Iowa Park Sealed Air Celebrates Anniversary

Iowa Park Sealed Air Celebrates Anniversary

It was a packed house this afternoon, as members of the Sealed Air family unsealed their memories of the past four decades at their 40th Anniversary celebration.
Some employees have been at the Iowa Park plant since the beginning in 1975. 

Leroy Threet still remembers when only 30 people were staffing the plant. 

"Now I'm actually seeing friends kids work here, which is quite an honor and experience," Threet said.

Now, between Iowa Park and Wichita Falls, Sealed Air is one of the biggest employers in Wichita County, with about 800 workers.

Sealed Air manufactures Cryovac food packaging products, which help keep food fresh for longer amounts of time.

"Economies don't stop at lines on a map. Almost half of Sealed Air employees are from areas outside of Iowa Park," President of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce Henry Florsheim explained.

One of those workers is Choica Bradley, whose been commuting from Wichita Falls for 40 years. 

She admitted she was a little nervous when so many plants closed over the last few years. She just kept praying that her second family wouldn't be taken away. 

"We work 12 hours together, we eat together, we do everything together," Bradley said.

Bradley plans to retire soon, and while she'll miss her home away from home, she said that it's time to move on. 

And, for the first time, Sealed Air's CEO, Jerome Peribere, paid a visit to Iowa Park. 

"You don't just make bags," Peribere told his employees, "you eliminate food waste, which is an extraordinary mission."

Peribere Praised the plant's efforts in the community, particularly how Sealed Air donated 70,000 bags to help with flood efforts in Wichita County.

He also lauded the plant's effluent water treatment project, which will save up to 20 million gallons of water per year.

As for what the next forty years will bring for the company, Leroy Threet said...

"The next 40 years are going to be a trying time, but we have the people, we have the management, and the backing from corporate to succeed and expand. This place is going to be here a long time." 

Henry Florsheim emphasized the importance of a strong manufacturing sector in Wichita County, and reminded everyone that economies don't stop at a line on a map. He also said the success of the Sealed Air plants lead to  financial success in the region.

Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6