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2012 Winner | GW Plastics


With its World Headquarters located in Bethel, Vermont GW Plastics has built a reputation as one of Vermont’s most respected employers and successful manufacturers. Recognized as a global industry leader in plastics manufacturing, GW’s focus is on high technology injection molding, tooling and contract manufacturing of precision thermoplastic and silicone components and assemblies for the world’s most successful companies.

GW Plastics was founded in Bethel, Vermont in 1955 by two early Plastics Pioneers, John Galvin and Odin Westgaard.  After building GW into a successful business, they sold the company to Carborundum Corporation in 1973. Following a series of large-company M&A transactions in the 1980s, GW ultimately found itself owned by Standard Oil of Ohio which was later purchased by British Petroleum. In 1983, after years of large company neglect, a group of company managers and investors led by Vermont resident and plastics industry veteran Frederic (Fred) Riehl, purchased GW Plastics from BP and returned the company back to its Vermont roots.  Had Fred Riehl and others not taken the personal financial risk to purchase GW it is unlikely the company would have remained a viable enterprise in Vermont.  In 1998, Brenan (Ben) Riehl, who joined GW after a career with General Electric Plastics, became the President and CEO of GW assuring a smooth leadership transition, and ongoing commitment to Vermont.

During the last two decades, the company has expanded four times in Vermont, investing tens of millions of dollars in equipment, facilities and training while doubling its Vermont employment to more than 300 associates with over 900 associates worldwide. At the same time, GW expanded its market reach both nationally and globally with locations in the United States, Latin America and Asia while earning the trust of market leaders including Abbott Labs; Boston Scientific; Covidien, Idexx; Johnson & Johnson; Philips Healthcare; Robert Bosch and Takata. 

GW is proud of the fact that it has been in the forefront of new technology development and manufacturing for transformational healthcare and automotive products such as minimally invasive medical devices and safety restraint systems.

In 2012, GW Plastics reaffirmed its commitment to Vermont, with a $3,500,000 state-of-the art addition to its Royalton, VT Silicones operation in response to increased customer demand. GW expects this expansion to result in high tech job opportunities for Vermonters. At the same time, GW partnered with a number of leading global medical device companies successfully launching several innovative, multi-million dollar programs in its Bethel and Royalton, Vermont locations positioning the company for continued growth in 2013.

Through standardization of facilities, equipment and quality systems at all locations worldwide, GW Plastics offers customers unsurpassed process consistency and cost-efficiency. GW Plastics' professional leadership team, continuity of ownership and long-tenured work force has built a world class company based on consistent performance, long term customer relationships, financial stewardship and workplace satisfaction.

GW Plastics takes its commitment to environmental sustainability seriously. Intrinsic benefits, as well as real financial savings, have led GW to embrace sound environmental stewardship in all of its locations.  GW Plastics has completed a number of successful sustainability initiatives in the areas of Energy Reduction, Water Use Reduction and Waste Reduction and is a member of the Green Suppliers Network, a federally funded program to facilitate the establishment and implementation of "Lean and Clean" manufacturing techniques for manufacturers.  

Commitment to quality, environmental responsibility, and employee growth, makes GW Plastics a leader in its industry.  These ideals not only match the criteria for the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business award but outline the principals of the company’s mission statement.  Their dedication makes GW Plastics a fierce competitor in the race for this award.