“Honesty and integrity with every breath I take” is the mantra of Great Lakes Power Coating’s Dewain Diacono.” It’s what gets me up in the morning and keeps me going.
As a young child, Dewain grew up in what he calls a separated family. His life changed when he met a man named Ray Cochran who ran a service station in his hometown of Redford. Cochran taught Diacono not only the core values that keep him going every day, but also how to build design and create.
“Ray knew something about me that I didn’t even know,” Diacono recalls. At first, Ray let Diacono hang out at the shop. Then, eventually, he put him to work. Young Dewain washed windows, checked oil and pumped gas. Once he was on the payroll, his job helped put food on the table for his family. Thus began a lifetime of work with a foundation of honesty and integrity.
With this great foundation and knowledge of his craft under his belt, Diacono was ready to grow. He started Accurate Collision, which he still owns, in Livonia. He successfully ran that for many years until a family friend Ed Kopacz of Kopacz Painting, encouraged him to enter the powder coating industry. Ed said he would give Diacono his bigger jobs, so Diacono bought some equipment and got started in his existing collision shop. He quickly outgrew, finally moving to his current facility in Walled Lake.
“I believe in diversification. You can’t survive in just one industry alone. You have to have the guts to diversify your company,” Diacono said. Diversify he has. “A customer could walk into five doors to get their products completed. With us, you only have to walk into one. We offer state of the art laser cutting, CNC turret punching, precision press bending and press braking, design, complete welding and of course, powder coating. My goal is to be one-stop shopping for my customers’ manufacturing ideas”
A couple months ago, Diacono proudly closed on a larger 55,000-square-foot facility in Walled Lake. It is within these walls that Diacono will continue to grow his operation.
Diacono has been working on manufacturing and automotive applications for 40 years. No job is too big or too small. He powder coats many everyday items such as wheel rims. patio furniture, and classic cars. He has also helped many entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by powder coating their inventions.
Diacono the inventor has recently received a patent of his own for hidden shower vanity. “It was eight years in the making but I knew it was something that wasn’t out there.” His invention holds shampoo bottles, razors and shaving cream and has a mirror on the front that can be defogged with shaving cream. He plans to sell it to large manufacturer soon.
Diacono doesn’t stop there. Because he was given an opportunity by his mentor at young age, he likes to give back. When possible Diacono flys for Angel Flights. Angel Flight is an organization the transports patients to hospitals or other facilities for specialized care. They also bring organs to patients for transplants. Diacono absorbs the costs of these flight, which can range from $500-$1,500 per flight. “I wish I could do it more. It gives you a thrill to help somebody. I try to give back on a daily basis.”