What Got You Here Won’t Get You There


Focus on the Future by Reflecting on the Past

I attended the FIRST FCMA meeting the summer of 1988.

Our economy was booming—construction (commercial and residential)—existing companies were expanding and new businesses were arriving. The Chamber of Commerce was the very successful economic development arm of the City with an annual six-figure contract awarded by City Council. Major manufacturers here included Anheuser-Busch, Maxwell House, two pulp/paper mills, and three chemical plants.

Odor became a big political issue. The state legislature passed laws limiting emissions (some smelled like rotten eggs). Locally, Mayor Godbold created the Trichem Committee to get rid of odor. He didn’t say how, but said why and when (18 months) and City Council passed an environmental ordinance.
In 1987, Tommy Hazouri ran for mayor on a platform to get rid of tolls and odor. The Chamber had a Manufacturing Council and refused to convene a meeting. Leadership felt that the City’s future excluded manufacturing. This was “what got you here won’t get you there” misapplied. In the summer of 1987 Hazouri became mayor, and before too long City Council passed a much tougher and unenforceable odor ordinance. The Chamber was a prime supporter of the ordinance.

CSX Transportation’s leadership recognized that manufacturing needed a community voice. The initial meeting in the office of Crane Jones, Senior Vice President of CSX, included representatives from Union Camp/BBA (now IFF Chemical Holdings), Jefferson Smurfit and Seminole Kraft (now RockTenn), Gildco (now Renessenz), and Maxwell House. FCMA “went public” with a press conference in February 1989 with eight charter members. What got you here won’t get you there.

Early in our history, General Foods announced they were going to shut down one major coffee plant – either New Jersey or Jacksonville. That’s when the business and political people that previously dismissed manufacturing’s contributions to the community faced losing hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars. The successful “KEEP MAX IN JAX” campaign rallied local and state level support, as well as more broadly demonstrating the value we provide to our community. The key objective of FCMA in this period was recognition and a place at the table.

Click here to read George Robbins’ entire speech from the Excellence in Manufacturing Awards dinner about FCMA History in honor of our 25th Anniversary. George is a FCMA Founding Member and winner of this year’s President’s Award.


Welcome to…

Cintas Corporation
Contact: Roger White, Market Sales Manager
Phone: (561) 236-4792
1595 Transport Court, Jacksonville, FL 32218

…Cintas is your one-stop source for retail-inspired workwear creating a branded look your competitors can’t match.

Sponsor: John Otterson, IFF Chemical Holdings

Konica Minolta Business Solutions
Contact: Don Quick, Market Sales Manager
Phone: (904) 288-3300
9143 Philips Hwy, Ste 190, Jacksonville, FL 32256

…a leader in information management focused on enterprise content, 3D Printing, technology optimization and cloud services.

Sponsor: FCMA

Thompson Industrial Services
Contact:Doug Guinn, General Manager
Phone: (803) 972-3280
14476-202 Duval Place West, Jacksonville, FL 32218

…provides high quality industrial cleaning services, including high pressure water blasting, vacuum truck, large volume blasting, and chemical cleaning services.

Sponsor: FCMA

New Member Orientation

FCMA’s New Member Orientation is held at least once every month and it is not limited to just the New Members. FCMA offers this orientation to your employees who you want to be active in FCMA.

When: Thursday, November 6
Time: 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Location: FCMA office (1615 Huffingham Road, Suite 2)
Please contact Maria to sign up.


November Workforce Development Workshop

Save the Date - This month’s Workforce Development Workshop will be on Wednesday, November 19 from 7:30-9:30AM in the FCMA training room (1615 Huffingham Road, Suite 2). Topic is TBA. Stay tuned for more information. Contact Sherri to sign up.


Holiday Social

Where: FSCJ South Campus, Wilson Center (11901 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32246)
When: Friday, December 12, 2014, 6:00PM-8:00PM
Cost: $35 per person (if purchased by 11/30/14)/$45 (after 11/30/14)
Register: Online or call (904) 296-9664 or email Maria

This is a pre-paid, members ONLY event. Significant others are welcome. Tickets are non-transferable/non-refundable. You will receive your Holiday Social tickets in the mail at your company address, unless you specify otherwise.

