GIB has 1 million hours worked safely on the job

Published 1:18 pm Friday, October 9, 2009

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said Tuesday that the Georgia Department of Labor’s Georgia Industries for the Blind (GIB) recently reached a significant workplace-safety milestone at its plants in Albany, Bainbridge and Griffin and in its corporate offices.

From March 27, 2006, until Sept. 4, 2009, GIB worked 917 days, or 1 million work-hours, without any injuries that resulted in days lost from work.

“We are extremely proud of the work-safety record that GIB has accomplished over the years,” said Commissioner Thurmond. “GIB was established in 1949 and this is the first time a goal of one million safe work-hours has been reached.”

GIB is a non-profit manufacturing operation working as part of Georgia Department of Labor’s Division of Rehabilitation Services. Its mission is to provide employment opportunities for people who are blind. GIB currently employs more than 200 workers with more than 100 of those being Georgians who are blind. Products include pillows, file folders, binders, card guides, packaged flatware, safety vests, bags and screen printing.

Since 2000, GIB’s Bainbridge plant has received the State of Georgia Award of Excellence seven years in a row, while the Griffin plant has received the same award four years in a row.

In 2003, the Bainbridge plant received the Governor’s Safety Award and the Georgia Department of Labor’s Innovations in Safety Award. And in 2008, the Griffin plant received the Governor’s Safety Award and the Georgia Department of Labor’s Superior Innovations in Safety Award.

“This is truly a memorable team effort,” said Jim Hughes, executive director. “Our director of manufacturing, Kevin Kelley, provides the direction and emphasis, Safety Manager Jesse Whitley provides the training and all employees work with safety as a priority. Workplace safety should be a critical matter for all venues, but especially in an environment where the blind are employed. I am extremely proud of everyone associated with GIB.”

Kelley said, “As we continue to set new benchmarks for ourselves, we clearly envision GIB as an injury-free company.”

Jameson Inn recognized for service

The Jameson Inn hotel brand was ranked No. 1 in customer service for the first half of 2009 by the Market Metrix Hospitality Index (MMHI) among its segment of hotels.

This marks 5 1/2 consecutive years Jameson Inn has been ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction nationally.

“It is great to know our dedication to our guests has been recognized again,” said Larry Lowe, general manager of the Jameson Inn in Bainbridge, said in a news release. “Even in a down economy, our commitment to an excellent lodging experience is our overriding goal.”

Most Jameson Inn hotels have completed recent renovations to keep the properties fresh and attractive to travelers and have new double-sided pillow top Dreamium beds that feature triple sheeting and many pillows on each bed.

Based on 35,000 customer interviews each quarter, the Market Metrix Hospitality Index prides itself on being the largest and most in-depth measure of hotel, airline and car rental performance available today. No other customer satisfaction index offers MMHI’s reporting frequency, volume of customer interviews, cross-industry results or innovative satisfaction measures.

Lunch and Learn is Wednesday

The Bainbridge-Decatur Chamber of Commerce is offering another Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Alesia Messersmith will present “Professional Image Inside and Out,” which include topics as what image you are projecting, how does customer service and professional image impact your bottom line, and what is appropriate attire for the business setting?

The program will at Bainbridge College’s Kirbo Regional Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The cost of the program is $10 for chamber members and $15 for non-members.

Call the chamber at 246-4774 to reserve a seat or if you have questions.

Park Avenue Bank announces promotions

PAB Bankshares Inc., the parent company for Park Avenue Bank, announced Oct. 1 changes to its executive management team.

PAB Bankshares is a $1.28 billion bank holding company headquartered in Valdosta, Ga., with three branches in Bainbridge—the main office on Board Street, a branch in West Bainbridge on Dothan Road and a drive-through branch on East Shotwell Street.

“We are pleased to announce the promotion of key individuals on our executive management team. We believe that we have identified and aligned the managerial needs within our organization with the talents and experience of these officers,” said President and CEO Jay Torbert.

The board of directors appointed the following officers as executive vice presidents of the company and bank effective Oct. 1:

 R. Wesley Fuller, chief administration officer and treasurer, will focus on liquidity and funds management of the bank;

David H. Hammond, chief credit officer, will be responsible for the overall administration, monitoring and policy management of the bank’s loan portfolio;

 George D. Henderson, chief banking officer, will oversee banking operations in the Georgia and Florida markets, increase business development efforts in those markets and manage banking personnel;

 Judy S. Kelly, chief operations officer, will manage the bank’s loan and deposit operations, branch support, information technology and data processing areas;

 Nicole S. Stokes, chief financial officer, is a certified public accountant and has worked in the banking community since 1998.

Reinke opens Donalsonville dealership

Reinke Manufacturing Inc., a manufacturer of mechanized irrigation systems, recently announced that Donny Roland Inc., in Donalsonville is one of its distributor.

The owner of the new, full-service Reinke irrigation is Donny Roland. Roland attended the new dealer orientation at Reinke headquarters in Deshler, Neb., on Sept. 1-2.

“We are very excited about this new dealership and its owner. We feel that Donny and his team will do a great job in growing the Reinke presence in this part of Georgia,” said Tim Goldhammer, vice president of marketing for Reinke.

Roland is located at 15 Bevers Road in Donalsonville.