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Area Manufacturers Are Honored At Luncheon

The Development Authorities of Bacon, Brantley, and Clinch, along with the Okefenokee Development Authority and Okefenokee Technical College hosted a luncheon at the Railway Express Depot on April 25, 2006, to honor area manufacturers who provide jobs and contribute greatly to our economy. Members of the development authorities, community leaders, and elected officials from the six area counties – Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Pierce, and Ware – were on hand to celebrate the successes of the manufacturers over the past year.

Waycross Paper Group

Dr. Neil Aspinwall of Okefenokee Tech welcomed everyone to the event, the 2nd Annual Local Manufacturing Appreciation Luncheon. He thanked Stewart Candy Company for donating the peppermint packages for attendees and told guests to be sure to take the gift with them after the presentations.

Dr. Gail Thaxton, President of OTC, praised and thanked the honored guests stating, “You (the manufacturers) form the glue that holds our economy together. You continually step up and contribute to the community and live up to your corporate responsibilities. Each of you impacts our lives and livelihood.” After other commends, she closed saying to manufacturers, “We (OTC) want to be part of your success. You are indeed part of ours.”

Ware County Group

Ware County Commission Chairman, Carlton Corbitt, also expressed appreciation to the group of manufacturers on behalf of Ware County. He indicated that manufacturers do make a difference, calling them the “seeds of hope for communities so that we (communities) can enjoy growth.”

City Manager, Pete Pyrzenski, read a proclamation jointly signed by the city and county in support of Manufacturing Appreciation Week. The proclamation was received by Beverly Jordan and Rick Wilson of Carolina Skiff, the largest manufacturer in our area.

Representative Mark Hatfield and Senator Greg Goggans were also on hand to extend their appreciation to the manufacturers. Dave Howe gave the invocation, and everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch catered by K. D.’s Café.

Afterwards, Neil Aspinwall told those attending that OTC nominates at least one manufacturer from each county each year as a candidate for the state manufacturer of the year award. Those nominated this year in the small (150 or fewer employees) and medium (151-749) categories are: BWay Corporation (Homerville), VOITH (Waycross), D. L. Lee & Sons (Alma), Clayton Homes (Waycross), Milliken & Company (Alma), Lang Bar-B-Q Grills (Nahunta), and Carolina Skiff (Waycross).

“Although we do not have a state winner this year,” said Aspinwall, “we know that all of our manufacturers are winners because of what they do for us and our community.”

Nominees were presented with an award. Afterwards, all manufacturers present were given a Certificate of Appreciation for their contributions to community growth and prosperity and for their successes in the past year.

Regina Morgan, executive director of Okefenokee Area Development Authority, along with Dr. Neil Aspinwall and Andy Brannen of OTC, were the organizers of the event. The luncheon was sponsored by the Bacon County Development Authority, the Brantley County Development Authority, the Clinch County Development Authority, the Okefenokee Development Authority, and Okefenokee Technical College.

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