Sitting on his couch on a Sunday afternoon in late March, Cran Jones grew alarmed at news reports about shortages of personal protective equipment at Detroit-area hospitals.
He had little more than some automotive industry contacts, aviation experience and a desire to help. But in about a day, he had led a grassroots effort to prototype, produce and deliver face shields.
Jones called a friend and engineer at auto stamping company Mursix Corp. Two hours later, he got a call back.
"He literally had gotten those clear plastic sheets for overhead projectors that he had in his desk at home, some elastic, some foam and cobbled something up at home," said Jones, of manufacturers' representative company Thomas & Jones Group and co-owner of Michigan Seaplane, a suburban Detroit flight school.
Jones, 57, sent a picture of the prototype to friends at area hospitals.
"They said, 'How many?' and 'How fast?' and I'm like, 'Whoa, whoa,' " he said. "They said, 'Cran, we need them now.' "