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Home : Volume 22 : Fall 1995 :
Distinguished Service Award for William B. Winter

William B. Winter

William B. Winter
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Williams Winter's roots with the Bucyrus-Erie Company are deep set. Beginning as a management trainee in 1953 he steadily climbed the corporate ladder, until 1988 when he, with a group of investors, bought out the company, became chairman and CEO, and led it through a major restructuring. He retired Dec. 31, 1994.

After receiving his BS in civil engineering from UW-Madison in 1951, Winter served two years in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War. He was then hired by Bucyrus-Erie, where he showed potential early on, and by age 32 was a plant manager. Three years later he was promoted to vice president of manufacturing and foreign operations.

In 1971, Winter was named managing director of Bucyrus-Erie's largest plant, Ruston-Bucyrus, Ltd., in England. Four years later that plant was outperforming its parent. In 1975 Winter was made a director of Bucyrus-Erie, and in 1978 he became president and chief operating officer. Also in 1978, Winter was named chairman of the board at Ruston.

Throughout his career, Winter helped Bucyrus-Erie continually improve its line of excavation and surface mining equipment while also introducing new products to its international market. However, he never lost sight of the value of his employees. After the buy out, he met regularly with all of his workers to keep open the lines of communication.

One of Winter's fondest memories is his involvement with the construction of "Big Musky," the largest land-based, movable machine ever made. Winter is also proud that his company's design was chosen for the crawler units which transport space shuttles to the launching area at Cape Kennedy, Fla.

In retirement, Winter directs the Bucyrus-Erie Foundation, Inc., a charitable organization. Additionally, he is on teh board of directors of WICOR, Inc., and the Wisconsin Gas Company; is president of the Florentine Opera Company; and holds leadership positions with the YMCA and Boy Scouts.

Winter and his wife, Marie, live in Florida and Wisconsin. They have two grown children.


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