Going in and out of the Capsugel facility in Greenwood has a new look, one designed to give employees and visitors alike an opportunity to pause and reflect about the sacrifices made by veterans of the armed forces.
Capsugel unveiled the new Veterans Lobby Tuesday morning, purposely planning the event on a day other than Veterans Day so that employees who are veterans could attend other events held that day.
The ceremony also included doantions of $5,000 each to Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 8131 and the Wounded Warrior Project.
The new lobby is the main entrance for employees and visitors and boasts a simple, yet elegant appeal, with thought given to every facet of its design. The seal of each of the five branches of the military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard – hang across the top of a beautiful stone wall. Watching over the seals is an American flag which flew over the nation’s capitol. In the center is a beautiful piece of art in the shape of the state of South Carolina with laser-etched signatures of Capsugel Greenwood’s 47 veteran colleagues.
Even the concrete floor, which was taken down to the aggregate, has special significance.
“We took the floor down to the aggregate on purpose,” said Sean Smith, facilities manager for Capsugel who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Navy. “The aggregate is what bonds concrete together and it symbolizes how veterans bond this nation together.”
Smith was part of a committee which designed the lobby. Smith said he knew the committee had achieved its goal when he spotted a coworker standing silently in the lobby.
“I asked (the coworker) what he thought of the lobby,” Smith said. “He said, ‘I like it. It made me pause.’ That’s exactly what we wanted to achieve. We wanted people to pause and reflect on the sacrifices being made on a daily basis by the men and women serving in the armed forces.”
The ceremony included a video message from Gen. David Petraeus (U.S. Army-Ret.) who is currently a partner at KKR, L.P., a leading global invest firm and parent company of Capsugel.
“I was delighted to hear about Capsugel’s intent to dedicate this lobby as the Veterans Lobby,” Petraeus said in the message. “This lobby, I think, will speak volumes about the value of having veterans in the ranks of any company.”
Petraeus cited fundamental attributes as accountability and leadership as values veterans bring to an organization.
Capsugel is heavily involved in the active recruitment of veterans to the company, both locally and at special recruiting events hosted by the military for members who are separating and looking to enter into a civilian career, according to Phil Vickery, senior director of manufacturing for Capsugel.
Vickery said Capsugel’s strong commitment to veterans led to the decision to do something permanent for those who have sacrificed so much for the country.
“We were looking for something that would be permanent and visible,” Vickery said of the lobby. “We didn’t want to only honor veterans just one day out of the year. We wanted to honor our veterans year round. We wanted something to remind us that there are men and women around the world who have our backs and we have theirs. I think this lobby does that.”