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NEW: Hook To Retire From Friendship Industries

Daily News-Record - 12/20/2017

HARRISONBURG - Thomas Hook, chief operating officer of Friendship Industries Inc. and Able Solutions Inc., will retire after 25 years on Dec. 31.

Friendship Industries was founded in 1964 as a not-for-profit business that creates employment and training opportunities for those with disabilities, according to a press release from Friendship Industries dated Dec. 14.

Able Solutions is an affiliate to Friendship Industries that provides on-the-job training to those who struggle to find or keep a job.

During Hook's tenure, Friendship Industries grew from one location with a $200,000 budget to three locations with a more than $7 million budget.

Hook worked to diversify the companies' customer bases, increase profits and create employment opportunities.

In 1995, he created Friendship Industries' mail management division, which he used to help with employment for people with disabilities. This move also doubled the company's profitability, according to the release.

In 2006, he helped with an exclusive contract between Friendship Industries and the Department of Defense for U.S. Air Force first aid and survival kits. That contract doubled Friendship Industries' employee base.

Six years later, he helped create Able Solutions.

His final task will be to manage the companies' $3 million expansion, according to the release.

 
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