The company is coined BARD, and it is harnessing the power of the by products of algae.
According to the website, “BARD is bringing its know-how to the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetics, chemical, construction, manufacturing, human and animal feed industries. Working closely with leading-edge technology companies, BARD is also poised to enter the rapidly emerging bio fuels market.”
The company opened its first facility in Calhoun, September 2011, and it has been growing productivity since, according to the plant manager Josh Durham.
There is extreme optimism with the growth of the company, and it will be hiring soon to fill the first facility in Calhoun.
The company has 10 clusters, which is where it grows the algae, and it plans to have 80 clusters in the coming months, according to Durham. He also said “The more clusters the more employees.”
Algae is a live specimen so it can’t be turned off like a machine in a normal plant. There has to be employees taking care of it consistently; Durham compared it to taking care of fish in a fish tank.
Durham also said that process isn’t automated, and that the progression of the system is all manpower.
BARD held a presentation a few weeks ago at the Harris Art Center in Calhoun, and visitors from all over the world were in attendance.
The presentation was very diversified. There was an East Indian Dance by Gautami Chennur, musician Audi Burchette sang “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” and Andy McLeod belted out one of Roland Hayes’ spirituals.
Some of the guest included local elected officials, BARD officials and employees and even Alfred Ford, Henry Ford’s great grandson.
Mayor Jimmy Palmer kicked the presentation off by welcoming everyone, and thanked BARD for its interest in our community and the environment.
Surajit Khana is the founder and CEO of BARD, and he talked a little about BARD’s path that lead them to Calhoun Georgia, and its mission in the community.
“We started in Pennsylvania. We started in a highly distressed area to bring back the jobs, and then we started to think about how to grow out passed Pennsylvania,” said Khana. “Right now we have plants in Dalton, Milledgeville, Augusta, Michigan, California, Texas, Canada, Europe and India.”
Khana mainly talked about his concern to bring back jobs, along with helping the community BARD serves, and making the United States independent from oil.
“I think the future looks bright for both BARD and Calhoun, and I hope I can come back in a few years and see how things have grown tremendously, and how the city has grown with BARD being here,” said Alfred Ford
Avery Hong is the President of BARD, and when he took the stage he focused solely on the future of BARD in Georgia.
BARD is focusing on revitalization and regrowth, and when they’re doing an activity in Calhoun they will be fully committed, “serving locally and growing globally,” according to Hong.
“Who knows what BARD will look like in the next five or ten years and where our presence will be, but people will always remember that production started here in Calhoun. We are going to do everything we can to succeed. What ever we can do we are open to that,” said Hong
Jerome Ringo is the chief business officer of BARD and former head of National Wildlife Federation, and he talked about the vision of BARD’s contribution to today’s community.
Ringo spoke about the existing problems in the world like over pollution, contamination, unemployment and the problem with exporting jobs and importing energy.
He apologized for his generation not leaving the world in a better place than it was when they came into the world.
“We (BARD) are the wind beneath the wings of a country that has stumbled,” and they plan on planting a seed for generation to come, according to Ringo.
Ringo said, “We all breathe the air and drink the water. BARD is here to create jobs, careers and the opportunities to live to be happy and to love. This company has not come here to take it has come here to give.”