Albertville, Ala.—The Albertville Chamber of Commerce recognized AlaTrade as the 2021 Industry of the Year at the chamber’s 67th Annual Awards Banquet and Membership Meeting on Thursday, March 3rd, at Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater in Albertville, Alabama.
Stan Witherow, President of the Albertville Chamber of Commerce, presented the award in front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 300 people. “Our 2021 Industry of the Year is a long-standing industry in Marshall County, often serving as the largest or second largest employer in the county,” said Witherow. “They are a people-centric business focusing on good wages, great benefits, sign-on bonuses, and community engagement.”
AlaTrade’s community involvement encompasses both internal community among the employees as well as externally in cities around the county. They have been recognized by United Way of Marshall County year after year including a recent recognition of the Best Employee Giving Award during the 2021/2022 United Way Campaign. They are actively involved with Shepherd’s Cove Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, CAJA, CASA, many other nonprofit agencies, and numerous school systems across the county. Each of their plants have committees of employees focusing on community within their plants. They meet and raise support regularly to care for the needs of team members who may have experienced crisis or hardship.
“This industry devotes time to the well-being of their associates, to the generation of tomorrow through schools and sporting events, to non-profit partners in their community, and also to the business community,” said Witherow. “This industry provides a great opportunity for people to build a career, and they focus on taking care of their associates. As of the summer of 2021, this company is now 100% employee owned.”
John Pittard, President of AlaTrade, and Kevin Parnell, Director of Operations for AlaTrade received the award on behalf of the employees and owners of AlaTrade.
“Well, I’m excited and humbled to be able to accept this on behalf of the employees slash owners of AlaTrade and also for all industry workers,” shared Parnell. “They are the backbone of our economy in Marshall County, Albertville especially.”
Sharing with the business leaders in the room, Parnell continued, “Most mornings when y’all are getting up and thinking about your coffee there are people in the industry already working several hours before you go into work. There are many in our population working tonight while we’re here enjoying a good meal. Those are the people that make Albertville successful. It’s why we’re all able to do what we do. I appreciate what they do and the people at AlaTrade.”
Pittard shared more about the culture and family values of AlaTrade which were implemented from the beginning when Davis Lee started the company.
“We are very fortunate that we worked for Davis Lee. He created this company 21 years ago,” said Pittard. “When he got ready to exit the business, he looked at several different things, but he decided to take the employee ownership ESOP route, and we’re so thankful. We’re proud to be part of this community, and we’re just thankful to be here.”