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From a two-man shop to a global powerhouse: Gill Industries' story of success | Business

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From a two-man shop to a global powerhouse: Gill Industries' story of success

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  In a time when 8 out of 10 businesses fail, one local company is celebrating 50 years of success.

Plainfield Township Supervisor Jay Spencer issued a proclamation this month recognizing Gill Industries’ milestone.

Gill Industries started in 1964 as a small tool and die company run by John Gill and his brother-in-law, Gerald Williams.  Since then, it’s grown drastically, adding stamping products in the 1970s, welding and assembly in the 1980s and a more complex design and engineering system in the 1990s.  In 1985, Gill’s wife, Rita Williams took over the company, growing sales from nearly $8 million to more than $100 million.  In 2010, she handed over the reigns to her daughters Rita Woodruff and Mary Gill-Thornton, who serve as co-CEOs, continuing the family business, which is now a global supplier.

Gill industries now employs 1,898 people across the world, including 620 in Michigan.