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Wire Belt Company of America Named 2012 UNH Family Business of the Year

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Wire Belt Company of America of Londonderry has been named the 2012 Family Business of the Year by the UNH Center for Family Business.

Wire Belt Company of America will be recognized at the 2nd Annual Family Business Recognition Dinner Wednesday, May, 23, 2012, at the Bedford Village Inn, Bedford. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:15 p.m., and the keynote address and awards at 7 p.m.

Lifetime achievement awards will be presented to Florence Freese and Courtland Freese from Globe Manufacturing, Bernice Singer from the Singer family, and Jack Law of the Law Companies.

Gary Singer, chairman of the board and co-owner of Merchants Auto Group, is the keynote speaker. George Bald, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, also will speak.

A fourth-generation family owned business established in 1919 as the Wire Belt division of JW Greer, Wire Belt Company of America manufactures wire mesh conveyor belts used primarily in the food processing industry. 

The company was started in the early 1900s by Jesse Wade Greer, a grocery store owner who created a process for coating candy. By the 1920s, Jesse Greer was manufacturing candy-making equipment in Cambridge, Mass., using chocolate coaters, cooling conveyors, chocolate melting, tempering kettles, and of course, the famous, patented Greer Chocolate Coater. In 1947, the belting division was spun off as Wire Belt Company of America.

The company’s current CEO, David Greer, is the fourth generation of the family to run the business. The company is now global, with about 200 employees at three manufacturing facilities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, and it has plans to expand. It has not had to lay off workers in 25 years.

Wire Belt Company of America has been named one of the top 10 “Best Companies to Work for in New Hampshire” for the years of 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. In 2009, Wire Belt Company of America claimed Business New Hampshire Magazine’s top prize as “The Best Small Company to Work for in New Hampshire.”

Wire Belt Company of America also has received multiple awards for its ongoing green efforts toward helping to improve the environment. In 2009 and 2011, the company was the recipient of Business New Hampshire Magazine’s “Lean and Green” award. In 2010, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch awarded the company the “Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention.”

Visit www.familybusiness.unh.edu/dinner to purchase tickets for the dinner. Tickets are $50 a person. Tables of 10 are available for $450.

The UNH Center for Family Business, under the Whittemore School of Business and Economics and the UNH Graduate School, is sponsored by Mass Mutual Financial Group, Thomas Davidow Associates, Baker Newman & Noyes, Pierce Atwood, MPI Management Planning, Inc., and Optima Bank. It is a membership program to provide owners and managers of entrepreneurial businesses with an opportunity to exchange ideas and information and to discuss business challenges, concerns, and solutions. For more information, visit http://www.familybusiness.unh.edu/.