Bonitz founder George William "Bill" Rogers, former chairman and president of the company, has passed away.

As a business leader, Rogers made a significant impact on the construction and manufacturing industries. A 2002 inductee into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame, Rogers established and built two successful business enterprises in the 1950s, Bonitz and Consolidated Systems, that became well known to architects and contractors nationwide.

"I will miss my first true mentor more than words can explain," said Larry Hutton, senior vice president of Bonitz. "Bill Rogers was the most astute businessman that I have ever known. While he was brilliant in his understanding of the operational side of our business, I believe his greatest strength was his interactions and relationships with the people he dealt with daily. He treated everyone with respect and dignity, was a man of great integrity, and his philanthropy to the community was second to none."

Bonitz was developed during a long partnership between Rogers and the late Thomas C. Meredith. In 1999, Rogers transferred 95% of his family's interest in Bonitz to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, giving employees an opportunity to purchase the company. Today, Bonitz is an employee-owned company with a workforce of over 600 associates, 27 operating divisions in 8 states, and annual revenue of over $200 million.

"Bill was an incredible man and leader," said Pete Larmore, current Bonitz president and CEO. "The Bonitz of today reflects Bill and all that he ingrained into the DNA of this great company. He has positively impacted and enhanced so many lives over the years."

Discharged in 1946 after serving during WWII, Rogers went to work as a salesman for Acousti Engineering Corp. in Charlotte, N.C. While working there, he met Thomas Meredith, and the men would go on to form a new company in 1954. Bonitz of South Carolina was born.

Bonitz continued to grow, later renamed Bonitz, Inc., and spread throughout the Southeast. As its services and products expanded, so did its reputation for quality, efficiency, and cost containment.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Youth Corps, Inc.(S.C.) or Epworth Children’s Home and designated for the Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing, which is housed on the Carolina Children’s Home campus.

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