Sept. 2004 Bekum Celebrates 25 years in Williamston
Bekum America Corporation celebrated 25 years of successful operations in North America with two days of festivities at its Williamston, Michigan facility. The events started on Friday, September 10, 2004, with a formal ceremony which recognized the excellence the company has achieved.
The company paid tribute to Mr. Gottfried Mehnert, Bekums founder, and dedicated a state-of-the-art blow molding learning center to him for his innovation and unrelenting drive to make Bekum the successful company it has become. Martin Stark, Bekum America s President, was also honored for over 23 years of outstanding service. In addition, the company thanked its loyal customer base, its extremely innovative vendors, and its highly skilled and talented employees, which the company considers the core of its success.
The festivities were highlighted with tours of Bekums facility, machine demonstrations, plastics materials exhibitions, information, and education. There were more than 250 customers, vendors, and employees, as well as state and local officials in attendance at this ceremony. Chris Holman, a Lansing TV and radio personality, acted as the master of ceremonies.
David Hollister, Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Growth for the State of Michigan , presented a special tribute to Mr. Mehnert for Bekums outstanding service to the community, noting that the company is exuberant and remarkable. In total, Bekum received 13 special tributes from various United States , State of Michigan , and local government and university organizations. Bekum was also honored with tributes from the Society of the Plastics Industry, the Michigan Manufacturers Association, and numerous customers and vendors. On Saturday, September 11, 2004, the company hosted an open house to celebrate its partnership with the community, government and education. There were in excess of 600 visitors who were treated to plant tours, machine demonstrations, and a PlastiVan national learning program presentation, sponsored by the National Plastics Center and Museum, and the Society of the Plastics Industry.
From its Williamston base, Bekum participates within its community in many ways. It is a leader in the state sponsored School to Registered Apprentice (STRA) program, having graduated three apprentices from its 4-year, 8000 hour work-study program, with six more students learning their trade at various stages of STRA completion. In addition, it sponsors an annual scholarship award to a graduating Williamston High School senior; it makes various contributions to the Williamston Senior Center, and grants annual contributions to various Williamston High School programs. Furthermore, Bekum executives actively participate at the highest levels in the management of various national, state and local associat ions, including The Society of the Plastics Industry, The Society of Plastics Engineers, The Michigan Chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce, and the Lansing Regional Career Connections Board, as well as actively participating with numerous other organizations, such as the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Lansing Community College and the Capital Area Manufacturing Council.
Although the company has established itself as a global powerhouse in the blow molding industry, Bekum aims to maintain a family-like environment for its employees. The approach seems to have worked well, as a dozen staff members have been with the company since the day it opened its doors in 1979. These employees received special recognition during the Friday celebration. Chris Holman remarked, Its hard to imagine that there is this much emotion associated with building blow molding machines.