Chamber, EDC honors area industries

ALBANY, Ga. -- Community leaders recently took the opportunity to recognize the engines that keep the area's economy running.

The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission held an industry appreciation breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn Wednesday.

"I'm continually amazed by the companies and the diversity we have," Chamber President/CEO Catherine Glover said. "This is a dynamic community."

The program included the presentation of awards in four categories: economic impact, excellence in innovation, global commerce and corporate community citizenship.

The corporate community citizenship recognition was given in the form of the Good Life City Award.

Consideration for the global commerce award was based on a company's worldwide reach. The finalists were Equinox Chemical Co., Thrush Aircraft and Sasco Chemicals. The honor went to Thrush Aircraft.

"We greatly appreciate the honor," said Eric Rojek, vice president of the company. "The key with any corporation is surrounding yourself with driven people."

The excellence in innovation category was meant to honor those that work to keep their systems advanced and up-to-date. The finalists were Maintenance Center Albany, MillerCoors and Pratt Industries.

Maintenance Center Albany was declared this year's winner.

"This is an honor indeed," said Col. Terry Reid, MCA commanding officer. "This is a team effort."

The economic impact award, meant to acknowledge growth and expansion, went to Equinox Chemical Co. Coats & Clark and Exopack were also up for consideration in that category.

Between MillerCoors and Procter & Gamble, P&G was declared the winner of the Good Life City Award -- which was designed to reflect community involvement, civic programs and educational partnerships.

The breakfast was held as part of Albany-Dougherty Industry Celebration Week. On Monday, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission hosted an industry reception at the EDC's offices in downtown Albany. On Tuesday, Thrush Aircraft hosted an open house at its facility on Old Pretoria Road.

The purpose of the celebration, officials say, is three-fold: expose residents to the variety of industries located in the community, create exposure for local industries and honor the accomplishments of industries.

"There is a reason why we do this every year -- to recognize the contributions these industries have on the community," explained Ted Clem, president of the EDC. "The engine that drives businesses is the contribution of manufacturers. We never want to forget the importance they have (to the community).

"They contribute to our economy and way of life."

Also present at the event was Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard.

"We have such a diversified community," he said at the breakfast. "We should never take for granted the things we have here. We live in a blessed place."