it stand out from larger distributors.

By Jim Harris

Engman-Taylor President Rick Star knows the industrial distribution company he leads faces intense competition from much larger entities. Instead of fearing its national and multinational “big box” competitors, however, the company works hard to ensure its customers look to it first to fulfill their supply needs.

“The way we successfully compete against these companies is to do things they cannot,” he says. “The big boxes do not focus on the technical support element, they are more focused on transactions. Although we are also experts in transactional sales, we can offer technical support that our competitors cannot.”

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