German company celebrates success in Perry

Gov. Deal welcomes German company Sandler to Perry

Sandler Nonwoven Corporation CEO Christian Sandler and Gov. Nathan Deal cut a ribbon at the Perry plant.
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Sandler Nonwoven Corporation CEO Christian Sandler and Gov. Nathan Deal cut a ribbon at the Perry plant.

When a German company decided to build a new plant overseas, its leader told managers they were starting a marathon with the finish line to be somewhere in America that had yet to be determined.

The company was Sandler AG, and the finish line turned out to be Perry.

Christian Heinrich Sandler, the company’s president, recounted the marathon story as he spoke to about 75 local and state officials gathered at the plant Thursday for a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Perry location has actually been operating for more than a year and employs about 50 people, with plans for continued growth.

Sandler said the search for a location for the new plant was, in fact, like a marathon, with many ups and downs. But he said the company has been happy with its decision, which was unanimous among its managers. It was the first time in the company’s 138-year history that it had decided to build a plant overseas.

Sandler said he well remembers the warm welcome the company received on its first trip to Perry during the search for a new location.

“Perry quickly rose to the top of our list, based not only on economic factors but also the social surroundings,” he said. “It was the mindset of the people. Here we found people eager to welcome us to their community and become part of our team.”

Gov. Nathan Deal spoke at the ceremony and helped cut the ribbon.

“This is a family firm,” Deal said, addressing Sandler. “I think you will find this is a family community in which you are now located.”

Deal said Germany is among the top three investors in Georgia.

“It has made our economy much, much better,” he said. “You are an important part of continuing that tradition.”

The Perry plant manufactures non-woven fabric that is used in hygiene products such as tampons. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held in the warehouse among stacks of white fabric bundles.

Tobias Baumgaertel, president of the Perry plant, said that while the plant has been operating for more than year, it is still just getting started.

“If I could put it in baseball terms, we just got to first base,” he said. “As we all know, there are more bases.”

Wayne Crenshaw: 478-256-9725, @WayneCrenshaw1