Albert Kaminsky, Dave Mann and Morris Kelman experienced initial success as a local awning company called Economy Awning Co. They specialized in window awnings, carports, patio awnings, tarps, trailer awnings and other various vinyl products. The three men and their families partnered together and conquered the awning business in sunny South Florida.
As the business grew, Steve Mishket in 1980, bought partnership into the company and eventually took on solo ownership. Steve was a family friend of one of the original partners. His previous experience from working in the factory through out high school was helpful in his transition as a partner in the company. During his tenure at Economy Awning he recognized a gap in the business and transitioned the carport frame into a 10’x10′ portable canopy called a “Quick & Easy.” The product was a big hit and very cost effective for the consumers. There was no doubt that the sturdiness of the steel frame and the quality of vinyl would last a lifetime, but the catchy slogan was far from accurate. The Q&E was a two man job that took about thirty to forty-five minutes to assemble.
As Mishket began to prepare for his retirement, he called on an old friend from his years of employment as a Human Resources Manager for Sears, Hal Lapping. In 1990 Hal teamed up with Steve and bought ownership interest in the company.
“I knew Hal to be a man of intelligence and integrity. I also knew how successful he was when he worked at Sears. He’s a guy who get’s things done in a pleasant positive way. He has an even disposition and is well liked and respected by customers, employees and vendors. He was and is the perfect combination of the partner anyone would seek,” said Mishket.
Throughout their seven years of partnership, the company raised it’s annual revenues and Steve was able to retire as planned. Hal bought full ownership of Economy Tent as promised. “Our buyout could not have gone more smoothly,” said Mishket. ” Hal honored and kept every commitment he made during the buyout. It was a wonderful experience, we have remained best of friends now for over forty years. That has been the best part.”
Lapping took Economy Tent from a small local awning business to one of the largest frame tent manufacturers in the U.S. In 2003 he developed our trademark product, The TRIO frame system – one frame…three different cover styles. After the product hit the open market in 2005 it was immediately accepted within the industry. Economy experienced a progression of significant sales increases. “The local awning market was very limiting as to growth,” said Lapping. “The best way to have sales growth was to expand our market nationally and internationally.”
The growth of Economy continued to progress as Lapping’s innovative mind was constantly thinking of new ways to ‘WOW’ the competition and consumers in the industry. Shortly after the catastrophic earthquake occurred in Haiti, Hal developed an engineered light weight temporary housing unit called The Relief Shelters. These portable structures were used as work and rest facilities for employees and volunteers during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2009.
Economy’s quick recognition in the industry was noticed by competitors as Lapping and his team began to dominate the north and southeast U.S., along with the Caribbean and Latin America. In July of 2011 Anchor Industries Inc., the leading U.S. manufacturer of tenting solutions for the Special Events industry presented Lapping with an interest in acquiring his company. “I was flattered Anchor Industries, the largest and most prestigious tent manufacturer in the USA recognized our accomplishments and our continuing growth potential,” says Hal. “Anchor found ETI to be a perfect component for their strategic growth plans.” As of October 31, 2011 the acquisition was finalized and Hal stepped into his new role as the Chief Operating Officer.
Since the acquisition several positive things have happened. Economy Tent International was formally introduced at Anchor University November 2011 with hundreds of attendees present. “The synergy between the two companies has been remarkable,” says Lapping. “Anchor’s stamp of approval has opened countless doors for us and there’s still more to come!” ETI has significantly increased dominance in the frame tent market though the relationship with Anchor Industries. The Anchor-Economy team is an astounding partnership which will continue to flourish.