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Associates Key To Avondale39 S Success

Jennifer Wheeler, Assistant Editor

 Key To Avondale's Success Just as the founding families of Avondale Mills are in their third and fourth generations, so are many of the companys associates. It is the associates, according to the company, that are the key to Avondales continued success.Avondale has striven from the very beginning to encourage dedication and commitment from its associates. The company has initiated several programs designed to recognize these values, as well as to foster a strong sense of family at every level within the organization. The 1920s saw the construction of employee housing communities, built around the Avondale, Graniteville and Walton Monroe mills.The Avondale Sun newspaper began publication in the summer of 1923, keeping these communities updated about national, local and plant happenings. Syndicated cartoons and excerpts of published novels were printed in the early issues. The Sun is still published today and continues to focus on plant events and associate recognition.

G. Stephen Felker, current Avondale Mills chairman, president and CEO Avondale began profit-sharing programs for its associates during the early 40s. The program continues today, treating associates as owners of the company by providing a cash payment feature, as well as contributions to retirement trust accounts. Avondale also began to recognize associate service anniversaries during the 40s.Today, Avondale continues the tradition of plant and associate excellence. While many of the companys associates are the sons and daughters of former workers, new associates are often recruited from textile schools around the country. At Avondale, people are our highest priority, said Sharon Rodgers, corporate vice president, Human Resources. We recognize outstanding associates with our Corporate Award winners, which is an integral part of our Zero Defects [ZD] program. Thanks to the enthusiasm of all our associates, we are working together as a well-trained team.The annual ZD Corporate Award recognizes past ZD award winners for their continued dedication to Avondale. Winners are taken on an all-expenses-paid, three-day trip, accompanied by Avondale executives, prompting a unique opportunity for interaction within the company among associates at every level.It is through such programs that Avondale continues to show its associates that they are what keeps Avondale a leader in the industry. 
June 2002