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Masayasu Saito, president of Aisin Holdings of America, speaks during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of Aisin Electronics Illinois on Friday in Marion.

Ten years in business is a benchmark that should be celebrated by any company, whether it is a major manufacturing company in Marion, or a small toy store in Carbondale.

Aisin Electronics Illinois LLC is the one of three Aisin companies in Marion, starting manufacturing in 2005.

The original 57,600 square-foot building has added an additional 108,050 square feet because of business growth.

On Friday, the company celebrated its 10-year anniversary with employees, stakeholders of the company, along with elected officials. 

Masayasu Saito, president of Aisin Holdings of America, Inc, said a few years after Aisin Electronics was constructed, it was a very encouraging time.

“I am a firm believer that achievement in the old industry should be celebrated,” he said. “The old industry is stronger now than it has been in many years.”

Saito praised the Williamson County community saying that a company does not become great on its own.

“They need the support of a workforce and a strong community,” he said. “We are pleased to be here and will continue be a good neighbor.”

He said the three Aisin companies have employed more than 1,300 people in the region.

State Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, showed appreciation for the company Friday, saying it was needed in the region.

“In hard times of economic restriction, this has been a guiding light and beacon of hope in an area that often times hasn’t had that,” he said.

Also at the celebration, Aisin Electronics donated $5,000 each to the Herrin, Marion and Carterville school districts.

In Carbondale, My Favorite Toys in University Mall is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this weekend.

From 1 to 3 p.m., today at the toy store, Ryan B-Loon will be making balloon characters for kids, and other activities will be available.

The toy store will also make the transition to being open every day throughout the holidays, according to a news release from the store. The store typically operates as an online store and a part-time brick-and-mortar store during the first 10 months of the year.

“Our challenge during the past 10 years has been to offer a wide range of specialty toys, games and puzzles in a rural market that would rival such stores in large cities,” said Samuel Cox, co-owner of the store. "Through the hybrid approach of online and brick-and-mortar, we’ve been able to succeed.”

He said locally-owned retail stores continue to struggle at times for market share with big box retailers, but believes people understand the need to shop locally.

“We have a fiercely loyal customer base committed to supporting local businesses,” Cox said. “We obviously appreciate them very much.”

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dustin.duncan@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

on twitter: @zd2000

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Dustin Duncan is a reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering Carbondale.

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