Georgia Association of Manufacturers, its foundation elects officers, board
Posted April 29, 2021
ATLANTA – Members of the Georgia Association of Manufacturers (GAM) and The Manufacturers Education Foundation (MEF) each elected officers and board members at the 121st Annual Meeting of GAM and the 78th Annual Meeting of MEF, held via virtual videoconference on April 29.
Rick Hooper, vice president, chief legal and advocacy officer for Shaw Industries Group, Inc. was reelected to a second year-long term as chairman of GAM and MEF. Pate Huguley, president and CEO of West Point Industries, was elected vice chairman of GAM and MEF. Greg King, president and CEO of Avis Industrial Corporation, was elected treasurer of GAM and MEF.
Hooper is chief legal and advocacy officer for Shaw Industries Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. that supplies carpet, resilient, hardwood, laminate, tile and stone flooring products and synthetic turf to residential and commercial markets worldwide. From the corporate headquarters in Dalton, Ga., he leads teams that manage the legal and corporate compliance functions across the enterprise.
Hooper has been with the company for 28 years and began serving in his present role soon after the company was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 2001. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a law degree from the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University. Prior to being elected chairman of GAM last year, Hooper had served in other association roles, including vice chairman in 2019-2020, treasurer in 2018-2019 and chair of the association’s Legislative and Public Policy Committee from 2012-2018.
Huguley is the president and CEO of West Point Industries in West Point, Ga., where he has been employed for more than 25 years. West Point Industries is a 150-year-old Georgia manufacturer that originally produced textile machinery for weaving mills and has transformed its business to now support heavy industrial equipment manufacturers.
Huguley has led the company in service, manufacturing and sales and has been president since 2002. He also served on the boards of Springwood School, Lanier Health Services and is an active member of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s CEO Roundtable in Columbus. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and he holds a Master of Business Administration from Troy University. He has served as the treasurer of the association and the foundation over the past year.
King is the president and CEO of Avis Industrial Corporation, which owns and operates nine companies in six states and Canada, including GAM member Harris Equipment, which makes recycling equipment at two locations in Baxley and Cordele. He was appointed to his current position in October of 2020, prior to which he had served as president and CEO of Harris Equipment since 2016. From 1989 through 2015, he held a variety of executive positions with GAM member WestRock, formerly known as Rock-Tenn Company.
He has served on a number of boards, including for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, Good Samaritan Health Center Gwinnett, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful. King has been a member of the association and foundation boards since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption caused to GAM activities and the operations of the GAM membership, the association decided to maintain as much continuity as possible by extending, where possible, the existing Board member terms for another year.
To that end, six industry executives whose terms were set to expire in 2023 were elected by the association’s membership to serve an additional year on their terms (expiring in 2024) on GAM’s Board of Directors, and further elected to serve identical terms on the MEF Board of Directors:
Dee Barnes, president & CEO, Evans Tool & Die, Conyers;
Kathleen Edge, executive vice president for Operations, Southwire, Carrollton;
Josh Hall, vice president of Manufacturing, Engineered Floors, Dalton;
Jay Neely, vice president, Law & Public Affairs, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Savannah;
Brian Sage, executive vice president, Manufacturing, Great Dane, Savannah; and
Brian Solheim, plant manager, Irving Consumer Products, Macon.
Five industry executives whose terms were set to expire in 2022 were elected by the Association’s membership to serve an additional year on their terms (expiring in 2023) on GAM’s Board of Directors, and further elected to serve identical terms on the MEF Board of Directors:
Gerald Bruch, vice president, Honda Precision Parts of Georgia, Tallapoosa;
Michael Edwards, senior vice president, Operations, Mannington, Calhoun;
John Fluker, president and CEO, Grenzebach, Newnan;
Mike Gorey, president and CEO, Propex Operating Company, Nashville, Tennessee; and
Bruce Hagenau, president, Metcam, Alpharetta.
One industry executive was elected by the association’s membership to serve a two-year term (expiring in 2023) on GAM’s Board of Directors, and further elected to serve an identical term on the MEF Board of Directors:
Michael Lonergan, chairman, Seminole Marine Group, Cairo.
Three industry executives were elected by the association’s membership to fill vacancies by serving one-year terms (expiring in 2022) on GAM’s Board of Directors, and further elected to serve an identical term on the MEF Board of Directors:
Phillip Bridges, senior vice president, Operations, Milliken & Company, Spartanburg, S.C.;
Jim Kelleher, general manager, Manufacturing & Repair – Savannah Machinery Works, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Pooler; and
Todd Shail, senior vice president of Operations, Mohawk Industries, Calhoun.
Three industry executives whose terms were set to expire in 2021 were elected by the association’s membership to serve an additional year on their terms (expiring in 2022) on GAM’s Board of Directors, and further elected to serve identical terms on the MEF Board of Directors:
Ben McElrath, president, Marglen Industries, Rome;
Tony Rollin, factory manager, John Deere Commercial Products, Evans; and
Terry Wilson, director, Sales and Marketing, Textile Rubber & Chemical Company, Dalton.
GAM and MEF each reelected Roy Bowen as chief executive officer and Mike Coan as president. GAM and MEF also each reelected Cindy Thomas as corporate secretary for GAM and MEF and GAM reelected Clay Jones as vice president and general counsel.
Founded in 1900, GAM is the statewide trade association that represents manufacturers in legislative, regulatory and public affairs matters. GAM also provides a broad array of services and counsel to the industry in the areas of human resources, energy, taxation, safety and health, education and training, workforce development, and environmental quality.
The association’s principal focus is on advocacy for its members before the Georgia General Assembly, the Public Service Commission, Executive Branch departments and agencies such as the Environmental Protection Division, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and the Department of Revenue, and constitutionally-based departments such as Labor and Insurance.
GAM members place a high value on membership involvement in the affairs and priorities of the Association through participation in various Association committees (Energy, Environmental Quality, Legislative and Public Policy, Safety and Health, Tax and Workforce / Plant Management), which identify issues of importance for action by GAM in the legislative and / or regulatory arenas. GAM also serves an educational role for its members, arranging several annual seminars designed to bring leading edge, relevant information to the membership and keeping its members informed by way of frequent communications.
Established in 1943, The Manufacturers Education Foundation provides scholarships and other support for Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, Dalton State, Kennesaw State and select technical colleges designed to prepare students to become part of the next generation of Georgia’s advanced manufacturing workforce.