Russ Sanders: Small Business Rock Star

Russ Sanders is a great corporate citizen. But beyond that, he’s a dedicated community servant. Hard to imagine just a few short years ago Sanders was running his now highly successful company, FactoryMation, out of his basement. Today, the Canton, Georgia-based company is a thriving national supplier of industrial control products, enjoying an annual growth of   15 to 20 percent since 2005.

No wonder the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) recognized Sanders as one of the state’s first Small Business Rock Stars.

On Monday, a host of new rock stars will be named at an awards luncheon, as Georgia kicks off Small Business Week. No doubt, they will be an incredible group; but for his contributions to Cherokee County, the state of Georgia and aspiring students everywhere, Sanders will always be a rock star in our eyes.In addition to running FactoryMation, Sanders has also started a scholarship program to give Cherokee High School students the opportunity to earn their pilots license. For that, the county school district recognized Sanders with the first-ever Cherokee County School District Partner of the Year award, as well as naming him Volunteer of The Year. In a recent article published in Georgia Trend magazine, Sanders said all it takes to sell the 20-something crowd on Cherokee is to show them first-hand what the area has to offer.“They think we are much farther away than we really are,” said Sanders. “Once we get them to visit and they realize it’s not that far up 575 to get here, then it becomes a non-issue.”

In the meantime, here’s a line-up of next week’s activities, honoring entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout Georgia. The Cherokee Office of Economic Development supports small business and aspiring entrepreneurs as the lead economic development entity for Cherokee County.

You can learn more about how Sanders started FactoryMation by viewing this snippet on YouTube when he accepted his Small Business Rock Star award last year.