As the whistle blew at noon Saturday, more than just the workers of Pinova Inc. gathered for lunch. Celebrating 100 years, the formerly known Hercules family invited employees, retirees and their families to an afternoon of excitement and fun.
Penelope Sarver enjoys playing foosball Saturday with her grandson, Elijah Taylor, at the Hercules 100 Year Picnic Party Celebration at Pinova.
As families enjoyed a Right-On-Q catered lunch, guests congratulated the company on reaching an important milestone.
"I brought my son today so he could see the men and women who make the products that better our society," said Georgia Rep. Alex Atwood.
Newly named vice president of Pinova Inc., Ken Kennedy, took the podium to thank the men and women who have been a huge part of the tradition.
"This is the birthplace of the resin chemistry and naval stores industry," Kennedy told the crowd. "This is a historical business and a great company."
Pat Rozier, also newly named Pinova Inc. vice president, agreed. "A 100-year-old business, now that just doesn't happen very often," he said. "It takes a very special group of people to make that happen"
"A 100-year-old business, now that just doesn't happen very often," he said. "It takes a very special group of people to make that happen"
The plant located on L Street and U.S. 17 uses resin extracted from tree stumps to manufacture ingredients for many consumer products. Sold to the Canadian investment firm TorQuest in 2009 and renamed as Pinova, the plant and its 240 employees remain proud of the legacy the manufacturer leaves on the community.
After the opening remarks, Pinova treated the families to games and concessions and most importantly, gave the employees, retired and current, to catch up with each other and celebrate the company.
Penelope Sarver couldn't wait to bring her daughter, son-in-law and her grandchildren to celebrate with her.
"We're just having a good time out here, playing games," said Sarver, who has worked for the company for 30 years and is now a payroll administrator.
John Moore, who retired in 2007 after 39 years at Hercules as a maintenance coordinator, looked back on his experience with his friends.
"It was a good experience, a lot of good times working for a good employer," Moore said. "It's good to now see all the guys I used to work with, people I haven't seen in years."
Moore's father also worked for Hercules for 40 years, showing just the impact that the plant has had in families in Brunswick for decades.
"It's such an asset to the community," he added. "And it has been for a very long time."
Ricky Smith and his family agrees.
"This means everything to me," Smith said while chasing after his granddaughters, who were enjoying the many children's activities at the picnic.
"My whole family has been touched by Hercules. My two brothers work here as well. Someone in my family has worked here since the 1920s."
Smith, who's been working for the company for 36 years, works as an operator at a still house.
"I'm so thankful to be able to share and celebrate with my family." Smith added. "It's a family tradition, I don't know what I'd do without it."