The Newton Development Corp. held its annual Salute to Business and Industry Luncheon Wednesday, honoring two businesses and presenting an entrepreneurial award to a third.
Skiff Medical Center and Walter G. Anderson, received the business and industry awards, and the Jim Tyler Entrepreneurial Award went to Newton Enterprises, and EPC owner Reza Kargarzedeh.
“Skiff Medical Center is treasured by the community,” Skiff CEO Steve Long said. “I know that by the signs I see in the community and the positive comments I receive.”
Long told the story of a patient who had received a treatment not offered by Skiff, and had asked to return to Skiff for an MRI. The reason he gave was that he knew he would never get the kind of care he could get at Skiff, and that the community needs to support its local hospital.
Long pointed to the many positive factors at Skiff in the past few years, including new equipment, such as the CT scanner and the new MRI with the ambient experience, that has had a big impact on patient satisfaction.
Other changes include renovations with hospice care that have allowed the hospital to increase its swing bed program; the New Care Clinic which is now recruiting physicians; and the Health Enterprises, opening in mid-2013.
Darrell Johnson of Walter G. Anderson introduced the audience to Mark Anderson, president of the company and Jerry Ebersole, plant manager. The manufacturer of folding cartons is now in its 63rd year. He said his industry is now over capacity.
“There is a lot of contraction in the industry and it’s not over,” Johnson said. “We’re fortunate to be where we’re at.”
Johnson said the company, headquartered in Hamel, Minn., has 175,000 square feet of space in the former Maytag building in Newton, employing 35, with plans to expand to 46 employees. The company has spent $25 million on new equipment at the plant, including a new printing press to be added soon.
Walter G. Anderson counts 3M, Nestle, and Con Agra among its major accounts. The automated printing process has increased in technology over the years, and is considered very “green,” with 100 percent of its power needs gained from wind energy, plus an aggressive recycling program and use of eco-friendly inks.
Kargarzedeh told the audience that he started Engineered Plastic Components in 1994, and now has 14 locations in North America. The custom injection molding process served Maytag with parts, and now serves Whirlpool, as well as auto dealers, appliance manufacturers, medical suppliers and recreational equipment manufacturers.
Newton Enterprises is currently working closely with the Newton Development Corp., the Jasper County Economic Development Corp. and the City of Newton to bring more tenants to the former Maytag headquarters building. Currently, Kargarzadeh said, tenants include Caleris, Madhouse Brewery, Health Enterprises, EPC corporate offices, Verizon, Windstream and Newton Enterprises staff, with plenty of room for more companies.
“We have 250 employees on campus now, and our goal is to have 1,000,” he said.
John Jennings can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 425 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.