Salem Distributing Named One of Area's FAST 50

Salem Distributing Company, a Winston-Salem-based, employee owned company has been recognized as one of the Triad area's FAST 50.

The Business Journal's FAST 50 Awards Program is the premier business-growth competition in the Triad. This year's awards continue to honor the success of private businesses and their owners whose growth and contributions have made a positive impact on the Triad's economic success.

Salem was founded in 1934 as the Siewer's Sales Agency and began under its current name in 1972 following a change in ownership. Today, this 100% employee owned company is comprised of 4 distinct business units: Salem Flat Glass, Salem Vision, Salem Advanced Surfacing Materials and Salem Stone. It has successfully managed this complex relationship of industries, equipment and materials, to build a wealth of product and process knowledge unique to single company.

Only into the second year of 100% employee ownership, Salem has made great strides in a corporate restructuring initiative, which included reinventing its corporate culture to focus on nurturing, inspiring and challenging its employee-owners. The bottom lines of this initiative were to better serve and grow its customer base. The results yielded an impressive 15 percent growth in the first half of 2006 compared to the first half of 2005, a trend that should continue, said CEO Howard Hanes.

An interesting observation, made by a number of financial analysts, was the age of Salem compared to the other recipients of the FAST 50 award. The balance of this elite group are relative up-starts when compared to the 34 year old Salem. It is unusual to see this kind of growth in such a mature company, which speaks highly of its leadership and the employee-owners commitment to success.

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