Lincoln County 2020 Industry of the Year
2020 Industry of the Year is Awarded to
R.W. Garcia & BLUM Inc.
LEDA recognizes Industry of the Year at 2020
Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Virtual Banquet
Lincoln County –Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA) annually presents the Industry of the Year award at the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet. To promote and highlight the contributions and exemplary corporate citizenship of Lincoln County’s existing industries, the Lincoln Economic Development Association proudly recognized R.W. Garcia and Blum Inc. as co-winners of the 2020 Industry of the Year. “Considering the criteria for selecting the winner of this award, and those applications reviewed for this year, there were two industries that stood out for 2020. And with 2020 being the year it was. We thought they were both deserving” stated Joe Lampron, Chair of the LEDA Board.
Selected by the Lincoln Economic Development Association Board of Directors based upon four criteria: a positive impact in Lincoln County, involvement in the community, a leader in their field with a positive performance record, and a high standard of conduct.
This year, Blum, a manufacturer of hinges and runners for kitchen cabinets, located in Eastern Lincoln County, stood out for their contributions to the community and ongoing economic commitment to Lincoln County. Blum stated in their application, “We made a positive impact in the areas of education and job creation, by being caring stewards of those that live in our community. This year has been very different from previous years due to the impact of the pandemic, but we have continued to operate during the pandemic with full manufacturing operations, ensuring our customers’ needs were met and our employees continued to have jobs to support themselves and their families.
As their website states, “Our name stands for quality, innovation, and great customer service. We manufacture hardware that makes working in the kitchen easier.”
With sales in 2019/2020 exceeding $292 million, employing over 445 people, and investing over $33 million in expansion and equipment, they are certainly leaders in their field.
Blum is an active participating member of LEDA, the Industrial Manager’s Association, and the Chamber of Commerce. They have not only donated thousands of dollars, but also thousands of volunteer hours as well to such community groups as:
• American Red Cross & Community Blood Banks
• Catawba Springs Elementary School Food Bank
• Adopt a Highway
• East Lincoln Christian Ministry
• MS Bike Ride
• Middle School Careers Days
• Habitat for Humanity
Michael Geis, VP of IS / Materials /Logistic, accepted the award for Blum. Geis gave credit to his over 400 fellow associates and thanked LEDA and Lincoln County for all their support.
R.W. Garcia, a snack food manufacturer, located in the Lincoln County Industrial Park was also selected as Industry of the Year. The company stated, “Not only do we want to make the world’s best and healthiest snacks, but we also want to make our community a little better place to snack in.”
R.W. Garcia is an active participating member of LEDA, the Lincoln County Industrial Managers Association, and Lincoln Area Human Resource Association. They are involved in the community through monetary donations, food donations, and employee volunteering. They donated to such organizations as:
• East Lincoln Christian Ministries & Christian Ministries of Lincoln County.
• United Way
• Lincoln County Public Library
• Junior Achievement
• HATS (Helping Animals to Survive)
• Second Harvest Food Bank
R.W. Garcia is certainly a leader in the snack food industry. So much so that their founders, Robert and Margaret Garcia were recently inducted into the Specialty Food Association’s 2019 Hall of Fame. With the slogan “Teamwork makes the Dream Work” they believe employees are essential to the success of a company.
Diane Hogue, Plant Manager at R.W. Garcia accepted the award. Diane reflected on the companies history stating, “The company was one of the first to locate in the Lincoln County Industrial Park with vision and a dirt pile. The years between have been an exciting time of unprecedented growth and opportunity.” Diane also thanked all those in Lincoln County that help them every day, from the water department, police department, city and county officials as well as LEDA.