ExacTech/Marine Travelift Named Door County 2007 Industry of the Year

The Door County Economic Development Corporation announced today that ExacTech/Marine Travelift is the winner of the Door County Industry of the Year Award. The award recognizes a local construction, service or manufacturing business that has made a substantial impact on the community and enjoyed significant accomplishments during the past year. The announcement came during the DCEDC annual investors meeting at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay.

Nearly 50 years ago, the founders of Marine Travelift had the idea that a boat could be lifted out of the water with less stress on the hull, safely and quickly moved around a boatyard or marina with minimum labor and then just as easily put back into the water. This idea launched a revolution in boat handling. In addition to mobile boat hoists, the company makes self-propelled transporters, forklifts and hatch cover cranes. Marine Travelift also makes gantry cranes under the Shuttlelift brand.

Led by one of the industry’s most talented engineering teams, and with a half-century of experience, Marine Travelift, Inc. has established a worldwide reputation for quality, reliability, performance, customer support and satisfaction that is second to none in the marine industry. From its first self-propelled, 7-ton mobile boat hoist in 1957, to the giant 800-ton units currently in service, Marine Travelift, Inc. now has more than 3,600 boat hoists in use around the world.

Sales revenues for Marine Travelift, Inc. have steadily increased the past three years since Stephen Pfeifer and Jim Ashton became company owners. In summer 2006, Governor Doyle presented Marine Travelift with a $250,000 Technology Zone tax credit allocation to support product development and business expansion. Marine Travelift started 2006 with 95 employees, and ended the year with 118 employees on board.

The facilities at ExacTech, a steel fabrication company also owned by Pfeifer and Ashton, were improved by a multi-million dollar facelift and equipment upgrade, and the addition of 18,000 square feet in 2006. ExacTech produces the heavy steel fabrication components used in Marine Travelift and Shuttlelift products, and makes similar components for numerous other global manufacturers. ExacTech now has the capacity to handle metal fabrication jobs up to 100 tons, as well as the smallest and toughest jobs. ExacTech started 2006 with 71 employees, and ended the year with 103 on board.

“We are very happy to recognize ExacTech/Marine Travelift as our industry of the year. They are an important part of our local business community and their growth as a worldwide industry leader speaks well for their continually expanding role in our local economy, and brings well-deserved recognition to Door County,” said DCEDC Executive Director Bill Chaudoir.

This year marks the 34th year of the Door County Industry of the Year Award, first presented by the Door County Chamber of Commerce in 1973. Last year’s award winner was the Washington Island Ferry Line. Other recent winners of the Industry of the Year Award include Baylake Bank, Bay Shipbuilding Company, Door County Memorial Hospital, Portside Properties, and Hatco Corporation.

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