Massif Rocks!

Team Wendy Issues Statement Regarding Secretary Clinton’s Visit

This morning I awoke to an Internet circus. Team Wendy, one of our advertisers, had shared a local news story that Democratic front runner for President, Hillary Rodham Clinton was holding an event at their facility this coming Monday. Now, I shouldn’t have to point this out, but I will; Mrs Clinton is not well liked by the rank and file or veteran service member or Law Enforcement Officer (this guy included). As you can imagine, the Internet mob was out in full force, vilifying Team Wendy for their actions. I received several emails about the issue from concerned readers as well, so I looked into it. I have spoken with Team Wendy CEO Jose Rizo-Patron about the situation and he offered the statement below. But before I get to it, I’d like to say something about this situation, Team Wendy and its owner, Daniel T Moore, from my perspective.

I’ve known Mr Moore for well over 10 years now, since well before there was an SSD, and I’ve met with him on several occasions. Until today I never even considered his politics. We always spoke about American manufacturing and his efforts in dealing with Brain Injuries. Once, on a visit, we also discussed his hometown of Cleveland, and I can tell you, that man is proud of his town. But we never discussed politics because it wasn’t germane to our common goals of protecting service members and employing Americans. Even now, I know that those are core values of Team Wendy as well as the man that owns it, and those are the very reasons that they are an advertiser on my website.

As I understand it, Secretary Clinton had planned to visit the 700,000 sq ft facility which houses Team Wendy along with several other small manufacturers called the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center. At some point it was determined that this repurposed plant contained a defense contractor. Hard to say who made the call. The area is solidly Democrat so it could just as well have been a local party organizer as an HRC campaigner. Regardless, it transformed somewhere along the way from a facility visit to a campaign event. The news was notified and it blew up. I have a feeling that the opportunity to bring TBI to the national stage became the main focus, and the possible fallout from a visit by a Presidential candidate wasn’t at the forefront. There was some excitement and the news story was shared by Team Wendy in their Facebook page. Näive? To be sure. But I don’t see any effort in their end to endorse a candidate for political office as so many have claimed. I also think Team Wendy had as many actual customers as were claimed during the Facebook tirade against them. They employee Americans, continue to innovate and make a great product that is used in every issue helmet. Their ZAP pads have saved many a noggin over the years from the effects of shock and blast. Also, their next generation of helmets and liners are pushing the envelope of protection technology.

Do I think it was a mistake? Absolutely. But on this one, Team Wendy gets a mulligan from me. To be sure, it’s been a costly learning experience for them. They are now stuck between a rock and a hard place. They could go back on their word to participate in the visit and make their critics happy. However, this could result in ramifications both locally and perhaps, long term at the federal level. On the other hand, Team Wendy could go along with the event and alienate their customer base. Regardless of which course Team Wendy takes, this is a cautionary tale for anyone in the defense industry to abstain from endorsing political candidates from any party. The reality of business is that they must work with both parties.

My support for Team Wendy hinges on their long-term actions. Will they stay true to their commitment to excellence in the head protection arena? Will they continue to insist on American manufacturing? And, will they stay out of politics? America needs a vibrant defense industry. I am in this for the long haul and I want to see them there as well.

– Eric Graves, SSD Editor

Team Wendy’s Statement

Team Wendy Friends and Customers,

Let me start by stating unequivocally that Team Wendy has not endorsed nor will be endorsing any candidate for President of the United States.

Our business and focus is centered around three principal goals: Protecting Americans and our allies against serious and potentially life-threatening impact related injuries, creating American jobs and promoting American manufacturing.

To the extent that politicians are interested in working with us to address these core goals, Team Wendy has always been, and will continue to be, willing to meet and listen. We do not get to dictate who serves as President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State or Chairman of the HASC. We simply engage with and are openly willing to work with anyone who shares our core mission of saving lives, or anyone who is in a position to positively advance our mission.

To those who are not aware, Team Wendy is a company within a portfolio of sister companies that focus mainly on industrial innovation. Team Wendy is very different than its sister companies. Team Wendy was founded in 1997 by Cleveland-based entrepreneur Dan T. Moore as a memorial to his daughter Wendy, who passed away from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) following a snow-skiing accident. Next year will mark the 20 year anniversary since Wendy’s passing as a result of that tragic accident. Her legacy and memory lives on daily here at Team Wendy through the work being done toward developing leading edge protective gear and other innovative products.

Wendy’s legacy also lives on through the work that Team Wendy does by engaging government, academia and the private sector to learn more about TBI and how we can better prevent this from happening to the American troops who do so much to protect our country.

