Department of Defense Ruling to Benefit Local Vibram Sole Manufacturer Quabaug

Vibram and Quabaug Also Announce 1.2 Million Joint Financial Investment in Innovation at Gala Event May 16, North Brookfield, Massachusetts; Companies Celebrate 50 Years of U.S. Sole Production; Congressman Jim McGovern and Other VIPs Attend Event

NORTH BROOKFIELD, MA--( May 21, 2014) - Quabaug, a North Brookfield manufacturer of Vibram soling and Vibram, the worldwide leader in high performance soles, recently celebrated a Department of Defense ruling mandating that all new military recruits must purchase domestically manufactured athletic trainers. At a May 16 gala event celebrating 50 years of Vibram sole production, executives announced the benefits of The Berry Amendment ruling and also declared a $1.2 million joint investment in innovation and technology at the plant.

"This is a rebirth of an era of athletic shoe production in New England that ended over 30 years ago," explained President and CEO Mike Gionfriddo. "Every man and woman who serves our country wears a shoe with a Vibram sole and now we can finally extend this to their athletic training footwear."

As the only North American sole manufacturer, Vibram, and Quabaug are looking forward to producing soles for a number of U.S. brands, such as New England based athletic footwear companies including New Balance and Saucony.

VIP speakers and attendees included: Congressman Jim McGovern; State Senator Stephen Brewer; Lieutenant Colonel Brian Greata, Garrison Commander of the Natick Soldier Systems Center; Jeremiah Thompson, Western MA Regional Director for Senator Elizabeth Warren; Governor Deval Patrick's Western Representative Elizabeth Cardona with a Governor's Citation; Chairman of the Board of Selectman Bob Smith of North Brookfield with a proclamation; Selectwoman Mary Walter and Selectman Eric Hevy.

About Quabaug Corporation and Vibram

In 1964, Vibram forged a partnership with Quabaug to meet the demands of the North American market for production in the USA. Despite increasing competition from overseas production facilities, the partnership has not only lasted but flourished for fifty years and continues to create innovative technology in partnership.

Founded in 1916 Quabaug began as a manufacturer of floor tiles, baby carriage tires, hockey pucks and a general line of mechanical rubber goods. The company has a 70-year history in the manufacture of soling for footwear and has been instrumental in manufacturing soles for the military from World War II and on. Located in North Brookfield, Massachusetts, Quabaug Corporation employs 250 people and manufactures Vibram® shoe soling, QuaBoing® resilient rubber surfacing, Vibram Disc Golf products, and shoe repair products.

Headquartered in northern Italy with US offices based in Concord, Mass., Vibram is recognized worldwide as the leader in high performance soles for outdoor, recreational, work and fashion footwear and is relied on by the world's greatest climbers and athletes. In 2006, Vibram introduced its first finished product: Vibram FiveFingers, a revolutionary and patented toe shoe and an unrivaled alternative to conventional footwear. Vibram is a registered trademark of Vibram S.p.A of Italy.

Visit www.vibram.com or www.vibramfivefingers.com for more information.

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