The ownership group, staff and entire community recognized the 40th anniversary of Elias Woodwork Saturday when the company hosted a celebration on the grounds of its Morden production facility, just east of the city. Food trucks, inflatables for the kids, live entertainment including Canadian rock icons Trooper and fireworks were highlights of the event.
President and C.E.O. Ralph Fehr reflected on the company's four decades of growth and success, and how the years have seemingly flown by.
"I remember starting with two or three employees, or something like that," Fehr said in an interview prior to the event. "We just spent our days, evenings and weekends trying to set things up, trying to get things more efficient. The hours you spend setting up a new business, for the first ten years, it's incredible."
Fehr noted they chose a manufacturing business with intent, because the potential market could be substantial, and the product produced could travel to markets far from home. He added the revenue that comes back to the region through those purchased products is significant, and a large portion of it circulates throughout the local economy via employees purchases at local businesses.
He was quick to point out, the company's success and growth is because of its people.
"The employees in this area, we are all excited to get to work," noted Fehr. "I see it on the streets, you drive between Winkler and Morden, and it's kind of a microcosm of what's going on everywhere. People are just eager to get to work. People work hard. The work ethic we've got here is second to none."
Elias Woodwork produces custom millwork, custom profiling making of mouldings and everything needed to supply a kitchen build including doors, cabinet boxes, drawers, mouldings and the hardware. The company currently employs over 400 people.
- With files from Ronny Guenther -
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