Manufacturing News
SCMA Announces 2015 Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award Recipients
October 29, 2015

SCMA Announces 2015 Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award Recipients

October 29, 2015
Contact: James Richter
Office: 803.799.9695
Mobile: 803.528.1288

(Columbia, South Carolina) – Today, the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) announced that Bobby Hitt, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce, and Smyth McKissick, President & CEO of  the Alice Manufacturing Company, are the 2015 recipients of the Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award. The recipients will be honored during an awards dinner on Thursday, December 10th at the Marriott in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Richard Dillard, retired Milliken & Company executive, will also be honored during the December 10th dinner with the SCMA Distinguished Service Award for his three decades of leadership within the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.

Established in 2006, the Defender of Manufacturing Award recognizes individuals in the public and private sectors who have worked to advance the manufacturing industry in South Carolina. In 2012, the SCMA Board of Directors voted to rename the award to honor Mr. Roger Milliken, who passed away in December, 2010. Recipients are chosen by the SCMA Executive Committee. The Defender of Manufacturing Award is the most prestigious honor from the SCMA.  

“The impact that the manufacturing industry has in enhancing the lives of South Carolinians is without equal,” said Roger Schrum, Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs for Sonoco Products Company and SCMA Chairman. “It’s an industry that makes world class products, contributes significantly to communities, and provides the foundation for the state’s international economy. We’re proud to recognize the individuals with the Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award for their unflinching commitment to keep our industry strong and prosperous for generations.”

Registration is now open for the 2015 Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Awards dinner. The individual registration fee is $125 for SCMA members and $165 for non-member manufacturers. Corporate tables are available for $800 for SCMA members. Companies that are not manufacturers must sponsor to attend. 


Richard Dillard - Richard Dillard recently retired from Milliken & Company as Director of Corporate Public Affairs following a 39-year career with the company. Dillard currently serves on the board of the Spartanburg Northside Development Initiative. He served three terms on the Board of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, and has previously served as Chairman of the Board of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board of United Way of the Piedmont, Chairman of the Board of the Upstate Employers Network, Vice-Chair of the S.C. Business & Industry Political Education Committee, and Chairman of the Board of the Spartanburg March of Dimes. In 2003, Governor Mark Sanford appointed him to a term on the South Carolina State Ports Authority. Dillard has a B.S. degree from Clemson University, and is a graduate of Leadership South Carolina.  


Smyth McKissick - Since 1988 Smyth McKissick, III has served as President & CEO of the Alice Manufacturing Company in Easley, South Carolina.  He currently serves as Chairman of the Clemson University Board of Trustees. He has previously served as Chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, Chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations, and Co-Chair of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition. McKissick is a graduate of Clemson University and has an M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina.  

Bobby Hitt - Robert "Bobby" M. Hitt III was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to serve as Secretary of Commerce in January, 2011. Since becoming Secretary of Commerce, the agency has announced more than $17 billion in capital investments and 71,738 new jobs. He was the previous Manager of Corporate Affairs at the BMW Manufacturing Company in Spartanburg. He served as the Chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, has served on the executive committees of Advance SC and the Upstate Alliance, and on the boards of St. Francis Hospital System and Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC. Hitt is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. In 1987, he received the prestigious Nieman Fellowship for journalists, which allowed him to study for a year at Harvard University where he focused on management and law. 


ABOUT THE SCMA: The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance is the only statewide organization dedicated exclusively to the interests of manufacturers. Its mission is to elevate the quality of life for all South Carolinians by advancing the State’s manufacturing industry. The SCMA membership is comprised of more than 200 manufacturing companies that represent more than 80,000 associates in South Carolina. For additional information about the SCMA, please visit  


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