Gerding Enterprises, Inc. (GEI) specializes in metal parts machining and fabrication, including sheet metal fabrication and forming of very complex and tight tolerance parts. We are also able to build custom assemblies ranging from small to large per customer specifications. Known throughout the nation as one of the premier weld shops in the country, GEI is certified to weld aluminum, stainless steel and steel. We have produced sheet metal parts on various military and commericial aircraft, as well as missiles through our proprietary spinning process.
GEI also does commercial spinning for lighting and furniture customers. The spinning technique creates the ability to make several different applications of parts without having to take a solid ingot to machine through.
Gerding Enterprises has grown from a 1 man shop in a basement to a world class machine shop with over 30 employees. We strive to uphold the highest level of quality while constantly improving our efficiency levels in order to offer the most affordable products to our customers.
Founder Charles Gerding, or Charlie as they called him, found an old spinning lathe in a scrap yard and brought it home. With his ingenuity and the help of a Harley Davidson transmission, he got it running and this was how Gerding Enterprises started.
In the basement of their home in St. Louis, Charlie would work through the night after working all day at his "day job". He would spin parts and MaryAnn would remove, clean and package them.
As their reputation for good workmanship grew, Charlie was able to quit his job and commit himself to the full time task of running a growing company. A larger building was purchased in Overland, Missouri and there were about twenty employees. The rules were simple; be honest, work hard, be a good craftsman and everything else would fall into place.
In the seventies, property was purchased in Jefferson County and a beautiful home and four lakes were built. After the lakes were in and stocked, the annual company picnic was held there. A tradition was born out of loyalty to employees, business associates and friends. Charlie and MaryAnn loved this annual event. Besides providing a full day of food and fun, there are paddle boats to paddle around on the six-acre lake and what picnic would be complete without a fantastically fun hayride around the farm.
This was always MaryAnn and Charlie’s way of saying thank you to all who worked so hard for them and supported them through the years. And so every year, the first Saturday after Labor Day this wonderful experience goes on as it serves to remember and honor two very special people who made so much possible for so many.
In 1971, Gerding Enterprises was nominated and won the Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Region VII Award. Charlie and MaryAnn were very proud of this accomplishment because it showed the rewards of honest, hard work. Using this philosophy, their reputation was second to none. It became known that if you wanted something built, no matter how hard and no one else would take it on, go to Gerding Enterprises, Inc. and they would build it.
For example, in 1982 Puerto Rico was looking to build a National Lottery machine. They went through a chain of contacts, starting with Martin Marietta Aircraft Company’s Puerto Rican division, through Lockheed, Rockwell International, and McDonnell Douglas. McDonnell Douglas told them they knew of a man named Charlie Gerding who owned a machine shop in Overland, Missouri who would take on anything. They contacted Gerding Enterprises and within six months, the massive 8,000 pound lottery machine had been designed and completed to the ultimate satisfaction of the Puerto Rican officials.
Devastation struck in the form of a fire caused by a lightning strike. Most companies would have shut their doors but clean-up crews were brought in to industrially clean and repair the damage. They also said any employees who wanted to stay and help clean would get paid their regular wages. Most employees did, which showed the support the employees gave to this company. Through everyone’s tireless efforts, Gerding Enterprises opened the doors for business two months later. They not only came back, but they came back stronger.
Charlie was a true craftsman and passed his art down to his son and namesake, Charles Jr., or Chuck. When Chuck started a family of his own, Charlie knew it was time to start preparing Chuck for the job of some day taking over the company. His most fervent wish was that the company continues, always with a Gerding at the helm.
GEI and the Gerding family is so grateful to the St. Louis area that we are always looking for ways to give back to the community. We participate in local charities for the Lions Club, VFW, Backstoppers and the AMVETS. We also take great pride in our American heritage and have sponsored numerous Marine & Army Divisions in Iraq and Afghanistan.