Southworth International 125th anniversary celebration highlights community involvement
MANILA -- On Friday, Oct. 23, Southworth Products -- AR along with Southworth International celebrated 125 years in business with a party at the Red Goose Inn in Paragould, AR. The event was just a small part of a major commemoration effort that began on Jan. 1 and will continue through the end of the year.
"Maybe it's our heritage, but we're not terribly comfortable bragging about our accomplishments" said long time Southworth president Brian McNamara. "But still, we didn't want to let this milestone go without notice." James Cabot also brought warm greetings from his father and owner of Southworth International, Lewis Cabot, thanking employees both past and present for their contributions to the company's success.
After several meetings with a volunteer organizing committee, appropriately named TEAM 125, Southworth management agreed that the best way to commemorate the achievement would be through a series of community outreach programs. Southworth employees and their families, from both the corporate headquarters in Falmouth, and the manufacturing facility in Arkansas, quickly rose to the challenge.
By the end of the year they will have logged 1,250 hours volunteering for a variety of community projects and charities. A goal of donating 125 pints of blood to the Red Cross has also been met. And finally, the company will make donations of $125 to 125 non-profit organizations that have been nominated by Southworth employees.
Southworth International Group began in 1890 as Southworth Press, a printing press based in Portland, Maine. In 1910 the company was incorporated and the name changed to Southworth Machine Company. In the 1920s, the company moved to Warren Avenue in Portland, Maine, and evolved to include an automotive division that, among other things, built fire trucks for towns throughout New England. Through World War II and beyond, Southworth Machine concentrated on a variety of industries such as Graphic Arts, Engine Rebuilding and the Aerospace industry. Eventually in the 1970s, the company was renamed Southworth International and has been focusing on producing material handling equipment ever since. Today Southworth employs over 250 people in locations throughout the U.S. and Mexico and is the leading manufacturer of material handling equipment worldwide.
Close to 200 people attended Friday night's event including current and former employees, valued strategic partners and Manila town officials including Mayor Wayne Wagner and his wife, Charolette.
In his closing remarks, McNamara thanked all in attendance and credited them with helping Southworth reach the impressive milestone.