American Orthodontics, Sheboygan, Wis, recently was named a Grand Award winner at the 22nd annual Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Awards. The awards recognize Wisconsin companies that demonstrate a commitment to business excellence and contribute to making Wisconsin a better place to live, work, and play.

The company is the largest private orthodontic manufacturer in the world, with more than 95% of its products manufactured in Sheboygan, according to the Sheboygan Press. It also is the largest private manufacturer of dental braces in the world. American Orthodontics’ sales grew in 2009, despite a 15% decline in industry sales. The company also added 25 new workers.

John Emory, president and CEO of Emory & Co and one of the award judges, told the Sheboygan Press, “It bears to reason that in a recession, people are going to spend less on braces to straighten their teeth than when times are better. You’d expect the company to get crushed in 2009. Instead, they’re doing better.”

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