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Vac-Con Inc. of Green Cove Springs in Clay Finalist for Manufacturers Association of Florida's Manufacturers and Distributors of the Year Award

Two Northeast Florida companies — Vac-Con Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care — are finalists for the Manufacturers Association of Florida’s Manufacturers and Distributors of the Year award.

Vac-Con Inc., based in Green Cove Springs, is a finalist for large manufacturer of the year, for companies with more than 200 employees. Harris Corporation of Palm Bay and Sikorsky Aircraft Florida Assembly and Flight Operations in Jupiter are also finalists.

Jacksonville Business Journal - October 27, 2016 by Jensen Werley - Read full version here

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Consumer and Logistics Services is a finalist for distributor of the year, as are City Furniture of Tamarac and C.H. Robinson North American Surface Transportation in Tampa.

“We’re honored to be among the top three,” said Darrell LeSage, president of Vac-Con. “We don’t really see ourselves as a big manufacturer, so it’s a nice honor.”

Winners for the award will be announced at the MAF President’s Dinner on November 16, part of the Annual Summit & Marketplace, from Nov. 15 to 17 in Gainesville.

Nominations were accepted June through August for any manufacturing company, logistics company or distributor in Florida. Twelve finalists were selected out of the 19,000 manufacturers in the state, said Amanda Bowen, a spokesperson for the Manufacturers Association of Florida.

“MAF's team of industry experienced judges complete interviews and questionnaires with the nominees before selecting finalists to compete at the state level,” she said in an email to the Business Journal. “The finalists are then contacted for site visits and in person meetings with the judges for the final evaluation. All companies are judged on leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce focus, and process management.”

For a company like Johnson and Johnson, the recognition is a stamp on the company’s commitment to improving its distribution operations process and investing in new technologies.

“Johnson & Johnson Vision Care has made capital investments over the last few years that support our business growth, new products and continue to build capabilities to serve our customers,” said Fran Mirmina, vice president of customer and logistics services, in an email to the Business Journal. “One example is the expansion of our distribution facility in 2013 which added over 100,000 square feet of space to support new products and enabled us to serve more customers. The facility is LEEDS certified and was built primarily with local labor.”

As to working in Florida and in Jacksonville, Mirmina said both areas have provided JNJ with a strong business environment.

“A wealth of talent can be found in Northeast Florida,” Mirmina said, “and that asset along with access to major interstates and highways, airports, and maritime ports, are just a few reasons that Johnson & Johnson Vision Care maintains its worldwide headquarters in Jacksonville.”

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