Ann Wicander, president of WE Cork, represents the fifth generation of her family to be involved in the cork industry. Wicander’s journey began with her father, who headed the branch of the family’s cork company in Switzerland, where Wicander was born. “We were there for 11 years, during which time my father gave my older brothers and me lots of opportunity to earn extra money by gluing samples on brochures,” Wicander recalled. “He would pay us by piece and quality.”
Wicander recalled the turbulent fourth generation of the family business—a time when her father sold his shares of Wicanders to remaining family members and started a competitive business. The original family business was later sold out of the family to a large Portuguese manufacturer. A few years later Wicander and her family moved to the United States and established what is now called WE Cork. During that time, Wicander would occasionally accompany her father to trade shows.
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