The mission of American Made Matters® is to educate consumers that buying US-made products strengthens the American Dream.
American Made Matters is an organization made up of over 325 member companies in 45 states and growing. Our members are manufacturers who represent various industries from apparel and toys to steel fabrication and cleaning supplies. Sponsors include American made retailers, patriotic organizations, and service providers who support our cause. We are a resource for consumers looking to find American made goods as well as a resource for our members and sponsors. American Made Matters is happy to make business to business introductions and has facilitated many collaborative efforts. We believe that by working together, American manufacturers, eCommerce websites and retail shops can better convey the message that American made truly matters!
The AMM logo can now be found on thousands of products that comply with our standards which are at least 50% of the cost (labor, materials, and overhead) is incurred in the United States and the final assembly or transformation takes place in the U.S.*
Are you an American manufacturer or retailer? Do you want to promote the importance of buying American made goods? If so, join our movement and help us change our country and our economy one purchase at a time. Join Us
*Use of our logo does not necessarily comply with FTC guidelines.
Don grew up in Philadelphia and attended LaSalle College High School and LaSalle College. He became President of Student Government in both schools. He was awarded a Bachelor's Degree in management and accounting from LaSalle in 1979 and obtained his Certified Public Accountant designation in 1981. Prior to joining Bollman, Don was as a Senior Auditor with KPMG in Philadelphia.
In 1982, Don joined Bollman Hat Company and has held a verity of positions including controller, VP of Operations, Senior VP of Manufacturing, COO and, since 2002, CEO and President.
Don launched American Made Matters July 4, 2009. Don's father, Nick, was a cutter in a coat making factory, and instilled in him the importance of American manufacturing and buying American made products. As CEO of Bollman, Rongione experienced the tragic decline of American manufacturing first hand when loss of major customers to foreign competition forced him to lay off 100 U.S. manufacturing employees. It was this experience that led Rongione to create an organization dedicated to educating consumers on just how important American manufacturing is to our country and our citizens. With the help of a handful of US manufacturers, American Made Matters was born.
Don and his wife, Maryellen Kueny, have been married since 1976. They have four sons and two grandsons. They are loyal fans of the Philadelphia Phillies, Flyers, and Eagles and enjoy music, sports, and outdoor activities.
"We have the ability to change our economy and to strengthen our communities one purchase at a time. American consumers have tremendous economic clout and they need to realize the importance of buying American made goods. It only takes few seconds to look at a tag or to ask a sales person if they carry any made in USA brands. Many times you'll be surprised that there isn't much of a price difference, and American made goods are often better quality. With every purchase we have the ability to create jobs and better opportunities for our children and grandchildren." — Don Rongione
K'NEX Brands has two primary business units, K'NEX, LPG, (the global building toy company), www.knex.com, and The Rodon Group, (one of the America's largest plastics injection molders), www.rodongroup.com . K'NEX building toys are distributed to nearly 40 countries, and over 95% of the component parts are made at The Rodon Group. Mr. Araten joined K'NEX and the Rodon Group in May 2005 to serve as their Vice President and General Counsel. He became President & COO in January 2006 and assumed his current position as President and CEO in January 2009. Mr. Araten has been on the Board of Directors of American Made Matters® since January of 2012.
Prior to joining K'NEX and Rodon, Mr. Araten served as Chief Litigation Counsel to Toll Brothers, Inc. as well as Senior Vice President and Corporate Counsel to O'Neill Properties Group. In those capacities, Mr. Araten was responsible for risk management, regulatory approvals, human resource issues and the management of over 100 law firms in 21 states. Mr. Araten also formed numerous joint ventures, led due diligence and acquisition teams, and obtained land development approvals that created over five billion ($5 billion) in new home sales and land value.
