In 1915, when Chicago Leather Belting Co. decided to close it's Portland, Oregon branch, a series of very improbable events evolved into what we now know as Munnell & Sherrill, Inc. 
E.J. Munnell, the branch bookkeeper, knew the timber and sawmill industry in the area would continue to need belting to transmit power from their central engines to the various pieces of equipment throughout the plant. There was also a market for hose and other related industrial products. So, he and A. J. Sherrill pooled their $200 savings: Sherrill borrowed $2,000 from a friend for ten days and Munnell & Sherrill was born.
From their original location at S.W. 1st and Stark, in Portland, Oregon, the company prospered and grew. E.J. Munnell died in December of 1933 and A.J. Sherrill carried on until 1944 when he confided to Joe Wreisner, who later would become company President, a desire to sell the company and retire.
Wreisner's suggestion that the employee's buy the company precipitated some extended negotiations and a search for capital. Bankers and business people were reluctant to buy in to the concept of a twelve man partnership, but the employee's persevered and bought the firm in 1945.
A system of management was established that continues to work today. By day everyone is an employee, doing his or her job in the office, warehouse, shipping department or out in the sales territory. Suggestions or complaints are saved for staff meetings and then conveyed in quarterly management meetings. The work goes on, the job gets done and change is affected, after thoughtful consideration, without interruption to the customer.
The company was incorporated in 1947 as an employee owned corporation. Over the years additional product lines and services have been acquired to meet the needs of the wood products industry as well as sand and gravel, agriculture, food processing and many others. A prime example is Munnell & Sherrill's introduction of UHMW polyethylene to a lumber mill in McCloud, California, in 1967. This Ultra High Molecular Weight plastic, originally designed for east coast textile mills, replaced low grade steel wear bars and strips. As a result, friction was reduced, requiring less horsepower to drive welded steel chain conveyors. The chain also ran smoother and lasted longer. That small application has grown to what today requires average monthly purchases of over 40,000 pounds of plastic used in a variety of applications throughout our Pacific Northwest territory.
Today Munnell & Sherrill, Inc. is a full line distributor representing such major manufacturers as Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Foot-Jones Gearing, Jeffery Welded Steel Chain, Poly Hi (plastic), Continental Conveyor, Arch Environmental, Sherwin-Williams (paint) and Williams Tools. We also excel in the field of conveyor belt installation and repair with fully equipped teams on 24 hour notice. These products and services are readily available in all of our stores. All of our sales staff drive 3/4 ton trucks to provide 24-hour-a-day pick-up and delivery, right to the end user. All of our employee's are on call 24-hours-a-day and you will find a residence phone number on the business card of each sales person. We are there to keep the customer up and running.
Gary Butts, President, attributes the success of Munnell & Sherrill, Inc. to this caring attitude. "We are employee owned and our employee's care. We try to be a family and we make every effort to include our customers as part of that family - not just customers".
Because we are employee owned we take more than pride in what we do, we take the pride of ownership. The work we do and the satisfaction of our customers is a direct reflection of every employee-owner in our company. Our mission is to be more than a vendor to our customers. We want to partner with them to meet mutually profitable goals that will allow both to grow, prosper and endure.
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