Tag Archives: Fort Smith

Fort Smith Arkansas: Mars Petcare Expansion Project

Fort Smith, AR

Beginning May, 2021, Hugg & Hall started work with contractors on the the Mars Petcare Plant expansion in Fort Smith, AR. Mars Petcare Associates began work on the multi-million dollar expansion to their wet food plant located in Chaffee Crossing, adding 200,000-square-feet.

The project, which started in January 2021, is scheduled for completion of its current phase in the beginning of 2023.  With the addition of two production lines, they expect to increase the production capacity by more than 40%.

Hugg & Hall is working directly with contractors pulled in from across the country for this project, renting out well over 150 pieces of equipment to complete the job. Outside Rental Salesman, Kevin Lea, says, “This is easily one of the largest projects Hugg & Hall has had the pleasure to be a part of in many years here in Fort Smith.”

“I expect to see us on site with more major projects in the near future,” says Lea. “With expansions in production facilities in Chaffee Crossing, it’s not hard to see why.”

The 48-acre Fort Smith plant has plenty of room to continue to expand as work begins on “phase 3” in 2023. 

Why expand?

Mars Petcare says that over the past year (due in part to people staying home and getting more pets), the demand for wet pet food has risen nearly 18%. The two expansions at the Fort Smith plant are expected to grow this location’s production capacity by more than 75%.

“At Mars Petcare, everything we do is in service of our purpose: A Better World For Pets,” said Ikdeep Singh, Regional President of Mars Petcare North America. “Pet parents are at the center of everything we do, and at Mars Petcare, we’re committed to answering their evolving needs as a trusted partner for pet parents.” 

“The role of pets in our lives has grown even stronger during the pandemic, and our latest investment in Fort Smith enables us to deepen our commitment to our Associates and the City of Fort Smith.”

MARS is Going Green

The Fort Smith facility, which first opened in 2009, was the first sustainable manufacturing facility in Arkansas and the first sustainable pet food manufacturing facility in the world. It is LEED-Gold certified by the United States Green Building Council.

Hugg & Hall worked directly with contractors to ensure they meet this high standard for eco-friendly building. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the nationally-accepted benchmark in the U.S. for designing, constructing and operating green buildings. 

The wet pet food factory achieved gold certification for its efforts such as recycling water, reduction of energy use and protection against light pollution and soil erosion.

For more information about Mars Petcare, visit www.mars.com/made-by-mars/petcare.

Looking to rent Hugg & Hall equipment for your next large project? Visit our rental page! Rental Equipment – Hugg & Hall (hugghall.com)

Partners renting with Hugg & Hall for the “Blue Moon Project”:


Tom Ermann Retires After 40 Years

It’s a rewarding end to many years of hard work and dedicated service as we congratulate our long time Part Systems – Operations and Inventory Analyst, Tom Ermann on his recent retirement! Throughout his 40 year long career here at Hugg & Hall, Tom has held many different titles from Parts Runner, Service Manager, Branch Manager, General Parts and Service Manager, and Corporate Parts Manager– just to name a few!

“Tom has been an ever present calm and steady part of Hugg and Hall, he has guided the product support folks for many years and has instilled the Hugg & Hall spirit of service and fairness in everyone that has had the privilege of working with him,” said Jack Beckford, Springdale Parts Manager. “He has been a mentor and support post for many in his tenure and that example will be hard to match,” continued Jack. 

Tracey Gibbs, Corporate Parts Manger adds “He’s been the ‘Parts Guru’ for years and is famous for looking over the top of his glasses at you and saying ‘Parts is Easy’.  He’s mentored many parts managers over the years and we are a greater company today, because of that.  His knowledge and dedication was second to none.  He was my mentor for almost 30 years and he’s not just a co-worker, he is a great friend!”

It is easy for all of us to agree with Tracey and Jack, when they say Tom Ermann will be greatly missed by the Hugg & Hall family! 

Hugg & Hall would like to send a huge thank you and congratulations to Tom for his hard work and dedication throughout his 40 years of service. Tom, you will always be part of the Hugg & Hall family!

Employee Spotlight: Kevin Dye


Hugg & Hall is a company that strives on longevity, we continue to congratulate our tenured employees. This year, Kevin Dye, a delivery driver in our Fort Smith branch, has reached a 20-year milestone! When describing his work, Kevin mentions, “I pick ’em up and put ‘em down and enjoy, or overcome, different challenges and different people along the way.”

