Defender hands out profit-sharing bonuses

WATERFORD, Conn. — Defender Industries handed out bonuses to their employees Friday as a reward for Defender’s success in 2008, the company reported in a statement.

“We passed out tens of thousands of dollars to our staff today,” Executive Director Al Knupp told Boating Industry.

The family-owned marine outfitter and catalog retailer had a record-breaking year in 2008 with sales growth of 11.3 percent.

Defender’s Success and Profit Sharing program rewards employees proportionately for their contributions to the company’s success, according to co-owner Stephan Lance. Employees can decide how to receive their individual share, with options including any combination of extra paid time off, pre-tax contributions to their 401(k) or health savings account, or as bonus pay.

Customer satisfaction is fundamental to Defender’s continued success, according to Knupp, which is one reason the company wants its employees to feel like stakeholders in Defender’s success.

“We want each individual on the Defender Team to have a financial stake in the success they achieve,” he said. “Our Profit Share program is unique in that it is also designed to provide a significant additional reward to our staff for their years of service to Defender, which can double the amount an employee receives.”

This is the third consecutive year the company has shared profits and is the largest amount paid to date, Knupp said. Defender actually increased staffing levels during 2008 to support the increased volume and is hiring again, the company reported.

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