Positively Impacting the World, Together: The 2019 Milliken Honors

“We have to do it together. Because together, we make the greatest impact.” – Debra Clements, Chief Administrative Officer, Milliken & Company

Integrity. Excellence. Innovation. Sustainability. People.  

Great values bring about great impact. 

These values guide every action at Milliken from product development and customer service to daily work within our industries and our communities. These values drive our purpose. 

At the heart of everything we do is a simple word: Together. 

It takes the hands and hearts of many to build something purposeful and lasting. The unsung heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes to research and bring big ideas to the table;  who tell our story to the world; who build intimacy with our customers;  and who embody citizenship at work, in their communities, and around the globe. 

As Halsey Cook, Milliken & Company president & CEO, shared at Milliken’s Global Leadership Conference in January, “Our transformation into the company we want to be will require associates who are agile, committed, and willing to accept extraordinary challenges to achieve impactful results. Most importantly, is to do all these things together as one exceptional team.”   

We are proud to celebrate a group of exceptional associates from around the world who lived out our values throughout 2019. 

Last night company leadership gathered at the Spartanburg Marriott near the company’s global headquarters to present annual awards for upholding the company’s foundational values, from sustainability and safety to ethics and excellence in business. 

Associates recognized were nominated by their peers and represent a cross-section of the company’s spectrum of disciplines, locations and job functions throughout its global operations.

Milliken is pleased to announce the 2019 Milliken Honors associate and team winners:  

The Safety Award recognizes those who best represent the Milliken safety culture through their actions and results.

Johnston Plant Training Department: Sarah Cannon, McKinley Harrison, Billy Heflin, Brittany Kenley, Jeffrey Moore, Richard Rodgers (Milliken’s Johnston plant)  

The Business Operations Award recognizes those who best represent excellence in business operations.

Northmead Operations Team: Glen D’Cruze, Allan Grant, Zulfiqar Khan, Dave McNaughton (Milliken’s Northmead plant)  

The Manufacturing Operations Award recognizes those who deliver outstanding manufacturing results.

Fantastic Five: Clif Ashley, Michael Holt, Dwight Stevenson (Milliken’s Dewey plant), Corey Smith, Joel Wilson (Milliken’s Allen plant)  

The Strategic Challenge Award recognizes those who overcame a significant challenge, complexity or adversity to enrich the company.

Solution Sales Team: Walter Forrister, Aaron Griffin, Alicia Harmon, Katie Kellogg, Chris Kochanowicz, Deidre Sandrock, Dave Schoenmann, Bernard Vermeersch, Corey Williams (Roger Milliken Center)  

One-Year Business Performance Awards recognizes individuals and business teams who meet specific pre-determined financial criteria.

Matt Cooper, Jeff Morris (Roger Milliken Center), Tom Davenport (Milliken’s Valway plant), Asia Floor Covering Team  

Multi-Year Business Performance Awards recognizes individuals and business teams who meet specific pre-determined financial criteria.

Allen Jacoby, Jeff Morris, Russ Rudolph (Roger Milliken Center), Wim van De Velde (Ghent), Zhaolin Zhou (Singapore)  

The Customer Award recognizes those who significantly exceed expectations because of their close connection to their external customer.

Mary Lou McInerney (Roger Milliken Center)  

The Innovation Award recognizes those who best represent innovation within product, service or process development.

DIS Modular Skid System Team: Chris Baucom, John Cusack, Vivian Ferro, Martin Raab, Paul Sweeney, Clif Thivierge, Michael Zeunik (Milliken’s Sivance plant)  

The Marketing Award recognizes those who identified a rare opportunity to tie Milliken’s competitive advantages to a rising major market trend, driving sales as a result.

Floor Covering Health & Wellness Marketing Team: Michael Eckert, Dale Kitchen, Robert MacMeccan, Kumar Puthillath (Roger Milliken Center), Philip Ivey (Milliken’s Live Oak plant)  

The Hero Award recognizes those whose selfless, heroic and responsive behavior or decision making led to an exceptional outcome in one of Milliken’s manufacturing or business environments.

Shawn Smith (Roger Milliken Center)  

The Diversity & Inclusion Award recognizes those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to these principles and actively promotes them within the workplace.

Lakessa Wright (Roger Milliken Center)  

The Sustainability Award recognizes those who, by show of action, leadership and results, have worked to preserve the value of sustainability. 

Robert Rhodes (Milliken’s Keystone plant)  

The Citizenship Award recognizes those who best exemplify the belief that our success as a company and the success of the places where we live and work are inseparable.

Sherwin “SL” Ford (Milliken’s Magnolia plant)  

The Ethics Award recognizes those who best represent our commitment to ethical behavior through demonstrated actions.

Compliance Federation: Ken Brown, Katherine Corbin, Sophia Dopher, Natalie Dunham, Beth Gardner, Tom Gilkeson, Sally Grumbos, Robert Guest, Elaine Hare-Sturm, Ricaye Harris, Jessica Hatchell, David Heichemer, Drew Horton, Kasel Knight, Rowan Langford, Robert Lanning, Maurie Lawrence, Paul Pruitt, Randy Richeson, Ottilia Scanlon, Sueli Silva, Savanah Sitton, Lee Slusher, Jeff Strahan, Troy Tessier, JP Tyson, Chip Ward, Charles Young (Roger Milliken Center), Andrew Cotton (Milliken’s Beech Hill plant), Philip Ivey (Milliken’s Live Oak plant), Yoyo Zhang (Shanghai)  

The Leadership Award recognizes those who consistently demonstrate the company’s leadership expectations and are viewed as role models.

Jaclyn Deter (Roger Milliken Center)  

The Futurist Award recognizes those who demonstrate a long-term, futurist mindset in their work.

Ramesh Kesh (Milliken’s Valway plant)  

The Legacy Award recognizes those who have created lasting change and measurable differences within the company over an extended period of time.

David Inman (Milliken’s Johnston plant)    


Together, we strive. Together, we build. Together, we solve. Together, we are Milliken.  


Photography by Aaron Greene