LITTLE ROCK — Today I’d like to share a story about the business success of a family that also is an economic development success for southeast Arkansas.

The story begins with a fifteen-year-old Guatemalan who immigrated to the United States in 1999. For six months, Vigler Mazariegos harvested fruit and vegetables in South Florida, supporting himself and sending money home to his parents in Guatemala.

In 2000, he moved to Georgia to work for a poultry processing company, where he met Delmis. They have been married for nearly twenty years and have a son and four daughters.

After four years at the poultry plant, Vigler left to help Delmis’s father start a used-car dealership. A year after that, he took a job driving a forklift for a company that manufactured cargo trailers. This is where Vigler dreamed of starting his own company, and in the years since, he has built a business that has changed his life and improved life for dozens of his employees.

In 2004, he and a partner founded a company to build cargo trailers. Then in 2012, he and Delmis started their own company. Vigler designed the sheet-metal trailers, and he and two employees built them. Delmis finished them out, from silicone to sanding to final inspection.

They named the company Cynergy Cargo, and they employ about a hundred people. They have built over 37,000 trailers in the eight years since they built their first one.

When they decided to expand their business beyond Georgia at the start of 2020, they contacted Katherine Andrews, a project manager at Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Crossett was one of the cities Katherine suggested they consider.

The rest is Crossett economic development history and future. On September 3, I joined Vigler, Delmis, their plant managers Luis Mejia and his wife, Cynthia Rodriguez, and leaders from Arkansas Economic Development to cut the ribbon at Cynergy Cargo.

This is a community partnership at many levels. Cynergy will be able to hire many well-trained graduates from the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s College of Technology. Cynergy is a family-focused business with values that are a great fit for Crossett and Southeast Arkansas.

Cynergy was the first company to announce plans to expand in Arkansas after the pandemic drifted into the United States. Within two years, the company will employ 70 fulltime employees that will include carpenters, welders, and electricians.

Howard Beaty Jr., president of the Crossett Economic Development Foundation Board, put it well on the day of the grand opening. He said: “In the middle of a global pandemic, Cynergy Cargo lifted the spirits in our community.”

Crossett’s new Mayor Crystal Marshall spoke for many when she said this is a win for Crossett, Ashley County, and all of southeast Arkansas. As the grand-opening ceremony ended, I had the honor of driving the final screw into the first Cynergy trailer to come off the new line in Crossett. In the years ahead, I am certain that many more cargo trailers will roll off the line at Cynergy Cargo. This is a great addition to Crossett and Southeast Arkansas and a wonderful immigrant success story.

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