January 15, 2021 | Bill Esler
BELLINGHAM, WA – Robert McCoy has been promoted to President of Grizzly Industrial, a woodworking machinery and tools company based in Bellingham, WA, as founder Shiraz Balolia takes on the role of Chairman and CEO.
“Shiraz is and was a consummate businessman who operates with fairness and integrity for his employees, vendors and customers,” says McCoy. “His legacy is one of hard work, dedication and innovation, and he created opportunities for countless individuals and families through his business ventures.”
Founded in 1983, Grizzly Industrial, Inc. has grown into one of the largest machinery companies in the United States. Its products can be found in all sizes of shops from the large industrial production users to the smaller cabinet and machine shops. Grizzly has one of the widest selections of woodworking and metalworking machinery under one brand in the world.
Grizzly facility in Springfield, MO.
It sells direct to the user, cutting out the dealer network, which it says and results in lower prices for its customers. Serving 3 million customers, Grizzly ships 99% of all orders the same day, maintaining 250,000 SKUs and with almost a one million square feet of warehouse space packed with inventory in Washington and Missouri.
Balolia (below) started Grizzly Industrial in the spring of 1983 after his hobby of refurbishing and selling metal lathes took off. He discovered a great demand for quality machinery at an affordable price, so he developed relationships with factories overseas and began to import new machines under the Grizzly name. In those early years, Balolia did it all, from accounting, to marketing, to cleaning the floors, to delivering machines in person to customers, in his Volkswagen van.
Over the next 37 years, Balolia successfully built Grizzly from a one-employee operation, to the first tool and machinery company with its own website (grizzly.com), to a huge business with nine-figure sales, employing over 300 people in multiple showrooms and warehouses in the U.S. and in company offices in Taiwan and China.
Photography, including 360-degree product shots, is key to Grizzly catalog and online marketing.
Grizzly now has the largest selection of woodworking and metalworking machinery under one brand in the world and remains the only direct-to-consumer industrial machinery company in the United States.
“I appreciate Shiraz’s integrity, vision and direction in leading the company over the last thirtyseven years,” says Juan Hernandez, Senior Vice President of Grizzly Industrial. “I have great respect for his dedication and leadership in transforming Grizzly Industrial into the industry leader.”
R&D machining at Grizzly headquarters.
For decades, Grizzly has been a household name among professional woodworkers and metal workers, known for its excellent quality machinery offered at the lowest prices in the industry with world-class customer service and support. Now, that audience is growing and Grizzly is expanding.
In his new role as Chairman and CEO, Balolia will be able to maintain a flexible schedule that will allow him to spend time with family, enjoy his hobbies, and reflect on the life he built and the lives he improved along the way. Robert McCoy, whom Balolia hired in 1989, has the full confidence of Balolia and the company to take Grizzly into the future and continue Balolia’s legacy.
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