2015 Hall of Famer Ken Gill: A Serial Entrepreneur

 

 Letters from the Ken Gill "Family"

Ken-Gill-Smiling"I met Ken 35 years ago when he came to Columbus to encourage me to become involved with FEDA. Becoming involved with the association was one of the most positive decisions I have ever made, and I thank Ken for that. Ken and I have continued our friendship over the past 35 years as competitors, mentors to each other and, foremost, as friends. The foodservice equipment and supplies industry owes a great deal of gratitude to Ken Gill for his leadership."—Rodney Wasserstrom, The Wasserstrom Company

"Ken Gill is one of the most astute businessmen I have ever met. He has the ability to patiently and carefully analyze opportunities as they present themselves, quickly and concisely make a decision and then execute on that decision better than almost anyone else I know. I was fortunate to have been able to watch and learn from Ken early on in my career, but consider myself even luckier now. Every day I get to work alongside Ken's daughters, Kim and Laura. I see so much of Ken's intelligence, wit and leadership skills in the both of them. The legacy of Ken Gill in our industry lives on!"—Jerry Hyman, TriMark USA

"Ken Gill is a serial entrepreneur whose vision, drive and confidence make whatever he touches truly spectacular. Ken's magic comes from his unique and extraordinary combination of persistence, determination and extreme gentility. Whether it's in his business life or family life, Ken's magnetism and dedication to those he cares for are unparalleled."
Louise O'Sullivan, Prime Advantage

"Ken is a leader who had the respect and admiration of everyone in the industry. It must have been the wisdom he demonstrated after listening to various points of view on industry issues. Wisdom is what sets him apart from those of us who had plenty of knowledge. Ken could always be trusted — in business, family, social and personal matters. Golf brings out his competitive nature. At crunch time, he is a great partner."—Bill Boelter, The Boelter Companies

"Ken is a visionary. He can see where the industry is going and always positioned his businesses and himself to get in front of those trends. Ken is also a model businessman. He always loved the industry and its people, but he never fell too deeply in love with any of his companies that he couldn't sell or buy when the price and timing was right. Ken has an analytical mind as sharp as a razor, but he is more than just smart. He has a terrific personality. Ken is always positive and fun. His quick wit and infectious laugh puts everyone at ease and makes him someone you want to work and spend time with."—Fred Singer, Singer Equipment Company

"I have been blessed to serve in the administration of the best and brightest of the dealer community. I count Ken as one of the very brightest and as my very dear friend and mentor in my early years with FEDA. I love Ken's humor. I once made a program suggestion and he told me — with his great smile and twinkle in his eye — 'Ray, 98 out of 100 times your ideas are terrific. This just isn't one of them.' Ken is a visionary. He led the way in enhancing FEDA's regional symposiums, the introduction of CAD to the industry and support for FEDA's many educational endeavors, including supporting the FEDA education foundation for many years."—Ray Herrick, FEDA

"Ken is a great guy with a great sense of humor and fun to be around. We had different approaches to the business, but we always shared a lot of good ideas. I always enjoyed spending time with him because I always learned something. He's been a great teacher and mentor not only to me but to my son, David, who is now the president of our company. David spent many long weekends with Ken and his family when he went to George Washington University."—Paul Ellingson, Bargreen Ellingson

"Ken Gill is one of the key contributors to my decision to join the industry. He is the first person who convinced me it is an incredible industry with great opportunities, and the first to tell me I would find an incredible passion for it. He was absolutely correct. His positive approach and passion are exactly what the industry needs more of."—David Ellingson, Bargreen Ellingson

"In a nod to Ken's love of football and basketball — let me describe my longtime friend using some sports 'ingredients': his patience to completely understand a situation before taking action is our Bill Belichick ingredient; his passion to win is our Vince Lombardi ingredient; the love of his players, the respect from competitors and the duration of his success is our John Wooden ingredient; and finally, his love of family and being a great friend are the ingredients from Ken's first coaches — Mom and Dad — and later, by his wife and 'head coach' Joanne."—Ira Kaplan, Irinox

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