The Burlingham family was one of the founders of the Association of Rotational Molders (ARM) in 1976. Bill and Peggy owned and ran El Monte Plastics for the past 41 years up until Bill’s passing on November 24, 2008.
Bill loved music, old cars and many various formal oragnizations. He was an advocate for Rotomolding and helping new rotomolders to grow their business. His warm smile and friendly welcome was synonymous with the ARM meetings and Bill firmly believed that in order for rotational molding to survive, it needed to be expanded across the country along with increasing applications for its use.
El Monte Plastics
El Monte Plastics began in 1968 with the Burlingham and Kite families because of a need for plastic folded RV tanks in South El Monte, CA. There were more than 10 RV manufacturers in the city and the RV industry was booming.
El Monte Plastics grew rapidly until 1973 when the gas crunch hit. Peggy tightened the finances and worked hard through the tough times until the late 1970s when shipping costs rose. Having spotted their opportunity, the Burlingham’s started up a Midwest molding plant in Ohio City, OH to service their largest client, Fleetwood Industries.
Bill traveled back and forth between Ohio and California staying months at a time in order to build a team that still exists today.
The Burlingham’s had success in bringing their son Paul Burlingham into the industry with his own rotational molding business in Chino, CA, Spin Products along with their nephew Michael Kite with Freeflow Products in Ontario, CA.
Bill Burlingham will be long remembered for his upbeat and positive attitude and the way he made things fun for everyone around him. He belonged to the Rotary Club of South El Monte, the Pasadena Model A club, his church’s men’s breakfast group and a number of other service organizations. Some of Bill’s employees were employed by him for over 35 years which says a lot about what kind of man he was. Bill Burlingham was a great man and his entrepreneurial spirit inspires us to continue doing what makes this nation great.