Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

June 21, 2012

Lee Container quality award winner

By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — For the fourth year in a row, Lee Container has received the Syngenta Partners in Quality Award. This year the award for year 2011 was given during a presentation Tuesday in Centerville.

To celebrate the award, Lee Container officials hosted a lunch of pork sandwiches, chips, beans with hot dogs, desserts and drinks for their employees, staff, Fluoro Seal and Flywheel Inc. officials with city and Syngenta officials present Tuesday at the Centerville facility.

The first award was in 2008 and Syngenta presented it to Lee Container at their Homerville, Ga. facility. In years 2009 and 2011, Syngenta made the award presentation at the Lee Container facility in Centerville. In 2010, the award was presented at the Lee Container facility in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Syngenta is the top crop protection company in the world with $13 billion in sales last year.

John Shumate, Syngenta's North America quality manager, said the quality award is not something given. It has to be earned.

"In this case, you guys earned this award," Shumate said, noting the high quality containers produced by Lee employees. "You do everything flawlessly. I'd like to thank you for your hard work and dedication."

Greg Fenton, Centerville facility plant manager, said earning the award is a team effort starting with Lee Container on through to Syngenta.

"I think it's an excellent thing that we can step up and do that at this level because of the fact that there's very few companies that have done it," Fenton said. "And it's not about just us. It's everybody in the group and I think it's because of the family type of atmosphere ... it's not like a big corporate atmosphere."

Fenton said Syngenta treats Lee like a member of the family.

Lee Container has facilities in Centerville, Homerville, Ga. and Nacogdoches, Texas and they employ more than 300. Centerville and Homerville are the largest facilities.

The Lee Container facility in Centerville opened in 2008 with two manufacturing lines and soon expects to have 10 lines. Lee Container in Centerville has 120 employees.

Since 2008, the Centerville facility has produced 60 million crop protection containers for Syngenta.

Lee Container is one of only three companies in North America to receive the Syngenta award.

"You've exceeded our expectations," Robert Varnedoe, Lee Container executive vice president, said to those in attendance.