A. O. Smith Celebrates Employee Appreciation Day

Sept. 14, 2010
Ashland City Employees Recognized for Efforts Following May Floods

ASHLAND CITY, TENN. (September 14, 2010) – A. O. Smith recently showed appreciation to its Ashland City employees for their commitment and hard work following the devastating May floods.

The company thanked the 1,180 employees during a special employee appreciation day celebration on Aug. 24 in Ashland City.

On May 3, the 1.5-million-square-foot facility was hit by the devastating historic floods from the nearby Cumberland River, leaving the entire plant under almost six feet of water. The facility sustained more than $60 million in damage including flood water damage to finished goods inventories and more than 2,000 pieces of production equipment in the plant.

Employees were called back to work on May 17 and helped complete the clean-up effort and resumed production less than four weeks after the flood. As a result of their efforts, the company did not lose any of its water heater customers.

Paul Jones, chairman and chief executive officer of A. O. Smith Corporation, expressed his appreciation to employees during a special ceremony at the plant. “No one was discouraged. There was no self-pity or trying to place
blame. Instead, everyone simply rolled up their sleeves and got to work,” said Jones. “Each of you was tested by this ordeal, and you proved you have what it takes to overcome the greatest adversities. It was an amazing accomplishment and truly a sight to behold.”

Ashland City plant manager Keith Auville commented: “The group of people who work here in this plant have two strong characteristics, one is just the willingness to do whatever it takes and number two is the ability. We were able to come back quickly because of those two reasons.”

A. O. Smith Water Products Company President Ajita G. Rajendra also thanked employees for their efforts after the flood.

“I cannot say how proud I am of how you came together and made it all happen,” said Rajendra. “You made sure that our livelihoods, which were underwater, came back up and got this plant up and running again, and our customers really appreciate what we did.”

Following the ceremony Woodrow McDaniel, a multi-craft technician who has been with the company for 14 months, explained what it was like to come back from such a devastating event. “It was an interesting challenge, but we met
it. It was truly a great team effort. Like Paul Jones said, there is no better team to work for than A. O. Smith.”

The 1,180 employees were served a catered steak dinner along with beverages and dessert. Each employee received a gift bag that included a photo book that recorded the plant’s recovery and return to production.

The Ashland City facility, described as the world’s largest water heater plant, also serves as the headquarters for A. O. Smith Water Products Company. The plant manufactures residential gas and electric water heaters; its adjoining distribution center serves the eastern United States. The
nearby Customer Care Facility was not impacted by the May flooding.

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