Behind the Business - Our History

Behind the Business - Our History

My Grandfather loved to talk.  Spending time with him consisted of a lot of listening, and I grew up hearing about dog tags, CNC machines, archery and most importantly the Navy. 

Wayne Herkness II was a proud American and a Navy man through and through.  A 1939 graduate of the Naval Academy, he proved himself in “The War” by commanding two destroyers and successfully patrolling the Pacific with the same regimented discipline and attention to detail he later brought to The Damon Company.  

Mr. Herkness, as we called him at work, founded The Damon Company in 1964 and grew the business throughout the coming decades into a business built around producing the highest quality part possible, regardless of quantity, price or end use.  Mr. Herkness had a mechanical aptitude and engineering mindset that enabled the team at Damon Co to internally create machines that manufactured dog tags and other parts for the United States military, our allies and later Shrewd Archery.

While my dad, Sam, took over the title of President & CEO, Mr. Herkness continued in his role as Founder and was a staple at the Damon Co.  He patrolled the floors daily in his signature blazer, white shirt and American flag pin until he passed away at age 98.

Mr. Herkness believed in building a business centered on the people.  The employees were family and the products we produced were his greatest pride.  He never wavered from his belief in American manufacturing, led the business from the floor and was the first one to get his hands dirty and fix a problem.  He was an incredible man who accomplished much and left behind a legacy and a business that we’re all immensely proud to be a part of.  

Laven Newsom - 3rd Generation Damon Co / Shrewd Employee


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