FactoryMation Receives Georgia Small Business Award
Pictured L-R Mary Ellen McClanahan, Director of Entrepreneur & Small Business GDEcD-, Russ Sanders, FactoryMation CEO – JoAnne Lewis, GEDA Chair – Misti Martin, Cherokee Office of Economic Development President – Eric Van Otteren, GEDA Small Business Committee Chair – Heath Tippens, Cherokee Office of Economic Development Project Manager
FactoryMation was recognized on Monday as one of Georgia’s first “Small Business Rock Stars,” a new joint effort of the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). The program recognizes outstanding, unique and impactful small businesses in the state of Georgia.
“These awards recognize the fact that, with 95 percent of Georgia’s businesses employing fewer than 50 people, small business is clearly big business in Georgia,” said GDEcD commissioner Chris Cummiskey. “Georgia ranks as one of the best states in which to start a business thanks to its diversity, abundance of resources, and entrepreneur-friendly policies.”
“It’s important to honor companies whose best practices help set the state apart as a nurturing environment for small business,” said Mike Pennington, president of GEDA. “This is the first time our two groups have collaborated specifically on small business awareness, and we are very pleased with the response by Georgia’s small business community.”
Companies with up to 50 employees were considered for uniqueness and innovation, as well as for their involvement with their local economic developers and state resource providers. Nominated companies represent fields ranging from information technology and healthcare to racing and restaurants. Six companies were named winners in the competition, and four companies received honorable mentions.
“We were very happy to receive almost 50 nominations, more than we expected for this first-time effort,” said Mary Ellen McClanahan, Director of Entrepreneur & Small Business with GDEcD. “GEDA members and Georgia’s communities took this opportunity to heart and we are proud that so many responded with such interest.”
The companies who received awards and honorable mentions were recognized Monday in Atlanta at a ceremony attended by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. FactoryMation was represented by CEO, Russ Sanders.
After giving a brief summary of taking his business from his basement to a multi-million dollar enterprise with over 12,000 offerings within their product line Sanders stated, “We appreciate being nominated and are honored to accept this award.” Misti Martin, President of the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) and former GEDA Chair, commented that “FactoryMation is a true small business success story, and we are fortunate to have them Cherokee County.” Marshall Day, Chairman of COED stated, “Our existing industries are a top priority, and we have been pleased to assist FactoryMation on their growth from a basement business to a multi-million dollar operation.”
Celebrating 50 years of service excellence, the Georgia Economic Developers Association is the leading professional organization advancing Georgia’s economic vitality. GEDA is a non-profit association of professionals, volunteers and supporters. The association provides networking and professional development opportunities for its members, and supports public policies that promote quality job creation and sustainable economic development throughout the state.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, locate new markets for Georgia products, inspire tourists to visit Georgia, and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects.