Economic engine celebrates 50 years
Published 8:48 pm Thursday, April 3, 2014
Decades of contributions and one company’s long-term economic impact were celebrated Thursday at an event commemorating PotashCorp-Aurora’s 50th anniversary.
A guest list of VIPs in the county as well as Potash officials came together at the Washington Civic Center to celebrate the company’s partnerships with community organizations that have benefited the people of Beaufort County.
Mayor of Washington Mac Hodges, Former Mayor of Aurora Grace Bonner, Public and Governmental Affairs Manager of Potash, Ray McKeithan, State Rep. Paul Tine, Senator Bill Cook, Brownie Futrell, Potash Vice President Paul Dekok, and Beaufort County Commissioner Jerry Langley all spoke at the event, giving praise to Potash and its partnerships with community organizations.
Langley presented Dekok with a key to Beaufort County for Potash’s service to the community; Bonner reminisced about Potash’s origins in Aurora and its initial impacts; Futrell spoke about how his father and Publisher Emeriti of the Daily News, Ashley B. Futrell, strongly supported the arrival of the company through coverage in the newspaper, decades ago. Futrell had written the headline, “BINGO,” in regards to the company’s predicted impact, comparing the company’s projected impact to a book with many chapters.
“The book has been written,” said Futrell. “Bingo, indeed.”
Dekok stated that the company’s success and community involvement was a result of the community’s drive to excel as well as the demand for a better quality of life in Beaufort County and continues a legacy of safe operations, environmental stewardship and community support.
“We are celebrating our 50th year in Beaufort County and we are just thrilled to be here,” said Dekok. “You can’t find a better place to grow a business with the fair people here and their support, not only in Beaufort County, but in the state of North Carolina.”
According to Dekok, PotashCorp-Aurora’s No. 1 mission is community involvement and affecting the community in a positive way.
“We listen to what the community needs are and address it based on those needs,” Dekok said. “We don’t come in with a set game plan. We have to look and listen because times change and our involvement has to change.”
The celebration concluded with singing “Happy Birthday” to Potash, followed by a reception.