Two events deserve attention



Much of the focus of The Herald’s news staff recently has been on the CRCT test cheating scandal that has put Albany in the state limelight, and not in a favorable way.

Because the spotlight was on the school system’s problems, there were two events that occurred in recent days that might have not gotten the attention they deserve.

One was a sad occasion — the death of Albany businessman Fred Taylor.

The other was great news — the expansion of Equinox Chemical Co.. The Albany-based firm is creating new jobs as it continues to expand its sales territory.

TAYLOR: Fred Taylor never held elected office (he never ran), but was recognized in statewide political circles as one of the most influential movers and shakers.

The Albany businessman came to prominence by helping Albany attorney George Busbee become governor in 1975. He later served as Busbee’s chief of staff.

Albany attorney Tommy Coleman, also a one-time leader in the Georgia Democratic Party, credits Taylor with being one of the major reasons the state approved Constitutional Amendment No. 2, which allows governors to succeed themselves and serve a second term. Busbee was the first Georgia governor to serve two consecutive terms.

Among Taylor’s surviving family members is son, Mark, who made his own mark in Georgia politics. Mark took a more visible route than his father, serving as both Georgia lieutenant governor and legislator.

Fred Taylor was also a behind-the-scenes player in many other political races and issues.

He also was an ultra-successful businessman owning, among other things, a Mack Truck dealership and his own trucking company, NationLease.

Bottom line, Fred Taylor was someone who got things done, despite the obstacles. People like him are in short supply, and Albany could certainly use more like him.

EQUINOX: Mark Grimaldi, Equinox founder and CEO, may be Albany’s leading success story at the moment.

With an assist from the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, Equinox is expanding into a second Albany location and plans to boost its total employment here to 78 jobs — an increase of 46 jobs — by next June.

The chemical research and manufacturing firm is investing $1.5 million to expand into the former MacGregor Golf building at Pecan Grove Industrial Park.

Adding these 46 new jobs is like a Christmas present to the Albany economy. Adding 46 jobs by the existing industry is just like adding a new industry to Albany.

Actually, it’s better. It’s better because you get to see good people prosper and realize the benefit of their hard work.

The company just added Catherine Glover, CEO at the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, to its staff.

Here’s hoping Glover and Grimaldi are able to open new markets for the company. If so, even more new jobs may be in the future.

Danny Carter can be contacted at (229) 888-9346 or emailed at danny.carter@albanyherald.com.