On Jan. 28, Gladding Braided Products was featured on the History Channel show Modern Marvels. The episode "Ropes & Chains" included an interview with Donald (Sparky) Christakos '81, president of Gladding Braided Products, and highlighted the historic and present-day significance of the company. Each day, over 2000 braiding machines create nearly two million feet of rope for the apparel industry, specialized industries like archery, and the United States military. (Over one fifth of their production line is parachute cords for the military.)
Gladding Braided Company was founded in 1816. In the nineteenth century, they produced ropes for clipper ships. In the 1960s, they created a nonflammable fiber that was used in spacesuits. During the 1990's, Bill Bruce '82 was vice president of the company and "instrumental in its revival," according to Christakos. Currently, Mike Radziwon '81 is C.O.O. and "critical to Gladding's critical growth and success."
At Hamilton, Christakos majored in geology. He played ice hockey and soccer and was a member of Alpha Delta Phi. Radziwon majored in sociology and played soccer. Bruce majored in public policy and went on to earn his master of public administration at Suffolk University. All three were members of Alpha Delta Phi.
"Ropes & Chains" will air again on Mar. 3