Although we are a profit-making company, we will continue to be driven by Wendy’s legacy and will continue to work our tails off to provide our guys and gals on the front lines the best protective equipment possible, in the most timely fashion possible, and with the best customer service we can deliver. Nothing is more important to us.

We intend to actively and aggressively promote our core mission with Secretary Clinton during her time here on Monday and will continue to work as a company to do all that we can to be advocates for our core customers, our troops and first responders.

Sincerely,

Jose Rizo-Patron

CEO, Team Wendy

Tags:

288 Responses to “Team Wendy Issues Statement Regarding Secretary Clinton’s Visit”

  1. Chuck says:

    As a former commissioned officer and military pilot with combat service, I judge Team Wendy on the quality of thier products and excellence in engineering – and as an innovative American company that competes and wins in the global economy!!! ?

  2. RayForest says:

    This isn’t something I like but take it to the extreme looking at other companies. I drove my new Suburban on a 4 hour family road trip today and did it in style and comfort. I lovethat thing. Tommorow I will go back to work and either drive my Tahoe or Expedition. Who did Ford and GM contribute to? Have either of them every had a campaign event? I bet I won’t like the answer to that either but there it is. 3 great trucks I love.

  3. RayForest says:

    Anybody that it totally twisted by this, look at the vehicle you drive. Research and find out if a similar set of circumstances surrunds the manufacturer of the car you drive. If so are you as bent out of shape by that? Its inevitable that even the most staunch anti HRC person gives money to companies or buys from CEOs that support her. This time we just found out about it.

  4. Arrow 4 says:

    So much nonsense! Team Wendy is committed to our servicemen and women, and the law enforcement and search and rescue community. On top of that they make some of, if not the best products in their class.

  5. Y.T. says:

    So, here is an observation, you’re the CO or Senior Enlisted for a unit conducting some high speed hooah training, the Division CoS pulls you aside and says XXX, the Chair of the Armed Services Committee is coming to observe your training and bringing he entourage, half a dozen miscellaneous staffers, the Partridge Family, and Eva Longoria along as well. You can’t exactly say no. The Brigade PA gets wind of this and put it out as a release on Facebook. Nobody likes the Chair, nobody definitely likes his staffers, someone might like like Eva Longoria but in the end they’re showing up and you can’t exactly put out a release that says 1st Battalion is not looking forward to the Chair getting in their business and fucking up their training day. You tell everyone that you’re excited that you have the privilege of hosting Douchebag 6, Stuttering 7, and the Chair of the Armed Services Committee during your training event.

  6. JRage says:

    Team Wendy clearly has issues and is deserving of some backlash. But the boycott idea has some holes:
    It seems the goal is to financially “hurt” a 70-something mega-millionaire by hindering one of his (many) companies. So that he has (slightly) less money to donate to DEMs and HC has one less stage to hold an event?

    The side effect is to damage/close an American company creating manufacturing jobs in Cleveland. AND to deny our military and LE access to perfectly good protective equipment options. AND to send a message to any left-leaners with jobs/capital/technology to stay the f– away from tactical products.
    How does this help anyone?

    I believe in your right to boycott if you like. Just saying it doesn’t make sense to me. Especially with the recent comments about how other helmet manufacturing options aren’t squeaky clean either (surprising exactly no one).

    Secondly, we justifiably thrash the DEM’s for their treatment of military and LE. Also for their trade and manufacturing policy. Dan Moore seems to be a democrat who is a capitalist, pro U.S. manufacturing, gives a shit about head injury (daughter’s story), who allows one of his companies to make protective gear for U.S. troops. In other words a FUCKING UNICORN. And our collective response is KILL IT!!!… Not saying I’m a fan, it’s just fascinating how thin the line is between villain and hero.

    Team Wendy may be naive or idiotic for thinking they can get D Politicians to suddenly give a shit about their issues. Dan Moore too – to whatever extent he is involved with the company (I’m guessing not much if he owns a bunch of them and is in his 70’s). But I’m not going to heap scorn on them for trying when an opportunity to meet the frontrunner for POTUS is handed to them.

  7. Disco says:

    They shan’t see a dime from me

  8. LewGrimm says:

    So Mr. Graves give Team Wendy a Faustian choice,
    1) Cancel the event and tick off the (future) government leaders
    2) Go ahead with the event and tick off their customer base.
    Option 1 is smart in a socialist/fascist/communist country,
    Option 2 is smart in a free capitalistic country.

    Lets see which way he goes, it’ll show his hand at his view of our future.

