Local civic leaders, community partners and leadership from Purina’s North American headquarters recently gathered to commemorate half a century of manufacturing at the pet care company’s operations in Dunkirk. The event celebrated and recognized current associates, retired team members and their families for their many contributions, which led to 50 years of safe operations at the Purina manufacturing facility in western New York.
Purina began operating in Dunkirk, New York, in 1972. Today, the pet care leader employs more than 500 associates, proudly producing several trusted pet food brands including Purina Pro Plan, Purina ONE, Cat Chow and Dog Chow. The Purina factory in Dunkirk is also the sole producer of several popular Purina treats, including Busy Bones, DentaLife and Prime Bones, among others.
“It is humbling to be part of a celebration recognizing 50 years of manufacturing excellence by our proud Purina team in Dunkirk, New York,” said new Purina Chief Technology Officer Nolan Terry. “Our manufacturing associates play a vital role in keeping pets and people together, so this celebration is largely focused on recognizing them–both our current team and those who retired and moved on, as well as their families who together have made countless sacrifices to help ensure that we deliver our quality and trusted products to pets and pet owners who rely on us.”
Local leaders and community partners joined Purina to celebrate 50 years of operations in western New York. Anthony De La O, Purina factory manager in Dunkirk, led the celebration alongside Purina manufacturing leaders, including retiring Chief Technology Officer John Bear, newly appointed Chief Technology Officer Nolan Terry and Manufacturing Vice President Jason Christoffersen. Representing the city, region and state were Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas; New York State Assemblyman Andy Goodell; Town of Dunkirk Supervisor Richard Purol; New York State Senator George Borello as well as United Way of Northern Chautauqua County Executive Director Adam Dolce.
“It is a true honor to stand alongside so many local community leaders and applaud Purina and its team members for reaching 50 years of operations in our great city,” said Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas. “Purina is one of the leaders in our region and each day is making western New York a great place to work and live.”
Several community partners joined the celebration including representatives from the Chautauqua County Humane Society and Lakeshore Humane Society. Purina has long supported shelter pets with donations of product and funding across the country, and in Dunkirk since 1972 when the factory began operating. Other local organizations recognized during the event included Independent Health, The Cuyahoga Group, Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County and Rural Ministries. The K9 unit of the Chautauqua County Police Department was also in attendance, showcasing some of the training techniques used while on duty.
The celebration culminated in the dedication of Bundy Way, a city road leading to the Purina facility renamed in memory of Greg Bundy. Bundy was a long-time leader in warehousing and logistics for Purina and a proud member of the Dunkirk team who passed away in early 2021. Earlier this year, Purina hosted the inaugural Greg Bundy Memorial Forklift Competition, during which representatives from 14 Purina U.S. factories partook in a warehousing-focused skills competition. The event is set to become an annual competition in Bundy’s honor.
Purina has made significant upgrades to the facility since it officially opened in 1972. Most recently, Purina completed a $19 million expansion project to increase capacity for Fancy Feast Savory Cravings, a new cat treat. In 2020, Purina invested in advanced LED lighting upgrades to create a more sustainable working environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,100 tons.