Congressman John Barrow Visits Optima Chemical

Lawmaker Tours Facility, Meets Employees

May 13, 2013

Gene Williams
Optima Chemical Group LLC
(912) 384-5101

Douglas, GA – Optima Chemical recently welcomed Congressman John Barrow (D-GA) to its facility for a first-hand look at site operations and to learn more about the products, services and markets Optima supports. Optima provides specialty products, contract Research & Development (R&D), process development services and manufacturing support on a global basis to a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, nutritional, flavors and fragrances, bioscience and electronics.

Discussions were also held on several policy issues impacting Optima, including the R&D tax credit, U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), modernization of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and regulatory reform.

“It was great for me to visit Optima Chemical and tour their facilities,” said Congressman Barrow. “It’s businesses like Optima Chemical that are keeping the economy in Douglas growing and creating good-paying jobs for the folks in the 12th District. I look forward to working with the businesses in the community to ensure they have the resources necessary to succeed and a federal government empowering them with fewer regulations and tools to grow.”

“We thank Congressman John Barrow for taking the time to visit Optima to gain a better understanding of our operations and the issues facing the specialty chemical industry,” said Company President Gene Williams. “He made a great personal effort to visit us, and we appreciate that, as well as his interest in issues affecting our business. We also wanted to learn how we can help him in his efforts to govern. We face major issues both nationally and locally, and we must work with our elected officials to solve these challenges.”

“Douglas is our home,” Williams added. “All of our team members live in this community, and we are very proud our growth has added local employment opportunities. We’re particularly proud when younger individuals choose a career in science or engineering and have the opportunity to work and contribute in our community.”

Optima is a privately held company with about 86 employees located in rural Southern Georgia. The company has increased its workforce by 46 percent since 2007 and is one of the highest paying employers in an economically distressed area.

“We compete on a global basis, and in order for Optima to continue to be successful, we need legislative support to make sure we can compete on a “level playing field,” he said. “I very much appreciate Congressman Barrow’s concern and knowledge of these issues affecting us. We look forward to working with him in any way we can.”

Participants in the meeting with Congressman Barrow included Optima senior staff and Bill Allmond from the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), a Washington, DC-based trade group serving specialty chemical manufacturers. Optima Chemical has been a member of SOCMA since 1991, and the congressional visit was facilitated by the association’s grassroots arm, SOCMA CONNECT.