A. O. Smith partnered with more than 35 U. S. wholesale manufacturer’s representative agencies to honor plant employees with a COVID-compliant luncheon. To thank essential workers and show their appreciation for the employees’ dedication during the pandemic, the agencies organized donation efforts to provide boxed lunches to more than 4,500 employees at five plant locations.

In less than two months, the group, led by Steve Kidwell, president and CEO at ROI Marketing in Millersville, Md., raised roughly $60,000.

“A. O. Smith plant employees have dedicated their efforts to supporting our businesses throughout the pandemic. Nationwide, my colleagues and I felt a deep need to show our gratitude,” said Kidwell. “In a normal year, reps and contractors from across the country visit the A. O. Smith facilities to meet employees and see product production first-hand. That sense of community is core to our industry, and this is a first step to get it back.”

“While many businesses saw massive delays due to COVID, the A. O. Smith team kept things moving, so our customers could continue to serve theirs,” Kidwell added.

Employees were honored at plant locations in Ashland City, Tenn.; Johnson City, Tenn.; Knoxville, Tenn.; McBee, S. C.; and Juarez, Mexico. In addition to the boxed lunches, banners were hung in the employees’ honor stating, “Not every hero wears a cape.”

“Clean, hot water is essential, especially with more people at home, and A. O. Smith plant employees have been working tirelessly, so homeowners and business owners can stay safe and comfortable during the pandemic,” said Dave Warren, senior vice president at A. O. Smith Corporation, and president and general manager for North America Water Heating. “This event really speaks to the relationship we have with our customers, and we are beyond grateful for their partnership.” 

Appreciation efforts will run through this week to ensure all employees receive a boxed lunch in a COVID-compliant way.