Amigo Mobility founder receives MFG Lifetime Achievement Award.
BRIDGEPORT, MI, November 19, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) announced that Al Thieme has received its MFG Lifetime Achievement Award. Thieme, inventor of the world’s first personal power operated vehicle for people with walking limitations, is the owner, founder and driving force behind Amigo Mobility.
“I think of the impact he has had and it’s almost overwhelming; the way in which Al and Amigo Mobility are able to touch the lives of others,” said Beth Thieme, Al’s wife and Vice President of Amigo Mobility. “It’s amazing to meet people who come in to visit us, and write to us, and see how mobile and active they are. That’s all because of him and who he is as a person.”
Amigo Mobility started as a solution for a family member who began to lose mobility due to multiple sclerosis and required the use of a wheelchair. Thieme knew there must be a better way. This inspired him to develop a small yellow three-wheeled front drive power operated vehicle, the first Amigo. Thieme’s tenacity and relentless quest for improved mobility paved the way for Amigo Mobility to grow and innovate new technologies. Thieme continues to use his ability to identify unique areas around which Amigo Mobility can help people.
“I know it can be difficult to understand when you don’t live with it, but the Amigo can help a person with a disability feel non-disabled,” said Ronnie Bachman, a motivational speaker and an Amigo owner for nearly 40 years. “I grew up with wheelchairs and artificial legs. I grew up with the looks people would give you, the way they’d talk differently to you and the words they would use to try and define you as this thing. It is so refreshing to use something that puts you up high, at eye level; something that is maneuverable. On an Amigo, you don’t feel like you’re lacking something the same way you would without it.”
Thieme founded Amigo Mobility International, Inc. in 1968 and has continued to innovate his mobility products throughout the years. In 1970, Amigo produced and sold their first motorized shopping cart and in 2002, introduced the ValueShopper motorized shopping cart. The top five retailers in the U.S.A. use Amigo Mobility products in their locations. In 1998, Amigo’s TravelMate became the world’s first folding personal mobility vehicle and in 2016 they unveiled a unique line of material handling carts for use in industrial, commercial, hospital, warehouse and other environments.
With over 50 years as a Michigan family owned and operated business, Amigo Mobility International has been recognized numerous times. In 1981, Thieme received The United States Small Business Person of the Year Award and in 2012, the MMA named Amigo Mobility International as the Michigan Manufacturer of the Year.
The MFG Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Al Thieme at the MFG Excellence Awards on November 7, 2019 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, MI. This annual event honors the best individuals and companies in Michigan’s manufacturing sector.
Since inventing the first motorized mobility cart in 1968, Amigo has been a family owned business with a passion for exceptional products and customer service. Amigo has been manufacturing motorized carts for people with mobility limitations, commercial and industrial applications for over 50 years. All Amigos continue to be manufactured in Michigan and shipped worldwide. Industry recognized for low cost of ownership, customization and superior customer service, Amigo looks forward to Improving Lives Through Mobility® while looking towards the next 50.
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