Powder Coating: The Beginning for a Young Entrepreneur
Dewain Diacono found his calling at a very early age.
At age 12, he began working at a local gas station where he was fortunate to meet a man who would mentor him throughout his career.
Under the guidance of Ray Cochran, he went on to become a Metal Model Maker by trade. He prototyped convertible tops, rocker panels and other mechanisms.
“Ray would always say I had a gift,” Diacono said, “He showed me how to create, build, and design. He would say, ‘Do what your heart says and then you will be able to sleep at night’.”
His entrepreneurial heart eventually led him to Accurate Collision, a shop he still owns nearby in Livonia.
“I’ve been painting since I was 18 years old, almost 32 years now. It comes natural.” Diacono said.
He did his share of painting car parts and classic cars as the owner of Accurate Collision on Merriman Road in Livonia. But he draws the line at house painting.
“My brother is the house painter,” Diacono said, “I tell him: I’ll leave that to you, brother.”
Diacono got started in powder coating at the urging of another influential friend of the family who operates a small powder coating operation in Michigan. He told me, “Dewain I’ll give you my big stuff. So I started doing some powder coating there at the collision shop in Livonia Michigan and Great Lakes Powder Coating grew from there.”
“I was given a chance to succeed,” Diacono said, “I had to put myself forward to do it, but I know I was fortunate to have been given that chance.”
He attributes his success to having a mentor who taught him about honesty, integrity, and how to treat others.
“When I was a kid I had a lot of dreams about flying like Superman,” Diacono said. When he got old enough, he took lessons and became a pilot.
Today he’s a volunteer pilot for Angel Flights, transporting patients to distant facilities for specialized treatments or sometimes transporting organs for transplants.
“Angel Flights are on call for emergency response within a four hour service radius,” Diacono explained, “My service area goes from Minnesota to Pennsylvania and from the Upper Peninsula to Lower Ohio.”
Angel Flight pilots are volunteers who absorb all of the expenses $500 – $1500 plus time, maintenance fuel insurance liability, etc. Some years Diacono has flown up nine or ten missions.
“It’s my way of showing my gratitude for all that has been given to me. It’s my way to give back to my community,” Diacono said.
Dewain and his wife, Wendi, a financial planner live in Walled Lake, Michigan with their two daughters.
Danielle, 23, who recently graduated from MSU with a degree in Journalism and English. She was also recently crowned Miss Malta in the Maltese-American club pageant in Dearborn.
Whitney, 18, a talented musician and vocalist who is completing her training as a hair dresser.