Economic Development Topre, REHAU, Birmingham Fastener win state awards | The Cullman Tribune

Economic Development

Topre, REHAU, Birmingham Fastener win state awards

Topre America receives the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association Supplier of the Year award from Gov. Kay Ivey.   (Photo courtesy Jamie Troutman/Cullman Economic Development Agency)

MONTGOMERY – Wednesday was a big day for manufacturers and suppliers in the state, as the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) and the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) announced the 2018 Manufacturer of The Year winners during an awards luncheon in Montgomery.  During the same event, the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) presented its awards for Supplier of the Year. Two Cullman County industries and a third with county connections made strong showings in categories based on company size:

  • Birmingham-based Birmingham Fastener, which maintains a distribution center in Hanceville, was named the BCA/ATN Medium Manufacturer of the Year.
  • While only the top places were awarded, REHAU Automotive, LLC was informed it was the runner-up for Large Manufacturer of the Year.
  • Cullman-based Topre America was recognized as the AAMA Large Supplier of the Year.

“If you think about that,” said Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Dale Greer, “a county this size, and they recognized 12 or 15 manufacturers in all of Alabama, and we had three of them there, and two of the three win, and the other one’s a runner-up, that’s pretty dang impressive!”

ATN Cullman Center Director Perry Shields told The Tribune, “As the director for the local ATN, I was very proud of all of our local companies.  I work hand in hand with all three companies. Congratulations to Topre for being a winner in the Supplier of the Year, and congratulations to REHAU Automotive for being first runner-up in the Large Manufacturer of the Year category, which is a very competitive category with companies like ADTRAN and Amerex . . . Those are a prestigious group of companies, and just to have them nominated, much less be first runner-up--very proud of them, the great work their plant Manager Albert Von Pelser and his team has done over the years.  We’re proud to partner with them.”

Manufacturer of the Year finalists included ADTRAN, Inc; Amerex Corp.; Birmingham Fastener; Cahaba Brewing Co.; Ecovery, LLC; KAMTEK; REHAU Automotive, LLC; and Singin’ River Brewing Co.

The Manufacturer of the Year awards recognize Alabama’s manufacturing enterprises that exhibit excellence in leadership, performance, profitability, and workforce relations. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges based on demonstrations of superior performance in customer focus, employee commitment, operating excellence, continuous improvement, profitable growth, and investment in training and retraining.

“The annual Manufacturer of the Year Awards seek to honor Alabama manufacturers – from the largest industrial employers to the smallest businesses – for displaying efficiency, safety, and excellence in their products and the process for making them,’ said William J. Canary, president and CEO of the BCA. ‘Quite simply, manufacturing is an economic engine powering the state’s economy.”

Governor Kay Ivey was the 2018 MOTY Awards keynote speaker.

“From automobiles to aerospace to everyday products and equipment, whether for our own use or for export around the globe, Alabama’s manufacturers create high-quality jobs and produce substantial economic benefits,” Ivey said. “Our manufacturers are very important to us and we are committed to helping them succeed and thrive.”

Since its beginning in 2000, the BCA and ATN award ceremony has attracted Alabama dignitaries and manufacturing leaders to honor companies that are committed to improving Alabama’s economy.

ATN Executive Director Keith Phillips said the companies acknowledged today represent the best in Alabama manufacturing and the use of technology.

“Now in its 19th year, the Alabama Technology Network and the Business Council of Alabama are honored to salute Alabama’s best manufacturers for their valuable participation in not only the state’s economy but also the economies of their employees and the suppliers who do business with them,’ Phillips said.”


  • Cullman Economic Development Agency staff with Topre, Business Council of Alabama and Alabama Technology Network representatives in Montgomery. Left to right: CEDA Director Dale Greer, Jamie Troutman, Topre Vice President Mamarou Isaka, BCA board member Barry McGriff, Topre Vice President Brad Pepper, Topre General Manager Justin Hill, Topre Senior Human Resources Manager Natalie Caudle, Keith Phillips of ATN and CEDA’s Susan Eller (Photo courtesy Jamie Troutman/Cullman Economic Development Agency)
  • Cullman Economic Development staff with REHAU Automotive and BCA representatives. L-R: Jamie Troutman, Dale Greer, Vikas Grover, Candace Patterson, BCA board member Barry McGriff, REHAU Cullman Manager Albert von Pelser, Suzanne Krejcar and Susan Eller. (Photo courtesy Jamie Troutman/Cullman Economic Development Agency)