Prologue - the company with community at heart

Sequatchie Valley Electric Cooperative

 

Dwight Bryant is a hometown boy at heart and not your typical CEO. His most recent business, Prologue Fire Logs in Whitwell, came about not from a desire to make more money but from the desire to provide more jobs for the people of his hometown —as a way to give back to the community that gave him his start.

A Whitwell native, Bryant began his career as an apprentice machinist with Combustion Engineering in Chattanooga in the boom days of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s nuclear power program. When TVA began to downsize the program and the work dried up, Bryant was offered a management job as a machinist foreman in Virginia. He followed the work and stayed with the company a few years until the opportunity arose for him to go into business for himself, starting Innovated Machine and Tool Company in Newport News, Virginia, 31 years ago as a small metal fabrication company. The business has grown into one of the most highly automated metal fabrication businesses in the United States and is so successful that it no longer needs a sales staff —its reputation is such that customers seek Innovated Machine and Tool out based on its production reputation.

So how did Bryant, a successful entrepreneur with a background as a machinist, end up back home in Whitwell making extruded fire logs?

“I guess I just felt guilty,” Bryant said. “I came back home for a family reunion a few years ago and listened to everyone talking about how bad the local economy was and how there were practically no jobs available locally. I thought about the number of people my company in Virginia employs, and I began to feel bad that I couldn’t help the people in my hometown.

“When I got back to Virginia, I told my children, who are now managing the business there, about the situation. They talked it over and suggested that I go back home to Whitwell and start up a new business that could provide good jobs for local people.”

The idea for the Prologue fire logs came from a challenge from the mayor of Newport News to help find a remedy for the city’s leaf collection and disposal problem. After doing some research in his area of expertise — machines and automation — Bryant found a piece of equipment in England that could, with heat and compression, extrude fire logs from leaves and other biomass.

Prologue is not currently using leaves to produce logs. The company has partnered with another local industry, the Seymour West Link Handle factory, to recycle hickory sawdust and shavings — byproducts of handle making — as the raw materials for fire logs. Five percent of the recycled sawdust is used to fuel the furnace that provides the extreme heat for the extrusion process. Since Prologue Fire Logs utilize biomass that would have otherwise gone to waste or possibly taken up valuable space in the landfill, they are a truly “green” product.

Because of the extreme heat and compression of the manufacturing process, the logs burn at a hotter temperature than regular firewood, do not spark and create very little smoke. They contain no chemicals or glues, which makes them perfect for cooking. They can be used in a grill, smoker, wood stove, fire pit or campfire. When broken into smaller pieces, the logs can be used like charcoal briquettes.

Another selling point for the kiln-dried logs is that they are insect- and fungus-free, making them the safest choice for use in state and national parks that now prohibit bringing firewood from other areas in an effort to reduce the risk of widespread infestations of non-native, invasive species of insects that can bring disease and destruction to native forests.

Currently the logs are available locally at many area Ace Hardware stores, a few other Whitwell and Chattanooga area businesses and online from Amazon.

“Amazon has really been good for business; however, we are working to connect with other large distributors to expand our market,” Bryant said. “Getting our product out to a much larger audience would be a huge step in getting the business where we want it.”

In order to accommodate the increase in production that would be needed to meet the demands of the distributor, Prologue is in the process of becoming fully automated, which will allow for a much larger daily output and will require more employees.

“We haven’t yet created as many jobs as anticipated,” Bryant said. “We currently have a staff of five; however, I hope to bring it up to the projected 20 to 25 employees with wider marketing and distribution.”

“We have been working with local high schools to give the students an idea of some of the possibilities that are available to them after graduation,” Bryant said. “I hear companies complain that as employers we don’t have a well-trained workforce, but I don’t think we are doing enough to help train workers. I think students need to see how the things they’re learning in school connect to jobs in the real world. We can do that by becoming more involved in vocational training.”

The Prologue manufacturing facility, which was begun in August of 2013, is located in the new Valley View Centre Industrial Park developed by Bryant as another way to facilitate economic growth in Whitwell. While Prologue is currently the only occupant of the industrial park, Bryant is working to attract more businesses and more jobs.

“I talk it up to everyone I can, trying to bring in more industry,” Bryant said. “Industrial recruitment is a lot like fishing: If you keep throwing out lines, you’re bound to get a bite.”

It is business leaders like Bryant who make decisions that promote economic development and who care for our communities that make this area “Co-op Strong.”