    • SSD says:

      Actually, if you bother to read my comments in the post above you’d see that those are essentially their choices.

      However, based on my reading of your own comment, I take it you’re some kind of anarchosocialist?

      By the way…I don’t tell anyone how to run their company. It’s up to them what they do. Then, the market reacts. Controlling companies is the true sign of a socialist.

      • LewGrimm says:

        I did read your well written comments, and agree those are their two reasonable choices, barring the exotic and unlikely such as hosting a Hillary/Trump debate.

        Thank you for expanding my vocabulary! I had to look up “anarchosocialist”. It wasn’t in Merriam Webster, I found it on the web. Actually I’m more conservative-libertarian, if we gotta have labels.

        Still, my perception remains, someone even thinking of alienating their customers to ingratiate themselves with the authorities heralds a grave prognosis for our country.

  9. Thomas says:

    I just want to write a big thumbs up for SSD for commenting to a lot of people. Most sites would have backed away and let the shit storm pass by and act like it never happened. You’ve been polite, engaging and tried to challenge some statements.

    It’s a debate after all – people are sometimes emotionally invested in a brand and it’s clear that some minds have been made up during all this.

    Regardlesss, hats off to you SSD for keeping it informative and debatable… almost 😛

    • Mick says:

      Agreed!

      Also people keep saying “SSD shoudl stay out of politics!”

      Generally agreed, but this one seemed like it was kind of thrust upon the blog, and it would have been a bigger issue to NOT cover it… I tihnk SSD’s done a great job of giving the company’s statement, his reaction and analysis, engaging in discussing, and otherwise letting people make up their minds.
      That, in my mind, is Journalistic Excellence; well done, sir!
      Mick.

  10. cimg says:

    Wow, not any democrat; but HRC the ultimate lightening rod.

  11. AGI says:

    Am certainly not an HRC supporter, but wonder what the reactions here would have been if the incident involved Trump instead – a 5-time draft dodger, (formerly) supporter of an “assault weapons” ban (who has now flip flopped on that issue to secure NRA votes and support), promoter of illegal torture and violations of the Law of Land Warfare and Geneva Conventions, promoter of a policy to kill families of enemies of the US, demonstrated disrespect for veterans and military leadership, etc. etc. He seems to represent the opposite of what most in our community would admire or support yet I suspect that an industry leader donating or hosting him would garner little outrage here.

  12. Va Beach says:

    Team Wendy’s days in doing business with our military and affiliates will now be numbered. We will be cancelling our contracts and contacting our brothers and sisters in to do the same. Thanks for exposing

  13. Snicklefritzz says:

    So what do you think about team Wendy after clintons speech about banning “assault rifles” and not allowing people on the no fly list and being watched by the FBI to buy fire arms? Was that the founder of team Wendy that stood up clapping when she said that?

    • SSD says:

      I fully expected Clinton to be Clinton and say those things. They aren’t the first time she’s said them and they won’t be the last. She is definitely the enemy of firearm, and other civil rights. So get out there and vote.

      As for the second part, no, that’s a local politician.

      • Snicklefritzz says:

        That’s a relief he was not related to the company. I was hoping that she was going to be aware of the backlash the company is recieving or may receive and curb her anti gun speeches while she was there. So much for concerns about small companies and their success in USA.

  14. Shawn says:

    Eric, do you still support them now after today’s rally calling for gun control at their factory?

  15. majrod says:

    Well now that he event is over.

    Anyone see HRC’s comments about AR15’s, background checks etc. at TW?

    What about the guy front and center with the guns kill shirt?

    Where was TBI showcased again as TW stated?

    Where is TW’s statement saying it doesn’t agree with those positions?

    One can still but their gear. Just do it while being informed where your money is going.

  16. John says:

    Wow. TW employees cheering on calls for gun control. And this article has been quickly buried by an avalanche of articles.

    No mention of TBI that I heard.

    Are you going to continue to defend this company?

  17. TD says:

    I wonder if Sr Chief Woods and PO Doherty were wearing TW pads in their helmets when they were killed while going above and beyond the call of duty, left to die by the President and the very woman for which this campaign event was hosted?

    I know none of my helmets will ever sport a chinstrap, pad, or any other products TW sells to patriots and freedom-loving Americans, only to pass our money on to the Wicked Witch of the East, whom seeks to take away our freedoms towards which some of TW products are marketed.

  18. Steve says:

    who cares…good company and good product.

  19. I cringed when I saw this on the news. Big mistake that certainly could have and should have been avoided. Oh well, you live and you learn I guess, right Jose?