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Michael Batson

Director of Product Development

My career began in Clemson University, where I studied business and earned an MBA. Later, I attended the Institute of Textile Engineering, where I earned a Master’s Degree in Textile Engineering. Since then, I have spent 25 years in the textile industry, with more than half of that time focusing on flame resistant and protective textiles, clothing and gear.

My first exposure to flame resistant textiles was part of a business development task force for Milliken, where we did a deep dive into the protective textiles market segment. Our small, three-person team created a business case to enter the FR fabric market to achieve organic sales growth along with recommending the purchase of several leading FR fabric companies.

Ultimately, Milliken acted on this proposal and acquired several leading FR companies, becoming the largest player in the US market. Several years later, I joined Polartec to become the team lead to both create and sell the first FR knit garment layering system for workwear. This knit FR layering system concept was widely embraced by the consumer and has been replicated and improved upon by leading FR fabric and clothing brands across the North American market.

Throughout my career, I have always believed that honesty is best and that trust has to be earned. Having strong integrity as a person is critical to earning trust and respect from others. I seek to work and associate with others who share these same values, and I’ve found that at True North Gear.

Competition is also a strong motivator. I once lost 25 pounds as a new year’s resolution bet I had with a close friend. The wager was only five dollars which, I might add, my friend never paid. But had the wager not existed, the diet would have been a flop. It was the level of competition added to the task that made it both fun and purposeful.

When I am not in the office, I enjoy gardening and fishing. These both let me unplug and allow my mind to roam freely. I’ve found that it’s during these moments of relaxation that new ideas or solutions to ongoing problems present themselves.