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Don Swanson joins Orvis after 20 years at Abel

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Don Swanson has joined Orvis as Director of Rod Shop Manufacturing after more than 20 years at Abel Automatics.

Don Swanson has left Abel Automatics after more than 20 years with the company to become Director of Rod Shop Manufacturing at Orvis.

President and Chief Operations Officer at Abel since 2007, Swanson replaces Jim Logan who retired as head of Orvis rod manufacturing late last year.

“Don’s experience is perfectly suited for the focus and growth that we want to bring to our manufacturing skill set here at Orvis,” said Jim Lepage, President of Scientific Anglers and head of rod manufacturing at Orvis.

“I am impressed with his commitment to people, culture, quality, lean manufacturing and process improvements. He has a proven track record of integrity, innovation and building products in the US.”

Swanson will work closely with Shawn Combs, head rod designer at Orvis and also in charge of all fly fishing product development. Said Combs: “I can’t think of a better person to continue the legacy of Orvis rods being made in Manchester, Vermont.

“His attention to detail, pride in US manufacturing and career record of producing great fishing equipment will make his transition that much better. Don and I first worked together on the US-made CFO project and the results of that speak for his commitment to excellence.”

Abel, based in California, was originally founded as a manufacturer of aerospace computer and medical parts more than 25 years ago. Today it produces over 20 high-quality reels famous for their distinctive fish art graphics.

Abel was acquired by the Mayfly Group in December 2012. The Colorado Springs group also acquired Ross Reels in January last year.



Filed In: Product News, Reels, Rods