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Appeara Named to Local Biz Hall of Fame

The organizers of a new Norfolk Area (NE) Business Hall of Fame recently announced that uniform/mixed operator Appeara was one of two inaugural members of this select group of companies.

“I think it really says something about the company, and who we are and what we’ve done growth-wise,” said Appeara President Bob Dudley to a local news outlet.

Appeara, a fourth-generation business founded in 1916, was chosen or the local Hall of Fame program, a newly launched initiative is sponsored by the Norfolk Daily News and the First National Bank of Norfolk. The second company wasn’t identified.

Dudley said he was proud to have his company recognized because it has strong local roots and a growth-oriented focus. Having joined the family business in the 1980s, Dudley led it through a period of significant growth in the early 2000s, the article said. Moves to modernize and automate the plant in those years involved the construction of a new two-story building as well as $1.5 million in equipment upgrades designed to improve both efficiency and throughput. “It was a big financial commitment but I knew if we were going to be here, and if there was going to be an opportunity for another generation, I needed to update and automate and make it something that would carry on for years to come.”

Appeara has made progress in modernizing its processes, despite a major fire in 2003 that threatened to end its long tenure as a local business in the area, the reports said. The fire struck when Appeara had completed an expansion effort. Dudley credits the skills and professionalism of local firefighters with helping his team save the business. “The fire department did a tremendous job of saving us and saving our business and everything else.”

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