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Spotlighting your neighbor: Striving for the best of the best

Since childhood, Margaret Baty has been a competitive person. Even an allergy to rubber in athletic shoes didn&8217;t keep her from playing her favorite sport, softball. She simply played barefoot.

Whether in the sports arena or in other areas of her life, Baty said her compeitive nature has been a driving force in everything she does.

Baty came to Demopolis in 1956 as an industrial nurse for Vanity Fair. She was later promoted to human resources manager and continued to work for the company even after the Demopolis plant closed in 1997.

Ever striving for the best, Baty was influential in getting another major industry to fill the void that Vanity Fair left.

For the next year, she traveled to other Vanity Fair plants training people and helping to relocate workers.

It was not until Jan Gross with the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce called her that she began to see another opportunity for the place she had worked at for so long.

Gross asked her to do a presentation for a group of business people from a Ney York-based cap company. Baty said at the time, she didn&8217;t know much about the company, but gladly presented them with the assests the Demopolis plant and its loyal workers provided.

That weekend, she went into the sporting goods store and asked the clerk what was the best quality cap she could find. He eagerly replied, &8220;A New Era cap.&8221;

Several months later, Baty learned New Era was seriously considering coming to Demopolis or another former Vanity Fair site in Luverne.

New Era Cap Company has now been in Demopolis for 10 years. Although she had been on the verge of retirement, Baty worked with the company briefly as plant manager, hiring the first 24 workers. She worked off and on until she finally retired in 2002.

When asked about her long tenure with both companies, Baty said the choice to stay was easy.

Now in retirement, Baty spends most of her time traveling with friends. Her next trip wll either be in Italy or Ireland.

Editor&8217;s note: Spotlighting Your Neighbor is a new feature in The Demopolis Times that runs in the weekend Serendipity section.