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Wire Journal News

5/10/2022 –

Southwire is proud to announce it has been selected as a 2022 US Best Managed Company. Sponsored by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal, the program recognizes outstanding U.S. private companies and the achievements of their management teams.  


The 2022 designees are U.S. private companies that have demonstrated excellence in strategic planning and execution, a commitment to their people, strong financial performance and the ability to foster a dynamic, resilient culture. 


This year’s designees continued to propel their businesses forward by prioritizing purpose, investing in their workforces and demonstrating their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 


“Receiving this recognition three years in a row is a testament to the resiliency and dedication of our employees,” said Rich Stinson, Southwire’s president and CEO. “We continue to focus on trust, empowerment, consistency and inclusion, and these commitments have undoubtedly brought us to where we are today and contributed to this tremendous honor. We are committed to remain generationally sustainable for the next 100 years and beyond, and this is a testament to those efforts." 


Applicants are evaluated and selected by a panel of external judges focused on assessing hallmarks of excellence in four key areas: strategy, ability to execute, corporate culture and governance/financial performance. Award recipients join a global ecosystem of honorees from more than 40 countries recognized by the Best Managed Companies program. 


“We are proud to be among the 51 companies chosen to receive this award,” said Norman Adkins, president of Wire and Cable and COO. “Being a US Best Managed Company is an achievement that our entire organization can celebrate, and we are thankful for everything that our hard-working and dedicated employees have done throughout the years to help make this possible.” 



About Southwire

A leader in technology and innovation, Southwire Company, LLC is one of North America’s largest wire and cable producers and an emerging influence in many important electrical markets. Southwire and its subsidiaries manufacture building wire and cable, utility products, metal-clad cable, portable and electronic cord products, OEM wire products and engineered products. In addition, Southwire supplies assembled products, contractor equipment, electrical components, hand tools and jobsite power and lighting solutions, and the company provides a variety of field and support services to customers around the world. For more information about Southwire’s products, its community involvement and its vision of sustainability, visit www.southwire.com

About the Best Managed Companies Program 

The Best Managed Companies program is a mark of excellence for private companies. U.S. designees have revenues of at least $250 million. Hundreds of private companies around the world have competed for this designation in their respective countries through a rigorous and independent process that evaluates four key criteria in their management skills and practices — strategy, execution, culture and governance/financials. U.S. program sponsors are Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal. For more information, visit www.usbestmanagedcompanies.com.   

5/4/2022 -

The horrors of Russia’s invasion have roiled life in the Ukraine as millions flee to safety, but in the western section, as of press time, two plants owned by Leoni Wiring Systems GmbH are in operation. Below are edited excerpts from a story in The Wall Street Journal, as well as brief comments by a Leoni company spokesperson to WJI.

Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of the Ukraine saw many foreign companies operating there halt their operations. That included two plants owned by Leoni Wiring Systems GmbH (Leoni) in the western part of the country.
Leoni closed the plants—one in the Lviv region and the other in the Ivano-Frankivsk region—and discussed transferring production of auto harnesses to Romania and possibly other sites. They also discussed how they could help employees and their families move to other countries.

In the first days of the war, Russia unleashed missiles at targets across the country, but by the third day of hostilities, it became clear that the battle was being fought in the eastern part of the Ukraine. Further, the Ukrainian soldiers fared well against the larger Russian forces.

Days passed. A different mindset began to emerge: the plants could be reopened, but only if there was agreement by all involved. That included Leoni’s Ukraine Task Force in Germany, the local management in Ukraine, its employees, the authorities in the Ukraine, the employees there and the customers. A consensus was finally reached to restart production in both plants under the strictest safety regulations, in line with the will of the Ukrainian government.
Leoni COO Ingo Spengler never doubted the worker support. He had received an open letter signed by many company employees in Ukraine urging him to reopen the plant. The company employs some 7,000 people at the two sites, more than half women. The plants re-opened on March 2 with a single shift.

Of note, employees could be paid if they did not go to work, but many did. Most arrived early. It turned out that the Ukrainian spirit that has been personified by their relentless determination to defend their country also applied to their workplace. It was a way to respond to the aggression, so they continued to produce the wire harnesses used for automotive electrical and data wires, most of which goes to Volkswagen AG.

As of April 21, work has continued at both plants. If warning sirens go off, workers quickly exit for buses that are waiting to take them to Soviet-era bomb shelters. They were able to rent such sites that were relatively close to work. To make the logistics feasible, workers kept personal belongings in a locker room for a quick departure, and the number of employees could not exceed capacity in the available air-raid shelters. Per one contract worker, the sirens could happen more than once a day. After the first two weeks, Leoni resumed a night shift.

