Contact: Laura Frnka
Pierpont Communications for Imperial Sugar
(713) 627-2223 ext. 1110
Imperial Sugar CEO to Receive Executive Communication Award
John Sheptor Recognized For His Response to Port Wentworth Industrial Accident
SUGAR LAND, Texas - JUNE 23, 2009-- Imperial Sugar Company (NASDAQ:IPSU) today announced that John Sheptor, president and CEO, has been named "CEO Communicator of the Year" by the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
The award, now in its fourth year, recognizes a Houston-area CEO who demonstrates leadership in communication whether in a crisis or in day-to-day operations. PRSA Houston is honoring Sheptor for the outstanding crisis communications he exhibited in February 2008 in response to an industrial accident at the company's refinery in Port Wentworth, Georgia. The accident occurred just eight days after Sheptor took over the role as CEO.
"It is evident that Mr. Sheptor demonstrated open, honest and proactive communications in response to the events in Port Wentworth," said Terri Larson, 2009 chapter president for PRSA Houston. "His commitment to maintaining a free-flowing line of communication to his employees, customers, investors and the community was truly outstanding. He is very deserving of this award."
This most recent award adds to the list of accolades Sheptor has garnered for excellence in communications in the past year. In April, the Houston chapter of International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) honored Sheptor with the 2009 Communication Leadership Award. In March, Imperial Sugar's response to Port Wentworth was acknowledged by PR Week as runner up in its annual awards program for crisis or issue management campaign of the year.
Imperial Sugar CEO to Receive Executive Communication Award -- Page 2
Sheptor has made numerous appearances since the tragic events of February 2008, speaking on Imperial Sugar's response to the incident and also advocating for combustible dust legislation. He addressed the Rice University Jones School of Management on corporate crisis response in December and in February was the keynote speaker at the annual International Sweetener Colloquium in Orlando.
"The Port Wentworth experience has made it imperative that I lead the company with a sustained public voice," said Sheptor. "Immediately following the incident and even today during the rebuilding process, authentic and open communication has been key to stabilizing the company, engaging all of our stakeholders and building deeper bonds within the Port Wentworth and Savannah communities."
Sheptor will be recognized by PRSA Houston during the 2009 Excalibur Awards, which takes place June 18 at Hotel Derek.
For more information about PRSA Houston, visit www.prsahouston.org. For more information about Imperial Sugar, visit www.imperialsugar.com.
About Imperial Sugar
Imperial Sugar Company is one of the largest processors and marketers of refined sugar in the United States to food manufacturers, retail grocers and foodservice distributors. The Company markets products nationally under the Imperial®, Dixie Crystals® and Holly® brands. For more information about Imperial Sugar, visit www.imperialsugar.com.
Statements regarding Port Wentworth construction costs, timelines and operational restart dates, future market prices and margins, future expenses and liabilities arising from the Port Wentworth incident, future insurance recoveries, future actions regarding the Louisiana Sugar Refinery, LLC venture, future import and export levels, future government and legislative action, future operating results, future availability of raw sugar, operating efficiencies, future investments and initiatives, future cost savings, future product innovations, future energy costs, our liquidity and ability to finance our operations and capital investment programs, future pension plan contributions and other statements that are not historical facts contained in this release are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, market factors, farm and trade policy, results of damaged equipment inspections, unforeseen engineering, construction and equipment delays, results of insurance negotiations, our ability to realize planned cost savings and other improvements, the available supply of sugar, energy costs, the effect of weather and economic conditions, results of actuarial assumptions, actual or threatened acts of terrorism or armed hostilities, legislative, administrative and judicial actions and other factors detailed in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual outcomes may vary materially from those indicated.
About the Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America
Founded in 1950, the Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is one of the largest and most active of PRSA's 112 chapters. PRSA Houston works to provide value, build demand and understanding for public relations. The organization provides ethical guidance, ongoing professional development activities, including an accreditation program, professional recognition through its awards program, networking opportunities and career resources for more than 450 members and students entering the field. Through the Public Relations Foundation of Houston, the organization has presented a scholarship each year since 2005 to a local student pursuing a career in public relations. For more information on PRSA Houston, visit www.prsahouston.org.