Celebrating a centennial of American manufacturing and innovation.

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Switlik timeline


SWITLIK - 4 Generations of Family Leadership

Stanley and Walter-1

Stanley and Walter

Pioneering aviation safety

Stanley immigrated to the United States in 1907 at the age of 17, eventually settling in Trenton with his newly immigrated brother, Walter. In 1920, Stanley purchased a failing canvas-leather novelty business. As the organized expanded, equipment was manufactured principally for use in aviation like aviator's belts, helmets and clothing before parachutes.  

In addition to serving as President & CEO, Stanley was the face of the company and driver behind product development. Eventually holding 29 patents for parachute development, Stanley partnered with leading aviators of the time to develop and market new safety products.

Reaching success with Switlik Parachute Company, and in addition to his personal donation of products, land, financial resources and time to various organizations and school districts, Stanley additionally started the Switlik Foundation to continue charitable contributions. Stanley remained active with the company until his death in 1981.

Walter, working as the "right-hand man" to Stanley, served as Vice President of the company and oversaw production. During WWII, Walter served a unique role in training key personnel for other parachute companies by request of the Army and Navy. Walter passed away in 1952.


Lottie and Richard

Parachutes and Beyond

Lottie and Richard were officially announced as directors of the company in 1939.

Lottie became one of the first women in the United States to receive a Rigger's license. In 1940, Lottie went to Brazil to open the South American Switlik Company. Upon her return, she became the chief inspector in the North American branch. In later years, while not as involved with the factory, Lottie served as Secretary of the Board. Lottie passed in 2013.

Richard began work as the Chief Engineer of the North American Switlik Company before being called to duty in 1943. Throughout the remainder of the war, he served stateside overseeing textile manufacturing for war production. In 1951, Richard was elected President of the Board. Together with Stanley, Richard helped lead the company through its reliance on parachutes and began manufacturing other aviation life vests and life rafts. SWITLIK made its last parachute in 1976. Richard passed in 2004.


Richard, Greg and Stan

Expansion in new markets

Richard Jr. joined the company after college, working as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Richard helped grow the aviation side of the business, helping SWITLIK be among the first companies to offer large aviation rafts. Richard also worked in establishing the leisure marine line, developing the SWITLIK unique Toroidal Stability Device for rafts. Richard retired in 2009.

Greg joined the company in 1980 and served as Vice President of Marine Development. A founder and future President of the United States Marine Safety Association, Greg was instrumental in lobbying for safety provisions for commercial marine and recreational boating safety. With an eye on safety, Greg helped drive SWITLIK's development in new marine products. Greg passed in 2007.

Stanley II joined the company after college, working as the Vice President of Research and Development. As the Chief Engineer, Stan helped drive new developments including the Fastnet Crew Vest, safety harness, Gore-Tex dry suits and the oval raft with convertible canopy, which was lauded as the most innovative product of the decade in the 90's. Stan is the current President & CEO of Switlik.

Sarah headshot


The start of the next 100 years

Sarah joined in 2013 and is currently the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Sarah has become the voice of the company, helping SWITLIK re-define its position in current and development of new markets. This year, in such a tumultuous environment, Sarah has been instrumental in guiding SWITLIK as its played a key role in providing PPE to the immediate area.