Jim Knott was recently awarded 2018 Large Business Leader of the Year by the Worcester Business Journal. The Business Leader award is Worcester Business Journal’s oldest award, honoring those who have made significant contributions to the Central Massachusetts economy and community in the past year.

“James M. Knott, Jr. was an obvious choice for the 2018 Large Business Leader of the Year award,” said WBJ Editor Brad Kane. “The way Riverdale Mills has grown and diversified under his leadership — including its hold over the seafood trap industry and developments in security fencing — are worthy of praise. Coupled with his and Riverdale’s commitment to manufacturing in the Blackstone Valley area, James is a standout member of the small class of business leaders who have won this award in the past 36 years.”

Riverdale Mills founder James Knott revolutionized the lobster fishing industry when he created Aquamesh, a first of its kind marine-grade welded wire mesh designed specifically to build lobster traps for New England lobstermen. Today, over 80% of all lobster traps in North America are built with Aquamesh.

For over 30 years, Jim worked with his father and held a variety of financial, technical, and operational positions at the company. His deep-seated knowledge of the business has proven invaluable as Riverdale Mills transitioned from a small start-up to an internationally recognized leader in the wire industry.

Riverdale Mills now manufactures over 3,500 sizes of welded wire mesh for the marine, security, farming and construction industries. 40% percent of its products are exported to industrial and consumer clients around the world.

“Our family business has a unique and robust history, with an intense focus on innovation and long-term success, a deep-rooted dedication to our employees and unwavering determination to deliver superior products to every customer,” said Knott.