Several companies in Hall County took the spotlight during the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Industry Appreciation Luncheon at the Chattahoochee Country Club on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
The Chamber honored existing industry leaders based on their economic impact, workforce excellence and corporate responsibility.
The 2019 Industry of the Year awards were presented in three categories:
Large employer with 201 more employees: Boehringer Ingelheim, 1168 Airport Parkway SW, Gainesville
Medium employer with 51-200 employees: The Harris Products Group, 2345 Murphy Blvd., Gainesville
Small employer with 1-50 employees: Boost Transport LLC, 2110 Chicopee Mill Road, Gainesville
Additional companies were recognized including American Yazaki Corporation for workforce development; Lasercraft Technologies, Inc. for environmental and safety stewardship; and Mincey Marble Manufacturing, Inc. for corporate responsibility.
Todd Redish, the general manager of Boost Transport, accepted the small employer Industry of the Year award on behalf of his company.
Boost Transport is a fast-growing logistics and warehousing company that also provides transport services to its domestic and international customers.
The company will celebrate its 10th anniversary in December.
Redish said 2019 proved to be a big year for Boost Transport. They added five new positions and now have 14 total employees.
On the logistics side of the company, he said they expanded international expedited and small package services. By then end of 2020, the company aims to have its new warehouse built, which will mostly involve order fulfillment.
“Right now, Boost has a singular vision and that’s to grow,” Redish said. “There’s no Plan B for us. ...We will continue to do business with integrity, dignity and respect. We cherish our business partners and community, and vow to make our community better.”
Before presenting the medium employer award to Harris Products Group, Tim Evans, the chamber’s vice president of economic development, shined light on the company’s efforts in environmental sustainability.
He said Harris Products Group has achieved a 98% recycling rate, which brings them closer to becoming a zero-waste facility. The company also decreased its energy rates by 30% through installing LED lighting and a new roof with insulating foam and heat reflectors.
Harris Products Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Lincoln Electric Company, is known for its design, development and manufacturing of brazing, soldering, heating, cutting and welding equipment, as well as its gas regulation and distribution systems.
Craig Leek, Harris Products Group’s operations manager, accepted the award and shared his appreciation for the chamber and the 120 employees at the company.
“We’ve been very blessed and very fortunate to have a great year, so thank you very much,” Leek said.
Boehringer Ingelheim, who won the large employer Business of the Year, has 50,000 employees globally, 250 of which are in the Gainesville-Hall County area.
Everett Hoekstra, president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health U.S., accepted the award on behalf of his company.
He said Boehringer Ingelheim is the world’s leading producers of animal health products for pets and livestock.
The company produces 60 billion vaccine doses annually and Hoekstra said the team in Gainesville plays an integral role in reaching that goal.
“By the way, if there’s any question as to whether Gainesville was the poultry capital of the world ... 40% of our poultry business is supplied right here in Gainesville,” Hoekstra said. “We’re proud to serve the poultry industry that is critical to the economic health of this community.”