Members of local development groups, the Sylacauga City Council and the mayor were on hand to recognize S.B. “Pinky” Pinkerton. Industrial Development Board chairman Raymond Styres described Pinkerton and his wife, Jean, as “wonderful people and wonderful citizens for our city.”
“A lot of people working in these plants today, Fleetwood, American Foam Cast, Harrell’s, all of Payton Park, probably don’t know Pinky as well as we do,” Styres said. “But as they pass by this sign, hopefully they will ask who he is.”
“And we can tell them what he has done for the city of Sylacauga and the county, bringing jobs for the people of this area.”
Pinkerton served approximately 20 years as the chairman of the IDB and worked as a salesperson, plant manager and vice president at Kimberly-Clarke.
Mayor Sam Wright also spoke at the dedication. He made note of the work Pinkerton had done for the IDB and for Talladega County.
“I remember 20 years ago when Talladega County was thinking about going bankrupt,” he said. “They didn’t because of Pinky Pinkerton and a couple of other gentleman who said that was not going to happen, turn the reins over to us. Not a lot of people remember that time, Pinky. But it was a trying time.”
Wright credited Pinkerton and his wife for “helping make Sylacauga what it is today.”
“We can’t thank them enough,” he said. “We want to dedicate this sign at this time for identification of the industrial park. We thank all the [companies] that are out there. We hope [Economic Development Authority director] Calvin Miller gets us a bunch more, we hope to run out of space on that sign.”
The site of the sign was only yards away from where a new company, IKO Shingles, will be building their industrial plant. A company representative said recently the multi-million dollar facility will employ around 50 people with plans for expansion in the future.
The representative also said the official groundbreaking has not been scheduled yet but would be sometime in the near future. Initial projections forecasted the plant running by late 2011.
The people who attended the 10 a.m. ceremony were treated with a moderate to heavy downpour for most of the dedication. Members of the Talladega County EDA provided a covering for the inclement weather.
“Whoever got the tent, I want to give a special thanks to,” Styres said. “I think that would be [Miller] and his staff.”
Longtime acquaintances Styres and Wright told old stories about “Pinky” as well. Wright told of his first time meeting him on a basketball court, describing a man who “thought he was still a teenager and thought he knew how to play basketball.”
Styres recalled a night where he, Pinkerton and two others played Gin. Styres said he had never played the game before.
Earlier in the day, Styres and Pinkerton had won a friendly wager with the other two on the golf course.
“I thought our friendship had ended that night,” Styres said. “By the end of that night, we had lost all of our winnings, plus a bunch.”
Pinkerton thanked everyone for honoring him. But he said the successes of the city were the result of many people working together.
“It’s truly humbling to be standing here right now,” Pinkerton said. “But when we put signs up and have parties, it does not tell the story really. Because this kind of success we have is the result of all kinds of people doing all kinds of things.”
“It’s the result of jigsaw puzzle pieces fitting together.”
He also thanked everyone for braving the weather to come out.
“If I had been where you are and stuff was coming down, I would still be at home,” Pinkerton said.