30 in Their Thirties 2015


Published:

(page 1 of 30)

Matt Behnke // 37

Founder and CEO | Orthotic Shop, Utica | Employees: 10 | Revenue: NA |

Kettering University, University of Michigan

Growing up with two uncles who were podiatrists, Matt Behnke’s interest in health care was sparked at an early age. Little did Behnke imagine that his uncles’ passion for podiatry would inspire him to launch an orthotic footwear business. 

Offering shoes, socks, heel cups, pads, and braces, the Orthotic Shop began when Behnke thought he’d try selling a few items on the Internet. All shipments and returns were made from a makeshift warehouse in the garage of his condominium. As sales increased, he added a wider variety of brands and items to the online-only department store. In 2008, he moved to a new home, giving him more space to store inventory and enabling him to add more products. A turning point in growing the company came when Behnke used his background in computer coding to revamp his website (OrthoticShop.com) to bolster marketing and sales. It worked; in fact, the growth led him to invest in large warehouses in Utica and Warren. 

“I didn’t sleep much back then,” says Behnke, CEO of the Orthotic Shop in Utica, explaining how he balanced his time between working full time at TACOM in Warren as a government civilian engineer, spending time with his family, running his emerging company, and pursuing a master’s degree in engineering management at the University of Michigan. 

“Luckily, while working for the U.S. Army, they had flex time, so I could go in at 9 a.m. I also had every other Friday off,” he says. 

The entrepreneur explains there are several elements that make his online footwear store unique, including the company’s customer service desk. With eight employees working at the office, Behnke says all issues are taken care of right away. “I read this thing once, ‘You don’t want to outsource your core competency, and customer service is our core competency,” he says.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Financial Reservations

The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit hotel downtown has been outperforming most of its national peers, but behind the scenes, the city and pension funds used for its redevelopment nearly 10 years ago may now take a huge loss.

Foreign Correspondent

From Bloomfield Village to Tiananmen Square, ABC News’ Bob Woodruff covers the world.

From the Middle East to the Motor City

More than 500,000 people of Middle Eastern descent live in metro Detroit, and, combined, they generated $36.4 billion in economic activity in 2015. While the road to self-reliance can take years due to language and cultural barriers, the influx of refugees has been a boon to the regional economy.

Open Our Arms and Trust, But Verify

From an economist’s perspective, each legal immigrant holds the potential for augmenting “human capital,” the ultimate source of growth and prosperity for a region or nation.

2016 Champions of the New Economy

For the seventh straight year, Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan, in partnership with DBusiness magazine and News/Talk 760 WJR, selected six regional executives who are driving growth in highly competitive industries.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Detroit Institute of Arts Will Open 2 Major Exhibitions in October
    The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will open two major painting exhibitions, “Monet: Framing...
  2. Hudson’s Site in Downtown Detroit is Redesigned and Expanded
    Bedrock, part of the Quicken Loans Family of Companies in downtown Detroit, went back to the...
  3. Department of Transportation Secretary Visits MCity in Ann Arbor to Release Updated Federal Automated Vehicle Guidance
    U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today visited MCity, a public-private...
  4. Downtown Detroit Partnership Reveals New Capitol Park Designs
    The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DPP) revealed renderings for the redesign of Capitol Park at a...
  5. The District Detroit Launches Mobile App for Little Caesars Arena Visitors
    On the eve of Little Caesars Arena’s first event, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development of...
  6. Impossible Burger Makes Midwest Debut at Michael Symon’s B Spot Restaurants
    The Impossible Burger, a plant-based burger developed by Impossible Foods in Redwood City,...