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Hall chamber event cites tool, poultry companies as top industries of the year
Annual event honors Count On Tools, Kipper Tool, Victory Processing for job growth
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Kipper Tools’ James Griffith readies a kit of sockets for shipping Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 14, 2017, at the Murphy Boulevard tool business that serves military, commercial, industrial and local consumers. Kipper Tools was awarded the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce industry of the year award in the medium category for the year. - photo by Scott Rogers

Three Hall County businesses were honored Tuesday as top industries of the year by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

Count On Tools Inc. at 2481 Hilton Drive in Gainesville won in the small employer category, or 1-50 employees; Kipper Tool Co. at 2375 Murphy Blvd. in Gainesville prevailed in the medium employer category, or 51-200 employees; and Victory Processing LLC won in the large employer category, 200-plus employees.

Count On Tools, which began in a garage in 1991 distributing precision hand tools, focuses these days on small-arms components, as well as nonwoven and adhesion system technology.

“We and our team would like to thank the chamber for recognizing and selecting our company for such a prestigious award,” Count On Tools President Curt Couch told the 300-plus gathered for the event.

Kipper Tool specializes in creating custom toolkits and individual tools and supplies, serving military, commercial, industrial and local consumers since 1992.

Elizabeth Garrish, senior operations executive, said, “We are nothing without our employees. They are the ones who make us successful, so, first and foremost, I’d like to show appreciation for each one of them who makes Kipper Tools successful and what it is today.”

Victory Processing LLC, which has grown from 28 employees in 2006 to 1,700 employees, is a poultry company that earlier this year increased production by 18 percent with a $1.4 million investment and adding 230 jobs.

Vice president Phillip Jones told the audience that “it is God’s provision that we depend on every day. Our hope rests in Jesus Christ alone. … We’re committed to honoring him as we take care of our employees, their families and our customers.”

Also receiving key awards were Bitzer US Inc., honored for corporate responsibility; Ceramic Tile Services Inc., safety and environmental stewardship; ALBAform Inc., workforce excellence; and ZF Gainesville LLC, workforce development.

The awards were presented during an annual luncheon ceremony at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville.

Sponsored by Lanier Technical College, the awards honor existing area industry leaders based on economic impact, workforce excellence and corporate responsibility, according to the chamber.

The chamber “continues to focus on the importance of existing industries in Gainesville-Hall County … and business remains strong,”  a press release about the event states.

Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield was the event’s keynote speaker.

He described as an “unfortunate message” the notion that “if you don’t graduate from high school, matriculate into a four-year college, get a four-year degree, you have somehow not lived up to the potential of everybody else around you.”