The grounds at Kappler, Guntersville’s long-time protective apparel manufacturer, are immaculate and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Marshall County PALS (People Against a Littered State) this week awarded Kappler its “Business Pride” award. The award is given periodically to businesses who keep their grounds looking like a showplace. Kappler has lush lawns, flowers, cherry trees and other plantings.
Kappler was the very first business to locate in Guntersville’s Mountain Crest Industrial Park. Its dedication to keeping the place looking good goes way back, according to CEO Laura Kappler-Roberts.
Jeff Tully and Tully Landscaping maintain the grounds today, but that wasn’t always the case.
“Keeping the place looking nice has always been a passion of my dad,” Roberts said. Her father is the company’s founder, George Kappler. He’s known for keeping his personal property looking good as well as his business property.
“It was 25 years ago or so,” Roberts said. “We used to have customers in for training from time-to-time, especially in the summer. One customer commented on how the place looked and really bragged on the gardener who was out trimming plants and weeding flower beds. The gardener he spoke of was my dad.”
Kappler has 3 large buildings on its campus and 150 employees.
“A lot of our employees spend more time here than they do at work,” Roberts said. “So it’s important that they have a pleasant work place.”
Cecelia Pullen of PALS noted that the inside of the buildings looked as nice as the outside.
“That’s the work of Tina Burgess,” Roberts said. “She’s the one we have to thank for that.”
Kappler’s commitment to the environment goes beyond just keeping their grounds look good. They also have a recycling program and recycle paper, aluminum cans and cardboard. But they have one issue with their recycling program. The material they use to make protective apparel usually have multilayers of different types of fabric. They haven’t found a recycler who can take the excess material but they would very much like to be able to recycle it.
The company calibrates its machines to make cuts so there’s as little leftover material as possible.
PALS president Micky Hunt said their organization doesn’t want to focus only on the negative of litter, but also focus on the positive about people and companies who keep their grounds clean. That’s what the Business Pride Award is all about.
Kappler maintains about 12 acres of grounds in the industrial park.
George Kappler founded Kappler on April 1, 1976, with 8 employees and 6 sewing machines.