Melvin Kay, the resilient owner of the largest privately-owned fencing company in Southern California, Golden State Fence, is a fascinating man with a surprisingly common childhood of one from those times. While his adulthood has seen the life of a multi-millionaire, his formative years were defined by farming and family. Read on for an introduction to the early years of a self-made industry giant. |
Melvin Kay was born to parents who saw California as a land of opportunity. Both from other parts of the country, they made their livelihood in farming. He was one of eleven children born to an Italian housewife and farmer father. His father was known to have had a history of gambling addition, but the family moved frequently as farming opportunities presented themselves.
Various fruits and vegetables, as well as almonds were farmed by this family. They relocated so frequently during his childhood that he changed schools twenty different times before finally dropping out of high school. Melvin Kay quickly found a job at a lumber yard. It has been wondered by some that his employment at the lumber yard may have been what spawned his interest in the fencing industry.
Another situation that possibly framed his later work ethic, particularly as an employer, was the fact that his superiors at this first job did not pay him according to their initial employment agreement. There were times when his paychecks just weren’t given out when they were supposed to. Melvin Kay would later be among the highest paying fence employers in the region.
A few years later, he and a friend launched their own fencing company with the help of a business loan. He then moved to Idaho to expand his portfolio and open an additional company there. However, it appeared this move was ill-fated from the beginning. His Idaho business venture was a sawmill that lasted only a brief time.
He returned to California to devote his time and attention to the fence company and later renamed it Golden State Fence, as it remains today. What began as an outfit of five would later expand to a 750-person workforce that would produce $150 million annually in its heyday. A goodness to honest hard-working company with a work culture focused on getting the job done and doing it well.
Years and dramatic ups and downs later, Melvin Kay is 67 years old and remains a force to be reckoned with.
Melvin Kay is a fascinating man who makes great fences. If you are interested in owning one of your own, please see: http://fenceworksus.wordpress.com/
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