A Boost to Jefferson County's Economy


      The Knoxville based firm, American Book Company, (ABC) recently purchased the former Magnavox facility in Jefferson City. The Knoxville based firm purchased the building in order to consolidate its operations into one facility. Projections are, the current workforce of 291 will grow to 555 or more by 2014.

      Chamber of Commerce and local elected officials helped the company officially celebrate its opening Tuesday morning, with a ribbon-cutting and other ceremonies. American Book immediately signaled that is plans to be a good corporate citizen by presenting the Boys & Girls Clubs with a $10,000 donation to support its work with children. Chief Executive Officer Dean Winegardner said, bringing the company's operations to Jefferson City, under one roof, will save money and also provide the opportunity for "almost unlimited growth without the need to relocate in the future." "We're very excited about this location. The warehouse is truly the heart of the business," Winegardner said. While management might be the "brain", and sales the "arms and legs" of the company, he said the warehouse is the "heart" that keeps it all going. "It's good to have the heart of our company in this community". "With the additonal space in Jefferson City, we feel we will be able to take advantage of several opportunities that will include the acquisitions of similar companies, as well as an expansion into non-book markets," Winegardner said.

      Local officials are thrilled with the company's decision to expand in Jefferson County. County Mayor Alan Palmieri said the fact that American Book, as a well-established company, chose Jefferson County "speaks volumes." "It means so much that you've selected our community to be your home," he said. "You will be one of those great community partners." Jefferson City Mayor Darrell Helton thanked the company "not only for the current jobs, but for the promise of a lot of future jobs." The company will have a significant economic impact, he predicted. "Jobs mean so much for this entire area, and we can't thank you enough for your decision." Chamber of Commerce CEO Don Cason also expressed appreciation for American Book Company's choice of Jefferson County. "It's no small task when a company decides to expand and move to a community," he said. "It takes a lot of dedication and commitment from a community and on the company's part. Our philosophy is we want to assist our business community - new and existing - in any way we can. When our businesses are successful, then we are, too." In addition to county and city officials, Cason thanked Brad Maul, Director of Economic Development for the Chamber, as well as the Jefferson City Industrial Development Board, for their roles in helping American Book Company make the move to the county.

Participants enjoyed refreshments and then tours of the company facilities after the ceremonies.

      Cutting the ribbon at American Book Company's opening Tuesday were: (from left, front) LeAnn Mottern, Chamber Community Development Coodinator; Angie Jarnagin, Congressman Wamp's representative; Bridget Baird, Senator Corker's representative: Alycia Carr, controller, WDW Management; Ann Jones, supervisor; Bob Love, American Book Co. Vice-Present, Sales; Don, Chamber President and CEO; and Michelle Scarbrough, TN ECD office; (second row, from left) Adele Sensing, Chamber Director of Tourism; Jefferson County Mayor Alan Palmieri; Dean Winegardner, American Book CEO; Pat O'Connor, American Book CFO; Mark Potts, Jefferson City Councilman; and Sonny Strange, Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church; (third row, from left ) Amy Cate, Chamber Board; Jefferson City Mayor Darrell Helton ; John McClellan, Chamber Chairman; Conard Frye and Chris Campbell, Chamber Board; Brad Maul, Chamber Director of Economic Development ; and Max Fultz, Chamber Board. (Staff photo - Ronnie Housley)

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