Celebrating a booming business in Fredonia

Growth that Guy and O’Neill was recognized for illustrated by sprawling warehouse unveiled Monday
By 
CONNOR CARYNSKI
Ozaukee Press Staff

Guy and O’Neill Inc. celebrated being crowned the 2021 Ozaukee Economic Development Large Business of the Year with a visit from U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, village trustees and other community members on Monday.

The ceremony was held in the company’s new 125,000-square-foot warehouse — a byproduct of the business’ success manufacturing sanitary wipes and other hygiene and cleaning products in Fredonia in recent years.

Guy and O’Neill was recognized last year by Ozaukee County Economic Development for showing exemplary growth in revenue, sales, expansion and community involvement. The award also focused on the business’ response to the pandemic through 2020.

Senior Vice President Greg Fries said the pandemic spurred awareness and demand for cleaning products like those manufactured at the company.

He said since early 2020, the business has added 20 full-time jobs to keep up with demand, bringing the total employee count to about 200.

The demand led Guy and O’Neill to construct its new warehouse, which will house an automated, state-of-the-art storage facility. Fries said the company has also spent millions of dollars in recent years improving its facilities and operations. Additional production lines have been added, new technology acquired and spaces renovated — all with the intent of increasing and honing production.

“It’s expanding our capability so we can make more wipes to meet the growing demands of the market,” Fries said.

Considering other awards received over the years, such as the Top Workplaces in Southeast Wisconsin in 2018, Fries said,  Guy and O’Neill’s most recent recognition further contributes to the pride and culture at the company.

During the ceremony, Grothman stressed the importance of manufacturing, particularly in Wisconsin. He said wealthy countries are not the result of law firms or big-box stores but manufacturing operations.

“Thank you for all the work you’re doing,” he said. “We should continue to promote Wisconsin manufacturing and encourage more people to get involved. Congratulations to Guy for the great job you did in beginning this company.”

Also present during the ceremony was Guy and O’Neill founder, Mike Guy.

He sold his share of the company years ago but was invited back to see how the business has evolved.

He said having started the business from scratch, he knows the challenges and competition present in the industry, and is impressed with how Guy and O’Neill has operated since he left.

“I’m thrilled to see the talent of the people who are currently running the business,” he said.

 Village trustees also attended the ceremony and were given a tour of the facilities.

Fries discussed some challenges facing Guy and O’Neill, including transportation for employees and a constant need for new workers.

Village President Don Dohrwardt said the board has been working with developers on building new homes in Fredonia, which may provide local living options for future employees.

Despite the challenges, Fries said Guy and O’Neill has experienced great success in recent years and is looking forward to the completion of facility improvements that will allow the business to handle future growth.

“It enables us to meet the needs of our customers in the future,” he said.

 

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494
 

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