The packaging center off of west Corunna Road is familiar, a little unassuming for people who live on the westside, on a trek to the Mall or the old cinema. The location, however, is important; strategic and able to handle every kind of business on the go.
NorthGate is a family-owned top tier shipping and warehousing service. Founded in 1984 by the late Jack Goggins, a giant in local entrepreneurship. Goggins patented an innovative GumWrapper Packaging system for automotive parts, that is now widely used across the entire shipping industry.
The family has continued their father’s success in the realm of shipping with over 91,000 “just-in-time deliveries” in 2015. Just-in-time delivery is a strategy that decreases waste by receiving goods only as they are needed.
Now, for the first time, the organization will be led by a non family member. George Wilkinson takes over as president on July 10. Wilkinson currently serves as group vice president for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, overseeing both economic and community growth.
“George comes to us with a proven track record of success in multiple areas including logistics and supply chain, operations and strategy,” said Andy Goggins, who started out by working as a truck driver for his father’s company and now is owner. “With his strong leadership credentials, we are confident in George’s ability to grow the company by further building on our achievements, leveraging our assets, and working with our engaged and skilled workforce.”
For the last 33 years, NorthGate has been a vital member in Flint’s business community.
Wilkinson, who is also a Flint pastor, said he’s happy to be joining an organization with a personal attachment to the city.
“It’s a family-owned business that has a tremendous reputation for their love of community and that alone is a blessing to this area,” he said.
After attending college on a basketball scholarship at Louisiana Southern University, Wilkinson returned home. He worked for General Motors, eventually working his way up to head global logistics for the company’s supply chains.
“When I saw all of the challenges the area was facing, I wanted to return to the community to make it a better place,” Wilkinson said. “I love Flint and have a passion for the community, it’s where I was born, I went to Flint Central High School.
“I saw a tremendous amount of talent that came from here, that decided to do the same and wanted to help those same folks who’re working to make this city better.” he said.
NorthGate is a Tier 1 supplier, which means it is important and essential in the supply chain and shipping process. The company works directly with the original equipment manufacturers for the automotive industry.
Wilkinson and his wife, Sophia, live in Grand Blanc. Wilkinson also serves as vice chair for the Community Foundation of Greater Flint as well as on the boards for the Genesee County Department of Health and Human Services, Habitat for Humanity, and Education Foundation for Flint Community Schools.