North Carolina People, Places, and Things-February 14
I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.
In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.
On Thursday night I was masterfully manipulating the remote control to my TV trying to find some interesting content on TV. I had no idea what I wanted to watch just that I wanted it be interesting.
As I got to Channel 12 which is the UNC-TV channel when I found what I was looking for.
On my screen was a man claiming to be a farm boy specifically a sweet potato farm boy. It was a 5 minute feature on a company that a man with a 6th grade education had built with persistence, a dream, and a great work ethic.
It was the story of a Dunn NC business named Godwin Manufacturing and its founder Pat Godwin Sr.
On April 1, 1966, Pat Godwin came home from work and told his wife, Judy, that he had delivered his last case of soft drinks as a route salesman for Pepsi Cola.
They had two toddlers in diapers at that time, and realizing he had quit a good, steady job, Judy cried for weeks. Judy had a job as a cashier at a local grocery store, and when she left for work each day, Pat would unplug their electric stove and plug in his welder that was situated in a detached garage. He took his welding skills and ideas and created a great business.
The business grew to what it is today, the nation’s largest and most successful family owned and operated truck equipment manufacturer, with nearly half a million square feet under roof. In the video story Pat talks about Warren Buffet wanting to buy his company but Pat decided not to sell.
Listening and watching the story Thursday night reminded me that there are so many success stories I have never heard of right here in North Carolina. The next time you see a Godwin Manufacturing logo on a mud flap on the back wheels of a dump truck you will know a little about the history of the company.
Loved your success story Pat Godwin-you are more than a sweet potato farmer you are a leader.