Thursday, September 13, 2012
Roxul likes group effort
Roxul Inc. president Trent Ogilvie had a gift for those attending a welcome reception in the company’s honor Wednesday of last week at the Beckley Conference Center.
Ogilvie encouraged everyone to pick up a small version of an Inukshuk (pronounced in-ook-shook). Each gift box also contained a small piece of paper, describing the significance of the stone.
“Inukshuks were stone monuments erected in the image of humans. One of their purposes was to serve as direction markers in the harsh and desolate Arctic. They were a tool of survival and a symbol of unselfish acts of the Inuit people.
“The Inukshuk symbolizes cooperation, balance and unselfishness; the idea that group effort is greater than individual effort.
“Each stone is a separate entity, yet each supports, and is supported by the one above and the one below it. No one piece is any more or any less important than the other. Its strength lies in its unity. Its significance comes from its meaning as a whole.
“The Inukshuk reminds us of our interdependent responsibilities to invest in our efforts today, to direct a better way for all of us tomorrow.”
It was a fitting conclusion to an uplifting economic development reception.
The hour of meeting and greeting and brief talks by elected officials and company representatives was all positive.
Perhaps the three most exciting words came from Eelco van Heel, president and chief executive officer of Rockwool International, parent company of Roxul.
He prefaced by saying company officials had many choices of where to locate their first manufacturing facility in the United States.
“And you won,” van Heel said to Marshall Countians.
While snapping photos, I paused to look around the filled room. I saw smiles and more smiles. Some were nodding their heads, “Yes.”
Roxul’s picking our county is major. Yes, the financial commitment (investment of approximately $156 million dollars) is huge. Yes, the new jobs (150) are wonderful. But perhaps most of all, here’s a first-class company, focused on teamwork and unity, choosing our community over lots of others.
Roxul, which has operated in Canada for more than 20 years, is North America’s leading manufacturer of stone wool insulation products.
Rockwool, based in Denmark, is the world’s largest producer of the unique insulation, with more than 8,000 employees, and sales offices and factories in more than 30 countries.
Roxul insulation is made from a combination of natural rock and recycled material that is melted under intense heat, spun into individual fibers, and bound into a dense, non-directional wool material.
The Marshall County facility, at Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park, should begin production in 2014.
With the diverse industrial base already in place in Marshall County and the addition of Roxul, more announcements will follow – if we take the unified approach, working together and not caring who gets the credit.
Refreshments and snacks were available after the ceremony. I overheard a group of Roxul representatives talking about the sweet tea.
One said, “You better get used to it.”
We indeed welcome our new friends and neighbors.
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