Georgia Manufacturing Appreciation Week: Employee Spotlights

April 11, 2019

Manufacturing Appreciation Week is celebrated in Georgia, April 15-18, 2019 to promote manufacturing in the State of Georgia through education and increased public awareness. Valdosta-Lowndes County, Georgia is home to multiple manufacturing sectors including agribusiness, automotive, chemicals and food processing. Many of these manufacturers have been instrumental in continued growth with jobs and capital investments in our community. Currently Valdosta-Lowndes County, Georgia is home to nearly 40 existing manufacturing industries with over 4,050 people employed by the manufacturing sector. All our manufacturers produce goods and provides services that impact the lives of their employees, people here at home and around the world!


Chris Brady- CJB Industries

Maintenance Planner

A native of Nashville, Georgia, Chris Brady will celebrate 14 years at CJB Industries this month. He currently serves as Maintenance Planner for the Gil Harbin plant. His day-to-day consists of working with department managers to schedule maintenance jobs and work on issues they may experience in order to keep production going.

“CJB is a great place to work,” said Brady. “The owners and management go above and beyond to make sure we have what we need to be successful at our jobs”.

As CJB continues to grow as a company, Brady is working to grow with them as he is currently enrolled at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College and 3 classes away from receiving his associate degree. Once completed, he hopes to continue and take drafting courses. Additionally, he recently completed the six-month Leadership Academy offered by Wiregrass for Manufacturing and Industry Excellence.

“Wiregrass Georgia Technical College was a great choice for me as a working individual and having a family, “said Brady. “They just make it very convenient to get a degree while working and that has really helped me move forward in my career”.

When Chris is not at CJB, you might find him a ball field as his 13-year-old daughter plays softball on 3 different travel teams. He also likes farming, fishing, golfing and hunting during his free time.


John Carroll- ERCO Worldwide 

Purchasing Coordinator

In August, John will celebrate 23 years at ERCO Worldwide, a manufacturer of sodium chlorite as their Purchasing Coordinator. He handles all the purchasing and sourcing for the Valdosta plant.

A native of Waycross, Georgia, John joined the Air Force to see the world and ended up getting orders to Moody Air Force Base. After serving 4 years, he got out and stayed in Valdosta to attend Valdosta State University. In 1994 he graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Management.

“The best part of my job here at ERCO Worldwide is the interact with all the people and departments. Daily, I interact with those at our corporate office to those working in our maintenance department and everyone in between”, said Carroll.

When John is not working, he you can find him at UGA & VSU football games, VSU softball games. He also loves being outdoors as his hobbies include fishing and hunting.


Sims Turner- CJB Industries

Production Manager

Sims, a native of Marietta, Georgia, attended college at the University of Alabama as a marketing major.  His family moved to Valdosta in 2001 at which point he transferred to Valdosta State University where he changed majors and graduated with a BA in Philosophy.

Sims tried his hand at sales, including banking and radio while attending VSU.  He married and a couple of years later graduated when his son was a one year old.   He knew it was time to find a permanent career path and a company he could grow with here in Valdosta.  He reached out to Jeana Beeland at CJB Industries for a job. He got an interview followed by the job and started working night shift in the production department at CJB. Since then he has had several roles at CJB and has worked his way up through the company, currently serving as their Production Manager.

“What is neat about this place is before I started here, I had no real understanding of chemical manufacturing and had heard only a little about CJB.  The fact that we have a chemical manufacturer here in Valdosta that has grown to a point where we are in the business with the big players in the industry and work with big household names is fascinating to me and make me proud of what I do.  I have seen fantastic people do amazing things within this organization”, said Turner.


Chip Alger- Saft

Account Manager, North American Military Sales

A Valdosta native and graduate of Lowndes High School, Chip served 6 years as a SWCC (Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crewman) in the military following high school. His job was the insertion and extraction of other special forces platform including the Green Berets and Navy SEAL.

In May of 2015, he returned home to Valdosta and enrolled at Valdosta State University to study accounting and finance, graduating in 2018 with a dual bachelor’s degree. He was hired on at Saft, manufacturer of batteries a month before graduation.

At Saft, Chip serves as their Account Manager for North America Military Sales, strictly selling aviation batteries.

“I work with a customer for 8 to 9 months working on their contract and once we finally have that contract in place, I’m basically married to that customer for 5 years”, said Alger. “During that time, I make sure the batteries they ordered are getting delivered on time, there are no defects, and most importantly make sure they are happy with the product we’ve produced.

Alger enjoys the team he works with and the opportunity Saft has for their employees to grow within the company. “The team I work with not only consists of those working here in the United States, but I get to interact on a daily basis with our international team and they are doing business in China, South America, Europe and all over the world”.

Whenever he’s not working, Chip can be found at the golf course or hanging out with friends.  


Cardale Evans- Saft

Business Analyst, Transportation, Telecom, & Grid

After serving 15 years in the United States Army and using several of Saft’s batteries along the way, Cardale Evans returned home to Valdosta and now works for Saft as a Business Analyst. He joined the Saft team a little over 7 months ago following graduation from Valdosta State University with a Master of Accountancy degree.

Evans scope includes 7 factories and 14 sales subsidiaries on 4 continents. His job duties at Saft include consolidation of financial information to include adjustments of internal commissions and financial forecast, investigation of variances between multiple software systems ensuring data is valid and integrated properly, developing and communicating better practices and procedures with factory controllers and facilitating data share between them, creating consolidated financial reports and ad hoc reporting data for division controller and senior management and assisting project managers with gathering historical financial data to assist with future project planning.

“I love my job here at Saft”, said Evans. “The company has a lot of ideas, innovation and just a lot of good things happening here at Saft and I am proud to be a part of it”.  


Oscar Humphries- Georgia Beer Company

Assistant Brewer

After working in the criminal justice field for the past 12 years, Oscar decided to change careers and this past January applied for an Assistant Brewer job at Georgia Beer Company. A native of Cairo, Georgia, Humphries moved to Valdosta in 1998 to attend Valdosta State University, graduating in 2004 with a Sociology degree.

As assistant brewer, his day-to-day consists of making sure everything is cleaned and sanitized like it should be to brew new batches of beer, kegging beers, moving stock to freezers to get ready to go to the taproom or market, and of course, taste testing to make sure the beers are ready to be kegged.

Oscar has enjoyed working for Georgia Beer Company and being apart of the beer making process. “Its rewarding when you hear people talk about how good the beers are”, said Humphries. “My all-time favorite is the Destress Express.


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