From Immigrant to American Toy Producing Leader- The Gund StoryWritten by Sharon Lauer
For over 100 years name Gund has been synonomous with quality, baby-safe plush products. The oldest and leading soft toy manufacturer in United States, Gund story is one of a family owned-business leading industry in quality, safety and unique design.
The Gund company was founded by German immigrant Adolph Gund in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1898. The company was one of first to design and produce teddy bears in early 1900's.
In 1907 Russian immigrant Jacob Swedlin began working at Gund. In 1925 Adolph Gund retired. Not having children of his own, he sold company to Swedlin for a token sum with understanding that name would always remain Gund. Swedlin ran company until 1969 when it was passed to his daughter Rita Raiffe and her husband Herbert. Under their leadership Gund flourished and company began using their now trademarked under-stuffing technique.
Bruce Raiffe, third generation to run company joined Gund in 1977 and became President in 1993. He later became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2004. At that time Jim Madonna was appointed President, marking first time in company's history that a non-founding family member was in charge.
Buying the Perfect Boat©Written by Valerie Giles
Why is it, that when you are looking to buy a boat, you can never find one that suits your needs? This is what happens to many people every year and in particular to ourselves. It’s just like buying a house. When you are selling, it is a buyer’s market and when you are buying it is a seller’s market! This year my husband and I decided that it was time to buy our first boat.
Now we have been boating with our friends on their Bayliner for many years. They pay for boat expenses and we bring food and drink in exchange. Not a bad deal we figured, until we got boat bug ourselves. Now we want to own our own boat. After six years of boating and as many seasons of boat shows, we decided to take a boating course. So a couple of winters ago, we signed up for a rather lengthy boating course of 16 weeks. We decided that firstly we wanted to be safe boaters and secondly we wanted to protect our very expensive boat investment when time came.
Week after week of classes, lesson after lesson of plotting and tying knots came and went and finally it was time to graduate and try our luck at boating with all this new found knowledge. We decided first to try out our expertise on our friends’ boat, but discovered that was like having two cooks in same kitchen. Things don’t really run as smoothly as one would like. Tie a knot. Have someone retie it for you! Hang fenders over side. Have someone reposition them! So after several weekends of unsuccessful attempts, decision was made to buy our own boat sooner rather than later where we could tie our own brand of knot and observe channel markers way we had been taught!
So we started to look. What happened to all “For Sale” signs that we had seen only weeks before in every marina that we cruised past? Where were all those perfect boats that we had seen in every cove and tied up to every dock? They were no where to be found. Finally after perusing yachting magazines and journals, talking to several boat brokers and searching many internet boats for sale sites, we found what we thought to be perfect yacht for us - right in our own backyard. Only five minutes from our home there is located a marina with lots of power boats. Last year there were many for sale. But as luck would have it, we were not looking then. This year, there were fewer boats for sale. But on this one particular morning as we drove through marina parking lot, we spied perfect boat. We hopped out of car and walked over to take a closer look. The boat had been pulled out of water, so we were able to look it over from all sides including bottom.