Local News

May 6, 2013

Manufacturers groups elect officers, board members

The members of the Georgia Association of Manufacturers (GAM) and the Manufacturers Education Foundation (MEF) each elected new officers and board members at the 113th annual meeting of GAM and the 70th annual meeting of MEF held from May 2-5 in Amelia Island, Fla.  

Miles Wright, vice president of commercial manufacturing for Mohawk Industries, was elected chairman of GAM and MEF. Burl Finkelstein, executive vice president and general counsel of Kason Industries, was elected vice chairman of GAM and MEF. Lee Bryan, president of TenCate Geosynthetics, was elected treasurer of GAM and MEF.

Wright has spent 41 years in the textile and flooring industries with a variety of companies, including Dan River, Collins & Aikman, Queen Carpets, Mohasco, Mannington Mills and now Mohawk Industries. He has extensive experience in the manufacturing of woven fabrics, upholstery, yarns and automotive carpets and products. His background includes positions in industrial engineering, training, safety management and manufacturing management.

Finkelstein has worked for 35 years in a number of engineering and executive positions at Kason Industries, a leading manufacturer of commercial hardware and replacement parts for the refrigeration, food service and other industries. He is responsible for the overall operations of three of Kason Industries’ plants, including overseeing manufacturing methods and equipment selection. He also serves as general counsel, a role which requires him to direct outside counsel on a wide variety of legal issues and supervise the company’s involvement in any legal actions. He is the first officer of the association from a non-textile, non-carpet company.

Bryan has worked in the textile industry for 33 years with a number of companies, including Burlington Industries, Jefferson Mills, Texfi Industries, Mount Vernon Mills and now TenCate Geosynthetics, where he has been since 2006. He served there as the vice president of manufacturing until he became president of the company in January 2009. He is responsible for operations at what is the largest geosynthetic company in the world, engineering geogrids and geotextiles with advanced application knowledge to meet project specifications for transportation construction; mechanically stabilized earth, erosion control, water and waste management; and shoreline protection/marine structure construction.

One industry executive was elected by the association’s membership to serve two-year terms (expiring in 2015) on GAM’s board of directors, and further elected to serve an identical term on the MEF board of directors:

• Ben McElrath, president of Marglen Industries, Rome.

Six industry executives were elected by the association’s membership to serve three-year terms (expiring in 2016) on GAM’s board of directors, and further elected to serve identical terms on the MEF board of directors:

• John Collins, vice president, Integrated Supply Chain, E-Z-GO, Augusta.

• Mike Gorey, CEO, Propex, Chattanooga.

• Alex Gregory, president and CEO, YKK Corp. of America, Marietta.

• Kevin Thieneman, president, Forest Products Division, Caterpillar Inc., LaGrange.

• J.T. Watters III, president, Patriot Mills Inc., Adairsville.

• Terry Wilson, director of sales and marketing–polyurethane group, Textile Rubber & Chemical Co., Dalton.

GAM and MEF each re-elected Roy Bowen as president and GAM re-elected Clay Jones as vice president and general counsel. GAM and MEF also each elected Cindy Thomas as corporate secretary. Thomas will succeed Liz Hopkins, who is retiring after 21 years with GAM.

Approximately 160 industry executives, spouses and those who supply and support the industry attended the annual meetings of GAM and MEF.

Founded in 1900, GAM is the statewide trade association that represents manufacturers in legislative, regulatory and public relations matters.

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