Business Council of Alabama member ADTRAN Inc. was started with just seven employees 33 years ago in Huntsville after the breakup of the Bell System. ADTRAN founder Mark C. Smith’s business plan was to supply network equipment to the new regional Bell businesses and thousands of independent telephone companies.
Perseverance, hard work, and steady growth combined to create today’s company of 2,200 employees, including 1,500 in Huntsville that serves 2,400 customers in 68 countries.
Since its founding, ADTRAN, a publicly traded company, has shown consistent revenue growth, devises ways to cut costs, supports employee education and career development, encourages and supports community involvement, and supports more than 200 organizations.
For those reasons ADTRAN Inc. was named the 2018 Manufacturer of the Year in the large manufacturing category of 400 or more employees by the BCA and Alabama Technology Network on April 18 during the annual MOTY awards luncheon.
It’s the second win for ADTRAN. The company was named the Manufacturer of the Year in 2010.
MOTY awards recognize Alabama’s manufacturing enterprises that exhibit excellence in leadership, performance, profitability, and workforce relations. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges based on demonstrations of superior performance in customer focus, employee commitment, operating excellence, continuous improvement, profitable growth, and investment in training and retraining.
“The annual Manufacturer of the Year Awards seek to honor Alabama manufacturers – from the largest industrial employers to the smallest businesses – for displaying efficiency, safety, and excellence in their products and the process for making them,” said William J. Canary, president and CEO of the BCA. “Quite simply, manufacturing is an economic engine powering the state’s economy.”
Governor Kay Ivey was included in the presentation to ADTRAN. BCA Chairman Perry Hand, chairman of Volkert Inc. in Mobile, recognized the MOTY finalists for 2018.
Since its inception in 2000, the BCA and ATN award ceremony has attracted Alabama dignitaries and manufacturing leaders to honor companies that are committed to improving Alabama’s economy.
ATN Executive Director Keith Phillips said MOTY finalists and winners represent the best in Alabama manufacturing and the use of technology. “Now in its 19th year, the Alabama Technology Network and the Business Council of Alabama are honored to salute Alabama’s best manufacturers for their valuable participation in not only the state’s economy but also the economies of their employees and the suppliers who do business with them,” Phillips said.
The Business Council of Alabama is Alabama’s foremost voice for business. The BCA is a non-partisan, statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly 1 million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. The BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.
The Alabama Technology Network links two-year colleges, the University of Alabama System, Auburn University and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama to solve the needs of industry. Each ATN regional center tailors its services to meet local needs, providing innovative and cost-effective solutions to enable Alabama’s existing industry to be globally competitive. The network is Alabama’s affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which provides hands-on assistance and training to smaller manufacturers.