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Tannery, Toyota honor workers, give town gifts

June 10, 2000|By ANDREA ROWLAND

BOONSBORO - Garden State Tanning Inc. and Toyota Motor Corp. celebrated their partnership and honored Williamsport plant employees Saturday during the fourth annual Toyota Appreciation Day.

Food and fellowship abounded under tents and pavilions at the Washington County Agricultural Center in Boonsboro.

While burgers and hot dogs roasted on grills, hundreds of children enjoyed such activities as face painting and "moon bounce" games. Adults played Bingo, listened to music, viewed new cars and cashed in on door prizes. Families filled an army of picnic tables.

There was even a leashed llama.

More than 2,000 Garden State Tanning employees and their families attended the event, which commemorated the plant's receipt of its sixth consecutive Toyota Supplier Award.

Garden State Tanning supplies more automotive leather to Toyota and Lexus than any other tannery in the world, said Joseph E. Cooley Jr., vice president of sales and marketing.

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Tannery and Toyota officials shared a stage with state and local government representatives to exchange awards honoring the local business' achievements, and to emphasize its commitment to the community.

Williamsport Mayor John W. Slayman gave Garden State Tanning officials a resolution in appreciation of their business before tannery and Toyota representatives presented Slayman with a $5,000 check for the Williamsport Town Museum.

"It's our way of saying, 'We know your history. We appreciate it. And we intend to nurture it,' " Cooley told the mayor.

Garden State also gave Slayman a $2,500 check for Williamsport Elementary School.

Tannery Plant Manager Scott P. Nesmith credited factory employees' hard work with earning the tannery several awards of excellence from Toyota officials.

Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook gave tannery officials a county citation, and James McLean, director of business advocacy for the governor's office, presented Garden State President and CEO Ernest C. Inmon Jr. with a governor's citation.

McLean praised Garden State officials and workers for helping to boost the state's economy.

"You are a Maryland world-class company," he said. "This company can't do it without you," McLean added, pointing toward the audience. "This state can't do it without you."

A state environmental official also recognized Garden State's recent ISO 14001 certification.

ISO 14001 is a voluntary international standard that establishes the requirements for an Environmental Management System. The objective of the standard is for an organization to establish an EMS that is integrated with the overall business management process, said Tim Ford, state director of environmental permits.

"It goes hand-in-hand with economic development," Ford said.

Garden State Tanning is the first tannery in the country to earn such certification, he said.

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