GROVETOWN, Ga. (Nov. 12, 2013) – GIW Industries mechanical engineer and industry expert, Reab Berry, was awarded the 2013 SME Hero of the Industry award at the 28th Annual Phosphate Conference, Mining for a Growing World.
The Florida Section of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) presents this award at the Annual Phosphate Conference held each year in Lakeland, Fla. The officers of the SME-Florida Section review a list of exceptional nominees submitted by their members. Nominees are individuals who have made a significant impact on the mining industry through technical advances, education, and strong character. Berry was the unanimous choice for the 2013 Hero of the Industry.
"The Hero of the Industry award is such an honor because the selection process is based on peer recommendations," Berry says. "And to top that off, the award was presented to me by my long-time friend George McQuien."
This award is a way for the SME-Florida Section to recognize individuals who are committed to the phosphate industry and actively involved in the SME.
"This is all special to me because the phosphate industry is very special to me," Berry says. "My first full-time job with GIW after graduation from Georgia Tech in June of 1966 was in Bartow, Fla., where I worked for Harvey Hardy, the VP of Florida Operations. I have been involved in the phosphate industry my entire career."
Along with working at GIW for over 50 years, Berry has been actively involved in SME activities, supporting the mining industry with a membership spanning more than 40 years. During his membership, Berry has attended many monthly meetings and presented and co-authored several papers at the Florida Section's technical sessions.
As an active part of the phosphate industry, GIW is always in attendance at the Annual Phosphate Conference. This is the only conference in the world that focuses on phosphate mining and chemical processing, and this year there were more than 670 attendees representing a wide range of expertise in the industry.
The Hero of the Industry recognition isn't just an honor for Berry. It is a source of pride for GIW as well. "The award is very special for GIW because GIW got its start in the phosphate industry," Berry says. "We have been furnishing pumps to the phosphate industry since 1914 ... that is a long time."
Berry is a great addition to the long list of GIW employees who have made outstanding contributions to the industry. Berry is the second GIW employee to receive the Hero of the Industry award. Roy Duvall, GIW Florida Service Center Technical Manager, won the award in 1999. "I was so proud for Roy when he received the award," Berry recalls. "I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever receive this award. It was a total surprise — and certainly an honor."
GIW Industries comprises two manufacturing facilities, one in Grovetown, Ga., and the other in Thomson, Ga. These foundries and machine shops manufacture and assemble pumps and cast abrasion-resistant alloys and urethane elastomers. As a subsidiary of KSB AG of Germany, a global pump and valve manufacturer, GIW has the infrastructure to supply pumps worldwide.