Company honored for impact on county

By Jon Tatting

County commissioners awarded Plastic Products Company, Inc. and its founder Marlene Smith with a certificate of appreciation at the June 6 board meeting. Pictured, Board chairman George McMahon holds the certificate with Smith alongside her daughters Lori Bjork (far left) and Debbie Greenhow. In back, from left, are commissioners Mike Robinson, Ben Montzka, Rick Greene, Lora Walker and Chris Eng, executive director of the Housing Redevelopment and Economic Development authorities. Photo by Jon Tatting

The Chisago County Board on June 6 awarded a certificate of appreciation to Lindstrom-based Plastic Products Company, Inc., a family-run business celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Accepting the honor were company founder Marlene Smith and her daughters Lori Bjork and Debbie Greenhow during a brief ceremony.

Plastic Products, with 30 percent owned by its employees, employs 750 people in eight different factory locations. Of the workers, 175 are based in the Chisago Lakes area, while some have been with the company for more than 40 years.

Board chairman George McMahon pointed out the company’s longevity and ability to endure the ever-changing economy, such as 1975 when the monthly average rent was $200, a gallon of gas cost 44 cents and the average house went for $39,300.

“How the economy has changed,” he said. “Thank you for everything you do for the county.”

Others, including Commissioner Mike Robinson, offered kinds words, too, as they also learned about Smith’s passion for helping people in need.

“You have been a blessing to the county by giving back to the community and your employees for many years,” said County Administrator Bruce Messelt in reciting the certificate. “In modern times, when many businesses open and close and never gain traction in the community, we would like to recognize and say ‘thank you’ to Plastic Products Company, Inc.”

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