October 12, 2023 – In a heartfelt celebration of dedication and unwavering commitment, the PACCOR plastics manufacturing plant in Excelsior Springs came to a halt on Thursday, October 12th, to honor William “Bill” Fostich, who has dedicated an astounding 50 years of his life to the company. PACCOR Plant Manager Ryan Cole led the event, which was attended by colleagues, friends, family members, and city officials.
Fostich has been an integral part of PACCOR’s journey for over half a century. His remarkable career began when he joined the company at the age of 18, starting as a machine operator. Over the years, he worked his way up the ranks, showcasing his adaptability and expertise in various roles, including material handler, mold technician supervisor, general foreman, and currently, senior process technician.
Plant Manager Ryan Cole expressed his admiration for Bill’s dedication, stating, “50 years is a special accomplishment. Bill has touched just about everything in this building and has proven over and over his dedication to the company.” Cole highlighted Bill’s invaluable contributions to the plant and described him as the cornerstone of the team, offering help and guidance to colleagues whenever needed.
Bill’s former supervisor, Bob Buchanan, who had worked alongside Bill for over 30 years and gave Bill his first promotion, returned for the celebration and praised Bill’s work ethic and ability to unify his co-workers. “He was a little headstrong sometimes, and I wasn’t sure when I first met him whether he was a guy who could run the whole floor. But, he certainly proved that he could, and more.” Bob said. “It was always interesting and, most of the time, a real pleasure to come to work with him,” he chuckled.
Reflecting on his journey from manual labor to the modern era of automation, Bill remarked, “I couldn’t get out there and load stuff like I used to, but I still enjoy it. Most everything is automated now. When I started, it was all manual. You’d have to climb up a set of stairs with 50 pounds of ground plastic and fill 12 machines every hour. We were really fit back then.”
Excelsior Springs Mayor Mark Spohn joined the celebration by proclaiming October 12, 2023, as “William Bill Fostich Day” in the city. In his speech, he acknowledged Bill’s significant contributions to PACCOR and his remarkable journey that spanned nine name changes and changes in ownership.
Fostich, who was visibly moved by the honor, expressed his gratitude to everyone gathered, stating, “Thank everybody for helping me along the line here. This is quite an honor. Something I really don’t deserve.” His humility and dedication shone through as he accepted the well-deserved recognition. When Cole returned to the microphone, he reassured Bill, stating, “You say you don’t deserve it. You absolutely do! As we read off the company names, you can see there have been a lot of changes over the years, but one thing has remained this entire time, and that’s you, Bill.”
Fostich’s longevity also reflects the company’s values and work environment. Fostich himself acknowledged the importance of the people he worked with, emphasizing the role of camaraderie in his long-lasting career. “If you can’t get along with people, you ain’t gonna last, doesn’t matter where you go,” he contemplated. “It’s like a family because, you know, families fight sometimes too. But we’ve all grown up together.”
At the ceremony, eight other PACCOR employees were recognized for their 40 or more years of service. Doug Lindaman, 47; Bill Frost, 42; John Elmore, 40; Jamie Johnson, 41; Kelly Holder, 42; Julie Douglas, 43; Debby Holder, 44; and Vickie Crowley, 45.
Bill Fostich’s 50-year journey with PACCOR illustrates the enduring values of dedication and camaraderie within the workplace. His unwavering commitment to his job, his colleagues, and his community exemplifies the qualities that have shaped PACCOR into the successful enterprise it is today. As Bill continues to contribute his wealth of experience and knowledge to the company, his legacy will undoubtedly inspire generations of employees to come.