May 1, 2016

Prologue Grill & Fire Logs featured on local shopping list!

 

Chattanooga (WTVC) — There are only 7 shopping days left before Christmas, and every year we go back into our archives with some local gifts that could find their way under YOUR tree. From getting in the Christmas spirit with local spirits, to protecting your teens on the internet, here are our "Made in Our Hometown" 12 gifts of Christmas.

Don't fret if the skirt under your tree is shy a few gifts. The Made in Our Hometown Elf has you covered with products made not far from your front door.

1. Sockwell socks- made in an East Ridge mill, these compression socks keep athletes, nurses and those flying the friendly skies on their feet. (visit Sockwell's website)

2. Reunion Yarn breaks down discarded sweaters to make knitters yarn new again, offering a monthly subscription service for the crafter in your clan. (visit Reunion's website)

3. Appalachian Bee uses their home-grown beeswax for natural, soap, lip balm and other soothing sweetness. (visit Appalachian Bee's website)

4. Chattanooga-made Hoff & Pepper can spark the palate of anyone on your present-picking list. (visit Hoff & Pepper's website)

5. Hot Chocolatier specializes in 20 different flavors of hot cocoa confections-- but the icing on the top the cake-- is their homemade marshmallows, complete with a last-minute touch. (visit the Hot Chocolatier's website)

6. The Torch- Perhaps one of Chattanooga's most successful start-ups of the season took Kickstarter by storm. It now offers parent-friendly routers to control what your elves are surfing around the Christmas dinner table. (visit The Torch's website)

7. Prologue's green Fire Logs, made in Whitwell, can easily fill your fireplace or smoker, creating the perfect puff of recycled smoke. (visit Prologue's website)

8. Chattanooga's Chef and his Wife can fill up your table, with homemade food, frozen or chilled. (visit the Chef and his Wife's website)

9. Chattanooga Whiskey hopes customers take away a samplilng of one of their first batches of barrel-aged spirits, made in our hometown. (visit Chattanooga Whiskey's website)

10. The Debarge Vineyards in Lafayette grows gapes on their vines to sell as stocking stuffers at their Southside store. (Visit DeBarge's website)

11. Alko-Hauler: a local sewing start-up that creates custom koozies in their Lakesite basement. (Visit Alko-Hauler's website)

12. Strum to Strut takes used guitar strings and fashions unique jewelry-- that might make the perfect melody for your Christmas Carol. (visit Strum 2 Strut's website)

Prologue Turns Hickory Sawdust Into Fire Logs

By Tim Omarzu

October 1, 2015

EDGE Magazine - Chattanooga Times Free Press

 

Dwight Bryant grew up poor on Whitwell Mountain.

 

But life's been good for the 65-year-old businessman, who is CEO of a thriving machine shop in Virginia. So about a year ago, hoping to boost his hometown's economy, Bryant opened a plant that manufactures fire logs called Prologue near Whitwell, Tennessee in the scenic Sequatchie Valley west of Chattanooga.

The plant, inside a new, steel-sided building on Valley View Highway, turns hickory sawdust and shavings from a nearby tool handle-maker, Seymour West Link Handles, into extruded fire logs.

Not just any ordinary fire logs, Bryant says.

 

"There is no better product on the market," he says.

 

Prologues are ideal for use in barbecue grills and smokers, Bryant says, because the manufacturing process doesn't use any glue or chemicals.

 

The logs also burn hotter than other fire logs, don't spark or spit, he says, and are clean to handle and free of bugs because of the extreme compression and heat involved.

 

The hickory wood shavings and sawdust move through the plant in a closed-loop air system. The process gets the sawdust to a consistent size and dries it out. Heat and pressure hold the logs together.

 

The plant, which employs a manager and two full-time employees, can crank out 5,000 logs a day. Bryant hopes to increase that to 20,000 logs, and add equipment and employees.

 

Amazon.com sells a 10-pound, six-pack of 8-inch-long Prologues for $9.99. Amazon recently listed the Prologue as the "Number 1 new release" in the category of fire pit and outdoor fireplace parts.

Bryant said he invested about $2 million in the Prologue plant. Bryant imported the fire log-making machinery from England. It's designed to make logs out of leaves, and Bryant hopes to do that one day with oak leaves.

 

He initially got interested fire logs because there's a leaf problem in Newport News, Virginia, where Bryant owns Innovated Machine and Tool Co., a business that he founded in 1985. It employs about 70 people who fabricate enclosures and panels for computer data servers. Eventually, Bryant also plans to open a machine shop on the Prologue site.

