John Swiatek

Founder and CEO of Coliant in Warren. Coliant designs, manufactures, and distributes rugged electrical accessories. Under the company's Powerlet brand, Coliant developed an electrical accessory that allows users of motorcycles, ATVs, and other powersports to plug their gadgets into the vehicle. Under Swiatek's leadership, the Powerlet product line has grown to provide applications in numerous industries and on various types of vehicles. Powerlet has dealer and distribution outlets throughout the US, UK, Europe, Asia, and Australia that provide support for the power outlets found on BMW, Triumph, KTM, and Ducati motorcycles. Direct OEM customers include Polaris Industries, Indian Motorcycles, Motus, and KTM North America. Coliant has raised capital from private investors, including the First Step Fund and the MEDC's Pre-seed Fund. Coliant has increased its staff and opened an additional office in the Macomb-Oakland University INCubator with offices at the Velocity Collaboration Center in Sterling Heights. Coliant's accolades include being named Best Company to Watch by SCORE, the SBA Small Business of the Year award from the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, and winner of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition in the next generation manufacturing category. Powerlet's RapidFIRe Heated Liners were named a 2011 Nifty 50 award winner by the editors of Powersport Business magazine. Swiatek is also president of Reliant Properties, overseeing corporate-owned properties. Previously, he was president of Jastek Engineering, was a product manager for AIMCO, and started his career as an electrical engineer at Chrysler. He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude, from Lawrence Technological University.

WHERE BORN: “Detroit.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “From an historical perspective, Thomas Jefferson; I can identify with his philosophies. In business, there have been a few around town, such as Mehendra Ramsinghani of the First Step Fund.”

LAST BOOK READ: “I tend to read more articles and learn more from doing.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Persistent, curious, and passionate. I wish we had a word in the English language that rolls those three together.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “Being in electronics engineering, as far as that field, and where it's going and applying it in Coliant, it's nano structures. They will change how we are interacting in our daily lives. We're working with the Department of Defense and looking into the future. Nano structures are something to keep an eye on.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My wife would say the TV remote. I use it every day and it doesn't require a software upgrade. But seriously, my MacBook Air.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Swimming in a clean lake – either inland or one of the Great Lakes.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “I'm an avid motorcyclist, and I love photography.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Thai food.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “Most people don't know that I love to draw. I don't often get time to do it.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As the person who was there when you really needed someone. The world could use some more of that. Oftentimes we don't find the time for those people who need us the most.”