Industry of the Year awards
Small industry (fewer than 50 employees): Murray Plastics Inc.
Medium industry (51-200 employees): Tatsumi Intermodal USA Inc.
Large industry (more than 200 employees): SKF USA Inc.
Corporate responsibility award: Sherwin-Williams Co.
Environmental stewardship award: FAE USA Inc.
Safety culture award: Georgia Powder Coating
Workforce excellence award: Gold Creek Foods
Three businesses were honored for their economic impact, corporate responsibility and workforce excellence at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce's eighth annual industry appreciation luncheon Thursday.
Business leaders gathered to also celebrate Gainesville and Hall County’s 43 new and expanded businesses that have created 1,800 jobs and $427 million in capital investment since the start of 2015.
Murray Plastics Inc., an injection molding company, won Industry of the Year in the small employer category.
“I’m humbled and honored. This award has been 18 years in the making,” said Bill Hall, president of the company.
The company, which runs around the clock, added six new jobs, two injection molding machines and auxiliary equipment this year.
“I’m really happy to accept the award. It’s a great honor. I don’t do what I do for recognition,” Hall said.
Tatsumi Intermodal USA Inc. was named the medium-sized industry of the year.
“I can name so many people that helped us get here,” Arrik Williams, business expansion manager, said.
The business specializes in international logistics services, and it plans to expand its workforce by 5 percent.
Williams also said the business has expanded three times since moving to Georgia 16 years ago. A fourth expansion is in the works: a 112,000-square-foot building on 35 acres in the Gateway Industrial Centre in Hall County.
SKF USA Inc. in Flowery Branch was awarded in the large business category.
It specializes in ball bearings for automotive and industrial businesses. It employs 260 people, who find time to volunteer with organizations like Relay for Life, the South Hall Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and Keep Hall Beautiful.
“I’m extremely honored,” Said Mendez, manager of operations, said.
The business also plans to add more employees next year.
In addition to the three main winners, the Sherwin-Williams Co. won the corporate responsibility award. The Buford location serves and distributes to more than 600 stores within the company and has 270 employees. In the past year it has added 100,000 square feet and 40 full-time positions. The company also matches employee charitable contributions for up to 150 percent in honor of the company’s 150 years in business.
The environmental stewardship award went to FAE USA Inc., a company in Flowery Branch that specializes in forestry and construction land-clearing attachments. The company has reduced its energy and water use and banned smoking on the property within the past year. It also contributes to the Elachee Nature Science Center.
Georgia Powder Coating walked away with the safety culture award. The Gainesville company provides powder coating to companies throughout the nation and employs 49 people. Recently it implemented an employee safety committee and has seen a reduction in safety issues since.
A poultry processor specializing in custom portioning, Gold Creek Foods, took home the workforce excellence award. It employs 800 people, who are treated to annual back-to-school events, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day events and discounts at the YMCA.