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October 22, 2018 Family Business Awards 2018

International Cordage East (InCord)

InCord holds creative events like the 2014 hammock-making competition, which challenged teams of employees to design, build and market a hammock using only InCord materials. This involved the teams in every aspect of the company workflow.

5th Place — 76-plus employees category

International Cordage East (InCord)

Headquarters: Colchester

Industry: Textile Manufacturing

Year Founded: 1995

Founder: Bob Martin and Ed Ritz

Generation Currently Running Company: 2nd

No. of Full-Time Employees: 105

No. of Part-Time Employees: 1

Family Members Currently Employed at Company: Ed Ritz, President, father; Robin Ritz, Secretary and Chief Visionary Officer, daughter; Meredith Ritz Shay, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, daughter.

Company Website:

InCord is the largest American manufacturer of custom netting and rope products, serving diverse markets consisting of end users, contractors and distributors.

Recent accomplishments

 In June, the company hired its first female CEO, Meredith Shay. At 28 years old, she is one of the youngest female CEOs for a manufacturing company with over 100 employees. InCord also increased capacity by expanding its manufacturing capabilities in Colchester and adding a new manufacturing facility in Oakdale.

In July, the company established a joint venture with NetPlayUSA, a distributor for playground structures.

How do you remain competitive?

InCord remains competitive by adding extra value to everything we do. As the company has grown, so has the can-do culture of teamwork within a rewarding workplace. Strong leadership and decentralized decision-making enable us to maintain a streamlined workflow of high-quality netting products.

InCord retains an inventory of materials and production capabilities that enables us to deliver where others cannot. Proactive communication is as much a key to positive vendor relationships as it is to those we sell to and work with. We have understood from the beginning, that our core business values have always set us apart of our competition.

What is the biggest challenge to your business in the coming year?

The recruitment of next-generation workers to fulfil new and developing opportunities within the company is a challenge as we grow. As the marketplace shifts, opportunities arise, and technologies evolve, the challenge remains. Our market share within each division remains strong, but even as a business leader, there is always room for improvement to develop new products, enhanced e-commerce and as always, to simply do it better.

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