We are excited to announce the 2020 inductees for the Manufacturers Wall of Fame! Kathleen Alaimo, President of Syracuse Label & Surround Printing, and Louis DeMent, Owner and CEO of Giovanni Food Co., Inc., will be inducted and honored virtually on September 28, 2020 during MACNY’s 107th Annual Celebration of Manufacturing. Their accomplishments will be celebrated by MACNY members and community leaders, and they will be commemorated with a plaque on the Manufacturers Wall of Fame at MACNY headquarters. Alaimo and DeMent will also join MACNY and community members for a live Zoom session on September 29.
MACNY President and CEO, Randy Wolken, states, “On behalf of MACNY, the Wall of Fame Selection Committee, and the entire manufacturing community, I would like to congratulate Kathy and Lou on their well-deserved inductions into the Manufacturers Wall of Fame. We look forward to honoring their dedication to manufacturing and their achievements during MACNY’s 107th Annual Celebration of Manufacturing.”
Further, “Syracuse Label & Surround Printing and Giovanni Food Co., Inc., are vital Central New York manufacturers. These two leaders have successfully steered their organizations through change and challenges, positioning them for continued success in their industries. This is an impressive testament to their leadership skills.”
Alaimo and DeMent’s Wall of Fame induction will be part of MACNY’s two-week long Celebration of Manufacturing being held virtually throughout the weeks of September 21 and September 28. To learn more about MACNY’s 107th Annual Celebration of Manufacturing, visit https://www.macny.org/107th-celebration-manufacturing/.
ABOUT KATHLEEN ALAIMO
Kathy Alaimo is the President of Syracuse Label & Surround Printing, a 100% employee owned printing company in North Syracuse, New York. After graduating from East Syracuse-Minoa High School, Ms. Alaimo headed to SUNY Morrisville where she graduated with a degree in journalism and technology—and learned that she enjoyed and excelled at leadership, an insight which would inform the rest of her career.
Rising to the role of President in 2007 in one of the world’s leading labeling companies seemed a remote possibility nearly 40 years ago when she first started at Syracuse Label & Surround Printing. As a member of a small club of female presidents in her field, Alaimo counts many more achievements to her credit: she leads a company of 100+ employees at Syracuse Label & Surround Printing; she oversaw the expansion and relocation of the company in 2016; and led the company to win the “Best of the Best” award at the 2019 World Label Awards in Brussels, the first time that any company had won the best prize two years in a row.
While focusing on Syracuse Label & Surround Printing’s success through strategic planning and a commitment to lean manufacturing, Alaimo is also passionate about her community. Her staff is local and giving back is important to her and the whole team. Currently serving on the Vera House Foundation Board of Trustees and having assisted with the Ronald McDonald House annual gala for many years, Alaimo has also spearheaded the formation of Syracuse Label’s charity committee to assist local charities as a group effort. In 2019 alone, Syracuse Label participated in and/or supported 18 community service events in the greater Syracuse area.
Kathy serves on the East Syracuse-Minoa School District’s School to College and Career Advisory Board and has been an active member of the Tag & Label Manufacturers Institute for 25 years. As the President of a 100% employee-owned company, Alaimo is a strong proponent of the employee-ownership business model and is a member of the National Center for Employee Ownership, as well as the Printing Industries Alliance. Alaimo is an advocate for workforce development, STEM career exploration, and a member of the MACNY Board of Directors.
Nominators Jessica McCarthy, HR Manager; Jude Story, Quality Control Manager; and Mark Howard, VP of Graphics, feel that Alaimo’s passion for quality products and customer satisfaction in the label manufacturing industry, as well as the care and compassion she has for her staff and the broader community, make her the perfect candidate for this award. Kathy has been, and continues to be, instrumental in the growth and success of Syracuse Label & Surround Printing and is an inspiration to all who can work alongside her.
ABOUT LOUIS DEMENT
Louis DeMent is the owner and CEO of Giovanni Food Co., Inc., a family-built food manufacturer. Lou is the third-generation owner of Giovanni Foods, which was launched in 1934 by his grandparents from the tavern that they owned, and out of which customers clamored for their pasta sauce. Lou began working for his family-owned company before the age of 13, helping his dad during summer and school breaks. After graduating from Le Moyne College with a BS in Business, a minor in Business Information Systems and a concentration in Marketing, Lou spent 2 years working in IT for Sysco Food Services before returning to Giovanni in 1997 and moving his way up in the company before taking over for his father who passed away in 2007.
After outgrowing its original home in Oswego with a single production line filling pasta sauce in cans and glass jars by 13 employees, Giovanni Food Company moved to Liverpool, then Syracuse, and eventually Baldwinsville where it has grown into a six-line, 167,000 square foot facility with 120 employees, working toward a second shift, and diverse capabilities to produce a large array of products including sauces, salsas, vinegar products, and more in a multitude of packaging options such as glass, PET, pouches, etc.
Lou is a strong believer in growing the company through innovation, while supporting his employees and serving as a positive role model. Through his leadership, Giovanni Food Company was awarded the New York State Small Business of the Year Award in 2013.
As nominator Nicole Bryant, HR Manager at Giovanni Foods, says, “Lou DeMent is hungry…but not hungry just to grow for the sake of growing. There is no magic number he is striving for; it does not come from greed or ego. He seeks growth and expansion as a means of ensuring sustainability and longevity in an everchanging marketplace.”
In his free time, Lou enjoys spending time outdoors in Central New York with his wife Cheryl, daughter Angelina, and son Jack; coaching his son’s hockey team; and taking an active role in his church. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at Beacon Baptist Church, the Board of Regents at Le Moyne College, and is a Board Member of both the Food Bank of CNY and the Private Label Manufacturers Association. Lou is also an active member, Board Member, and Learning Officer of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
ABOUT THE AWARD
Alaimo and DeMent will represent the twentieth class of members inducted into the Manufacturers Wall of Fame, joining a prestigious group of manufacturing leaders who have been honored since the Wall of Fame’s inception in 2001. The Manufacturers Wall of Fame celebrates individuals who have demonstrated long-term dedication to manufacturing in Central and Upstate New York. To view a listing of previous Wall of Fame Inductees, visit https://www.macny.org/about/wall-of-fame/.
Kathy and Lou will be honored during MACNY’s Virtual 107th Annual Celebration of Manufacturing. This two-week long celebration will include a series of videos and live Zoom events during the weeks of September 21 and September 28. To learn more, visit https://www.macny.org/107th-celebration-manufacturing/.