 

Read the storm at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Local Manufacturer Launches Product On Amazon, Ranked #1 New Release

By Staff Report

September 8, 2015

Chattanoogan.com

 

Prologue Grill & Fire Logs, a local manufacturer of fire logs made from recycled hickory wood shavings and sawdust, is now selling their product through Amazon.com, where it is listed as the "#1 New Release in Fire Pit & Outdoor Fireplace Parts."

 

“Gathering the family around a campfire or your own backyard fire pit is an essential part of enjoying fall in the south,” said Dwight Bryant, owner and CEO of Prologue. “Now that we are selling our product on Amazon, anyone can have this experience surrounded by the smell of hickory.

 

Most importantly, you don’t have to worry about chemicals or glue in the fire your kids are roasting marshmallows over. Our products are 100 percent wood, so they are safe for cooking.”

 

Prologue manufactures the only extruded logs in the United States and uses sawdust and hickory wood shavings salvaged from another manufacturing plant. Recycling this product keeps raw material out of landfills. Prologues burn at a hotter temperature than regular firewood and are kiln treated, making them the best choice for state and national parks working to stop insects from infesting their forest. In addition to being bug free, the products are low smoke and spark free, making them ideal for open campfire cooking as well as grilling.

 

The 6-pack of 8-inch logs is available on Amazon. The product is Prime eligible, so members will not have to pay extra for shipping. 

 

Prologue is also available locally at:

 

·      Pruett’s Market, Signal Mountain

 

·      Raceway, Signal Mountain Road, Chattanooga

 

·      Ace Hardware, Whitwell

 

·      Raceway, Whitwell

 

"Extruded logs are already widely used in Europe and Canada for heating, but Prologue Grill & Fire Logs are the first that can be used for cooking, smoking and grilling as well as heating because they are chemical and glue free," officials said.

 

Businesses interested in carrying Prologues can contact 757-775-7898 or dwight@prologue-firelogs.com.

 

Read the story on Chattanoogan.com.

Whitwell Company's Product Available on Amazon

By Chloe Morrison 

September 24, 2015

 

Area businessman Dwight Bryant had a successful career with Innovated Machine & Tool Co., based in Newport News, Virginia, but when the opportunity came to help his hometown, he couldn't pass it up.

 

Bryant has started a new company, Prologue Grill & Fire Logs, in Whitwell. 

 

The company makes fire logs from recycled hickory wood shavings and sawdust that come from another manufacturing plant. They are chemical- and glue-free.

 

"Our three-year goal was to create 100 jobs," he said.

 

The company only has five employees now, but there are plans to add a manufacturing plant and add more jobs to the area.

 

Prologue's logs burn at a hotter temperature than regular firewood and are kiln-treated, which keeps bugs out of the wood. The products are spark-free and don't create much smoke, which makes them good for using in a campfire or while grilling, he said.

 

The products are sold in several area stores and recently became available on Amazon.

 

To get the product on Amazon, Bryant and his team sent the online retailer pictures of the logs and literature about them. Amazon set the price and found the right category to sell them online, he said.

"We just felt like that would be a good way to get the product on the market," he said.

 

Thanks to Amazon, the product has been sold on the East Coast and in places such as Texas and Arizona, he said.

 

Bryant is also working with a company in Texas to add a nontoxic fire starter that could be used in tandem with the logs.

 

"You can't start my logs with a match," he said. "It needs kindling; [it] needs an accelerant of some sort."

But consumers are used to being able to start logs with a match or lighter and that's what they expect, he said. So adding a fire starter to the logs might help eliminate that problem, he said.

 

Bryant said he's still working out the details of that deal.

 

"I think it's going to be a good relationship," he said.

 

View the article on Nooga.com.

In Attempt to Stop Tree-Killing Insects, Campers Told to Leave Firewood at Home

By Ben Benton

March 22, 2015

Chattanooga Times Free Press

 

Got the tent, sleeping bags, camp stove? The insect repellent and sunscreen? Some nice logs for the campfire?

 

Hold that thought, especially when it comes to firewood.

 

Campers heading to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Fall Creek Falls State Park or anywhere else to pitch their tents this spring are being told to leave their logs at home and either get firewood at their destinations or buy heat-treated, USDA-certified bundled wood.

 

The problem is widespread infestations of destructive and disease-carrying insects that kill trees. Insects like the Asian long-horned beetle, and the walnut twig beetle which carries "thousand cankers disease," could spell trouble for the region's forests.

