Company: C. F. Martin & Co.
Contact: Dick Boak, Artist & Public Relations
Location: Nazareth, Pa.
Industry: Musical instruments
Annual revenue: $93,000,000
Number of employees: 825
Economic downturns come and go—every 11 years or so, according to Dick Boak's calculations. He's a historian at heart, and during his long tenure at C. F. Martin & Co., maker of fine guitars, he's seen a few dips—perhaps none as titanic as 2009's. But as keeper of the archives, he understands that the current downturn isn't the first, nor the last, the company must endure.
And endure the company has, for 177 years—through the Great Depression, World Wars, and a Civil War—outlasting countless fads and trends to become the oldest-surviving acoustic-instrument maker in the world.
The keys to its success? High-quality products, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from the past—all of which came into play during the plight of 2009.