K'NEX and Rodon are active members of American Made Matters®, whose mission is to educate consumers about buying US-made products to help strengthen the American Dream. We are proud to be a part of the local community while encouraging American entrepreneurship. "Our membership in AMM ties in perfectly with our strategy of educating the world's consumers that products of the highest quality are MADE in the USA at lower retail prices than imported products", said Michael Araten, "If we can do it with toys like K'NEX, we can do it with anything." "Community is one of our core values, so as a company, we are proud to invest in American workers who demonstrate unparalleled commitment to innovation and some of the greatest working spirit in the industrial world," said Michael Araten, President and CEO of K'NEX and The Rodon Group.
Mr. Araten holds a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member SMARTCEO (an exclusive community of CEOs and business leaders whose mission is to educate and inspire our community through the pages of their magazine) and CEOintronet (an exclusive social network for CEOs to find each other, develop trust, connect and do business together).
He resides in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania with his wife, Ellen and their two children.
Hi, I'm Mike Axe! I am a proud graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. Currently, I work in Glendale, California at a large online early education academy serving as an assistant writer in the animation division. In this position, I assist writing scripts and coordinating scripting efforts for the writing department. Prior to moving across the country, I worked at Bollman Hat Company in Adamstown, Pennsylvania as the executive assistant to Don Rongione, the president and CEO.
It was in my position as Don's assistant that I became very passionate about American manufacturing. Through my tenure in this position, Don instilled in me a deep understanding of the importance of American manufacturing. I learned why American made matters! Despite moving 3,500 miles from the Bollman/AMM headquarters, I remain dedicated to and passionate about the American Made Matters organization. I remain an active board member and also run the social media channels for American Made Matters.
In my free time, I enjoy traveling, watching movies, writing and searching for new American made companies to add to the growing list of American Made Matters members.
Mark Bollman IV, 26, is the president and founder of Ball and Buck, a sporting inspired lifestyle brand making all its products in the USA. Ball and Buck operates a brick and mortar store located on Newbury Street in Boston that has been voted Boston's best menswear store. The Brand manufactures many of its products in the Boston area and has been recognized by press including GQ, Esquire, NY Times, Boston Globe, Improper Bostonian, and Men's Journal to name a few. Under his leadership the company continues to grow at over 100% year over year since its founding. In addition to Ball and Buck, Mark serves on the Board of American Made Matters an organization focused on educating consumers as to the importance of USA manufacturing, and is the retail advisor to Main Street Partners a non-profit with a mission to empower, improve, and support urban small businesses. Mark has been a FoundersCard Member since 2011.
Dave is a native of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and graduated from McCaskey High School in 1984. In 1988 Dave graduated cum laude from Millersville University with a bachelors degree in business administration and a concentration in accounting. Upon graduating from College Dave joined KPMG Peat Marwick and received his CPA.
In a public accounting career of 13 years, Dave progressed to the position of senior manager in the assurance and business advisory practice before joining his former client (Bollman Hat Company). Dave joined Bollman in 2001 and serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for the Company. Dave's primary responsibilities include overseeing the global financial, information technology and operating functions of the Company.
Dave and his wife are the proud parents of two boys. Dave enjoys spending time with his family exploring the great outdoors.
Ruthanne attended Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, FL, where she received her associate's degree in Office Administration in 2010. She is currently working at Bollman Hat Company as the executive assistant for Don Rongione, and she is also the administrative assistant for American Made Matters.
Since serving on the AMM Board and being the administrative assistant for AMM, Ruthanne has realized the importance of buying American made goods. She strives to help build the American Made Matters brand into a nationally-known name to help educate more consumers, especially millennials, which she believes to be the untapped American made market.
In her free time, Ruthanne can be found thrifting for a treasured article of clothing, or she can be found enjoying a good movie and pizza with her husband, Shak, of three years.
Brooks spent over thirty years working for companies that contracted with the US Department of Defense, served the aerospace industry and the medical device marketplace. During this timeframe he held general management positions with both publically held corporations and with privately held businesses. The companies developed manufacturing disciplines to produce product lines for the US DOD and aerospace industry that included fire control systems, laser systems, and night vision products. The primary medical device product lines were systems for laser eye surgery and liquid oxygen systems for the home health care marketplace. Brooks is the founder and principal of Black Mountain USA LLC. The company is focused on the use of sheep's wool for the commercial and residential building insulation marketplace. Brooks is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Business Administration and is a holder of two US patents.
