Greg Wood is owner and chief executive officer of Alpha Metal Finishing in Dexter, MI. A Michigan State University grad with a degree in human resources. He handles the shops operations, sales and marketing, and technology, and has a passion for leadership and developing a healthy organization.


How did you get your start in the finishing industry?

Greg headMy father started Alpha Metal Finishing in 1976. I was nine years old when I first learned how to rack aluminum parts. During my college years at MSU, I would spend my summers working in the accounting department of Alpha and gained some valuable administrative experience. I recall thinking “I really don’t want to work in anodizing.” Fast forward to 2010 when I left my information technology career to assist my father during a health crisis. My original plan was to stay for six months to help with sales and marketing. But here I am, 10 years later, doing something that I enjoy and working with an exceptional team! 

What do you enjoy best about the industry?

I think that people who work in the finishing industry are an amazing, diverse group. We focus on making parts decorative and durable for manufacturing. For me, it is a fascinating industry that holds many challenges and opportunities. I often say that finishing is definitely not for the faint of heart because it can teach you some very humbling lessons. Overall, I find it incredibly rewarding when our team pulls together and solves very difficult problems. Making parts look great for our customers is our passion.

If money was no object, what would you do all day?

I think I would write books and articles. I would probably hire a personal chef to cook meals daily.

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?

1942. It was a pivotal time in the history of our world. In the midst of great tragedy and suffering caused by World War II, people demonstrated amazing resilience and grit. Innovation in technology and manufacturing was unparalleled.

How would your friends describe you?

I’ve been told that I’m passionate, loyal, encouraging, and caring. Once I decide to do something, I am fairly relentless. Also, I have the gift of sarcasm.; it’s just one of the many services I offer.

What are your hobbies?

I really enjoy traveling and hiking with my family. Reading leadership books and historical biographies is something I do regularly. As I write this, I have The Blueprint by Douglas Conant, and Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis, on my reading table and next in line. Also, I am an avid fan of film noir, sci-fi, and classic movies.

What is the best gift you have been given?

GregSherry MackinacMy wife Sherry, definitely. I am so grateful for her friendship, her faith, and the way she loves our sons, Conner and Alex. She is a huge blessing to my life.

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

I couldn't go a day without God’s grace and mercy. I think this quote sums things up well for me: “Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace.” --Jerry Bridges

Two pet peeves.

People who demonstrate a lack of emotional intelligence and poor customer service. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I think the year 2020 has taught me not to plan too far ahead. My goal in five years would be to double our sales volume at Alpha and provide titanium anodizing. Leading our team in growth is something I will continue to do.

If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?

The ability to fly, superhuman strength, laser vision, and teleportation. Eating all the carbs I want without gaining weight would be a cool superpower.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

I would buy a new plant with all new equipment for my team because they deserve it. But, traveling all of Europe and purchasing a fully restored 1968 Bullitt Mustang would be fun too.

What's your favorite zoo animal?


If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

I wish I had continued with music during my college years. I was pretty good at playing the trumpet and the guitar. 

Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?

I would trade looks for intelligence. As I continue to age I think I already traded in my looks.

What's your favorite holiday?

Christmas, by far. I love Christmas music and movies. I tend to drive my family crazy with Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé in my car. Home Alone, Scrooge, and Holiday Inn are some of my Christmas movie favorites.

What's the most daring thing you've ever done?

I went on a summer mission trip to Kyiv and Moscow in 1991, right at the end of the Cold War. It was life-changing. One month after our team left there was a coup attempt in Ukraine.

What was the last thing you watched on TV?

Wisting, a Norwegian detective series. I love British and Scandinavian TV shows.

What was the last book you read?

FamilyPhotoI am halfway through reading The Body Keeps The Score, by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. It is a fascinating book on how the brain, mind, and body respond to traumatic events.

What's your favorite type of foreign food

I love Thai food. Pad thai or drunken noodles are a couple of my favorites.

Are you a clean or messy person?

Very clean. I’m pretty sure I have a strong measure of undiagnosed OCD. 

Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

Bruce Willis. But if he wasn’t available, Jason Statham would do.

What's your favorite fast-food chain?


What's your favorite family recipe?

Baked spaghetti. It’s a dish I like to cook for my family and friends when I have time.

What's your favorite family tradition?

Going to Mackinac Island, Michigan. There are no vehicles allowed on the island, just horses and bicycles. It’s a very special place for our family and we try to visit almost every year. 

What is your favorite childhood memory?

One of my favorite memories is my dad helping me rebuild my go-kart in 5th grade. He taught me how to weld and properly spray paint. It was a very fun project.

What's your favorite movie?

Casablanca. The acting, the script, and the directing are perfect. It is an iconic story that is listed as one of the greatest films in history.