CEO Forum Features Globe Manufacturing April 6
Contact:  Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
March 23, 2006

DURHAM, N.H. -- The CEO Forum at the University of New Hampshire welcomes Globe Manufacturing President Don Welch at its next event Thursday, April 6, 2006. “Globe Manufacturing: Combining 100 Years of Knowledge with New Technology to Protect Today’s First Responders” will be held at the New England Center. Coffee and networking begins at 8 a.m., and breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. The program begins at 9 a.m.

Globe Manufacturing Co. had its beginnings in 1887 in Lynn, Mass. where the founder, J. D. Cleaver, set up shop as a harness maker. His brother-in-law, Courtland F. H. Freese, purchased the business moving it to Pittsfield, N.H., in 1901. Courtland recognized new opportunities making heavy-duty work clothing as society moved off the farm and began using the horseless carriage. He obtained a patent for a waterproof coat construction method that is still in use in the fire service today and started selling the world’s first firefighters suit.

Today, Globe is the largest manufacturer of structural fire suits in the world and supplies protective clothing for first responders under the Globe Firefighter Suits, Cairns Protective Clothing and Globe LifeLine brands. Globe combines old world craftsmanship and customization with 21st century technology and employs approximately 350 in Pittsfield, N.H., and in Ada, Okla., which opened in 2004.

The business is owned and managed by the fourth generation of the Freese family. Welch will speak briefly about Globe's history, the efforts undertaken to maintain a family culture as the company has grown and diversified, and the opportunities and challenges the company faces in serving the nation's first responders. Welch joined the business in 1989 and has an undergraduate degree in resource economics from UNH and an MBA form U.C.-Berkeley.

To register or to become a member of the CEO Forum, call Barbara Draper at (603) 862-1107, or e-mail her at The registration deadline is Thursday, March 29. Initiated in 1997, the CEO Forum is an outreach program of the UNH Whittemore School of Business and Economics and the UNH Graduate School serving CEOs, presidents, and senior managers of companies in northern New England. The forum provides its members with opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with their peers in business and industry in an informal setting. The CEO Forum is sponsored by the law firm of Pierce Atwood and Ocean National Bank. For more information about the CEO Forum, visit