 

These insects are not a problem if firewood is burned where it is gathered, but carrying the wood to a new area could help spread the deadly insects.

 

As of March 1, campers can bring only heat-treated firewood that is bundled and certified by the USDA or a similar state agency into the Smokies national park. Campers at national and state parks still can gather dead and downed wood from the park for campfires, officials said.

 

Jim Dale, spokesman for the Tennessee Division of Forestry, said humans are responsible for transporting most bugs and diseases from place to place, so it's up to them to keep from spreading problems.

 

In January, 30 counties in East Tennessee were put into a wood quarantine or buffer zone for thousand cankers, Dale said.

 

Another problem insect, the emerald ash borer, was introduced to the U.S. from the Far East.

 

"That little bug came to the United States through Michigan in some wood packing material from Asia," Dale said, noting it can kill an ash tree in about three years from the time it starts boring.

 

Kim Hatcher, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said the Peach State's biggest concern is the emerald ash borer. She added, "We could really use our visitors' help in protecting the forests throughout Georgia."

 

Larry Beane, the interpretive park ranger at Little River Canyon National Preserve near Fort Payne, Ala., said officials at the federal park and nearby DeSoto State Park are watching for dangerous insects. The federal park's campsites are closed and being moved, but there's lots of camping at DeSoto.

 

Georgia and Alabama park officials say wood is available near most state parks.

 

DeSoto Superintendent Ken Thomas said park officials understand that a campfire is an important part of the camping experience and that most people don't want to do any harm to their public forests.

 

"I think the saying is, 'Buy it where you burn it,'" Thomas said.

 

Approved local wood sources

One type of manufactured firewood is produced by Prologue, of Whitwell, Tenn., which manufactures the only extruded wood log in the U.S. The product is sold at Pruett's Market on Signal Mountain and the Raceway market on Signal Mountain Road in Chattanooga, and at Whitwell's Ace Hardware and Raceway market. Prologue's products have received approval for use in the Smokies and elsewhere, according to company officials.

 

Read it on the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Firing up the grill with Prologue Briquettes

Prologue: Celebrating a vision for Marion County

By Kyra Inglis - Managing Editor

Spring 2014

 

Pride and Progress  Business & Industry

 

Dwight Bryant is no stranger to the work “innovative.”  A Whitwell, Tenn. Native, Bryant launched Innovated Machine and Tool Company in the 1970’s in the town of Newport News, Va.  What began as a small machine shop grew into a multi-million dollar business; however, Bryant never forgot his small town roots in Whitwell.

 

Bryant solved the problem that is facing many communities around the country.  According to the Prologue website, Bryant was asked to be a member of the Newport News’ efficiency committee, and charged with improving local leaf collection issues.  The innovation of Prologue was born out of seeing a problem, and turning it into a solution: “taking a truly renewable resource – leaves – and turning them, along with other wood bio-mass (tree trimmings, storm debris, and other materials normally heading to the landfill), into a compressed log, a new energy source.”

 

In 2012, Bryant announced he was bringing the Prologue business to his hometown of Whitwell, Tenn.  But not only was he going to bring the manufacture of green energy logs to Marion County, he would also bring a factory to produce the machinery required to produce the logs to the area.

 

After some very hard work, and a few real estate snags, Prologue broke ground in Whitwell, Tenn. on August 26th 2013.  The $2.5 million economic development project would create more than 30 jobs, and also provide a new industrial park, Valley View Centre.

 

“We will be celebrating a vision for Marion County that’s been a long time coming,” said Dwight Bryant, president of Prologue and owner of Valley View Centre.  Bryant launched the project to bring new capital investment and jobs to his hometown.  “We have some of the hardest-working people in the country right here in Whitwell and Marion County,” said Bryant.  “I want the whole community to thrive and take pride in this project.  Prologue will show that being profitable and doing the right things by people and environment can and should go hand in hand.”

 

The Prologue plant will produce fire logs and barbeque briquettes so efficient that they radiate more heat than regular wood.  Prologue products are composed of leaves and other woody bio-mass materials that normally head to landfills where their breakdown produces methane gasses that are released into the atmosphere.  Much of this material also ends up in waterways, creating issues for human and wildlife safety.  Through the Prologue process, the material is instead recycled into carbon – neutral products that burn more completely and cleanly than traditional fuels, leaving on a very small amount of fine ash deposit.  Prologue’s corporate mission is to reduce the use of fossil fuels while creating economic opportunity for the people of Whitwell and the region.

