Defender rewards employees for 2013 sales achievements

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Defender Industries, a family-owned marine outfitter and gear and accessories retailer, was the scene of a celebration Thursday.

Executives at the Waterford, Conn.-based company announced a sizable jump in salesand then handed out a piece of the company’s success to each employee.

“Defender’s Share the Success program rewards all our employees proportionately for their individual and collective contributions to our success,” president and co-owner Stephan Lance said in a statement. “Defender’s 2013 sales were up 11.8 percent, the best in our 75-year history, marking the 12th consecutive year of significant growth and a new record for the 10th straight year. Our people make this happen — they deserve to be rewarded and have their accomplishments recognized.”

On Thursday, one by one, employees received their individual share of profits as an extra reward for the record-breaking results the company achieved last year.

“Each employee also gets to choose how they receive their individual share. In addition to the cash, options include any combination of extra paid time off, pretax contributions to either their 401(k) retirement account or health savings account, or as bonus pay,” executive director Al Knupp said. “As a direct result of their efforts, Defender’s sales have more than tripled in the last 11 years.”

During the presentation to staff, Defender also formally announced plans to add two new buildings to its facility.

“This expansion will add 15 percent of much needed warehouse space, almost double our office space and increase parking by 20 percent,” Lance said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-April and be completed in October.

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