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Friday, September 22, 2023

Gold Medal Honors Bill Cornett for a Remarkable 65 Years of Service

For the definition of loyalty, look no further than Bill Cornett. Modest, a hard worker, and genuine in nature, Bill has been a dedicated employee of Cincinnati’s Gold Medal Products Co. since 1958. For over 65 years, he made a lifelong career out of building popcorn machines and other concession equipment.

Bill joined the Gold Medal family in April 1958 as an 18-year-old, fresh out of high school, newly married, and a soon-to-be father. A family friend knew Gold Medal was hiring, gave him the job application, and Bill was hired into the assembly department. He was an asset to Gold Medal from the start and his willingness to learn allowed him to take on various roles within the company. He even jokes that he’s done everything from washing windows to helping in advertising. Bill spent seven years in the “Cone Room” where cotton candy cones were produced. Later, he went to school at the Ohio Mechanical Institute to earn his certification as a machinist and became a CNC operator. This is where Bill would spend the majority of his career.

At the time Bill started, Gold Medal had about 15 employees. The company has since grown to over 500 employees at 16 locations across the country. He admits a lot has changed over the decades, “It’s been amazing to see. In the younger days, we did everything by hand. Now, everything is done through computers. It’s a different world.”

Hand reaches for some caramel corn popcorn

Even now, Bill is determined to remain active. Retirement isn’t in his vocabulary. “I have to stay active. I’ve been that way all my life. I intend to stick around as long as I can perform my job.” His time hasn’t been without challenges. Yet, he gives credit to “the man up above, good doctors, good family, and good people at Gold Medal” for keeping him going.

Bill’s example demonstrates how work ethic and commitment make a difference. In fact, his advice to others is, “Always do your fair share and give 100% every day.” Simple and wise, that is something anyone can do whether you’ve been on the job for decades or it’s your first day.

Bill values the opportunities that Gold Medal and the Evans family have given him. He thoroughly enjoys his work and even more the friendships he has developed. He considers Gold Medal to be like family.

Third-generation owner and chairman of Gold Medal, Dave Evans shares that sentiment, “It is remarkable to consider Bill has seen Gold Medal through more than six decades. To say we are grateful is an understatement. Bill means so much to all of us. He is the living embodiment of Gold Medal’s values and spirit. I know he personally inspires me, and his legacy will continue for generations to come. Thank you, Bill for everything. Gold Medal wouldn’t be what it is today without you.”

Hand reaches for some caramel corn popcorn

Gold Medal celebrated Bill at its annual service awards luncheon in September. The company presented Bill with a new John Deere riding mower in recognition of his substantial service. Bill said, “Today was probably the most rewarding day of my life, except for when my kids were born. I appreciate it very much, but more than that I appreciate the friends I was able to meet and spend time with.”

Gold Medal is fortunate to have a number of long-standing employees with over 40 years of service including: Henry Hoskins, Dan Vice, Floyd Earls, Kenneth Belcher, Steve Shomaker, Robert Ramey, Chuck Chambers, George Abbott, Dave Evans, Russell Hubbard, and John Kroeger.