Rome Seven Hills Rotarians take a closer look at Southeastern Mills today on a tour of their facilities and discover much more than even they expected!  Southeastern Mills, a fourth-generation food company headquartered in Rome, offers a wide range of complete ingredient solutions for food processors, foodservice companies and consumers.

The culture at Southeastern Mills is based on a philosophy called the High Performance Work Place (HPWP). “We believe that people, not buildings or equipment determine whether an organization will succeed, and foster an environment of achieving exceptional performance through the highest of expectations,” said Kevin Christ, spokesperson. The HPWP philosophy is based on "Eight Elements," elements fully describing how SM employees interact with one another and how each serves customers and consumers.


  1. Trust
  2. Positive Assumptions
  3. Eliminating Negatives
  4. Training & Development
  5. Open Two-Way Communication
  6. Employee Involvement
  7. Competitive Wages & Benefits
  8. Performance Improvement


According to Christ, he said, “Our newest element, performance improvement, continually raises the bar for what we can expect from ourselves as we serve our customers. It consists of, but is not limited to, business tools like Safe, Quality Foods, LEAN manufacturing, Product Lifecycle Management Systems and High Performance Safety.”

Eric Waters, RSHR president noted the similarity in SM’s creed and that of Rotary International. Waters said, “Application of the HPWP philosophy has resulted in a customer-centered, ‘can do’ culture. With a 1.5 percent turnover rate in employment, Southeastern Mills provides a key to all doors to all employees and, in so doing, has become a uniquely superior choice for our local workforce. Rotary challenge us to service! SM challenges its employees to do tell the truth and to serve.”