Eden & Rockingham County Celebrate 90 Years of Karastan

This year marks 90 years since Karastan began making the first high-quality, machine-made Oriental rugs in Eden and Rockingham County.  To celebrate this major milestone, both the Eden City Council and Rockingham County Board of Commissioners recognized the company during their respective July meetings.

Karastan’s story as an innovator dates back to the 1920s when its “wonder rug” first amazed visitors at two World’s Fairs.  What was so impressive about the Karastan rug manufactured in Eden then, as it still is today, was that it brought the first high quality, machine-made Oriental rug to consumers at reasonable prices.

The Karastan mill that sparked the brand’s history and great reputation opened in Eden in 1928.  Today, Karastan remains a vital industry to Eden and Rockingham County with around 280 full-time employees.  Now a division of Mohawk Industries, Karastan has continued as an innovator, implementing new technology to refine its manufacturing process but the result remains the same:  elegant, machine-made rugs that rival their handmade counterparts.

In 2015, Mohawk announced it would expand the Karastan plant in Eden, creating more than 100 new jobs and investing $8 million in improvements in the plant.  This expansion represents a revitalization of one of Eden’s and Rockingham County’s legacy companies.

“It is wonderful to celebrate Karastan for being in our community and doing business here for 90 years.  This company has meant a lot to Eden and Rockingham County over the years.  There are so many local families that have had several generations work for Karastan.  We are truly glad to have Karastan here and look forward to their success for many more years,” said Kevin Berger, chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners.

“Karastan is Eden’s oldest company and a very adaptable one,” stated Neville Hall, mayor of Eden. “Over the years, they have produced not just their traditional carpets and rugs, but now aircraft and environmentally-friendly carpeting.  Their dedicated employees are to be commended for producing such high-quality products.

Rockingham County Commissioners present a plaque to Darin Quesinberry, plant manager of Karastan, to commemorate the company’s 90th anniversary.
Eden City Council recognizes Karastan for its 90 years of doing business in the City.

Rockingham County Welcomes New Small Business Manager

Rockingham County’s new Small Business Manager: Adam Mark.

The Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism is excited to welcome Adam Mark as the new Small Business Manager.  In this capacity, Mark will serve as a resource to enhance and support prospective and existing small businesses throughout Rockingham County.

Mark will be the first point of contact for many entrepreneurs and startups, connecting them with other partners in Rockingham County and the state that assist small businesses and strive to make them as successful as possible.  In addition, he will conduct regular visits to businesses in each area of the county and track their progress.  Mark will collaborate with other partners that assist small businesses and entrepreneurs such as the Small Business Center at Rockingham Community College and the Piedmont Triad SCORE Chapter.

A native of Eden, Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s of Public Administration in Urban Affairs and Planning from the University of Pittsburgh.   He is currently a Captain and serves as the HHC Company Commander in the 463rd Engineer Battalion in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Mark’s experience in government includes positions with the South Park Pennsylvania Township, Center for Metropolitan Studies in Pittsburgh, PA, and the planning department for the City of Pittsburgh, PA.  He and his wife, Katherine, recently moved back to Rockingham County with their infant daughter.

“We are so excited to have Adam join our economic development team.  His experience in planning in a metropolitan area, municipal government in another state and the U.S. Army Reserve will be a great asset to not only our staff but to the entire community,” said Jan Critz-Yokeley, director of the Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism.  “Best of all, Adam is a native of Rockingham County with a personal desire to see his home community grow and prosper.  He will be a great partner for our local small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

“First, I would like to thank Jan and Rockingham County for giving me this wonderful opportunity.  After serving in the Army and working in local government in Pennsylvania for the last several years, it is an honor to return home and serve in the community in which I grew up,” said Adam Mark, small business manager for the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism.

The Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  It is located at 425 NC 65 adjacent to the main Governmental Center building in Wentworth.  People seeking small business and entrepreneurial services may stop by during regular office hours or by appointment.  Contact Adam Mark, small business manager, for more information or to make an appointment at: 336.342.8134 or amark@myrockinghamcountync.com.