Former Flowers Chairman Passes Away
For 60 years, Langdon Strong Flowers helped shape and define the company that bears his name. In June, he passed away in Thomasville, Ga., at the age of 85.
“Our company has lost a great advisor, our nation one of its finest citizens, and our community its greatest champion,” notes George E. Deese, Flowers Foods’ chairman, CEO and president. “Mr. Flowers always offered appreciation for a job well done and words of encouragement to those he met. He will be greatly missed by all of us at Flowers.”
Flowers, former chairman of the Thomasville-based company, began his full-time career in 1947. He first worked in the sales department. He eventually became president and COO in 1965, a board member when the company was listed publicly in 1968, vice chairman and CEO in 1976, and chairman in 1981. He retired in 1985 and continued to serve as a member of Flowers’ board until 2004, when he was named honorary director.
Flowers, along with his brother William Howard Flowers, Jr. and the business’s senior leadership team, directed the operation’s growth from a small baking company into one of the largest baked foods enterprises in the nation. Today, Flowers Foods’ annual sales are approaching $2 billion.
A 1944 graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Flowers enlisted in the United States Navy shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After World War II, he returned to MIT, where he earned a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. He then worked for Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, Calif., as part of the aeronautical design team.
During his career, Flowers served the baking industry in other capacities, including as chairman of the Southern Bakers Association, the American Bakers Association, and the American Institute of Baking. He also was a member of the board for many companies.
Flower was married for almost 60 years to his childhood sweetheart, Margaret (Bobbie) Clisby Powell, who preceded him in death in 2004. They are survived by their five children, 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Flowers also was preceded in death by his brother William Howard Flowers, Jr. and sisters Margaret Flowers Rogers, Flewellyn Flowers Waidner, and Claire Flowers Varnedoe.
BluePrint Named Business of the Year
The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors selected BluePrint Automation, Inc., Colonial Heights, Va., as its 2007 Business of the Year. The board recognized the Colonial Heights, Va.-based company for its standards of ethical business practices, advertising and selling with integrity and participating consistently in community, trade associations and local programs that better the region. Founded in 1987, BluePrint is a leader in packaging automation, with a focus on casepacking, vision-guided robotics and line integration. The company supports community service activities such as the American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts, Meals on Wheels and Children’s Hospital.