Over 25 years of offering Speed, Quality, and Confidence
In 1983, Uli Walther was hired by German screw maker Reisser Schraubentechnik GmbH in Kuenzelsau, Germany, to manage Reisser’s Swiss operation. After successfully managing the location in Moehlin, Switzerland, Uli was offered the position of General Manager of North American operations.
In June of 1990, The Walther Family visited four communities in Ontario which had been placed on a short list. Although economic development officials in other cities worked hard to have Reisser locate there; in the end, the Walther’s felt Thunder Bay had the most to offer for their family and their business. GRK Canada Limited was founded in September of 1990.
1990 to 1992 proved to be very challenging years for GRK. Interference from the German head office and the 1992 bankruptcy of Reisser Schraubentechnik GmbH left the Walther family with few options. So, in January of 1993, Uli, Gerda, and three Thunder Bay based investors took ownership of GRK.
As the years went on, GRK’s success continued to grow. Wholesale partners and building material retailers in all corners of the United States were seeing the value in providing ‘The Industry’s Toughest Screws’ to their customers.
GRK’s success in the United States attracted attention from building material and fastener companies on other continents. Beginning in the late 1990’s, GRK began relationships with wholesale partners in Japan and Europe, eventually necessitating the formation of a German sales office, located in Egringen, Germany, only a few miles from the Walthers’ home town of Binzen. Naturally, this company was called GRK Europe GmbH.
GRK has continued to prosper, adding new products, more employees and greatly expanding its facility in Thunder Bay. This is not only due to the Walther’s hard work, but also because of the dedication of all the employees and sales representatives who work to make GRK the foremost name for quality construction fasteners. In the Spring of 2011 GRK was acquired by ITW Construction Canada.
GRK Fasteners, a business unit of ITW Construction Products Canada, a division of Illinois Tool Works, is a leading manufacturer of structural wood fasteners and other specialty wood screws. GRK offers a complete line of fasteners for many different applications and a size range which cannot be matched by the combined catalogs of any two competitors. All of GRK’s products are unique, featuring at least one patent. GRK always aims to improve its existing fasteners and to develop new and exciting products for professionals and handymen everywhere. GRK is a company built on innovation and quality and will continue to be guided by its commitment to invention and setting ever greater standards.