Wilbur-Ellis Company, an international marketer and distributor of agricultural products, animal feed and specialty chemicals and ingredients, marked its 90-year anniversary in June. The company, founded in 1921 by Brayton Wilbur, Sr., Floyd Ellis, and Thomas Franck, began as an import-export brokerage trading business that focused on fishmeal, fish oil and by-products.
Today, the privately-held company is owned primarily by Brayton Wilbur, Sr.'s descendants. The company is headquartered on California St. in San Francisco, located a few doors down from where the company opened its doors 90 years ago.
"Our greatest strength has consistently been the family and people behind Wilbur-Ellis," said John P. Thacher (click here for audio), president and chief executive officer, and grandson of Brayton Wilbur, Sr. "They have helped the company respond with commitment and creativity to diverse market forces over the decades, including shifting economies, wars, and natural disasters, and each time emerge stronger than before. This ingenuity and dedication to success have propelled the company's growth since our inception and will continue to sustain us as we approach our centennial anniversary."
To mark the 90th anniversary, all employees will receive a commemorative gift and a special edition of the company's internal newsletter, the WilCon Trader, which first began publishing in 1947, highlighting Wilbur-Ellis' rich history and reminiscences and stories from former employees.
"We want our employees to see this celebration as a significant milestone in our history. We look forward to tomorrow and the coming years, and we have our employees to thank for this achievement," said Thacher.
Today, Wilbur-Ellis grosses close to $2.5 billion annually in sales, and has three business divisions, Agribusiness, Connell Brothers and Feed with more than 3,100 employees in the U.S., Canada, and 15 countries across Asia, Australia and New Zealand.