Marel Stork Poultry Processing on June 14 observed its 70th anniversary with a celebration at the company’s Airport Parkway facility in Gainesville, Georgia. More than 350 employees, North Georgia residents, industry dignitaries and elected officials attended the celebration, which included a picnic, children’s activities, tours of the facility and live music provided by the company’s own employees.
The day’s events were kicked off with a welcome and history highlights given by Einar Einarsson, president of Marel USA. Special guests Abit Massey of the Georgia Poultry Federation and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle praised the company for its long history and commitment to the North Georgia community and wished Marel Stork continued growth.
The company began when Grover S. Harben founded Gainesville Machine Company in Hall County in 1944 as a metal working job shop, specializing in welding fabrication and machining. Over the past 70 years, the company became focused on poultry processing equipment and systems design, sales, manufacturing and distribution. In 2008, the company became part of Marel, a multi-national provider of advanced equipment, systems and services to the fish, meat and poultry industries.
From its humble beginnings as a metal working shop, the Gainesville location has risen to being Marel's hub of activities in the North American poultry industry, employing about 230 people in its state-of-the art 250,000 square foot research, design and fabrication facility.
“Reaching a 70-year milestone underlines the company's success, growth and the competitive edge the company has achieved through the years. Through our employees' dedication, loyalty and relentless pursuit of perfection, the company has become a worldwide leader of advanced processing equipment solutions. With ever-increasing and changing challenges of the industry, Marel Stork Poultry Processing is in a unique position to take advantage of its strong market position, innovation drive and highly skilled and qualified workforce. We have a good reason to believe we will enjoy prosperous future and continue to grow for the benefit of our customers, employees and stakeholders,” said Einar Einarsson, president, Marel USA.
Major milestones for the company over the last 70 years include:
- 1944 - Gainesville Machine Company is founded. The company is established as a metal working job shop, specializing in welding fabrication and machining.
- 1952 - Southern Equipment, a sales company, is established to market the products manufactured by Gainesville Machine Company.
- 1965 - Gainesville Machine Company is presented the Presidential Excellence in Exporting Award by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson on March 9.
- 1971 - Gainesville Machine Company is sold to the Chickmaster Corporation, and it's name changed to GAMCO in 1973. The same year GAMCO moves into a new 113,000 square foot building, allowing 13 departments at seven locations to move into one modern building.
- 1975 - Stork Acquisitions Corporation purchases GAMCO, and the name is changed to Stork Gamco.
- 1980 - The company's first computer, an IBM mainframe with MAPICS software, is installed.
- 1997 – Ground is broken on the total renovation and expansion of the existing facility, official opening one year later.
- 2008 – Stork Food Systems is purchased by Marel.