Industry of the Year Award Recipients Announced


Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

For Immediate Release

Contact: Shelley Davis, Vice President, Existing Industry Division
Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
230 E.E. Butler Parkway
Gainesville, GA 30503

Industry of the Year Award Recipients Announced

Russell Vandiver, Chairman, Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council, and VP Economic Development, Lanier Technical College
Matt Pearson, Facility Superintendent, Cargill, Inc.
Brian Hollis, President, Hollis Transport & Distribution
John Concannon, Logistics Manager, Wrigley Manufacturing
Commissioner Ken Stewart, Georgia Department of Economic Development
Kit Dunlap, President & CEO, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
Gainesville, GA – January 20, 2010: The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce hosted its first Industry Appreciation Luncheon today at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville. Sponsored by Lanier Technical College, the event included the presentation of Industry of the Year awards to small, medium and large industries in the Greater Hall area.

“Though Gainesville-Hall County’s existing industries don’t make front page headlines every day, the investments that these companies provide, the jobs they create and their community involvement is invaluable,” said Shelley Davis, Vice President of Existing Industry for the Greater Hall Chamber. “The Greater Hall Chamber appreciates our manufacturers, processors and distributors every day, and we wanted to take this time for an event to allow the entire community to recognize what they mean to us and the impact they have upon our economy.”

The Greater Hall area has over 300 manufacturers, processors and distributors, including over 40 international subsidiaries, and automotive suppliers, food processors, life science companies and others. Industries were recognized for their economic impact on the community, corporate responsibility and workforce excellence.

Industry of the Year – Small Category (0 – 150 Employees)

Hollis Transport & Distribution: Brian Hollis

Established in 1979 – 20 employees at the main operation in Flowery Branch, and still has their very first employee.

Faced challenges of high fuel prices and discounted freight prices while continuing to grow at a rapid pace.

Added 150,000 square feet of space in last two years.

Focus of the company is to use local vendors.

Provides free space and trucking to Georgia Mountain Food Bank to feed hungry families.

Industry of the Year – Medium Category (151 – 500 Employees)

Cargill, Inc.: Matt Pearson

Established in 1966, recently increased employment by almost 100 to current 335 jobs.

Estimated local economic impact is $11 million annually.

Company is focused on local vendors.

Cargill Cares is a civic involvement board focusing on contributions to Educational, Health and Environmental programs.

Partner In Education, both in time and money to Chicopee Woods Elementary and Gainesville State College.

Offers an employee assistance program, tuition reimbursement program and a wellness programs to employees.

Industry of the Year – Large Category (501+ Employees)

Wrigley Manufacturing: Jim Concannon (for Jim Fitzgerald)

Established 1971 with 100 employes and current employs 850.

As business and employment grew, capital investment grew accordingly.

Challenging launch of Brand “5” gum was called the most successful launch in the confections business history – Gainesville site was the only site in North America making this product.

Wrigley was the community’s very first Partner in Education in Gainesville-Hall County with the local school system, and the relationship still exists today.

Wrigley recycles 75% of solid waste generated and safety programs have lead to a 50% reduction in recordable injuries.

Environmental Stewardship Recognition

Elan Drug Technologies: Donogh McGuire

Established in 1981 – 160 employees

Implemented a “We Recycle” reducing/reusing solid waste by 33% and electricity reduction by 13%.

Safety Recognition

Sherwin Williams Atlanta Distribution Service Center: Sam Hanania

Established in 2003 – 160 employees

Worked over 810 days without a recordable injury (>2yrs),

Drugs Don’t Work Participant

Awarded Consumer Division Team of the Year Award 3 out of the past 5 years.

Employer Recognition

Kubota Manufacturing of America: Tim Yoshii

Established in 1988 with 40 employees, now employs 750.

Implemented family wellness programs and continues an active tuition reimbursement program.

With the recent acquisition of the former Peachtree Window building, the Gainesville Kubota location is the largest Kubota Corporate campus outside of Japan.

Corporate Citizenship Recognition

SKF USA, Inc.: Donna Reed (for Ken Rasheff)

Established in 1975 – 230 employees

Involved in over 20 local Civic Programs.

Formed Educational partnerships with six local schools as well as many other work/family balance activities for their employees.

SKF USA is a sponsor of the Greater Hall Chamber’s 6th Annual SAFE & GREEN on February 26.

Commissioner Ken Stewart of the Georgia Department of Economic Development was the keynote speaker. As chief marketing officer for the state of Georgia, Stewart leads Georgia’s efforts to recruit new businesses and expand existing ones; grow the state’s tourism, international trade and entertainment industries; and support the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs.

For information on the Industry of the Year Awards, Industry Recognition or other Existing Industry Programs, contact Shelley Davis, Vice President of Existing Industry, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, 770-532-6206 x 108. Email:

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