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Presidential. . . In more ways than one

March 2, 2008
By ALISSA EATON - aeaton@sungazette.com
The year 2008 has been one that has been extremely exciting for Hughesville native Shawn Wolf, which includes a promotion and meeting the president of the United States.

Wolf, son of Pete and Lori Wolf, helped to coordinate a visit from President George W. Bush to the Wright Manufacturing Co., which manufactures lawn equipment, on January 18.

“It was an incredible experience,” Wolf said.

Bush visited the company, headquartered in Frederick, Md., to talk about the need for an economic growth package. He also recognized the entrepreneurial efforts of the company’s founder, Bill Wright.

“This man started his own business,” Bush said. “He’s a manufacturer, he employs over a hundred people, and he represents the backbone of our economy.”

Wolf said the president took the time to meet every person working at the company, and got his picture taken with each person.

“When the president first arrived, for the first five or six minutes we just talked to him and asked him what he wanted to do during his visit,” Wolf said. “He said that he wanted to get to know the company and meet people.”

Wolf said he was “very genuine,” adding he was surprised at first the White House contacted the company.

“Honestly, I thought it was a salesperson that was lying and just trying to get on the phone with me, but after a few minutes of conversation, I realized it was real,” Wolf said.

Bush then invited Wolf back to the White House to witness the signing of the economic stimulus package on February 13.

“Bill (Wright) and I drove to Washington D.C. that morning and we were in the East Room to witness the signing with about a 150 people or so,” Wolf said.

He was then escorted to the West Wing where he identified people in photos taken at Wright Manufacturing and was shown a large photo of President Bush on a standing lawn mower that is manufactured by the company.

The President’s visit to the company was not the only exciting thing to happen to Wolf this year — he was also promoted to president of the manufacturing firm.

Wright founded the company in in 1981, and is still chairman of the board. “Our desire is for him to stay focused on vision and new product development,” Wolf said.

Wolf has been working at the company for eight years and was instrumental, others with the business said, in converting the company to “lean manufacturing,” which is defined as producing goods using less of everything compared to traditional mass production.

“It really has been a tremendous advantage to us as a company,” Wolf said. “As we became a lean company it gave us the cash flow to grow our business using our own dollars instead of having to look for funding.”

Wolf said that Wright and him work very well together, value each others strengths and compliment each other.

“Shawn has successfully taken on all of the management and most of the “presidential” responsibilities, which makes this appointment more about recognition than actual change in his duties,” Wolf said.

Wolf’s duties will include driving the day-to-day operations and building the strength of relationships with the company’s channels such as dealers, distributors and professional landscapers.

“I think we are an incredible company because of our team. We are successful because of our employees,” Wolf said. “Whenever we give a tour, people always say it looks like everyone is enjoying being at work.”

Wolf grew up in Hughesville and graduated from Hughesville High School 1982, and credits his success in life to his parents Pete and Lori.

“I learned discipline, focus and commitment from my father,” Wolf said. “I learned to laugh and not take myself too seriously from my mother. She helped me to enjoy change and to enjoy life one day at a time,” he added. “Their commitment to each other, to our family and to their faith has inspired me.”

Wolf also has many other ways to keep busy. He is a doctoral student in Regent University’s School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship leading to a Doctorate of Strategic Leadership. He and his wife Denise also have three children Ryan, 15, Lauren, 12 and Conner, 8.

Article Photos

PHOTO PROVIDED
President George W. Bush tests out a new mower at Wright Manufacturing Co. The president visited the Maryland manufacturer, which is headed by Hughesville native Shawn Wolf, to press for an economic stimulus package which has since moved forward.

 
 
 

 

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