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Not One But Two Winners for 2009 Industry of the Year

LEDA recognizes both GE Security and Hof Textiles as 2009 Industry of the Year

Lincoln County – Each year the Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA) presents the Industry of the Year Award at the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet. The recipient must meet the four criteria’s in which the award is based on. The industry must first have made a positive impact in Lincoln County within the last year. Second, the industry must be involved with the Lincoln community through direct financial, time and/or other significant contributions. Next, the industry must be a leader in their field and have produced a positive performance during their last fiscal year. Finally, the industry must maintain the highest standards of conduct in working with the community, government, other business and their own employees.

This year there were several nominations and applicants; however there were two industries that had strong qualifications, exemplifying leadership, growth and community involvement and are both active members of LEDA and the Industrial Managers Association and were both deserving of the award. For the first time, there was a tie between the two that could not be broken.

GE Security has set an example in the community, not only with their equipment expansion in a very short time but with their community service involvement. Hosting three blood drives, collecting over 6,000 pounds of food for charities and donating over 1600 volunteer hours to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Soup Kitchen, Hospice and Family Care Center.

Accepting the award for GE Security, Phil Wekenmann, plant manager, “I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the 200 employees of GE Security. The leadership of GE Security is also impressed when I take them through the plant, the park and the LEDA office; it’s the zeal, growth and positive attitude of Lincoln County that has allowed us to expand in such a short amount of time.”

Hof Textiles has managed to not only survive but excel during these uncertain economic times, especially in the textile and automotive industry. They have had three additional equipment expansions in the last four years, creating high quality jobs for Lincolnton and Lincoln County. They have avoided permanent lay-off and have been able to maintain a full five day/40 hour work week. With several building upgrades through these expansions, they have provided work for local contractors in order to fuel our local economy.

Lothar Hackler president Hof Textiles, “I am very proud to receive this award. Considering, 2009 has been a good year for us; our Lincoln County plant has positioned itself very well for future support and investment from Germany.”

Pete Acker, chair Lincoln Economic Development Association, “Industries of Lincoln County play a very important role in our community. Everyone presumes that the main purpose and mission of LEDA is to recruit new industry to Lincoln County, which it is; equally important if not more is the job of retaining our existing industry and a stable based workforce for our community.”

“It was an exciting situation to have, both GE Security and Hof Textiles were deserving of the award in their own right; I am proud to have to opportunity to work closely with both industries,” says, Crystal Gettys existing business manager, Lincoln Economic Development Association.

About LEDA

Lincoln Economic Development Association is a private, 501c(3) non-profit corporation charged with facilitating industrial, office and commercial development in Lincolnton and Lincoln County. LEDA’s mission is to foster an economic environment that promotes an enhancement of the standard of living by creating more and better jobs for the citizens of Lincolnton and Lincoln County; an increase and diversified tax base to provide needed community services. The organization’s goals include retention and expansion of existing business; attraction of diversified base industries and improvement of the overall business climate within Lincolnton and Lincoln County.

Contact Information:

GE Security – Phil Wekenmann


Hof Textiles – Lothar Hackler