The time might come when this arrangement is no longer feasible, but for now, it continues, a concerted effort by all involved. There are no guarantees that this ongoing story will have a made-for-movies happy ending, but it shows that bravery and the human spirit can exist in a company during harsh time, from the people in the management offices to those who work on the shop floor.

5/4/2022 -

Annual Meeting in Dallas to offer a return to sorely missed live gathering

On-line meetings were certainly better than no event, but it is safe say that the WAI welcomes the return to a live format for the annual meeting on Wednesday, June 8, which will honor the winners of three awards as well as present a timely keynote presentation.

The meeting element itself is brief as it is procedural, but the breakfast session will see the presentations of the Mordica Memorial Award to Anand Bhagwat, manager, quality and technology at Minova USA; the Donnellan Memorial Award to Richard Wagner, the senior vice president and COO of Insteel Industries; and the President’s Award to Joe Downes, a long-time Leggett & Platt executive who retired as senior v.p. in 2015.

The gathering will also include comments from Keynote speaker Ty Garrison, senior vice president of operations, Commercial Metals Co., whose theme feels very appropriate: “Leadership in a Volatile World.” He will discuss how the last few years have strained businesses across the globe as Covid forced companies to deal with events like virtual work, burn out, unprecedented supply chain disruptions and volatile markets. Such challenges test the leadership at every level of an organization, and are essential to master for companies to thrive.

The annual meeting will, as ever, serve as a good place for WAI members to gather.

5/4/2022 -

The industry focus now is rightfully on Wire Expo 2022, to be held June 7-8 in Dallas, but a week after the first day there is an important meeting that is essential to Interwire 2023.

The WAI will hold the points meeting for Interwire on Wednesday, June 15, at its headquarters in Madison, Connecticut. The process determines how booths are assigned based on the WAI’s established priority point program. The Points Meeting for Interwire 2021, held March 12, 2020, saw a total of 63,650 sq ft of floor space taken by 140 exhibitors. That represented 59% of the floor space. Those results topped the same result for the 2019 Points Meeting. 

Exhibitor representatives get to pick first in order of their  accumulated points from past participation. The booths will be assigned by WAI staff. After that date, other companies wanting to exhibit can seek a booth by either going to the event website, interwire23.com, or contacting WAI Sales Director Shannon Timme.

“Interwire 2023 is obviously a ways off, but just to see us nearing one of the key organizing steps makes it feel like a step back to normalcy,” Timme said. The industry has had a lot of experience with remote contact, and while  that had to be done to continue business, it also re-affirmed the value of face-to-face discussions. It may be a ways off still, but it is good to once again see Interwire back on the calendar.”

Of note, WAI had planned to have an Industry 4.0 focus at Interwire 2021. That theme was carried over to the Virtual Conference that was later held, but the goal is to make the full in-person presentation on the show floor at Atlanta in 2023.

5/4/2022 -

 Prysmian Group wins contract for Alaskan submarine fiber optic cable link project

The Prysmian Group reports that it has been awarded a contract from Alaska Power & Telephone Company (AP&T) to supply, install and test two submarine fiber optic cable links in southeast Alaska.

A press release said that the SEALink project, valued at nearly $20 million, is directed by AP&T’s subsidiary, AP&T Wireless (APTW). The goal is to improve

communications in southeast Alaska, bringing broadband to rural areas that are currently unserved. The SEALink project calls for a 214-mile submarine fiber optic cable from Alaska’s capital in Juneau to the Prince of Wales Island.

Under the terms of the turnkey contract, Prysmian will provide a 323-km MINISUB brand cable with 36 G.652.D FO. The cable will be produced at Prysmian’s Nordenham, Germany plant, one of the group’s three centers of excellence for submarine cable production. Delivery is scheduled for the third quarter of 2022, with provisional acceptance by end of 2022.The project is being managed by Projects BU.

“This is the second project with AP&T after the successful installation of the Lynn Channel Project in 2016,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects BU, Prysmian Group. “We are excited to be helping AP&T support the digital transition in these remote areas of Alaska.”

The project will bring high-speed broadband to the residents of Kasaan and Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island for the first time. It was made possible by a grant from the U.S. government’s Rural Utility Services. “We are honored to be entrusted with this prestigious contract by AP&T which underscores the trust and credibility our customers have for our products and capabilities on a worldwide basis,” said Ashutosh Bhargava, Global Business director Subsea Telecom of the Prysmian Group.

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