Founded in 1965 by Fred Wilson, Sr. and Elsie Wilson, Industrial Steel was established to provide quality steel fabrication and erection in Florida.
Industrial Steel was founded in 1965 by Fred Wilson, Sr. and Elsie Wilson to fill a need for a quality steel fabricator and erector on Florida’s East Coast. Industrial Steel is now directed by Elsie Wilson, CEO, and serves the Southeastern United States.
Fred Sr. began his career as a boilermaker/ironworker in Texas working on bridges, refineries, etc. and then moved to Chicago to continue his career as an ironworker. He and Elsie moved to Florida with their children in 1964 so he could work on the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center with Safeway Steel Erectors. He started ISI the following year—1965—to service other government projects at KSC, which were heavily focused around the Apollo moon mission ground support construction. His goal was to build a family business that could be passed down through generations. Mission Accomplished! Fred Sr. achieved his goal through hard work, dedication, and passion.
Fred and Elsie’s son, Fred Jr., and daughter, Ramona Blua, became shareholders of ISI, officially making it a family business. Ramona worked in administration, and her husband, Jim Blua, served as steel erection supervisor for many years. Fred Jr. started part-time at the company’s inception in 1965 and became president in 1975. Together, the second generation successfully led the company through many market fluctuations and focused the majority of the company’s work for NASA and their various support contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Marietta, Boeing, Rockwell and others with an emphasis on Space Shuttle ground support construction.
Fred Sr. passed away in 2006 after putting his heart and soul into the family business for more than 40 years. Upon his passing, he left Elsie with the overall management of the company.
The third generation of the Wilson family started working at ISI in 1999 and took over after their father, Fred Jr., retired in 2004. Fred III now serves as president, and Jennifer serves as a company manager and leads the accounts receivable/payable department. They both serve in these capacities under Elsie’s leadership as CEO.
The third generation has brought a fresh perspective to the company and has led the diversification into many different markets, including education, entertainment and healthcare. They have also automated the 80,000 square foot production facility with cutting-edge CNC equipment, which has been one of their major accomplishments to date as it helps reduce errors and improves efficiency.
The company has weathered many ups and downs over its extensive history and is stronger than ever. The legacy of Fred Sr. continues to live on through his vision of a family business.
*In loving memory of Fred Wilson, Sr., 1931 – 2006.