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Cox Interior named manufacturer of the year

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By Becky Cassell, Editor

A Campbellsville business has been named the top large manufacturer in the state of Kentucky.

At an awards ceremony on Friday, the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers announced that Cox Interior had been named the Manufacturer of the Year for large businesses.

Linak of Louisville won in the mid-size business category and Wagstaff of Hebron won in the small business category.

The awards were presented at KAM's annual awards luncheon and annual meeting in Louisville.

Barry Cox, a company owner, said Friday that he didn't know a whole lot about the award, though he did know that Campbellsville resident Wayne Wells had nominated the company.

"It's a nice honor, and our company is certainly deserving," Cox said. "We have sales of over $100 million a year and we're doing well in the housing industry when a lot of others aren't right now."

Cox said officials from the KAM also came to Cox Interior last week and took several photographs.

Each award winner was selected based on the following criteria:

u Innovative and entrepreneurial leadership with regard to products, production method or services.

u Recognized leadership in making a key contribution to the quality of life in the commonwealth and the community.

u Active involvement in organizations that advance industry and manufacturing.

"We were pleased with the number of outstanding award nominations, giving further proof of the superiority of Kentucky manufacturers' products, services, operating practices and community involvement," says Vickie C. Ladt, who is chair of the awards selection committee.

"At the same time, it presented a challenge for members of the selection committee to make a decision from among so many outstanding nominations. Yet they happen to enjoy this type of challenge."

Campbellsville-based and family/employee-owned Cox Interior was founded in 1983. The company has since evolved into an industry leader in product offerings, manufacturing and business-management.

A recipient of the 2006 Manufacturer of the Year Award from the Campbellsville/Taylor County Chamber of Commerce, Cox produces interior/exterior trim and doors, staircase components and mantels from locally grown hardwoods.

The company strives to recycle 100 percent of its wood-waste byproducts in alternative markets, such as animal bedding and boiler fuel. Cox substantially cut its own energy consumption through the purchase of a waste-to-energy boiler, selling excess power back to the East Kentucky Power Grid.

With about 900 Kentucky employees, Cox ranks as Taylor County's second-largest employer. Some employees, due to employment or personal history, may not be considered employable by other companies. But Cox believes in giving people a second chance - to the benefit of the company, its employees and Taylor County.

Cox further demonstrates its community commitment through support and participation in a range of initiatives, including scholarship pageants, youth league sports and school activities.

An employee-created food bank, funded by voluntary payroll deduction, averages from $1,200 to $1,500 a month toward meals for some of Cox's less fortunate neighbors, A Friends Helping Friends fund supports employees experiencing emergency situations, and Cox's wellness program pays part of employees' membership fees at a local fitness center.

Cox Interior is also among Taylor County's largest supporters of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

Cox Interior is a founding member of the Kentucky Wood Manufacturers Association and a member of the Wood Components Manufacturing Association, whose primary focus is leveling the playing field for American companies competing in the global market.

Established in 1911, KAM is the commonwealth's only manufacturing trade association. Its mission is to raise the prosperity of all Kentuckians by protecting and growing the state's economic engine: manufacturing.