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Ordinary Building, Extraordinary Company
Gas Mask Leaders Uncovered in Belcamp

August 2011

Beige colored cinder block walls camouflage Avon Protection’s exterior. Beyond the building’s buzzer entry is a small reception desk and a welcoming interior reception area with signage that reads, “Protecting the Protectors.” Scores of Avon’s personal protection gas masks are displayed in glass boxes. Welcome to Avon Protection, the largest respiratory product manufacturer in the U.S.

Gary Dunn: Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Avon Protection.
Avon Protection
Number of Employees: 23
Facility Size: 16,000 sq. ft.
Years in Business: 4 years in Harford Co. 23 years in the U.S.
Annual Production: 200,000 gas masks
Contract 10 year Value: $1/2 billion
Contract Yearly Value: $80 million
Length of contract: 10 years

Don’t let the nondescript façade fool you – life-saving defense work is going on inside.

Avon was awarded the Joint Service General Purpose Mask contract by the U.S. Department of Defense.

From the outside, Avon Protection looks like any ordinary office building. From within, it’s obvious that the company housed in Riverside Corporate Center in Belcamp is home to something extraordinary: mission critical defense contract work.

Founded in 1875 as parent company Avon Rubber, the Harford County facility operates as home to sales, marketing, research and development, IT, and contracts. In 2000, Avon was awarded the Joint Service General Purpose Mask (JSPGM) contract by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and is now a leading solution provider in the design, development and manufacture of specialist and general personal respiratory protection.

When asked about the location of Avon Protection offices in Harford County, Gary Dunn, vice president of sales and marketing and manager of the Belcamp office, describes the company as “ideally placed” due to the ability to reach a potential customer base and the congressional base in Washington, D.C.

“We find living and working in this community to be very good,” Dunn says. “It’s an exciting and vibrant place for people to work and live.”

Dunn reasoned that the company appeals to all sorts of people and offers a much broader scope in terms of employment options. From customer service to sales and product development, the company plans to fill mid- to senior-level positions. Hoping to double the current staff of 23 in the next few years, Dunn says opportunities include research and product development, program management, sales team and customer service, as well as marketing, contracts management, and design engineering for North America.

“We’re keen to set up an intern program with an engineering-based college,” Dunn adds.

The gas masks are physically manufactured in Cadillac, Mich., and the global headquarters of Avon Protection is located in Melksham, England. These protective masks are developed to counter threats on battlefield, the war on terror and peacekeeping operations.

Avon also outfits law enforcement agencies, firefighters and first responders with gas masks. Over 2 million masks are fielded to Special Operations, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal, U.S. Air Force Fire & Rescue, the U.K. Ministry of Defense and other allied military forces.

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