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M.C. Gill was recently voted by the American Composites Manufacturers Association’s Board of Directors as their Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2004.
The award will be presented in Tampa, Florida at Composites 2004 on October 3rd to M.C. Gill who started his composites business as “Peerless Plastic Products” in a small garage in Los Angeles in 1945.
“The board felt that it was time to honour M.C. Gill and the long list of accomplishments he can check off for the industry,” said ACMA Executive Director Missy Henriksen. “He is certainly one of the early pioneers in composites and started out as many of our entrepreneurs did, in a small garage or barn mixing resin and making parts. The rest of his story is part of manufacturing and materials science history for the last century.”
The M.C. Gill Corporation, as it is now known, has grown to be the world’s largest manufacturer of original equipment and replacement baggage compartment liners for passenger and freighter aircraft. M.C. Gill also is one of the largest producers of composites sandwich flooring used in the aircraft industry.
“Mr. Gill will carry the torch well,” adds Henriksen. “He is in good company. ACMA’s past winners include Robert Morrison, Brandt Goldsworthy, Everett Pearson, Wes Hoch and Don Aker. The criteria for this award is very high, and includes significant contributions to the composites industry.”
M.C., as he is known, is 94, grew up in Iowa and moved to California in 1933. He took a degree in chemistry in ’36 and chemical engineering in ’37 from the University of Southern California where he has since donated more than $8 million to the now “Merwyn C. Gill Foundation Composites Center.” Recently, he is playing a sponsorship role promoting and developing a composites merit badge for the Boy Scouts of America.
“I can’t keep as many balls in the air as I once could, but I can do a lot of things now I couldn’t do before because I’ve got all these good people working for me … and we’re going to get more in building five to triple or at least double our R&D efforts.”
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