Yesterday, we sent off one of our most famous superstars, Vice President of Manufacturing, John Williams as he embarks on his next journey of retirement. To know Robbins is to know John, and we cannot say enough about all of the lives he has impacted over his 42 and a half years of being a member of the Robbins family.
John began his career at our Ishpeming Michigan facility in 1979 as an office and assistant plant manager and soon after became actively involved in the manufacturing and operations side of the business. During his time in Ishpeming he was responsible for the purchase and installation of our Parquet and Sportwood lines along with the ongoing daily operations of the strip line.
John joined the Robbins White Lake team in 1988 as an assistant plant manager being promoted shortly after to the Vice President of Manufacturing.
Over the next 10 years John was actively involved in upgrading and expanding the Residential side of the business at White Lake as well as at our Southern plants until the sale of the Residential division in 1997. This was one of the most transformational periods in Robbins history bringing the Continuous Strip® XL product line from concept to reality – ultimately becoming the mainstay of our Recreational wood business today making up over 90% of our wood production volume.
Working together with Product development, Marketing, and Sales the Continuous Strip® XL product came to life and is what continues to set us apart from our competition today. John was a key player in the evaluation, purchase, and installation of the equipment for making that product along with upgrading and expanding the White Lake facility in order to bring the product line into full production.
Throughout all of the change over the years John always found the most rewarding part of his job to be the friendships and relationships that were built among suppliers, team members and the customers that were using our products.
Over the years, John has given Robbins as a whole and each individual employee his unfaltering dedication, kindness, and positivity. There are no words to describe the gratitude and thanks that John deserves, and while we are all sad to see him go, we wish him all of the best in spending time doing the things he loves most in his retirement- spending time in nature and surrounded by family and friends. Congratulations John, onto the next adventure.