Michael Kotulski is the owner of Kustom Truck & Trailer of Lenox, Michigan. He describes how he came about to support the Mackinac Center and why public policy is important to him.
Q: Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Warren, Michigan, but shortly after moved to Utica, where I was raised as one of six children. I lived in Utica and graduated from Utica High School.
Q: Can you share the highlights of your education?
I have to say that the vocational classes they offered in high school helped me in my current career; I took welding and machine shop classes. I had a great teacher, Paul Boes. He, along with my dad, were two of my most important mentors and influences in my life. They both taught me that hard work and focus were the steps I needed to have a promising career.
Q: What type of work have you done?
The first job I had was working for the Boes’ family business, Target Fabricating & Machine. I started out as a welder. The next steps took me to a trucking company, where I decided to go to diesel school. I went out on my own in 1978, doing welding and fabricating. Because of the 1980-81 recession, I had to go back to work for other companies, including Messina Trucking. I was there for 17 years, and then I started my own company in 1998, Kustom Truck & Trailer. And 23 years later, I am happy to say we are still going strong.
Q: How did you come to support free markets and limited government?
I have always believed that you are the only person that can mold your future, with hard work and the right choices. I support free markets and limited government in my decisions for my life and my company.
Q: Are there specific policy areas that most interest or worry you? Taxes? Education? Government growth?
I believe that vocational and trade classes should be brought back in our schools so children can have a choice. They can go to college, or they can go to a trade school and know that they can get a good career that doesn’t force them to go to college. I don’t agree with the current administration that the answer to all our problems is to raise taxes without the people’s input. I also feel very strongly that government should be limited. It works for us and not the other way around.
Q: What do you think is the biggest policy challenge facing Michigan?
I’d say it is the push for green energy without consideration of its true cost. The public needs more facts and truth about the cost of building, maintaining and decommissioning all aspects of green energy solutions.
Q: How did you hear about the Mackinac Center and why did you choose to become a supporter?
The Mackinac Center came to my attention through Ken Goike, who was our state representative at the time. He promoted the Mackinac Center, and as I learned more, I became a huge supporter and promoter to others as well. People need to know the truth.