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SGTC nominates 4 companies as Georgia Manufacturers of Year

AMERICUS — Sumter County’s Café Campesino, Golden Gourmet Meals LLC, and Leatherbrook Holsteins LLC, were each nominated by South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) as Small Manufacturers to be recognized at the 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Appreciation Week Manufacturers of the Year Luncheon at the Georgia International Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The event will be held on April 12. Golden’s Foundry in Crisp County was nominated as a Medium Manufacturer.
Each year, South Georgia Technical College and the other 21 technical colleges in the state submit area manufacturers from their region to be considered for top honors at the Georgia Manufacturers of the Year luncheon in Atlanta.  Each manufacturer nominated is in an elite group.
“We are pleased to have Café Campesino, Golden Gourmet, Leatherbrook Holsteins and Goldens’ Foundry in our seven-county service area and we appreciate the value that they bring to our communities,” said SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D. “It was our pleasure to nominate each of these companies as Manufacturers of the Year in Georgia.
“Each of these companies and their employees are assets to be commended for their role in manufacturing. We salute these companies and the individuals who oversee these operations for their entrepreneurial spirit. We are proud to partner with them on various training and educational opportunities. The economic impact that they provide to our area is tremendous and we appreciate them for their contribution to the economic development of this region as well as to Georgia and the surrounding states,” said Watford.
Governor Nathan Deal is slated to be the keynote speaker at the luncheon in Atlanta. Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Matt Arthur will attend the event along with other technical college and community leaders from throughout the state. One manufacturer from the Large (500+ employees), Medium (151-500 employees), and Small (0-150 employees) divisions will be recognized as the top manufacturer for 2018 in Georgia.

South Georgia Technical College Vice President of Economic Development Wally Summers is shown with Café Campesino officials who have been nominated by SGTC as a Small Manufacturer of the Year for Georgia. From left are are Summers, Bill Harris Jr., Nema Ethridge, Tripp Pomeroy and SGTC Director of Business and Industry Services Paul Farr.

Café Campesino is a small manufacturer in Americus and is celebrating 20 years in business in 2018.  The light manufacturing, coffee roasting company has a financial impact within Americus and Georgia of $10 million annually. Its mission and purpose is to partner with small-scale coffee farmers, connect communities, and inspire conscious consumption … one great cup of coffee at a time. Bill Harris Jr. is the company founder and CFO and Tripp Pomeroy is the CEO.
Golden Gourmet Meals LLCis also a small manufacturer in Americus. Ed Shattles is the general manager of the plant that produces 10,000 meals daily during its four-day work week, which equates to approximately 2.1 million meals annually. The facility has invested $10 million in capital equipment and has an annual payroll of $1.7 million.
Leatherbrook Holsteins LLC is the third small manufacturer in 2018 recommended by SGTC. Owner Adam Graft has been in operation for 10 years in Sumter County and produces milk for much of the state. The company has grown from 17 to 100 employees in 10 years. It uses 4,000 acres to produce feed for 7,000 cows. The cows are milked three times a day. This company has an $80 to $82 million annual impact on the community and state of Georgia and has invested approximately $30 million in capital improvements in 10 years.
Goldens’ Foundry and Machine Company LLC (GFMCO) in Crisp County was nominated by SGTC as a Medium Manufacturer. The company produces cast, machined, and assembled gray and ductile iron components. Bill Vanness is the plant manager and Matt Murphy is the human resources director.
Individuals from each of the four local manufacturing firms will be the guests of SGTC at the MAW Luncheon on April 12 in Atlanta. They will also be spotlighted in the 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Appreciation Week program agenda.
This is the 24th year celebrating Manufacturing Appreciation Week in Georgia.