 

Prologue will also produce Bar-B-Que Briquettes, which, according to Vice President of Business Development Nancy Witte, are "amazing!"  According to Witte, "they will be 100% Hickory so the customer will get the benefits of grilling over the Hickory - a pure natural taste without any petroleum products, but the convenience and ease of use.  Just like charcoal but without all the mess."

 

In November of 2013, the Prologue site was already taking shape.  In an interview with Marion County Newpapers, British engineer Phil Stocks at the Prologue factory site said, "We've got some great guys on site, and it's really going well."  It seems the factory building is going up overnight. 

 

Stockes explained that the factory fuels itself.  "As the material comes down, it drops through the hot air screen and gets dropped in the dryer...the dried material that we use to make the logs also drives the furnace as well.  Because we heat it up, and because it is so hot and so dense, we need a saw to cut it....because these are extruded, and because we've melted the wood, it burns clean."

 

Witte said the factory should be up and running quite soon.  "I think people think, when they see the containers that we are going to have to unpack the machinery, and assemble it, but the containers are stacked in such a way that they are pieced together.  The machinery is inside, almost ready to go."  Stocks added that this was the most challeging aspect of the project: planning where the machinery containers are supposed to be.  "It's a bit like legos."

New Prologue Plant under construction Spring 2014

Prologue Factory on the Move

Factory will take local waste product and turn it into local green product

By Kyra Inglis

December 3, 2013

 

Jasper Journal

 

"We've got some great guys on site, and it's going really well."  This was the comment from British visitor Phil Stocks at the Prologue factory site.  It seems the building is going up overnight.  Stocks, who is an engineer in England, was assembling the machinery necessary to manufacture the green fire logs.

 

In a special tour and explanation given to Marion County Newpapers, Stocks explained that the factory fuels itself.  "As the material comes down, it drops theought the hot air screen and gets dropped in the dryer...the dried material that we use to make the logs also drives the faurnace as well."

 

"Because we heat it up, and because it is so hot and so dense, we need a saw to cut it...because these are extruded, and because we've melted the wood, it burns clean."

 

Nancy Witte, Director of Sales and Marketing for Prologue, said the factory should be up and running quite soon.  "I think people think, when they see the containers that we are going to have to unpack it, and assemble it, but the containers are stacked in such a way that they are pieced together.  The machinery is inside, almost ready to go."  Stocks added that this was the most challenging aspect of the project: planning where the machinery containers are supposed to be.  "It's a bit like legos."

 

"This is the waste that is coming from the guy down the road who makes hammer shafts...and we're using his waste to make logs," said Stocks.  Witte added that in the application process, manu people that werer interviewed were former coal miners.  Stocks added, "Well, originally, the machinery we are using was used for coal dust, and we've developed them further for wood logs....and when these guys burn (the logs) they burn fantastic!"

Prologue, A Green Manufacturer Breaks Ground in Marion County

August 26, 2013

 

A $2.5 million economic development project that will create more than thirty jobs for Marion County took an important step forward on Monday, August 26, 2013.   Officials broke ground at 8355 Valley View Highway in Whitwell, TN at 10 am CDT for the first manufacturing plant location of clean fuel pioneer Prologue. The plant will be the first business to be constructed in Valley View Centre, Marion County’s newest business and industrial park. Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey, who has been a champion of the project since the beginning, will be the honored speaker at the event, along with Marion County Mayor John Graham and Prologue CEO Dwight Bryant. The event is open to the public.

 

"I want to thank Prologue for today's announcement and for their investment and the new jobs created in Marion County and Tennessee," Gov. Bill Haslam said. "Our Jobs4TN strategy focuses on key industry clusters where the state has unique competitive advantages, and today's announcement is another step toward making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."

 

"We will be celebrating a vision for Marion County that’s been a long time coming," said Dwight Bryant, president of Prologue and owner of Valley View Centre. Bryant, who grew up in Whitwell, launched the project to bring new capital investment and jobs to his hometown. “We have some of the hardest-working people in the country right here in Whitwell and Marion County,” said Bryant. “I want the whole community to thrive and take pride in this project. Prologue will show that being profitable and doing the right thing by people and the environment can and should go hand in hand.”

Marion County Mayor John Graham, who has personally shepherded the project since day one, said, "We are looking at the future here today. Dwight Bryant and Prologue are producing truly renewable energy in the purest sense of the word and creating good jobs in an area that needs them. That commitment is so impressive, and it is a great investment in Marion County.”  I cannot say enough about Dwight’s commitment to his hometown and his perseverance in making today come to fruition.”

