TopTec, through an exclusive partnership with Inflate U.K., introduces North American event professionals to a unique solution for unforgettable event experiences.
Moore, S.C. – TopTec Event Tents recently announced the launch of a new company division, Inflate-AIRmerica, thanks to an innovative partnership between the North American tent manufacturer and Inflate, an award-winning UK design and production firm specializing in creating inflatable structures for immersive brand and event experiences.
“Inflate-AIRmerica is a joint partnership between TopTec and Inflate UK dedicated to creating a customized, immersive and entertaining experience for corporate events, trade shows and product launches,” said TopTec president John Ciniglio. “With the launch of Inflate-AIRmerica, our customers will have a unique and eye-catching offering to their clients that will set them apart from the traditional and boring.”
Inflate-AIRmerica is the only company with exclusive rights to sell and distribute the Inflate-branded product in the continental United States allowing TopTec’s newest division to leverage the brand heritage, design facilities and product line of its new European partner in a way that has not been realized in other global territories.
TopTec operates two facilities – one in New York and a larger, manufacturing facility in South Carolina. By utilizing the reach of these two facilities Ciniglio said that the company will be able to develop the product line and quickly offer it throughout North America while leveraging the innovation and inflatable products knowledge that successfully grew the Inflate brand in Europe.
Inflate UK founder Simon Coulter described the signing of the partnership agreement between TopTec and Inflate as a watershed moment in the development of the Inflate brand.
Ciniglio and Coulter said they are approaching this new venture with an open mind about the scope as to what can be achieved.
“Both parties have taken a considerable amount of time to ensure the relationship has been built on the right foundations, and I am convinced it is going to be an exciting journey. TopTec presents a great opportunity to introduce Inflate across the entire USA and beyond,” said Coulter.
“Working with Inflate UK is a terrific opportunity because we have the same philosophy on quality and innovation and both organizations will be able to leverage what each of us does best,” said Ciniglio.
About TopTec Event Tents.
TopTec Event Tents designs, manufactures and distributes event tents for the event rental industry. TopTec was founded in 1986 and manufactures frame tents, push-pole tents, large tension tents, ClearSpan structures, custom design tents and fabric structures. TopTec also hosts the annual Tent School, the industry’s longest running tent professional training program, at its South Carolina facility.
About Inflate U.K.
Inflate is an award winning design and production consultancy, helping clients recognise the benefit of taking ideas forward to new levels and not simply adopting standard commercial solutions. Through the design and production of Inflate’s own brand product line, the company has an in depth practical understanding of taking a project from conceptualization through to production and delivery.
Spartanburg, S.C. – “You have to be set up for success,” said Stephanie Bush-Chastain, transitional specialist for Dorman High School.
Fifty students currently participate in Dorman’s Occupational Program, which includes classes in English, writing, mathematics, S.C. history, government and biology as well as assistance with career and employment training. The Occupational Program is designed to assist non-diploma seeking students with obtaining job and daily living skills so that after high school they can successfully transition to independent living. The program follows the typical school year with emphasis on gaining skills for future employment.
Occupational Program students also participate in co-op programs with over a dozen Spartanburg County businesses. Bush-Chastain stressed the importance of “getting students into the community to interact with new environments and people.”
Meyco Products, a manufacturing corporation located near the high school on Highway 221, already had a co-op program with R.D. Anderson Applied Technology Center students. A chance conversation in 2012 about expanding the co-op program led Mark Isbell, Meyco’s operations manager and Daryl Everhart, Meyco’s human resources director to Dorman’s Occupational Program.
“Any time you start a new initiative, you have to commit to a lot of upfront work, but launching our co-op program with Dorman was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done,” said Isbell.
Meyco Products manufactures custom swimming pool covers for pool suppliers and event tents for the event rental industry through its two brands, Meyco Pool Covers and TopTec Event Tents. Meyco’s corporate headquarters are located in Melville, NY but the company moved the majority of its manufacturing operation to Spartanburg in 1988. In 2006, Meyco Products purchased TopTec Event Tents. In 2011, Meyco moved to its current location on Highway 221 in order to accommodate the company’s growing business.
“We’ve invested in Spartanburg County through our facilities,” said Meyco president John Ciniglio, “but we’re also investing in the people and skillsets here in the Upstate. Partnerships like this allow us to give students a real-world knowledge of a manufacturing environment and allow us to bring new ideas and processes into our workflow.”
Monday through Friday, students are transported from the high school to Meyco’s manufacturing facility by two Dorman employment specialists in a school activity bus.
The first co-op class had only 6 students; but this year, participation levels have more than doubled. “We’ve set up two ‘shifts’,” said Isbell. “Seven students participate in the morning co-op and 9 join us for the afternoon co-op.”
Students work side by side assembling key components in the company’s product line. “They are laser focused,” said Isbell. “You can tell they take this very seriously.”
Bush-Chastain said the school identifies students most likely to succeed in each type of working environment. “We can’t simulate this type of experience on campus,” she said. “The day to day in a real workplace is the best way to give our students the experience they need to get a job once they transition into the workforce.”
There are also additional options for Occupational Program students including Clemson University’s Life Program. “Acceptance into that program requires written, professional references. Our partnership with Meyco Products and other Spartanburg County businesses give our students opportunities for professional references. That’s a whole different level of diversity that they can leverage in their applications,” said Bush-Chastain.
About Meyco Products.
Meyco Products designs, manufactures and distributes custom pool covers for the pool and spa industry and event tents for the event rental industry through the corporation’s two brands – Meyco Pool Covers and TopTec Event Tents. Meyco’s founder, Fred Meyer, developed the world’s first mesh safety pool cover in 1957. In 1960, he was awarded a patent for the design. TopTec was founded in 1986 and manufactures frame tents, push-pole tents, large tension tents, ClearSpan structures, custom design tents and fabric structures. TopTec also hosts the annual Tent School, the industry’s longest running tent professional training program, at its Spartanburg facility.
Spartanburg, S.C. – Michael Tharpe, director of sales for TopTec Event Tents will receive the 2013 Hall of Honor Award from the Mid-Atlantic Tent Renters Association Nov. 6 in Dover, Delaware during the organization’s 2013 conference. The Hall of Honor Award is the association’s highest recognition award and acknowledges industry leaders for their contributions to advancing the tent rental market.
“Mike was chosen for his dedication and significant contributions he has made to the tent rental industry,” said MATRA Executive Director Michael Tannen, “He is always willing to help and educate others on the safety of tent installations for the tent installer and protecting the end user. Mike is a true tent professional and it’s an honor to know him, work with him and learn from him.”
MATRA is the regional trade organization for companies and manufacturers in the tent rental industry. MATRA was founded in 1987 to allow professionals in the event and party rental industry the opportunity to network, share ideas and learn. Tharpe served on the MATRA board from 1999 – 2008. While on the board, he also served on the MATRA event, education and safety committees.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award,” said Tharpe. “MATRA is all about people who are passionate about their business. For TopTec, it’s a direct connection with the people who actually rely on our products. It’s an opportunity for us to learn about their needs and to develop products that will help them grow their businesses.”
About TopTec Event Tents
TopTec Event Tents designs, manufactures and distributes frame tents, push-pole tents, large tension tents, ClearSpan structures, custom design tents, fabric structures and tent accessories for the rental industry. For more information visit www.toptecproducts.com.