Carris History
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Carris History
  Carris Reels was founded in Rutland, Vermont in 1951 by Henry Carris. This business was Henry's life's work and he built the business from the ground up during the 50's, 60's and 70's on a foundation of operational excellence. The saying "get the wood out" became, and remains part of the corporate culture. By the time Henry retired in 1980 he had built a multi-million dollar business capable of withstanding the tests of time.

In 1980 Bill Carris took over the business from his father, Henry. Early on, Bill and his management team faced many challenges, including a devastating fire on June 10, 1981 and an oppressive recession. In the face of these challenges Bill nurtured the company and set the company on an aggressive growth plan that included start-ups and acquisitions and extended the company's geographic reach. During this time period, the company developed the most varied and extensive product line in the industry, and the ability to manufacture its own bolts and paper tubes.

In 1994 Bill Carris wrote a document called The Long Term Plan. In the first paragraph it says: "this document is my idea for the future of Carris Reels.  In it I attempt to describe a model for an employee-owned and governed company. The corporate community I have described does not exist today, nor has it ever existed. The change from a privately held company to an employee-owned and governed organization is a break with tradition, but it is also a departure from a system which rewards but a few to one in which the rewards are enjoyed by many." The Long Term Plan presents the company's mission, vision and values, contains specifics about how employee-ownership will be created and thoughts about how the business will operate going forward. At this point, the dream presented by Bill in the Long Term Plan has been realized, and Bill has conveyed his appreciation for what the company has been able to accomplish.

Late in 2005, as the ESOP became majority owner of the company, Bill Carris retired as President. Bill Carris continues as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mike Curran, Bill's long-term Vice President of the company succeeded Bill Carris as President.

Mike has guided Carris Reels through some phenomenally challenging times, including the 1981 fire and subsequent rebuilding and assimilation of acquisitions. The company persevered through recessions in the early '80s and the early '90s. In the early 2000's the telecommunications and technology industries suffered major corrections during an economic downturn combined with the impact of the events of September 11, 2001. Later in the decade, the housing and automotive industries suffered major corrections as well. With Mike's guidance, Carris Reels has remained strong in the face of adversity and shown its remarkable staying power. Mike has developed a management team prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow, and will leave a legacy of an extraordinarily well-run company in very good financial condition.