FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
President Bush Invites Regulator Marine to the White House to Share Its Economic Impact Success Story
Edenton, NC - Regulator Marine Inc. founders Joan and Owen Maxwell, along with two new employees, were invited to meet with President George W. Bush at the White House as part of an economic event held July 2, 2004. Regulator was one of four companies selected from across the country to meet with the president and to be part of a major televised press event that spotlighted recent small business success stories.
Regulator received a call from a presidential staff member on June 30 who invited the Maxwells to meet with the president. The invitation was confirmed later that day by the White House Liaison’s Office. Regulator’s recommendation came from the Recreational Fishing Alliance.
"We were thrilled – we couldn’t believe that we were going to get an opportunity to talk with the leader of the Free World," said Joan Maxwell, Regulator co-founder and president.
After arriving at the White House, the Maxwells were taken to the Roosevelt Room, where they met personally with President Bush, who asked about how fishing was off of North Carolina and about their business overall. He then took the group of business owners on a personal tour of the White House, beginning in the Oval Office, and then took them from the West Wing to the East Wing, with an elevator ride in between.
The Maxwells and their employees were then escorted to the East Room for a live 45-minute presentation by the president about the state of the U.S. economy. President Bush addressed a crowd of about 150 in attendance including members of his cabinet and other dignitaries, with his comments carried live via C-Span, the national TV cable network, with segments also airing on Fox and CNN.
Regulator employees Willie Rankins and Pam Gurganus, both former displaced North Carolina textile workers, joined the Maxwells on this historic visit, and also got to meet personally with the President and shake hands. Both had been hired by Regulator to be retrained for boat building positions. Regulator’s recent hiring of 20 employees over the past six months, coupled with their planned major reinvestment in $750,000 in manufacturing equipment, was cited by the president who noted the connection between “good tax policy and decision making,” with the resulting tax relief helping lead to more jobs. The president also praised Regulator’s initiative with a local community college – College of the Albemarle in Edenton, NC – for training and job development.
“One of the interesting things the Maxwells have done – and I really appreciate this – is that they teamed up with a local community college to devise a course to train them for people coming into their industry – the boat manufacturing industry. That’s a wise, wise use of a very important community asset, which is the community college,” he said. “I appreciate your spirit. Thanks for hiring people.”
Following the press event, a brief reception was held for the invited business guests, and 30 minutes later, the Maxwells watched as the President and First Lady Laura Bush boarded Marine One for Camp David.
“We had a wonderful time at the White House …. President Bush is an incredibly personal, down-to-earth guy,” said Maxwell, whose conversation with the president and her husband Owen covered everything from fishing off the North Carolina coast to the recent governor’s dinner in the White House, to Iraq.
The Maxwells started Regulator Marine, Inc. in 1988 in an old A & P Grocery Store in Edenton, North Carolina. The first year saw 154% growth, and they haven’t looked back since. While some boat manufacturers have experienced declining sales or flat growth, Regulator has continued to manage its growth, posting a 15 percent increase in unit sales in 2004. The company now operates from an approximately 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Edenton that employs 149 team members.
Regulator’s line of 21’ to 32’ offshore sportfishing boats is recognized for high quality craftsmanship and rugged durability. A proprietary “fiberglass grillage system” is integrated into every hull to provide excellent structural strength. Regulator Marine Inc. is known for its “open door policy,” where customers can come to the factory and inspect the manufacturing process firsthand. Their manufacturing philosophy is to strive for quality, not production volume. Extensive employee training and empowerment of each individual is also credited with their success and position as a market leader in quality.
“Regulator has been blessed beyond our dreams,” said Joan Maxwell, who attributes much of the company’s success to “all the employees, dealer and vendors who have aided us over the past 16 years.”
Regulator Marine, Inc. was recently awarded the 2003
National Marine Manufacturers Association’s CSI award in the category
of Fiberglass Outboard Boats. The company has also received an award
from Business North Carolina magazine as Small Business of the Year in
1999. Joan Maxwell also won the Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year Award
in 2003 by Boating Industry Magazine and the Marine Retailers Association
of America, the top award given to a woman in the marine industry.
Regulator – The
Finest in Offshore Sportfishing Boats
From 23 - 34 Feet
Marine, Inc. • 187 Peanut Drive • P.O. Box 49 • Edenton, North Carolina 27932 • 252-482-3837