Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie, and Marel’s Matt Bergman, Arni Oddur Thordarson and Einar Einarsson pictured left to right.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Executives from the corporate headquarters in Gardabaer, Iceland, joined their counterparts in the US at the ribbon cutting of Marel’s new office in Des Moines on May 24. Customers, local dignitaries and members of the media were on hand for the ceremonial ribbon cutting at the company’s new location by a demonstration of the company’s sausage technology on May 25.
The new facility, which spans approximately 30,000 sq. ft. and employs approximately 90 people, replaces the company’s former Marel-Townsend campus in Des Moines, which was closed after the company announced, in early 2015, plans to transfer the manufacturing operations there to its facility in Gainesville, Georgia. With offices in 30 countries, the global company, which manufactures and markets advanced food-processing systems for the meat, poultry and fish industries, also maintains US operations in Seattle, Washington, and Lenexa, Kansas.
It was a tough decision, said Marel CEO Arni Oddur Thordarson, of the decision to consolidate the Iowa operations and move the offices from its former site to what is a revitalized part of Des Moines, not far from the city center and its entertainment district. But, with a new office that features a modern design, large meeting spaces, a state-of-the-art test kitchen and a spacious innovation center, Thordarson told attendees he is pleased with the result.
“I’m positively surprised,” he said just before the official ribbon cutting, adding that there is a new energy that is hard to ignore at the new facility.
“You can see it on the smiles of the people,” he said.
Einar Einarsson, Marel’s regional president for North America, told attendees the new facility is home to two important product groups, split into skinning and linking-peeling, both of which are committed to continued growth. “It’s been great to see how this new facility has brought them all together,” he said, thanks in large part to the open floorplan that lends itself to interaction among the teams. Like Thordarson, Einarsson made note of the positive energy that emanates from the new office, which other visitors have also mentioned.
He went on to recognize what he called ‘Team Journey,’ the Marel group that made the move to the new facility possible, and thanked all those in attendance at the event for their support as the company moves into the future.