HITS Launches King Shavings, Inc.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001
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SAUGERTIES, NY (September 12, 2001)-Horse Shows In the Sun (HITS), producer of six world class hunter/jumper horse show circuits nationwide, has announced the launch of King Shavings, Inc., a new business that will process, bag and sell wood shavings for animal bedding, principally in the equine industry. Key personnel in King Shavings are Thomas G. Struzzieri, President; Darryl Williams, Marketing and Sales; and JP Bordeleau, Plant Manager. King Shavings is based in Jackson, Mississippi, in a 26,000 square foot facility equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that will process and package product in a brand new way. The first bags of wood shavings will be available from King Shavings in late October 2001. The shavings will be transported to event producers, shavings distributors, and private barns. 
"There has been and continues to be a shortage in the supply of wood shavings. King Shavings is addressing that issue," said Tom Struzzieri, the president and owner of HITS. "We have negotiated an excellent supply of raw materials and will be able to provide a sufficient amount of high-quality, low dust, screened shavings to customers in our primary market area, which is the southeast from Florida to Texas. King Shavings combines the HITS management skills and expertise in the horse industry with Darryl Williams' ability to deliver more product faster and more reliably than any other distributor." 
Mr. Williams is the owner and operator of Darryl B. Williams & Associates Inc., the largest U.S. distribution outlet for bagged shavings. He currently supplies more than one million bags of shavings to his customers yearly. HITS has been his customer for five years and is currently his largest customer. "What excites me most is that this is the first facility in the world of its kind," said Mr. Williams. "It's completely computerized. The equipment can self-diagnose, which prevents downtime. The front-end and back-end of the process uses sophisticated, automated technology for cleaning and containing dust. The customer wins because they get cost-effective production and efficient delivery. This facility is perfect for the market." 
Kings Shavings will use cutting-edge computerized equipment at the Mississippi plant to process product. Two machines from Verville Machinery, Inc. of Drummondville, Quebec, Canada, will screen and bag the shavings in moisture-proof plastic. "Our machines screen the shavings so that only the bigger flakes are packaged and excessive dust is eliminated," said Jim Aucone, Sales Manager for Verville Machinery. "Most competitors in this market don't have the equipment to screen out dust." A Rees-Memphis Inc. system will collect dust and fines removed from the raw material, which will be sold as a by-product. An automatic palletizer and stretch wrapper manufactured by Zygot Automation, Inc. of Denver, Colorado, will secure the bags on pallets. Kings Shavings is the first and only company in the industry to use this method of production and preparation for distribution. 
"We plan to expand King Shavings by opening new plants and acquiring existing operations in other locations in North America to continue to address the shortages in wood shavings," stated Mr. Struzzieri. King Shavings is located at 990 Commerce Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39201. Telephone 601-354-5464, Fax 601-354-5465. Or call 877-4-BEDDING. www.kingshavings.com 
MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Hilton, HITS Media & Public Relations Director, 319 Main Street, Saugerties, New York 12477-1330. Tel: 845-246-8833, Fax: 845-246-6371. E-Mail: hiltonhits@cs.com. Web: www.HitsShows.com