Richards Industries has announced that founder and former president, Gilbert Richards, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family on April 1st, 2017. He was 89 years old.
“Gil was a great inspiration and mentor to me along with many others at Richards Industries. He had his hand on the shoulder of a lot of us over the years and we owe him much. We all lost today,” said Bruce Broxterman, president of Richards Industries.
After graduating from Harvard University, Gil was asked to take the helm of Jordan Valve, a company with only one small mixing valve. Five years later, he turned Jordan Valve into a profitable company and was given the opportunity to purchase it, renaming the company Richards Industries. Thus began his more than 50 years in the valve industry before retiring and selling the company in a management buyout. During this time, he built-up a distribution organization, expanded the Jordan Valve product line, acquired related companies and successfully entered the global market. By the time he retired in 2007, there were almost 200 employees, six different product lines, hundreds of representatives throughout the world and several offices with the headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Mr. Richards remained busy in retirement, enjoying his nine grandchildren, playing tennis, going to the gym and flying his two planes. He also believed passionately in giving back to the community and was a generous supporter of the Fine Arts Fund, United Way, Cincinnati Horticultural Society, community councils, and many local charities and organizations. He was instrumental in Richards Industries being voted “Best Place to Work” eight times over the past decade by Cincy Magazine. He received numerous business and philanthropic awards throughout his long career.
Gil loved people. He was a friend to many and kind to all, always thoughtful and generous. Gil was loyal and faithful, and was a classic gentleman of the old school order. He was also curious; he loved to learn and strove to improve himself daily. His tireless work ethic, stamina, determination, honesty and integrity inspired those who knew him and many employees of Richards Industries. Gil will be remembered for one of his sayings: "I try to make at least one person happy every day".
A mentor, true leader, and dear friend, Gilbert Richards will be forever missed by everyone at Richards Industries.