The Magnet Group opened its new Fran Ford Center in Greenwood, South Carolina, on Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication. The center is named after the late Francis “Fran” Ford, Jr., CAS, president of supplier Castelli, a division of Magnet, LLC, and 2015 PPAI Hall of Fame inductee, who passed away in May.

The dedication ceremony brought together members of the Ford family, the supplier’s leadership team and invited industry guests, including PPAI Executive Vice President Bob McLean. Speakers included Mandy Brawley, the deputy director of global business development at the South Carolina Department of Commerce, and James Bateman, director of business development at Greenwood Partnership Alliance, who spoke on the facility’s importance to the community and their commitment to supporting it. Bill Korowitz, CEO of The Magnet Group, also shared his own special remarks on Ford and the facility.

"The building dedication was a beautiful tribute to Fran and The Magnet Group did a phenomenal job capturing who Fran was and his contribution to the industry," says Theresa Roberts, Ford's wife and managing director at Boundless Network. "Fran would be humbled and proud of the time that was spent making him and his legacy continue to stay etched in the hearts of everyone who walks in that building, He was extremely excited about the new building and the opportunity for growth for both Castelli and The Magnet Group. The new leadership team in South Carolina is fantastic and we look forward to watching the building grow."

She adds, "Fran often said, 'Lead today with tomorrow in mind by investing in people.' This building provides for so much growth and allows those in it to focus on mentoring and bettering themselves, which was the center of who Fran was."

The Fran Ford Center will serve as the new home of Castelli Magnet. Operations were recently moved from the previous location in Sparks, Nevada, and the new center will be able to house larger inventory levels and allow for faster shipping of journals from the company’s plants in Italy. While the company has also closed production in Reno, Nevada, some customer service functions will remain at that location. About 30 employees work at the new facility now.