By Dave Ongie
Crown Laboratories CEO Jeff Bedard describes the partnership between his company and our region as a marriage waiting to happen.
Bedard arrived in Johnson City back in February of 2001 with four employees and a dream of starting up a pharmaceutical and medical device company. He doesn’t expect he would have found much traction with economic development folks if he’d arrived in a larger city like Atlanta under those circumstances, but officials in Johnson City and Washington County saw potential in his fledgling operation. The late P.C. Snapp gave Bedard a tour of available land and facilities in the area, and Bedard settled on an unassuming building in the shadow of Buffalo Mountain that has housed Crown’s manufacturing center ever since.
“I think the community was investing at that time in the MedTech corridor, and they saw the benefit of a pharmaceutical/medical device company coming in,” Bedard told the Business Journal. “They were willing to roll the dice, so that was great.”
Bedard, Johnson City Mayor Joe Wise and Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy were all smiles last month as Crown broke ground on a new 60,000-square-foot warehouse facility adjacent to the original manufacturing center. The marriage has been a good one for both parties. After scratching and clawing through a tumultuous first decade, Crown hit its stride around 2011 and has never looked back.
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