Click here for more information.


Professional Progress


The Professional Progress class is gearing up for 2015 planning. If you are interested in reserving space for one of your employees, we encourage you to sign up early since class size is limited to 25. For additional information on the program, click here. Click here for the nomination form for the Class of 2015.


AME Conference

The International AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence) Conference will be in Jacksonville November 10-14 at the Jacksonville Hyatt. If you would like additional information, go to www.ameconference.org.

November 17 at Soler & Palau


Our November General Meeting will be held on Monday, November 17 from 4:00-6:00 PM at Soler & Palau USA, located at 6393 Powers Avenue in Jacksonville. Soler & Palau supplys a wide range of air moving products to a diverse national and international client base. Jacksonville is a geographically strategic that location allows the shipment of products throughout the US and Canada. The Jacksonville manufacturing facility has more than 150,000 square feet of warehouse space for the stocking of a comprehensive range of products.

Thank you to our refreshment sponsor Danis Construction!


Thank you to Gerdau for hosting out October General Meeting. Gerdau is one of the largest producers of reinforcing steel in the United States. The Company is also a major supplier of merchant bars, wire rod, nails, welded wire mesh, railroad spikes, structural shapes, and pilings

UNF Science and Engineering students Marshall Curry and Alex Knapp were in attendance at the meeting and presented with scholarships from FCMA. Scholarships were awarded from proceeds from our annual golf tournament.

Thank you to our refreshment sponsor Briggs Equipment!

2014 FCMA Summit

Over 150 participants attended the 2014 FCMA Summit at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, the second annual conference conducted by the association. Highlighting the event were presentations by Herschel Vinyard, secretary of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and business/manufacturing consultant Dr. Harold Resnick. There were also panel discussions covering import/export, Lean, best practices, and millennials in the workplace.

Click here for more photos from the Summit.

Excellence in Manufacturing Awards

The winners of the 2014 Excellence In Manufacturing awards at a banquet honoring nominees and winners at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island.

Congratulations to all of the winners:

  • Workforce Education Award: JEA
  • Environmental Award: Fleet Readiness Center Southeast
  • Economic Impact Award: Saft America
  • Partner of the Year: Golder Associates
  • Founders Service Award: Vistakon
  • Manufacturers of the Year: Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Johnson Controls, and CF Machine & Tool
  • President’s Award: George Robbins, Vistage

Click here for more photos from the event.

Manufacturing Month

October was Manufacturing Month! Through the cooperation of several FCMA manufacturing members, plant tours were held for area high school students to introduce them to new opportunities in manufacturing jobs. Over 560 high school students participated. Thank you to the participating manufacturers and schools: Soler Palau – Robert E Lee High School; Vac-Con – Clay High, Orange Park High, Middleburg High School; Gerdau – St. Johns Technical High School & Frank H. Peterson High School; Vistakon – A. Philip Randolph, Frank H. Peterson High School; Safariland – The Independent Living Resource Center High School; Rayonier – Fernandina Beach High School; Kaman – Frank H. Peterson High School.

FCMA Summit Follow-Up Workshop


There was such synergy with the Summit break-out session, Engaging Tomorrow’s Workforce, that we continued the discussion at the October workshop. The session was again facilitated by Matt Jeffs (Ability Rehab Services), and manufacturers represented were Rayonier, Carlisle IT, Caterpillar, and Kaman. Mike Collins with FSCJ discussed the flexibility of training resources and customized skilled training available through the FL Trade Grant. This program was designed to attract high school students, veterans and industry workers in an effort to fill the gap of exiting manufacturing workers (due to retirement) with prepared available young talent!

Representatives from Duval, Nassau, Clay and St. Johns County School Districts were also there to share details on successful programs currently in place as well as resources on how to implement them within our industry. As we continue this journey, we will share the participation form for the “Dream It! Do It!” Campaign at our November General Meeting as we strive to encourage manufacturers to partner with schools. A special thanks to FSCJ (Dr. Norfleet, Mike Collins, and Bill Formanek), Matt Jeffs (Ability Rehab), and all participants who engaged in the discussion. Stay tuned—there’s more to come!

