Whether the industry is big or small, many company leaders feel there’s one common denominator that makes a business successful: having good people.
Sponsored by Lanier Technical College, the Greater Hall Chamber’s 2015 Industry of the Year Awards Tuesday at Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville honored industry leaders based on economic impact, workforce excellence and corporate responsibility.
Winners announced during the seventh annual event included those in the categories of small (0-50 employees), medium (51-200 employees) and large (more than 200 employees) industries.
Poly Enterprises, which makes molded vinyl and mats for various types of businesses, was honored with the small industry of the year award.
“We’re tickled to even be in the conversation about this, much less win for our category,” said Greg Ours, president and owner of Poly Enterprises. “It’s a great recognition for our people, who are really the ones who deserve a pat on the back. Without a doubt, our people are the No. 1 reason for our success.”
Benjamin Sippl, vice president and chief financial officer of Mugele of America, expressed similar sentiments over his company’s industry of the year award in the medium industry category. Mugele of America is a third-party logistics provider.
“It’s incredible, especially with us being a foreign company. Being accepted by the community like this is an honor,” Sippl said, adding that, “it’s all about your people. You cannot succeed without having the right people and treating them right. Without them, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Michael Otterbach, regional vice president of manufacturing with Marel Stork Poultry Processing Inc., attributed the company’s success to “having a strong team, being flexible in the market and developing the right product for our customers’ needs.” His company earned the large industry award.
Added Otterbach: “But, the team is essential. If you don’t have a great team to execute the strategy, then you’ll fail.”
According to a news release from the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, 49 new and expanded businesses have announced 2,500 new jobs and $450 million in capital investment for the Gainesville and Hall County area since the start of 2014.
Keynote speaker Jackie Rohosky, assistant commissioner of economic development programs for the Technical College System of Georgia, discussed Georgia’s Quick Start program — a workforce development initiative that provides training to new and existing businesses.
Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan applauded those recognized at Tuesday’s event.
“The impact you have on our city, Gainesville, and Hall County is huge … as well as the quality of living you add to our community, we appreciate it very much,” Dunagan said.
Hall County Board of Commissioners Chairman Richard Mecum echoed Dunagan’s remarks.
“Congratulations to all the winners today. We’re proud you’ve made Hall County and Gainesville your home,” Mecum said.
Others recognized during Tuesday’s industry of the year awards included companies that made an impact in several categories, including:
• Wrigley Manufacturing, Corporate Responsibility Award
• Sapa Extrusions NA – Gainesville Facility, Safety Recognition Award
• ZF – TRW Automotive, Environmental Steward Award
• Performance Foodservice, Workforce Excellence Award
• IMS Gear Georgia Inc., Workforce Development Award