A huge black and white "Thank You!" was prominently displayed at the first ever Industrial Appreciation event of its kind, held Thursday in Lewisburg.
Dave Kennedy of Southern Carton provided the sign for the event held in the Powder Room at the old Borden factory on West Church Street. Over 125 people enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and soft drinks, as well as a selection of wines and cheeses.
The event was pronounced "very successful" by various participants.
Lewisburg's Economic Development Office, the city's Industrial Development Board, the Chamber of Commerce and the Marshall County Joint Economic and Community Development Board joined together to hold the party to recognize the industries that are so essential to Lewisburg and Marshall County.
"I appreciate all you do for Lewisburg and Marshall County to make this a better place to live," said Greg Lowe, Lewisburg's director of industrial development.
Among the industries singled out for recognition was Calsonic Kansei North America. CKNA was praised for its community outreach board that started cleaning up and improving the appearance of the industrial park last year. This year Cosmolab and Southern Carton joined in the work.
In spite of the bad economy, some industries have gotten bigger in the past year, and they were recognized. Lewisburg Printing has grown, tremendously, and it's spun off a new industry, Hawk Converting. Ace Bayou is expanding with its purchase of the old Sanford pencil factory. Christian Brands, one of the first tenants of the Business Park west of Lewisburg, has added candle making and, soon, religious jewelry.
"We appreciate so much what you've done out at that business park," Lowe said. "We hope you're not done."
CKNA got a special mention as Marshall County's largest employer, and Walker Die Casting as possibly the oldest industry. It's been operating continuously since 1958.
Ritaanne Weaver of the Chamber of Commerce thanked sponsors Ace Bayou, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association, Cosmolab, and ICP.
"Thank you for what you do for Lewisburg and Marshall County," Weaver said. "We hope you stick around."
Later, she said there are plans to make the industrial appreciation event an annual occasion.
Thanks to the sponsors, numerous door prizes were awarded, ranging from Ace Bayou chairs to gift cards, rounds of golf, "the coveted" Goat Tote, a Chamber of Commerce afghan, and an iPod shuffle.