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Dynamic leader brings Nephron Pharmaceuticals’ big new plant home to Columbia

Source: Just Good News

June 25, 2014

Nephron Pharmaceuticals’ 408,000 square foot facility in the Saxe Gotha Industrial Park.

Nephron is the global leader manufacturing leader of generic respiratory medications. Their unique $313 million plant is expected to grow 700 new jobs in the next decade.  This feature from South Carolina Business spotlights the company’s dynamic leader, Lou Kennedy.  

When Lou Kennedy and her husband were in South Carolina to receive South Carolina’s highest honor, the Order of the Palmetto in 2011, Governor Nikki Haley took the opportunity to ask them if they would ever consider bringing their business back to their home state.

Lou Kennedy quickly retorted, “Stranger things have happened! Who knows?” It was a seed that started to take root as Nephron Pharmaceuticals began an expansion in Orlando.

“We had fully anticipated building in Florida. We bought the land. We had all of the plans stamped and ready to be submitted to the City of Orlando. Two days before we were about to walk in, something happened that lit a fire, so to speak. I called a friend in economic development here in South Carolina, Sam Konduros, to ask him what I should do. He directed me to Jennifer Noel at the (SC) Department of Commerce. Quickly, Andre LeBlanc and Mike Briggs of Central SC Alliance made a visit to Orlando.

“They started talking about all the great things that South Carolina had to offer. It was almost ironic because my husband and I are both South Carolinians. (We knew) what the state was all about. But we had no idea about the amazing things going on at the Department of Commerce under this current administration that is so pro-business. And then you start hearing about all the incentives and the training that’s available through readySC and how close the partnership is between the tech schools here and new industry.

They can facilitate permitting and regulatory pathways. SCANA has been amazing. They are our neighbors next door. To think that we have a railway spur that backs up to our property! We are putting in a rail yard to accommodate ten rail cars. We will be able to receive our biggest raw material, which is plastic. All of those things made a perfect package for us. It became apparent to us that if we made any other decision it wouldn’t be a prudent one. It wouldn’t be the right business decision.”

Read more at South Carolina Business- Pages 17-19

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