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This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2008) Morgan Olson is a leading producer of aluminum walk-in vans. Morgan Olson was founded in 1946 on Long Island, New York by Jimmy Olson, and is currently located in Sturgis, Michigan. Previously owned by Northrop Grumman, followed by a group of senior managers, Morgan Olson was purchased by JBPCO in 2003. Morgan Olson’s leading competitor is Utilimaster Corporation. Morgan Olson customers include UPS, FedEx, USPS, Unifirst, Aramark, G & K Services, Frito Lay and Bimbo Baking. Contents 1 Products 2 History 3 Location 4 Senior Management 5 External links // Products Morgan Olson produces aluminum walk-in vans on strip chassis. The strip chassis are provided by three business partners; Freightliner Custom Chassis, Ford Motor Company, and Workhorse Custom Chassis. The aluminum walk-in van has also been known as a “step van” and “multi-stop” van. The key features of the vehicle are the delivery efficiencies it provides the driver due to the full height cab and the low step heights, and its long service life. It is quite normal for a walk-in van to have a service life of over twenty years. Service Parts – Morgan Olson provides service parts to a wide range of customers on a number of products. Aside from its current product, Morgan Olson provides service parts for its sister company, Morgan Corporation, as well as the United States Postal Service for its Long Life Vehicle (LLV). History The idea for the first aluminum walk-in van was originated by Walter Heingartner, owner of Kinney Motors Chevrolet in Brooklyn, NY. Heingartner was friends with Jimmy Olson, then Commissioner of the New York State Liquor Authority. Olson had no truck experience, but knowing there were ten independent laundry companies in Brooklyn alone, he saw a market. He knew an aluminum body would be lighter and less corrosive. He also knew someone who could build it, Jack Swirbul, one of Grumman’s founders. Grumman had no experience building commercial truck bodies. However, they decided to move forward with the concept and Grumman Aircraft Engineering was scheduled to produce the vehicle beginning in 1939. The concept was shelved due to the onset of WWII. After the war, Olson and three partners formulated J.B.E. Olson Corporation on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn. Construction of the aluminum vehicle began. For its public unveiling, Olson rented the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and invited Chevrolet dealers from all over the east coast. The vehicle was enthusiastically received and J.B.E. Olson received orders for 450 units, and the Grumman Olson aluminum walk-in van was born. The company grew and prospered over the next many decades. The company purchased the Sturgis, MI facility, its current headquarters, in 1963. In 1984, Grumman Olson was awarded the largest contract in its history. The United States Postal Service (USPS) awarded Grumman Olson a contract worth over one billion dollars. Over 150,000 vehicles were produced, of which the majority are in operation today. After changes in ownership in the 1990’s, Grumman Olson was faced with a declining market, and eventually declared bankruptcy in 2001. The company was purchased by JBPCO, a parent company whose sales are nearly one billion annually, in 2003. At this time the name of the company was changed to Morgan Olson. Since the acquisition of Morgan Olson by JBPCO, it has seen steady, profitable growth until 2009. Today, Morgan Olson produces walk in vans for notable companies such as UPS, FedEx, Frito Lay, AmeriPride, Lance Inc, W.B. Mason, Unifirst, G & K Services, and Bimbo Baking. Location Morgan Olson is located in the southern Michigan town of Sturgis. Senior Management President and COO Mike Ownbey Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Greg Pairitz Vice President of Operations David Halladay Vice President of Engineering Robert Burnham, P.E. Vice President of Sales & Marketing Steve Miller Director of Materials Dan Rupert Director of Human Resources Stephen Hart External links Official website