CHENANGO COUNTY — Commerce Chenango held their first ever Manufacturer Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, October 6 at the Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich. During the luncheon, Commerce Chenango recognized the estimated 35 manufacturers within the county, and presented Gladding Braided Products of South Otselic with the Manufacturer of the Year Award.
Gladding Braided Products has been manufacturing braided materials such as paracord, metal cables, lacing tape, fine threads, and more since 1816.
"The Gladding family, although more diverse than the traditional sense, is committed to carrying the company name into the next century through their superior business practices, commendable workplace culture, and passion for carrying their employees and the community in which they reside," said Commerce Chenango Board Chair Julia Miller.
"Specifically, this award is being presented to Gladding today in recognition of creating a work environment that encourages growth, innovation, and performance within the manufacturing industry, and for the commendable efforts in guiding and sustaining the success of your employees."
A family business, Gladding is now on its third generation of management within the family. Nick Gladding moved back to Chenango County in 2020 to learn the ropes of the business and take over operations, after his father and grandfather before him.
Gladding spoke of the hard work and dedication of his father and grandfather, who were integral in building the company into what it is today. He also commended their employees, who without which he says the company would not be nearly as successful.
"If we didn’t have the willing and the hard working people in our factory, some of which are here today, many of which are working hard back at the factory right now. If we didn't have them we would have longer lead times, we would ship less, our sales would be less, we wouldn't be as profitable, and it’s a direct correlation," said Gladding.
"So the fact that we have the people not only who have gotten very skilled at their positions and would be hard to replace, but that are willing to, when we need to expedite things, when we need to crunch, and when we need to follow through for all this demand that us and a lot of other manufacturers are seeing — we simply couldn’t do it without them. So that's what this award really goes to, is everybody back there. So we’re really appreciative of it and honored," he continued.
The luncheon also featured keynote speaker Amanda Jackson, principle consultant at the Alliance for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). AMT is a nonprofit that provides support to southern tier manufacturers through business consulting, connection to resources, and economic impact.
Jackson's presentation focused on the multitude of ways AMT can help area manufacturers and what companies can do to improve operations.
Attendees also learned about what's on the horizon for Commerce Chenango, such as the Women's Leadership Development Seminar, Leadership Next Gen, as well as a mentoring program through DCMO BOCES, presented by DCMO BOCES Public and School Liaison Martha Ryan.
With manufacturing making up the second largest business sector of chamber members, Commerce Chenango hopes to do more in the future to recognize and celebrate their contribution to the local economy.
"You guys are one of the largest demographics that we have as members and that we are committed to. So we want your feedback, we would love to show our appreciation in more ways. So this event is just one of the many ways that we hope to be able to do that," said Commerce Chenango Director of Membership and Programs Katherine Olson. "We hope to continue to expand upon ways we can give back to you, and this event — hopefully becoming an annual event — can be one of them."
More information about Commerce Chenango can be found at CommerceChenango.com and on the Commerce Chenango Facebook page.