Brooks has served on the American Made Matters board for the past five years. Through his experience in technically demanding manufacturing companies he has a clear understanding of the importance of quality produced products made in the USA whether they are for the US DOD customer or for use in the commercial marketplace. Going hand in hand with this is the creation and maintenance of jobs in the manufacturing sector that afford people the opportunity to earn a competitive wage with a chance to enjoy the benefits of living in America. American Made Matters is an organization that strives to help make every American aware of how important these concepts are in order to make the US economy strong and to maintain our national security.
Brooks spends his free time with his family that includes five grandchildren. In addition he is an avid golfer and generally is a sports enthusiast.
I'm Joy Petty, and I traded in ad agency life for the privilege of being the Director of Marketing for the best cleaning vacuums on the planet 15 years ago. We moved production of our vacuums from Taiwan to St. James, Missouri in 1997 and now have almost 150 Americans building Maytag, Simplicity and Riccar vacuum cleaners in the heartland. We like to say, before your fill them with dirt, we fill our vacuums with American ingenuity and pride.
I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to serve on the American Made Matters Board since its inception. I'm convinced that most people just don't know how much power they hold in their pocketbooks and if they did, they'd be sure to seek out American Made products. Through American Made Matters we have the opportunity to inform citizens that we can all make choices every day that protect the American Dream in a very real way. Who wouldn't want to be part of something that incredible?
When I'm not vacuuming, I love running, mountain biking, snow skiing and yoga. I need the yoga because I am the very proud momma of three exceptional, high-energy boys with wild imaginations.
Todd Shelton is the founder of the American fashion brand, Todd Shelton. Todd has proven his commitment to American manufacturing, the American-made movement, and his own community by building a fully-operational factory in East Rutherford, NJ where all Todd Shelton clothing is made today.
Todd Shelton believes design without manufacturing is simply marketing, and companies that commit to manufacturing the product they design display a higher ambition for their product and company. The goal of the Todd Shelton factory is to re-think how clothing can be made and offered to consumers. The brand is proud of its American manufacturing model and what the products represent, and hope that feeling transfers to the customer.
Todd Shelton joined the Board of American Made Matters when it was founded in 2009. He fully supports AMM's mission to educate consumers that buying American-made supports the American Dream. Todd Shelton believes that American innovation cannot exist without American manufacturing. He has personal interests in lean manufacturing principles and ethical and environmental manufacturing issues.
Born and raised in Tennessee, Todd leads the brand's day-to-day operations. He resides in Jersey City, NJ.
Garth Watrous grew up in the leather industry. He was a constant part of the creative side of things, and always interested in all sides of the business. After graduating from San Diego State University, he joined American Hat Makers/Head'n Home Hats, as the Vice President of the company. Because of his enthusiasm, and determination, business has doubled twice over the last 5 years. In addition to being an American Made Matters Board Member since 2013, Garth's young and energetic entrepreneurial mindset earned his seat as the Second Vice President of The Headwear Association.
American Made Matters is important to us because we create jobs for those who live in our community. We take pride in how we run our business strictly within the borders of the United States, and feel that doing so allows us to do things right the first time. It is important for us to be a part of American Made Matters, and associate with other businesses who manufacture in the USA. Networking with others, experiencing the same demands, and sharing the same sense of pride in the workmanship and manufacturing process validates why we continue to operate in the United States.
On his days off, you can occasionally find Garth on the golf course. He's been a scratch golfer since he was 15, and confesses that he enjoys a great money game. His favorite place to play a round is at Pasatiempo Golf Course. Garth is also into other sports, watching or playing, and he's an avid Nascar fan. In addition to being an outdoors kind of guy, Garth is always ready to network and discuss business opportunities, give back to the community, and being of service to others.