(L-R) Dan Schimelman, Gravotech North America general manager; Wilson “Willie” Rodriguez; and Pascal Cros, managing director of Gravotech Group. (Image courtesy Gravotech)

A&E Exclusive: Gravotech Fabrication Specialist Celebrates 50th Work Anniversary

Gravotech congratulates Wilson “Willie” Rodriguez on his 50th work anniversary at the company’s Duluth, Georgia location. Originally from Puerto Rico, Rodriguez joined the company in 1968. Though his official role is fabrication specialist, he is described by his coworkers as “a jack of all trades,” as a result of having done just about everything in the fabrication department.

“From custom engraving materials to ready-to-engrave badges – he has been making client’s ideas reality for many years,” explains Elena Iogha, graphic designer, who adds that he is their go-to guy when manual modifications are needed.

Rodriguez began his career working on one of the sheer machines, where he focused on cut-to-size orders. He has seen Gravotech Group (formerly New Hermes) grow over the years and remembers a time “before the high-tech machines,” as he says. He jokes that he can “outdo the machines if he wanted to.”

Commenting on his long-time employee’s accomplishment is Hunter Penuel, fabrication supervisor, who says, “Willie is awesome and is the backbone of fabrication. His knowledge is second to none and his ingenuity is incredible. The fabrication department was formed around him 50 years ago and is still going strong today because of him.”

The collective company also writes a word of congratulations: “Thank you for being a part of our family for over a half of a century now. We admire your great spirit and unparalleled work ethics.”

As for the next steps in his career, Rodriguez says he enjoys staying busy and doesn’t plan on slowing down. He states that he is happy working, loves his team, and is not thinking about retirement just yet.

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