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Wednesday May 25th, 2016 7:19AM

Gainesville poultry equipment manufacturer celebrates 70 years

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - More than 350 employees, North Georgia residents, industry dignitaries and elected officials celebrated the 70th anniversary of Marel Stork Poultry Processing recently at the company's Airport Parkway facility in Gainesville. <br /> <br /> The day's events were kicked off with a welcome and history highlights given by Einar Einarsson, President Marel USA. Special guests Abit Massey of the Georgia Poultry Federation and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle praised the company for its long history and commitment to the North Georgia community and offered best wishes for continued growth.<br /> <br /> 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.<br /> <br /> "Reaching a 70-year milestone underlines the company´s success, growth and the competitive edge the company has achieved through the years," said Einar Einarsson, President Marel USA. "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."<br /> <br /> The Gainesville location is now 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.<br /> <br /> A few milestones from the last 70 years include:<br /> <br /> · 1944 - Gainesville Machine Company is founded. The company is established as a metal working job shop, specializing in welding fabrication and machining. <br /> <br /> · 1952 - Southern Equipment, a sales company established to market the products manufactured by Gainesville Machine Company. <br /> <br /> · 1965 - Gainesville Machine Company is presented the Presidential Excellence in Exporting Award by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson on March 9, 1965.<br /> <br /> · 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 thirteen departments at seven locations to move into one modern building.<br /> <br /> · 1975 - Stork Acquisitions Corporation purchases GAMCO, and the name is changed to Stork Gamco.<br /> <br /> · 1980 - The company's first computer, an IBM mainframe with MAPICS software, is installed. <br /> <br /> · 1997
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