According to an article in the Sheboygan Press, American Orthodontics, Sheboygan, Mich, celebrated its 40th anniversary by bringing about 160 sales representatives, managers, international distributors, and other top officials to Sheboygan for its 2008 international meeting, which included a brat fry, tours of the plant, seminars at the Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center, and an awards ceremony at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Conference attendees came from places such as Italy, Korea, Japan, Spain and China. A "translators’ table" was set up for the seminars, with seven different languages offered: Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, and Japanese. Attendees fluent in both English and a foreign language were able to provide translations for their colleagues.

It’s the first time American Orthodontics has held its international meeting in Sheboygan. "You get an aspect of who’s out there selling your product every day and representing American Orthodontics around the world," said Mike Bogenschuetz, 44, who rose through the company ranks over 28 years and will become the firm’s new president on March 1.

About 95 percent of the company’s goods are produced in Sheboygan, and Rich Iverson, the president of the company, said the family atmosphere and local employees are big plusses in the firm’s success.

"We haven’t pushed our manufacturing offshore because we think that our people here are such a dedicated workforce and we’ve been able to automate things such that we really haven’t to do that," said Iverson, 62, who has been with the company 7 years, but is retiring as president on March 1. "It’s really helped us as a strong marketing point."