REGIONAL VIEW southern virginia

Monogram plant plays role in parent company’s award by Joan Tupponce

M Schledwitz

onogram Snacks in Martins- ville has grown rapidly since its parent company, Mono-

gram Foods, opened the plant in 2009. “We’ve gone from

115 to approximately 600 employees at the plant,” says Karl Schledwitz, chairman and chief execu- tive officer of Memphis- based Monogram Foods, which employs nearly 3,000

people in eight manufacturing facilities in seven states. The Martinsville plant makes meat

snacks and meat sticks, including a full array of jerky products. “We produce over 100 different products in Martins- ville,” Schledwitz says. Those products include Monogram brands such as Wild Bill’s and Hannah’s as well as private- label snacks. Monogram Snacks also “co-manufactures” products for other brands.

The growth at Monogram Snacks

hasn’t gone unnoticed by the meat processing industry. Monogram Foods recently was named the industry’s 2017 Processor of the Year. The recognition honors the company’s growth as well as its industry leadership in investment and innovation.


Canada-based Brookfield Renewable Partners LP has emerged as the third company interested in constructing a solar farm on land outside of Chase City. Angela Fentiman, Brookfield’s project outreach and communications manager, said the company purchased the project from SolUnesco, a Virginia-based company that had started the development process. If approved by local officials, the 60-megawatt photo- voltaic solar energy facility would be located on approximately 700 acres. It would abut a similar facility, the 330-acre Bluestone Project, a 70-megawatt solar farm proposed by Carolina Solar Energy. (

The Martinsville plant offers

evidence of that investment. In June, Monogram Snacks began operating a $11 million wastewater facility, which will allow the plant to continue its growth. The project includes an anaerobic digester that performs a series of bio- logical processes with the capability of

The majority ownership of First State Bank, the last black-owned bank in Virginia, has changed hands. Casey Crawford, CEO of Movement Mortgage in Charlotte, N.C., is now the majority shareholder of the bank, according to Adam O’Daniel, a spokesperson for Crawford. O’Daniel stressed the purchase was not made by Movement Mortgage but by Crawford. (Danville Register & Bee)

Students may soon be able to earn a degree from James Madison University while staying in Martinsville. The New College Institute and JMU signed a memorandum of understanding so that starting this fall, JMU officials will work

16 AUGUST 2017

with NCI on a “2+2” program. That means students could complete the first two years at a community college like Patrick Henry Community College and then finish the third and fourth years in a JMU program at NCI. (Martinsville Bulletin)

The Noblis Center for Applied High Performance Computing — a supercomputer company — has signed a second five- year lease to continue doing business in Danville. The company plans to install the next generation of big-data processors to work alongside the Cray MXT 2 that was activated at its Danville site in 2012. (Danville Register & Bee)

A total of 2,000 temporary

producing enough methane gas to gener- ate 400 kilowatts of power for the Appa- lachian Power grid. “The wastewater facility is about 400 percent larger than our previous facility,” Schledwitz says. In planning the project, the com-

A new $11 million wastewater treatment plant is expected to allow the Martinsville plant to continue growing.

pany qualified for investment energy credits as well as new-market tax credits. “We are one of the first companies in the country to do both together,” Schledwitz says. “The project wasn’t a big job creator because it only takes a few people to run the facility, but it does enable us to add jobs going forward to expand our capacity. We have plans to grow even more in Martinsville.”

Schledwitz says he enjoys doing

business in Virginia. “There hasn’t been a state that has been better to deal with,” he says.

The CEO also praises the

Martinsville-area workforce. “They are better skilled than anywhere else we have gone,” he says. “A lot of people that were trained in the textile and furniture industries became available because of the decline of those industries in the area.”

jobs will become available at the Radial fulfillment center in Martinsville in coming months. The company plans to add the positions as preparation begin s for the Christmas season. Kelly Scally, the Pennsylvania-based company’s director of strategic staffing, said 1,600 seasonal workers were hired last year, 1,000 of whom became full-time employees after the holidays. (Martinsville Bulletin)


Martinsville-based Carter Bank & Trust has hired three senior executives. Wendy S. Bell became the bank’s CFO in late July. She was senior vice president and senior finance officer of First Commonwealth

Financial Corp. in Indiana, Pa. Bradford N. Langs joined the bank as chief strategy officer in June. He was chief risk officer, chief credit officer and treasurer of CoastalStates Bank in Hilton Head, S.C. Matthew M. Speare became chief information officer in July. Speare was executive vice president and chief information officer at Regions Bank in Birmingham, Ala. (

Denise Crosson has joined Central Virginia Community Health Center as psychiatric family nurse practitioner. The position was created as the result of a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation. (The Farmville Herald)

Photo courtesy Monogram Foods

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