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CRG Automation President James DeSmet Named Most Admired CEO

Honor recognizes company’s rapid growth and community involvement

NOVEMBER 17, 2022LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY — Louisville Business First today honored CRG Automation President James DeSmet with its Most Admired CEO award, recognizing his work rapidly expanding the engineering and robotics firm.

In just the past two years, CRG Automation has grown its team five-fold, attracting top talent by offering a rewarding work environment. Employees enjoy intellectual challenges on a daily basis as they solve customers’ most perplexing problems.

“This is truly an award recognizing the incredible team here at CRG Automation that on a daily basis examines the most challenging problems experienced by our customers and helps them develop solutions that leave others scratching their heads,” DeSmet said.

In honoring DeSmet, the publication also heralded his work with his wife founding area nonprofit 502cares in 2020. The charity’s first major effort united a number of regional organizations to manufacture 50,000 protective masks for medical staff, first responders and the general public during the early days of the pandemic. The organization has since pivoted to help “stock the pantry” for clients of Louisville-based UP for Women and Children.

The Most Admired CEOs award is the latest in a number of honors for CRG Automation and DeSmet. Earlier this year, Inc. magazine ranked the firm at No. 387 on its annual list of America’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. CRG Automation achieved the ranking by recording 1,550% revenue growth over the past three years. That rapid growth earned the Louisville-based company a second straight high ranking on the prestigious list. CRG Automation also led repeat honorees in both manufacturing nationally and all Kentucky-headquartered businesses.

Others include:

* Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas and annual list of Most Innovative Robotics Companies
* No. 172 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500
* No. 14 on the Vet100 ranking of fast-growing veteran-owned businesses
* Best Places to Work in Greater Louisville

Founded in 2000 as a company manufacturing packaging equipment, including cartoners and case packers, CRG Automation now focuses primarily on advanced offerings such as robotic integrations and custom design-build equipment. While the company continues to offer packaging equipment, CRG Automation’s business model shift has taken place as repeat customers approached with more and more complex problems, leading the company’s team of engineers — with specialties such as mechanical, process and electrical — to devise custom engineered solutions, often incorporating advanced robotics.