East Sparta dealership Williams Toyota Lift this year marks its 50th year in business, tracing its origins to Paul "Red" Williams, who started selling and servicing forklifts from a bay in a gas station in 1969.
In 1978, Williams became a Toyota dealer for 12 Ohio counties at a time when the brand was still new in the US market.
The business has grown with Toyota's success, expanding several times through the years, according to a report in CantonRep.com
Today, the dealership also services and sells used equipment from other forklift companies alongside its Toyota operations. Williams has 13 field technicians that visit customers to provide equipment maintenance and make repairs.
Williams Toyota Lift has about 40 employees, and Red Williams has turned daily direction of the business over to Andrew Williams, who serves as general manager. The younger Williams credits the company's employees, some of whom have worked there for more than 40 years, for the success that has allowed the company to flourish.