The October meeting was a “road trip” collecting Manufacturing Day/Month proclamations from around the region. The committee traveled to Putnam, Clay and Nassau counties to show appreciation to the counties recognizing and highlighting manufacturing in their region by declaring October Manufacturing Month. October was also proclaimed Manufacturing Month by the Jacksonville City Council and the Commissions of Baker and St. Johns counties.

EHS Committee

The October offsite meeting featured an Industrial Pretreatment Update presented by Tom Rauth, JEA’s Manager of Pollution Prevention Programs. The program’s objectives revolve around prevention, promotion of reuse, and protection of public, personnel and assets. The meeting was wrapped up with a tour of JEA’s Buckman Treatment Facility led by Plant Manager Casey Nettles. The presentation is posted on the FCMA website’s EHS page.

FCMA Member Key Contacts

We are asking all of the FCMA members to provide us with updated key contact information as well as identifying any subject matter contacts in specific areas of interest. Our goal is to create and sustain an accurate database that will help each of us access key member contacts when we need them. As a result FCMA will be better able to assist you with your business challenges!

To maximize this value proposition, we need all member companies to support our effort and to provide update key contact and subject matter experts back to the FCMA office as quickly as possible.

Please go to our online membership directory and take a look at the contacts we have listed for you company by searching by your company name. You can send any changes to your company profile and contacts to Amanda. Also, please fill out the subject matter contact form and send it to Amanda.


Freight Mobility and Trade Plan Investment Element Approved

The FDOT Executive Board adopted the Investment Element of the FMTP. Thanks to the hard work of over 700 stakeholders, the Plan identifies and prioritizes nearly $32 billion in freight transportation needs. Addressing these needs will help Florida achieve its goal of becoming a major international freight hub. Click here for more information.


Florida Trade Grant

Did you know… Through the Florida TRADE Grant prospective manufacturing employees are receiving industry certifications at FSCJ. Click here for further information. If you have questions, contact Mike Collins at FSCJ. We are also interested in any intern opportunities at your facility—please contact Sherri in the FCMA office.


Abatix… would like to invite FCMA members to their Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Fry Cook-Out on November 20. Click here for more information.

ACTS… has become a Microsoft Authorized Education Reseller, demonstrating its ability to meet Microsoft academic customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment.

Champion Brands… CEO Earl Benton was recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal as a 2014 Ultimate CEO and Champion Brands as the #1 Owned Veteran Business.

Colliers International… promoted Laura Seeback to sales associate.

Courtyard by Marriott… has established a corporate rate for FCMA Members. This rate is now available in the hotel reservation system for any FCMA members, guests, or associates in need of hotel accommodations. Click here for more information.

CSX Transportation… was featured in an article in the JBJ. “With record third quarter, CSX CEO says nearly all sectors growing well…”

Danis Construction… has received two building permits for renovations at fellow FCMA member Vistakon’s office in Deerwood Park.

Ellis & Associates… hired Lee Bienkowski as the senior geologist in its environmental engineering department.

Foley & Lardner… hired Joe Jacquot as a partner.

GrayRobinson… hired Troy Smith as a shareholder.

Holland & Knight… hired Rohani Mahyera as an associate.

JAX Chamber… hired Leah Goodwyne as communications/PR manager and David Johnson as design & social media manager.

JAXPORT… Conference will be held from March 23-25, 2015 with the theme “Challenges Facing Shippers in South Atlantic Ports” and will feature panel discussions and keynote speakers sharing insights, solutions and successes. Click here to learn more or register.

JM Family… promoted Brent Burns to chief operating officer and executive vice president, Jorge Gonzalez to chief financial officer, and Kim Magner to vice president of corporate taxes.

The LBA Group… hired Jamien Durrence as director of human resources and administration.

Regions Bank… hired Melissa Mengarelli as vice president of SBA lending.

Rogers Towers… hired Karl Gruss and Adrienne Perry as associates.

TD Bank… promoted Edward Galan to regional vice president, metro Jacksonville.

Vistakon… is getting national buzz on Manufacturing Academy.

Do you have something exciting going on at your company? Let Amanda know.