JVS Honors Shinola With Business Leadership Award

Company Invested in Detroit to Build Luxury Products

When Shinola made a strategic decision to build its brand in Detroit, the company created jobs and excitement in a city clawing its way out of financial crisis. A “made in the D” success story, Shinola has illuminated the tenacity and industrial skills of Detroiters.

The fast-growing luxury watch, bike and leather goods company will be honored with the JVS Business Leadership Award at the 17th annual Strictly Business Networking and Awards Luncheon at 11 a.m. on June 12 at The Henry in Dearborn.

“Shinola is an American company that’s dedicated to making things here in America,” said company President Jacques Panis. “We’ve been taken with the incredible history we are surrounded by day in and day out.”

Shinola sources watch parts from Swiss movement company Ronda, and assembles the timepieces within the College for Creative Studies in Detroit’s historic Argonaut Building. Shinola recently opened factory space adjacent to its watchmaking facility to produce its own leather watchbands and small leather goods.

Launched in 2011, Shinola employs more than 250 people – most from the Detroit area and many with manufacturing experience in automotive and related industries. Shinola brought in experts from Ronda to train local workers in the intricate assembly process for its luxury watches. They partnered with another Swiss company to train leatherworkers.

“Shinola’s decision to come to Detroit reflects values similar JVS’s mission,” says John Jacobs, JVS Board vice chair and Strictly Business co-chair. “We are both about creating opportunity and second chances — for people and Detroit. We’re happy to honor their ingenuity with this year’s Business Leadership Award.”

The Strictly Business luncheon will feature Ford COO Mark Fields as honorary chair and keynote speaker. More than 800 business and community leaders are expected to attend this dynamic event to hear Fields speak. In addition to Fields and Panis, event-goers will also meet Max Surnow, co-founder of Cooper Street Cookies, who will receive the 2014 JVS Rising Entrepreneur Award.