Hunter Douglas Designer Shades, a division of Hunter Douglas, Inc., officially opened its new headquarters: a 185,000-square-foot office and manufacturing facility on 20 acres at 201 Southridge Pkwy., Bessemer City, NC.
Allan W. Farris, Bessemer City mayor; Jennie Stultz, mayor of neighboring
Gastonia, NC; and Ray Denny, director of the business/industry development
division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, joined Hunter
Douglas top management and Designer Shades employees to help celebrate
the occasion. Robert Becker, congressional liaison for the Hon.
Sue Myrick, U.S. Congresswoman for North Carolina, also was in attendance.
Mayor Farris proclaimed Tuesday, June 22, Hunter Douglas Designer
Shades day in Bessemer City and Ray Denny read a greetings letter
from Gov. Michael F. Easley. Designer Shades also was conferred
the Hunter Douglas President’s Safety Award by Marv Hopkins,
president and CEO.
Hunter Douglas Designer Shades previously was located at 1924 Chespark
Dr. in Gastonia, where the company operated in three separate facilities
with a total of 85,000 square feet. The new location is 100,000
square feet larger and is a state-of-the-art facility. The building
includes 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space and the rest
is devoted to offices for customer service, marketing, accounting
and human services.
Jake Robinson, vice president and general manager of Hunter Douglas
Designer Shades, spoke about how the relocation, which was completed
on June 1, has been a longtime vision for the company. The company
first broke ground in Gastonia in 1990 and at that time employed
only a handful of people to manufacture one product: pleated shades.
Today the division boasts 150 full-time employees and approximately
50 temporary employees and manufactures several lines of custom
window coverings: Brilliance® pleated shades, Remembrance®
window shades, Jubilance® Roman shades, Provenance® woven
woods and Designer Screen Shades.
“These products have consistently achieved double-digit growth
and exceeded our projections,” said Hurley Mitchell, president
of the Manufacturing Group for Hunter Douglas, Inc. “And, they
have earned top awards from the Window Covering Manufacturers Association
(WCMA), the benchmark of excellence in the industry.”
Hurley also spoke about the positive economic environment that Bessemer
City, Gaston County, Gastonia and the state of North Carolina have
provided Hunter Douglas Designer Shades and how they have helped
the company grow and prosper.
FIRST IN SAFETY
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Hopkins conferred the division
with the President’s Safety Award. Designer Shades earned the
best safety rating in 2003. “Safety is the cornerstone of Hunter
Douglas excellence,” said Hopkins. “Designer Shades’
safety performance is consistently far better than the industry
norm and was the best in Hunter Douglas North America’s 30
divisions in 2003.”
Lynne Woody, Hunter Douglas Designer Shades human resources/safety
manger, and Cameron Croston, quality assurance manager for the division,
accepted the award. This is the second year Designer Shades has
won the award.