CRMA’s History

CRMA was founded in 1902 as the Chattanooga Manufacturers Association with Captain C.D. Mitchell, a Civil War veteran from Dunlap, Iowa, serving as the first President. Mitchell returned to Chattanooga after the war, and was operating the Chattanooga Plow Company when he and other leaders recognized the need for concerted action by manufacturers to obtain favorable freight rates on manufactured products shipped by rail to mid-western markets. The Chattanooga Manufacturers Association was the first local manufacturers association in the United States.

Current Activities

Education and Workforce Development
The success for the future of our CRMA members relies on a strong education system and workforce development today. CRMA seeks to promote education and workforce development on both internal and external levels.

Environment, Health and Safety
CRMA encourages its members to be involved in sound environmental practices and serves as a communication resource for ongoing regulatory changes.

CRMA stays up-to-date with energy costs and examines aspects of pricing as well as seeks alternative energy solution and energy saving opportunities.

Economic Development
CRMA is actively involved in all aspects of economic development across the state. CRMA assists other organizations in economic development activities, seeking to create a sustainable array of industries, suppliers and customers that collectively can compete on local, regional, national, and global bases. The primary goal of CRMA is to maintain and grow jobs related to manufacturing.

Human Resources
CRMA supports members through HR training sessions and aims to keep members informed of constantly changing regulations.

The CRMA Alliance for Innovation in Manufacturing Excellence (AIME) works to promote networking, best practice benchmarking, and learning opportunities within our manufacturing and supporting business community that inspires innovation and excellence in processes, systems, and technology.

Community and Government Relations
CRMA watches legislative and regulatory activities with potential impact on industrial interests. CRMA serves as an advocate for manufacturing and develops appropriate strategies and action plans in concert with other business and trade organizations to educate communities and government bodies on the regulatory impact of maintaining and growing jobs. Through forums and discussions CRMA members engage law and policy makers to obtain results favorable to manufacturers.

Supply Chain
CRMA understands the importance of truck, rail, air, and water transportation in maintaining a competitive advantage. Across all sectors, a transportation network providing reliable, fast, and cost-effective performance is critical to cost control. In the manufacturing and retail sectors, staying competitive in the changing global economy means shifting from large inventories and consolidated shipments to lean inventories and smaller, more frequent shipments that support just in time manufacturing and replenishment-on-demand retailing. Manufacturers must build complex global supply chains to ensure competitive sourcing of materials, parts, and labor.

Revenue and Taxes
CRMA works to keep members informed regarding changes in taxes that adversely affect our members and works with other state organizations to keep manufacturers competitive.

Board of Directors/Officers

Bill Minehan

AdTech Ceramics

Board Chair

Enrique Vizoso

Chattanooga Bakery

J. T. Suggs


Don Jacobson III

Newcomb Spring Corp

Vice Board Chair

Jason Willard

Chattanooga Gas Co.

Brittany Davis


Secretary / Treasurer

Jason Hargis

Adman Electric

Starr Wilson

Armature Works

Immediate Past Board Chair

Eric Crosland


Committee Chairs

Harry Hawkins

Croy Engineering


Derek Daniel

Smith + Howard

Member Connect

Chance Donohue



Lulu Copeland

Copeland Productivity Group

Manufacturing Excellence

Daphne Kirksey

Tennessee American Water Co.

Community & Government Relations