Gammill Quilting Machine Co., the global leader in quilting systems technology, is pleased to announce that Dave Stafford, who has served as Sales Manager, will assume the additional responsibilities of General Manager, effective immediately. With more than 27 years experience in general management and sales management prior to joining Gammill, Dave has brought enormous skill and seasoned, effective leadership to the Company.
“Dave has contributed importantly to Gammill by offering leadership, vision, and an unwavering commitment to excellence in customer service,” said Angelo Ciavarella, Gammill President. Ciavarella added, “I am pleased that Dave has accepted this opportunity to expand his responsibilities and I am confident he will work diligently on behalf of all of our dealers, customers, associates, and suppliers.”
In his role as General Manager and Sales Manager, Dave will have responsibility for Sales, Marketing, Dealer Relations, Operations, and Engineering. Reporting directly to Dave will be:
- John Conner – Chief Financial Officer and Gammill Manufacturing Manager
- Michael Hinton – Marketing Manager
- Sandy Johnson – Dealer Liaison
- Joe Bauman – Product and Process Engineer
- Ted Stokes – Product Development Manager
- Bart Spurling – Production Supervisor (Statler Stitcher)
- Betsey Langford – Sales Assistant/Educational Director/Social Media Coordinator
Also effective immediately, John Conner, Gammill Controller and then CFO since 2004, has assumed the additional responsibilities of Manufacturing Manager for the Gammill facility in West Plains. In this role, John will be responsible for the order fulfillment process, including receiving, manufacturing, testing, and shipping. John has more than 20 years of accounting and finance experience, having received his B.S.B.A. from the University of Missouri at St. Louis in 1993, and has been a Certified Management Accountant since 2000.
“John Conner has always brought skill and enthusiasm to his position at Gammill. He has already demonstrated these same abilities in the recent impact he has had on our manufacturing operations here in West Plains,” said Ciavarella.
Gammill Quilting Systems and Statler Stitcher are renowned for their innovative products, commitment to quality, and meeting machine quilters' needs. These appointments are consistent with Gammill's commitment to providing its dealers and customers with the best possible products and service.
Local entrepreneur Kennoth G. Gammill received an honorary Associate of Applied Science degree Saturday, May 14, at the Missouri State University-West Plains commencement ceremony, held at the West Plains Civic Center arena.
This is the first year an honorary degree has been bestowed by the university. It is designed to recognize extraordinary individuals who have given a substantial part of their lives to serving others and/or who have distinguished themselves, university officials said. It also is designed to establish a public association between Missouri State-West Plains and such exceptional men and women, thereby providing testimony to the values and quality of two-year institutions, officials added.
Ken Gammill has demonstrated everything we teach in our programs to become successful in business,‚Äù Missouri State-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett said. He is a role model for the qualities of responsible citizenship that we expect our graduates to exhibit. I can think of no finer recipient for the inaugural award of the honorary Associate degree from Missouri State University-West Plains.
Gammill was born in Myrtle, Miss., in 1928, the fifth of six children. He attended high school until his senior year when the family moved to Manila, Ark., where he completed his education. Early in his career, he worked for the Singer Sewing Machine Co., serving in various sales positions at such locations as Blytheville and West Helena, Ark., and Nashville and Union City, Tenn. He finally received his own Singer dealership in 1965 at West Plains.
In 1980, Gammill revolutionized the quilting world when he founded Gammill Quilting Machine Co. in West Plains, believing there was an easier, more efficient and more decorative way to machine quilt. Instead of moving the fabric through the machine, Gammill‚Äôs design moved the machine over the fabric, changing the quilting industry forever.
Gammill‚Äôs machine design propelled him to celebrity status in the quilting industry circles. His daughter, Shawna Gammill Matthews, recalls a plane trip her father took during which a group of quilters on their way to an event noticed him and asked for his autograph. He also has received several quilting industry awards and was the subject of a feature article in a trade magazine in 1970.
Gammill went on to patent the parts for his design. Although there have been others who have tried to replicate his processes, none have achieved the status of the Gammill,‚Äù Matthews said. After 20 years of continuous machine development and improvement, Gammill sold his business at age 74. Today, the company he founded is the world‚Äôs leading manufacturer of professional hand- and computer-guided, longarm quilting systems, and it remains headquartered in West Plains.
Gammill also found time to make a lasting impact on his community, as well. He is an active volunteer at West Vue Nursing Home, a faithful member of First Baptist Church in West Plains, has served on the Missouri State-West Plains development board, and has established a scholarship for nursing students at the university.
In the nomination letter for the award, Gammill was praised for his unstoppable work ethic‚Äù and for impacting the quilting industry in a definite and positive way forever and worldwide. Mr. Gammill is not only a successful businessman and entrepreneur, but he is a philanthropist through his community work, his church work and the value he places on helping students receive an education that he was never able to pursue. Awarding Mr. Gammill an honorary Associate‚Äôs degree from Missouri State University-West Plains recognizes his achievements and his remarkable endeavors, and provides a role model to our students.
At their April 1 meeting in West Plains, members of the Missouri State University Board of Governors approved an honorary Associate degree policy for the campus that outlines the criteria for selection and stipulates final approval by the board. Gammill‚Äôs degree was approved by the board Friday, May 13, during its regular meeting in Springfield.