WINSTON-SALEM, NC - Salem Distributing Co., a Winston-Salem, NC-based, employee-owned company, has been recognized as one of the Triad area's FAST 50.

The Business Journal's FAST 50 Awards Program is the premier business-growth competition in the Triad. This year's awards continue to honor the success of private businesses and their owners whose growth and contributions have made a positive impact on the Triad's economic success.

Salem was founded in 1934 as the Siewer's Sales Agency and began under its current name in 1972 following a change in ownership. Today, this 100% employee-owned company is comprised of four distinct business units: Salem Flat Glass, Salem Vision, Salem Advanced Surfacing Materials and Salem Stone. It has successfully managed this complex relationship of industries, equipment and materials, to build a wealth of product and process knowledge unique to a single company.

Only into the second year of 100% employee ownership, Salem has made great strides in a corporate restructuring initiative, which included reinventing its corporate culture to focus on nurturing, inspiring and challenging its employee-owners. The bottom lines of this initiative were to better serve and grow its customer base. The results yielded an impressive 15% growth in the first half of 2006 compared to the first half of 2005, a trend that should continue, said CEO Howard Hanes.

An interesting observation made by a number of financial analysts was the age of Salem compared to the other recipients of the FAST 50 award. The balance of this elite group is relative up-starts when compared to the 34-year-old Salem. It is unusual to see this kind of growth in such a mature company, which speaks highly of its leadership and the employee-owners commitment to success.