Growing up in the Fort Smith area, Kevin was taught to, “work hard, do your job with pride and integrity, treat others as you would like to be treated, let your bad days be few and far between, for without question many blessings are all around you if you are willing to look beyond your problems long enough to see and receive those blessings.”

Shortly after graduating high school, Kevin joined the United States Air Force and became an aircraft mechanic. His passion and drive have made him a beloved driver to both employees and our customers. Delivery Department Manager Claude Martin mentions, “Kevin has been a loyal dedicated employee for 20 years, he works with high integrity and you can always depend on him getting the job done.” He continues, “Customers give us great feedback in regard to his work performance; bottom line, Kevin is a model driver for Hugg & Hall and he is a pleasure to work with. I look forward to working many more years with Kevin.”

When he isn’t working, Kevin enjoys the outdoors, specifically mountains, rivers, creeks & trails. These activities are a great opportunity to spend time with his bride of 25 years, Kimberly, and their growing family a son and daughter who both got married this year.

Throughout his 20 years at Hugg & Hall, Kevin recalls his first day as his most fond memory. Getting to know and share meals with his co-workers have also presented many unforgettable moments. He mentions, “I truly enjoy the friendships I have been blessed with at Hugg and Hall.” He also enjoys the fun challenges that come along with working with trucks and equipment.

Kevin is very proud of his work and wants each customer to know we appreciate their business and that Hugg & Hall is trustworthy, professional and enjoyable to do business with.

Hugg & Hall would like to send a huge thank you to Kevin Dye for his hard work and dedication throughout 20 years of service.

Suzanne Engstrom Retires After 25 Years

After 25 Years, warranty administrator, Suzanne Engstrom, is retiring from Hugg&Hall. Read about her journey!

Suzanne has played an instrumental part of Hugg&Hall’s success and has been involved in several roles in the company.

Starting in administration in our service and rental departments, she eventually transitioned into a warranty administrator role. It was her attention to detail that earned her the opportunity to move into a parts management position in the early 2000’s.

Tracey Gibbs, Corporate Parts Manager, says, “She’s now in the Warehouse Manager role and is one of the best. Her attention to detail and commitment to do things right the first time have made her the very respected person that she is today. She has been a vital part of many warehouse projects and warehouse training in the past and I’ve always been able to count on her.”

Tom Ermann, Part Systems/Operations and Inventory Analyst, adds, “Suzanne and Tracey collaborated (translation: ganged up on me) a lot over the years. Both were very instrumental in the progress we made during their tenures as Parts Managers”.

“I have worked for, alongside, and with Suzanne for the last ten years– rest assured there hasn’t been a more dedicated employee to the Fort Smith store and possibly Hugg & Hall. Congratulations and after 25 years, you have more than earned your retirement,” says Dustin Biery, Fort Smith Parts Manager.

I think we can all agree with Tracey when she says “she’s not just a great coworker, she is a great friend!”

Congratulations, Suzanne! Hugg&Hall thanks you and will miss you! Want to read more about our employees? Check out our Employee Spotlights page! 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2020. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in March 2023.

Employee Spotlight: Carl Davis

Meet Carl Davis!

Carl Davis is a Road Service Technician at the Hugg & Hall Fort Smith branch and recently celebrated his fifth work anniversary with the company! On a typical day at work, Carl is in-and-out of OK Foods in Fort Smith, making equipment repairs and performing maintenance.

Before on boarding at Hugg & Hall Equipment, Carl worked at Wiese USA for 12 years where he also worked as a Road Service Technician. Throughout his life he has always been passionate about music. Some people might be surprised to know that he also writes his own songs!

All he has is good memories at Hugg & Hall, said Carl. He enjoys the dinners supplied by Hugg & Hall because it allows them to come together and feel like family. 

When he’s not working, Carl enjoys fishing, hunting, and spending time with his wife and four children. 

Thank you, Carl, for all of your hard work and dedication over the years! We are lucky to have you!

To start your story with Hugg & Hall, visit our hiring website. 

Update: Carl Davis retired from Hugg & Hall after many years of dedicated service. Congratulations on your retirement! 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2019. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in February 2023.