Local Manufacturer Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Contributed Report

LIVINGSTON:

Nearly 200 employees, customers, suppliers and friends gathered at Livingston’s Civic Center recently to celebrate Prystup Packaging Products’ 25th anniversary.

Prystup is an awarding-winning manufacturer of paperboard folding cartons, such as those used to package the consumer goods found on grocery and discount store shelves.

The company opened its first production facility in Livingston on July 1, 1980, and added a second production facility in Demopolis in January of 1994.

Among the guests for Prystup’s 25th anniversary picnic was Livingston Mayor Tom Tartt who, on behalf of the City Council, presented a resolution to the company and its founders in recognition of their contributions to the community.

In his personal remarks, Mayor Tartt likened company founders Les and Kathryn Prystup to pioneers, citing the fact that they came west (from North Carolina), risking all they had to make a better life for themselves and their family.

The mayor ended his speech with a more light-hearted presentation.

He gave the Prystups a bottle of mineral water from Livingston’s Bored Well-which is purported to have medicinal powers-wishing them another 25 years of health and prosperity.

President and C.E.O. Les Prystup accepted the mayor’s awards by congratulating employees for the progress they have made, both personally and professionally.

He noted that Prystup Packaging Products has always been structured and managed like a much larger company, which has enabled it to sell to a Fortune 500 clientele and compete among the largest carton converters in the industry.

Mr. Prystup commended employees for “creating wealth in the communities where we live and work.”

He reminded non-employee guests that the company has grown to three facilities totaling over 215,000 square feet, has created over 100 steady jobs and has pumped about 45,000,000 payroll dollars into the local economy.

In his closing comments, Mr. Prystup shared his near-term goals for achieving increased sales, productivity and profitability, thereby securing the company’s future.

Out-of-town guests attending the festivities included representatives of the South Regions Minority Business Council in Birmingham, which is a corporate-sponsored, regional division of the National Minority Supplier Development Council and serves as its certification agency in Alabama.

Prystup Packaging Products has long been designated a Minority Business Enterprise by the S.R.M.B.C. based upon owner Les Prystup’s Native American heritage.

Since the mid-1990’s, the national minority council has awarded “Corporate Plus” distinction to 68 companies (from among the 15,000 that have been certified nationwide).

This designation is intended to signal corporate buyers that certain minority companies have achieved a level of sophistication that qualifies them for consideration when placing contracts that are national in scope.

In 1998, Prystup Packaging Products was the 28th company placed on that list.

Acknowledging that employee loyalty has been vital to the company’s growth, Vice Presidents Jim Emory and Suzanne McGahey presented service pins to employees who achieved a milestone anniversary in the past year.

James Smyly, Plant Manager of the Demopolis facility, was recognized for 25 years’ service; then Lee Bracknell, Mary Hudson and Eloise Speight–who are all Livingston employees–were presented 20-year pins.

Livingston employees Wayne Bowden, Edward Hill, Robin Jordan, Allen Parker and Rickey Rogers, as well as Demopolis employee Glenda Bryant, were recognized for 15 years of service.

Ten-year veterans Mike Cain, Roy Fikes, Eddie Jones and Carolyn Wilson are Demopolis employees.

Barbara Cole, Hattie Jones, Roy Rainer and Evelyn Taylor have worked for 10 years in P.P.P.’s Livingston plant.

Demopolis employees Wendell Hudson and Keith Rowser received their first service pin, for 5 years of service, along with Lee Chambless, Paige Guin, and Carl Sudduth of the Livingston plant.