 

The Prologue plant will produce fire logs and barbeque briquettes so efficient that they radiate more heat than coal or regular wood.  Prologue productsare composed of leaves and other woody bio-mass material that normally head to landfills where their breakdown produces methane gases that are released into the atmosphere.   Much of this material also ends up in waterways, creating issues for human and wildlife safety.   Through the Prologue process, the material is instead recycled into carbon-neutral products thatburn more completely and cleanly than traditional fuels, leaving only a very small amount of small fine ash deposit. Prologue’s corporate mission is to reduce the use of fossil fuels and the destruction of natural hardwood forests while creating economic opportunity for the people of Whitwell and the region.

 

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Beth Jones, Executive Director of the Southeast Industrial Development Association, advised, “There is no more important role for an economic development agency than to work with start-ups to find sites, facilities and financing to enable their projects to become successful.  SEIDA is honored to have played a role in the facilitation of resources that has enabled Mr. Bryant to develop a new industrial park in a rural community and create new jobs!”

 

Prologue will be the anchor tenant for Valley View Centre, a site where Bryant plans to develop a 30-acre business park. One obstacle for new businesses in Marion County has been readily available land with adequate infrastructure.  Valley View Centre will eliminate that hurdle for companies looking to make a home in the area. With a great location on Valley View Highway, just one mile south of Whitwell city limits, Valley View Centre and Prologue will help Bryant to fulfill his goal of bringing more jobs and businesses to the area.

 

“I am deeply grateful to this community for helping me to get my start in life, and I believe in the people of Whitwell,” said Bryant. “I am excited that together, we can be leaders for the environment and for the economy of Marion County.”

Work to Begin on Whitwell Plant

By Dave Flessner

Augus 17, 2013

 

Chattanooga Times Free Press

Whitwell native Dwight Bryant will return to his hometown on Aug. 26 to start construction of a $2.5 million plant to produce highly efficient fire logs and barbecue briquettes.

 

Bryant's new venture, known as Prologue, will employ 30 workers and turn leaves and other woody bio-mass waste materials into biofuels.

 

The plant will be the first business to be constructed in Valley View Centre, Marion County's newest business and industrial park.

 

Read it on the Chattanooga Times Free Press

 

Entrepreneur Comes Home, Creates 100 New Jobs for Marion County

July 17, 2012

 

Whitwell, Tenn.—With the help of local leaders, a hometown boy is planning to build two new plants and employ an estimated 100 workers in Marion County. Led by CEO and Whitwell native Dwight Bryant, Bryant Enterprises will devote the next two years to establishing manufacturing bases in the area for Innovated South, a metal fabrication company, and Prologue, a pioneering approach to fire logs.

 

"I wanted to bring something back to the community and the people that mean so much to me," said Bryant, who has been a business leader in southern Virginia for more than three decades.  He credits the responsiveness and hard work of state and local government with facilitating his decision to locate the two companies in Whitwell.  He said, "In every aspect of this project, we have encountered nothing but enthusiasm, cooperation and assistance, and Mayor John Graham has worked tirelessly with us to bring these good jobs to Marion County.”  

 

Innovated South will be modeled on the company Bryant already heads in Newport News, Virginia. Started in the 1970s, Innovated Machine and Tool Co. has grown under his leadership into a multi-million dollar business with more than fifty dedicated employees and solid loyal customers.  Despite the tough economy, the premier metal fabricator in Virginia has doubled its business in recent years by a combination of investment in more automation and attention to exceptional service, positioning themselves as the “go to source” for their customers.

 

Prologue will be the first company of its kind in the United States.  As a member of the efficiency committee for Newport News, Bryant was charged with improving local collection of leaves. The Prologue process takes this renewable resource and turns it, along with other wood bio-mass normally headed to the landfill, such as tree trimmings, storm debris, and other materials, into a truly green fire log.  As Bryant manufactures Prologues, and eventually the machinery required by the process, it will create additional opportunities for the workforce of Whitwell and Marion County.

 

“The future of our local economy will depend upon the vision of entrepreneurs like Dwight Bryant, and the fact that he was raised here is a real source of pride,” said Mayor Graham. “I am delighted that we have been able to partner with Bryant Enterprises for the people of Marion County, and I am looking forward to seeing the wider impact of these new businesses and new jobs on our communities.”

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