VALDOSTA -- Saft America Inc. was named the 2005 Manufacturer of the Year Thursday at an awards ceremony at the Valdosta Country Club.

Saft is a world specialist in the design and manufacture of high-tech batteries for industry. Their products are used in high performance applications such as industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation, space and defense.

The award is presented annually by the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber. Other nominees for the 2005 award included Alpha Protech, Inc., Regal Marine, South Georgia Pecan Co., and Union Tank Car.

The program included a presentation from Sheri Wilburn, executive director of the Georgia Industry Association. She spoke to the group about the importance of manufacturing to our local community and to the State. Sen. Tim Golden presented Saft America, Inc. with the 2005 "Manufacturer of the Year" award and reiterated the contributions that manufacturing makes to Valdosta-Lowndes County, noting that our community benefits from the many well-paying jobs created by these existing industries.

Saft America, Inc. is just one of our over 100 manufacturing industries in Valdosta-Lowndes County. Saft America, Inc. is headquartered in France and opened its Valdosta plant 30 years ago in 1975.

Peter Denoncourt, vice president of manufacturing for Saft America, Inc. said, "We are honored to have received this award. We are lucky to be a part of such a supportive community with committed citizens and employees. We look forward to another 30 great years in Valdosta."

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