RANDOLPH (CBS) – One of President Joe Biden’s gifts to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their historic Swiss summit Wednesday was done right here in Massachusetts. The White House said Biden gave Putin “a pair of custom aviators made by Randolph United States. “
“The phones started to pick up, social media was going crazy,” said Peter Waszkiewicz, CEO of Randolph USA. “We knew then that OK something had happened.”
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Biden is known for wearing aviator-style sunglasses. Waszkiewicz said the style offered to Putin is called Concorde.
Waszkiewicz knows his product is worthy of the world stage. He is extremely proud of the heritage founded by Polish immigrants: his father Jan and his partner Stanley Zaleski.
“They heard a lot of good things about America so they came to America and pursued an American dream,” Waszkiewicz said.
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The company opened its Randolph factory in 1973. In half a century, technology has changed Randolph’s work, but not the quality. Each pair takes six weeks and approximately 200 steps to complete.
Today, their sunglasses are sold around the world and have been manufactured for the US military for over four decades. The business is still owned and operated by the two families that started it – working together.
“For something like that to happen, it just puts a smile on all of our faces,” Waszkiewicz. “It’s an honor and we’re very excited about it.”
Biden also gifted Putin a crystal sculpture of an American bison by Steuben Glass of New York.
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The two presidents met in Geneva, Switzerland, for the first time since Biden took office. Putin told reporters the hour-long meeting was “constructive.” Biden said “I did what I came to do” and stressed the need for the two nuclear powers to have a stable relationship.