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Newsmakers in business, Oct. 30
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The Times wants to know about new management hires and promotions, major awards and other newsworthy accomplishments involving local businesses. We'll publish the information each Sunday on the Business page and gainesvilletimes.com. Send information, including photos and contact information, to news@gainesvilletimes.com; please put Newsmakers in the subject line. You also may use regular mail at Newsmakers, The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503.

2 nursing homes in area honored for excellence

Two Northeast Georgia nursing homes have been awarded the Excellence in Action Awards for their customer and employee satisfaction rates by My InnerView, a national independent research firm.

Gateway Health & Rehabilitation in Cleveland was a Customer Award winner scoring in the top 10 percent among survey respondents.

UniuHealth Post-Acute Care, Lanier in Buford was named as a Customer & Workforce Award winner, placing in the top 10 percent in that category.

In all, 59 members of the Georgia Health Care Association were among 593 selected for the honor nationwide.

Harris Products chosen as Most Fit by Hall Chamber

The Harris Products Group's Gainesville facility was recently named the "2011 Most Fit Company" among medium-sized businesses by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

The manufacturer of brazing, soldering, welding and cutting equipment and alloys was recognized during the chamber's VISION 2030 HealthSmart Community Challenge at a recent breakfast event.

Local companies were evaluated based on the number and types of wellness, nutrition and fitness opportunities available to their employees.

"We are especially proud of this award as our wellness programs have had such a positive impact on our company culture," said Ira Bennett, director of marketing for the Harris Products Group. "Implementing our wellness program has been an extensive process, but the end results have been outstanding."

The company, formerly known as Harris Calorific, has been operating in Gainesville for more than 30 years. In recent years, the facility started several wellness initiatives, including reimbursement for fitness center membership, biometric screening, health assessments and follow-up health coaching. The organization also hosts a Weight Loss Challenge and a Walk for Wellness program.

The company has prohibited tobacco use on its property and also established safety programs and improvements to prevent workplace injuries.

"This is an ongoing effort that required adoption on the team's part, and they have really stepped up to the plate," said Cathey Sexton, human resources manager for the Gainesville facility.

"We are looking forward to seeing this program grow and seeing how our employees are happier and healthier because of these programs."

Regional events