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Norwood Bic stresses community

A simple sign outside Norwood and Bic directs people to the appropriate entrances where more than 500 workers afix trademarks and logos to merchandise for marketing purposes.

Editor's note: This is the fifth of five stories profiling award-winning businesses honored at Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting.

More than 550 people work at Norwood and BIC Graphic North America in Red Wing. That makes the company one of the biggest employers in the city.

"We're a large part of the community," said Tim Dunford, general manager at the Red Wing site.

That consciousness of the important role they play in Red Wing is part of the reason the firm was named manufacturer of the year by the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce in January.

"People (are) recognizing the continued efforts to grow the business locally," Dunford said.

BIC, which has headquarters in Florida, bought Norwood in 2009, forming Norwood and BIC Graphic North America. The company creates promotional products for other companies - things like mouse pads, coffee mugs, flash drives and golf balls.

Last year, Norwood and BIC built a 45,000-square-foot addition at the Red Wing facility to consolidate its manufacturing operations, moving processes from a San Antonio, Texas, facility to Red Wing. This brought 150 jobs to the city.

"BIC has chosen to invest in the community and consolidate their operations in Red Wing. They have brought more people and opportunity to the area ... which will give a much-needed boost to the economy," a nominator, who the chamber keeps confidential, said.

In addition to providing jobs to Red Wing residents, company officials said they also understand the need to be involved in the community. Recently, the company participated in a conference with other area businesses on how to better conserve energy.

"We encourage community involvement," said Quenten Wentworth, vice president and general manager of Norwood & BIC Graphic North America. "Tim (Dunford) and his team have gone above and beyond what we've asked."

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.