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Michigan District Office
477 Michigan Avenue Suite 515, McNamara Building
Detroit, MI 48226
United States
Phone: 313-226-6075

Paramount Precision Products

Each year during the month of March, our nation celebrates the stories of women’s achievements that are integral to the fabric of our history.  Learning about women’s tenacity, courage, and creativity throughout the centuries is a tremendous source of strength.  Here is one such story of a successful entrepreneur who demonstrates how women are making a difference. 

As a young girl, Sheila Rossman’s father left a lasting impression on her.  His dedication and commitment to working in a manufacturing facility showed her firsthand how important this industry was not only to her family, but to the U.S. economy as well.  At the time, Rossman didn’t realize her childhood experiences would affect her future in ways she never expected. 

After graduating college, she went to work at Arthur Young, a large CPA firm, where she was placed in the entrepreneurial services group, serving as a business consultant to small businesses.  That’s when Rossman realized that her true calling was to get back to manufacturing.  She quickly found a position in the accounting department of a manufacturing company that faced many challenges, including a union strike, a bankruptcy, a workforce downsizing and plummeting sales from $14 million barely $1 million in a short time span. 

Rossman remained committed to the firm and in just three years became the controller and shortly thereafter the president.  During her tenure, she and her team built the company back to profitable levels and the management eventually sold the company for a sizable profit.

When Rossman found Paramount Precision Products, she knew it was a company in which she could make a difference. The company provides machining and some assembly services to a variety of customers in automotive, oil, gas, alternative energy and marine industries primarily in the United States. When she originally bought into it, there were five other partners and many subsequent ownership changes, but in 2007, she became the sole owner. 

An important component to Rossman’s strategy for growth was becoming certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise to capitalize on corporate contracting opportunities.  She contacted the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development, an SBA funded women’s business center, and the parent organization of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.  The Great Lakes Council is one of the leading independent certifying agencies in the country.  Paramount was certified as a WBE in 2011 and the company took full advantage of this designation.  Revenues increased by 120 percent in just five years and staff expanded from 60 to 220.  Two new facilities have been added and the company is planning to open another this year. 

From a child intrigued by her father’s career choice to being named as an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 by Ernst & Young, Rossman never looks back. 

 

In Celebration of African American History Month - 2013

"At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington”

Belinda and Walter Jefferson are part of prestigious group of 242,900 women owned businesses in Michigan.  Impressively, Walter is the Chief Financial Officer and Belinda serves as President of Hercules & Hercules, one of the Great Lakes Region’s major janitorial and sanitation suppliers.  Even more impressive is the fact that the company was established as a custodial services business by African Americans Hercules Jefferson Sr. and Hercules Jefferson Jr. in 1964.  Before the March on Washington, before the Civil Rights Amendment, and before African Americans were fully accepted into the mainstream of the American economy, this father and son team created their own opportunity and their own legacy. 

With hard work, dedication to quality, superior service, and investing in technology, Hercules & Hercules is a successful minority owned business with a 60,000 square foot warehouse, a demonstration and training center, and a business office complex located in Detroit, Michigan, with branches in Cleveland, Ohio and Durham, North Carolina.  The business continues to be 100% family owned and run by the mother/daughter team of Walter and Belinda, with Hercules Sr. serving as CEO. 

In 2012, Jefferson enrolled in the prestigious SBA sponsored Emerging Leaders program, an intensive training initiative to accelerate growth of high potential small businesses located in America’s inner cities. Jefferson said, “Participation in the Emerging 200 course to develop a strategic plan and further develop our marketing plan has set the stage for further growth.”  Jefferson is committed to keeping the legacy of her father and brother alive – a legacy created when crossroads to justice did not exist for all. 

In Celebration of African American History Month - 2013

"At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington”

When Don Lofton of Adrian, MI first started in a business training program conducted by the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, he was the sole owner of Adrian Taxi, a ten year old business in a small town near the Ohio border.  The FastTrac curriculum helped Lofton create a strategic plan for the next five years of business, and his business consultants at the SBA funded SBTDC are helping him put together a loan package to expand the business. 

Lofton has faced many obstacles on his road to business success.  He raised four hard working, family oriented sons as a single dad. He faced many challenges as a successful African American business owner in a community that is 94% Caucasian.  And just this past December, Don and his partner Kara, had a baby boy who was born prematurely, barely weighing three pounds.  The baby has had several severe complications, but as the devoted father he is, Don juggles his time between his business and the hospital.  Around this time, Lofton also learned that he needed to find a new location for his business when his landlord ended his lease.  When asked how he keeps it together, Lofton said, “God doesn’t give me more than I can handle.”

Don’s business is growing substantially and he’s on track to break a million in sales in 2013.  Just as his predecessors before him, Lofton has reached a crossroad and has chosen the path of economic freedom.

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