Sunnyland Farms Honored with the goBeyondProfit 2023 Champion Award


Thursday, September 7th, 2023

goBeyondProfit, a first-of-its-kind business leader initiative that inspires business generosity, today announced it has honored Albany-based Sunnyland Farms and its CEO, Alex Willson, with the goBeyondProfit Champion Award.

This year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of Sunnyland Farms, a 1,760-acre pecan farm and manufacturing company. Sunnyland Farms, and its CEO Alex Willson were nominated and selected for this award by fellow Georgia business leaders for their comprehensive, generational approach to generosity. 

Across the decades, the Willson family has invested deeply in the people surrounding their business by providing quality jobs to generations of families as well as offering support to the local non-profits serving the needs of the Albany community. 

“From the earliest days when my grandparents first launched the business, we have tried to play our small part in helping the greater community that is southwest Georgia.” said Alex Willson, CEO of Sunnyland Farms, “Where there’s a need, we try to help fill it.” 

By infusing a people-first commitment into every aspect of company life they proved resilient over the years, weathering hurricanes that damaged thousands of acres of land and a recent kitchen fire that threatened to shut the company down during their busiest season. 

“Sunnyland has always been 100% committed to our employees,” said Willson. “We make sure they know we have a vested interest in them, not only inside the company but also outside of their job as well. Whether that’s about offering training and promotion opportunities or shift flexibility to spend more time with their families, it’s about creating a team and a family that can work together for a lifetime.”   

Past award winners include Gas South, Creature Comforts Brewing, H.J. Russell & Company, Aflac, W&A Engineering, Cox Enterprises, Herschend Enterprises, Chick-fil-A, Signature FD, Vector Global Logistics, and Goodr. 

In an interview with goBeyondProfit, Alex Willson shared the inherent challenges of a running an agricultural manufacturing business as well as the leadership shifts required to instill generosity strategies into every aspect of business life. See the full interview here:

 “Anyone who comes into contact with Sunnyland Farms will be struck by the remarkable humility they demonstrate given their extraordinary contributions,” said goBeyondProfit president Megan McCamey. “What began as an ardent commitment to southwest Georgia has grown into a global example of enduring and evolving business generosity.”

Notable historic and ongoing contributions: 

  • Albany Museum of Art

  • Albany Symphony Orchestra

  • Annual Partner in Excellence: Martin Luther King Elementary

  • Annual Fundraising Partner: Boys & Girls Club of Albany 

  • Helping Hands End Hunger with Phoebe Putney Hospital 

  • University of Georgia, The Willson Center for Humanities & Arts

  • University of Georgia, Willson International Honors Scholar Program

  • Willson Hospice House

About Sunnyland Farms

Sunnyland Farms is a 1,760-acre farm nestled in the heart of Pecan Country (Albany, Georgia). Since 1948 we have been the premier provider of gourmet Georgia Pecans, Nuts, Chocolates, Dried Fruits, Candies, and assortments of gifts for all occasions. Our incredible gourmet, Heart Healthy and Kosher certified snacks and pecans for sale are the perfect treat for yourself and perfect for gift giving.

About goBeyondProfit

goBeyondProfit is a statewide alliance launched by business leaders for business leaders to spur corporate generosity and improve people’s lives. To submit a nomination for future goBeyondProfit Champions, visit the goBeyondProfit website.