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Personal Stories
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William (Bill) Mitchell -- Manufacturing

Joined company in 1948, retired in 1987.

Retired from the company in 1988 as CEO of Binning's Building Products. Interviewed April 27, 2010, Charlotte, NC, by Nancy Spurlock

I was hired after the War in 1948 and worked in Manufacturing at the corporate office. I worked as the relief foreman on the 11-7 shift at the Clarence Center plant. The next year, I was asked to do the same thing at the company's Kalamazoo paper plant. That's how I learned the business.

I had worked for the company about six weeks and had not been paid. Someone had neglected to put me on the payroll. I went to the personnel office in Buffalo and asked them about the problem. There, I met Joan Theobald. Joan was working in personnel. We "hit it off" and were married. Joan had to quit her job because the company did not want married people to work in the same office. She got a job with the personnel staffing company National Gypsum used so she continued her relationship with the company.

In 1954, I went to the Niles, Ohio plant to work on a special project. The company had a large order from the military for landing mats. Those were 24-inch by 8-foot metal mats the military could put down and make landing strips. I continued at Niles as production superintendent. We made metal lath and corner beads. The company developed the galvanized metal stud and produced it at Niles. Later, I became plant manager at Niles.

Interview with Bill Mitchell in 2010.

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In 1965, I was named director of manufacturing for the specialty plants. That included 10 plants -- the lime plants, the Mobile plant which produced insulated sheathing board and ceiling panels, the Tectum plants, and the Thetford, Que., operation. The labor contracts for the Quebec plant were negotiated in French which made it difficult for me. I had to leave the room every 15 minutes to get a translation. In this position, I was gone nearly every weekday. When I got to the office, there would be a grocery cart size basket of mail. My secretary had to work on Saturday, too.

In 1974, I was named CEO of Binning's Building Products in Lexington, NC, which made aluminum windows and doors. The company expanded this operation by acquiring door and window companies in Houston and Miami.

The company sold Binning's in February 1986 to the Mario Gadelli Group.

The Mitchells now live in Lexington, NC.