Bonitz, Inc. Announces The Passing Of Its Founder George William "Bill" Rogers
Bonitz, Inc. today announced the passing of its founder, George William "Bill" Rogers, former Chairman and President of the company. An unpretentious business leader who mostly avoided the limelight, Bill Rogers made a significant impact on the construction and manufacturing industries, creating thousands of jobs and making major personal contributions to his community and state. A 2002 inductee into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame, Rogers established and built two successful business enterprises in the 1950s, Bonitz, Inc., and Consolidated Systems, Inc., that became well known to architects and contractors nationwide.
"I will miss my first true mentor more than words can explain," expressed Larry Hutton, Senior Vice President of Bonitz, Inc. "Bill Rogers was the most astute businessman that I have ever known. While he was brilliant in his understanding of the operational side of our business, I believe his greatest strength was his interactions and relationships with the people he dealt with daily. He treated everyone with respect and dignity, was a man of great integrity, and his philanthropy to the community was second to none."
Bonitz, a major sub-contractor in the commercial construction space, was developed during a long partnership between Rogers and the late Thomas C. Meredith. In 1999, Rogers transferred 95 percent of his family's interest in Bonitz to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, giving employees an opportunity to purchase the company. Today, Bonitz is an employee-owned company with a workforce of over 600 associates, 27 operating divisions in eight states, and annual revenue of over $200 million.
"Bill was an incredible man and leader," said Pete Larmore, current Bonitz President & CEO. "The Bonitz of today reflects Bill and all that he ingrained into the DNA of this great company. He has positively impacted and enhanced so many lives over the years."
Rogers graduated from Georgia Tech in 1944, two and a half years after enrollment, where he studied aeronautical engineering as his major. Despite the demands of an engineering curriculum, he lettered in basketball and used Naval ROTC as a motivation to excel on an academic fast track. After graduation, he received his commission, was assigned to the heavy cruiser USS Pensacola, and was off to sea and World War II.
Discharged in 1946 with the rank of lieutenant, Rogers went to work as a salesman for Acousti Engineering Corp. in Charlotte. While working at Acousti he met Thomas Meredith. The men would go on to form a new company in 1954. Bonitz of South Carolina was born.
Bonitz continued to grow, later settling on the name Bonitz, Inc., and spreading throughout the Southeast. As its services and products expanded, so did its reputation for quality, efficiency, and cost containment. Its financial position and bonding capacity were always stable, attracting larger and larger jobs. Today, Bonitz, Inc., and its subsidiaries are among the largest subcontractors in the Southeast and the nation.
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