Mayfield Dairy Farms ice cream plant employees have been honored with Dean Foods' CEO Quality Award.

During a presentation at the Athens plant Friday afternoon, Dean Foods Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ralph Scozzafava made the presentation.

The Athens plant has won the Excellence in Quality award four out of the five years the award has existed. All plants that win that award are then considered for the CEO Quality Award.

This is the first time the local plant has earned the latter recognition.

"This means a whole lot," Scozzafava told the gathered employees at the presentation. "You ought to feel terrific about the work you do."

Scozzafava added that when he's around the employees of the Athens plant, "you can feel the sense of family, the sense of a real brand" there.

During the presentation, several other members of Mayfield and Dean Foods leadership spoke to those in attendance.

"Quality is not one department or one person - it's everybody," Plant Manager Scott Watson said. "This award is for all of you."

"I'm really proud of all of you, but I'm not surprised," Mayfield President Emeritus Scottie Mayfield said. "You do your work like you own this place. You're making the best premium ice cream in America."

The presentation Friday afternoon included a catered meal from Calhoun's Restaurant for numerous employees, and it was noted that all employees on the ice cream side of the plant will receive gifts as a result of the achievement.

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