[Blog] Miss Margy: Made in Michigan, by Michigan, for Michigan

By Allison Raeck
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Great Lakes State can now add one more ship to its waters.

Yesterday in Mackinaw City, Governor Snyder joined the Shepler family for the christening of Miss Margy, the first ferry to be built in northern Michigan. The boat is named after Margaret Shepler, wife of Shepler’s Ferry CEO Bill Shepler. Hundreds of attendees looked on as Governor Snyder joined Bill Shepler in a traditional champagne bottle-breaking as part of the ferry’s christening ceremony.

"The new Miss Margy represents the best of what makes Michigan great: local businesses partnering to achieve a strong economy," Governor Snyder said. "It's great to have a ferry built right here in northern Michigan, and Shepler's new investment will have a great impact on the local economy, helping to continue the job growth in this region for years to come."

Shepler’s represents a unique Michigan business success story. Since 1945, the family-owned company has grown to employ more than 200 people, working to support surrounding communities in northern Michigan.

Miss Margy’s tagline, “Made in Michigan, by Michigan, for Michigan,” expresses how Bill Shepler was determined to support Michigan businesses throughout the ferry’s construction. In partnership with Shepler’s, Moran Iron Works spent roughly 12,000 man hours and utilized a crew of 13 individuals to build the ferry. Regarding his investment in Michigan business, Shepler said that he wanted to make sure they gave something back to the Michigan community.

Manufactured by Moran Iron Works, Miss Margy weighs 135,000 pounds, spans 85-feet and has a 281 passenger capacity. This expansive project required the skills of workers from 20 different Michigan businesses, showcasing the talent and skill of Michigan’s workforce.

Later this summer, Miss Margy will embark on her maiden voyage to Mackinac Island. This will be the first of many trips contributing to Michigan’s strong tourism economy.

“It’s not just about the boat itself,” Governor Snyder said. “It’s about the people working on that ship. And the great customer service and the warmth you feel, because that’s what’s going to keep people coming to Michigan over and over again. And we’re only going to keep growing tourism in Michigan because of things like this.”