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Member Highlight | Bill McGill

It’s not every day that you come across a person that can put together submarine propulsion motors with the same ease that a child has playing with Legos; or meet someone who has worked in corporate America, and despite it’s difficulties, still find the strength to brush himself off and come out on the other side stronger than ever.

This man, William (Bill) McGill is anything but your Average Joe.

He’s someone with an incredible entrepreneurial spirit, that has the will and the drive to push forward and demonstrate what it means to put forth 110% into his work.

Starting out as a young engineer, straight out of Purdue University, McGill went to work for General Electric. As optimistic as he may have been, he was unfortunately surrounded by pessimistic people – those who were quick to shy away from hard work, and made excuses that “this isn’t what I went to school for” – but that didn’t phase him.

McGill knew: you were to do as you were asked, and do it the best way you knew how – and that’s exactly what he did. In the 11 years that he spent with General Electric, he cycled through about 15 different jobs, but wasn’t making the progress that he would’ve liked to.

He yearned for something more, something different – and it was nothing more than perfect timing when he saw an ad in the local paper titled, “Tippins Machinery Co. Inc. Engineers, Designers & Checkers”.

Bill-McGill-Tippins-Machinery-Co-Newspaper-Ad(cropped)

He made the call, they lined him up, and he knew without a doubt that he would be hired. This was a big jump for him, though. He would be moving from a 300,000+ employee company to one with less than 150 workers; From a company that gave him $12,500 a year, to an unknown salary. He decided to take the job though.

“The guy asked me ‘how much salary do you want?’ and I knew they were only a million and a half company, so I thought: well he doesn’t have a pension, and didn’t have any health insurance or anything, so I’ll make up for that. I said to him, ‘I need at least $32,000 a year.’ And the man replied, ‘make it 36.

As a result, he left GE and went to work for Tippins Machinery. While he was there, he accomplished many feats, formed memories, and made a name for himself. He had taken the opportunity that fell into his lap and ran with it.

Leveraging what he had and taking on major projects, he grew the company ten-fold, from $1.5 million to $14 million. The president of the company was lifting the company right alongside McGill, going as far as doing 215 million a year, and eventually purchasing Allgheny Ludlum (one of the largest and most diversified specialty materials and components producers in the world).

After the president passed away in the early 90s, McGill decided to move down to Florida.

“I quit and started doing my own work.”

He wanted his own business, it was as simple as that. He didn’t want to have to take a backseat to anyone else, or be responsible for working with someone who didn’t know what they were doing. So, in the late 90s, McGill and his wife found a home in Palm Coast, and he settled down to decide what he was going to do.

He started up his own electric motor repair and control systems company – which wasn’t too difficult to name. It didn’t take long for him to come up with WMM III Engineering Incorporated – given his name is William M. McGill (WMM).

His background in this field allowed him to be more than qualified for this line of work, but the next step was to get his occupational license. So, he made his presentation to the local board, and it passed 5 out of 7.

The two people that voted against it were stuck in their own little bubble of dogmatism. They believed that repairing the electric motor – which they continuously referred to as the engine (a big difference in the world of engineering) – would make too much noise.

McGill claims that they were thinking of a gasoline engine or diesel, and there was nothing he could do to convince them otherwise. With the rest of the board’s approval, though, he was able to obtain his license and soon after starting working out of his garage – and still does to this day.

Bill McGill was a charter (founding) member of our Palm Coast Leads Group, and it almost immediately brought him income. There was nobody that could do what he could do at the time, and still nobody around that has such an abundance of experience. He’s been in his line of work for 64 years, and wouldn’t give up this passion for the world.

William M. McGill is truly a fantastic model of what it means to take advantage of every opportunity thrown your way.

This is the life of Bill McGill.

Bill also had a short interview at Entrepreneur Night.

It can be viewed here: February 2016 Entrepreneur Night

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2 comments

  1. Ky Ekinci says:

    When I met Bill in 2015, I became an immediate fan of his. His life is really super interesting, he’s done so much to capture in one single article. One thing he told me for instance was that he worked at Ereğli Demir Çelik (Iron & Steel) Factory in Turkey in the 80s/90s. Bill is the wise man of the Palm Coast Business Network, and I benefit from his wisdom, and enjoy his stories tremendously.

  2. Bill McGill married my Mom’s best friend, Sally … way back when… So soon after I entered our clan of 6 kids in 1958, he was introduced to me as “Uncle Bill” – this man can lay down a Joke like no other… Let me tell you! His Signature Joke is often referred to as a “Groaner.” If you don’t know what that is… Just ask a Senior… It’s kind of like: “Good Grief!” as you, yourself start to crack- up!

    Bill also plays the Banjo.. No kidding – just sit back and enjoy as he Rolls & Rolls along… Quite entertaining – if I do say so myself…

    Roll On Bill!!!

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