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John J. Oliver named Blueberry Festival Parade Marshall

June 27, 2014

JohnOliver106/30/14 America the beautiful. Land of the free. Home of the brave. The meaning of these simple phrases comes to life when reflecting on the contributions of John J. Oliver. The theme of this year’s blueberry festival: red, white, and blueberries embodies a culture of Americanism and citizenship in a city filled with opportunity and possibility. As this year’s parade Marshall, John J. Oliver represents these qualities and many more. John moved to Plymouth just about the same time that the Blueberry festival first began. John volunteered during those early years when he was a member of the Plymouth Jaycee’s as a parade organizer. This was just the start of John’s volunteerism and contribution to the community.
John was born in England and immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was 18 years old. He was granted citizenship in 1975 and was a member of the US Army Reserves. John’s parents dedicated their life to their children. John continues this legacy with his own family. Pictures of John’s family and friends adorn his office. When talking about the stories behind these pictures, John can’t help but to light up the room with his smile while reliving these memories. With two children and three grandchildren, John’s life is filled with activity and fulfillment. John’s daughter Susan holds a law degree from Valparaiso University. She is married to Scott Martello. John’s son, John Oliver Jr. is married to Nadine, and they have three children—Ethan, Jacob, and JJ. John married Sarah Hickerson (now Oliver) last year on March 3, 2013. Sarah ignited a love and a friendship in John’s heart that he didn’t know existed. John’s dedication to his family comes to life when John describes what a “great day” looks like—sitting with his wife while watching his grandson’s play baseball. This is the American dream!
John started his entrepreneurship as a laborer for a small R&D company in Salt Lake City. Coming from parents with a strong work ethic, John knew what hard work, determination, and perseverance was all about. Due to John’s performance and the results he was able to achieve, John went through a series of promotions and advancements, including relocating to a Plymouth subsidiary company in 1966, ultimately becoming the subsidiary’s President in 1977. John continued to excel, and the Plymouth subsidiary soared in production and subsequent success. John acquired the Plymouth plant in 1986 as its sole owner. John renamed the company US Granules Corporation. Furthermore, in 1993, John acquired the primary competitor of his company located near Kansas City, Missouri. Today, John continues to own and operate his two plants and produces 55% of the world’s specification Aluminum Granules which are used in a variety of industrial applications throughout the world. US Granules is recognized in the industry as the leader in technology and quality. When dialoguing with John about his success, he is quick to credit his team of highly qualified and well trained employees. John has confidence in the team he has built and trusts them to fulfil the roles they are trained to do. John states, “Show them respect and trust, and they become amazing employees”.
John has a long laundry list of volunteerism, service, and recognition. Some of these include:
Indiana 1989 Entrepreneur of the Year
Plymouth’s Outstanding Young Man 1972
Ancilla Trustees Award 1995
SJRMC Catch the Spirit Award
Induction into the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame
US Congressional Proclamation recognizing 50 years of business accomplishment and
community service
Key to the City of Plymouth 2012
State of Indiana Distinguished Hoosier Award 2012
Marshall County United Way Drive Chairman
President Plymouth Jaycees
Chairman Marshall County Solid Waste Management District Citizens Board
Plymouth Arts Commission Fund Drive Chairman and Board member
Chairman Plymouth Affordable Housing Task Force
Former Director Indiana Manufacturing Association
Founding Member and Director Marshall County Industrial Association
PIDCO Director
Vice Chair and Audit Committee Chair Marshall County Community Foundation
Board Member SJRMC Plymouth 2004-2012
Board Chair SJRMC Plymouth 2010-2012
SJRMC Board of Trustees Executive Committee
The establishment of the John J. Oliver Speech and Debate Endowment benefiting the Plymouth
High School Speech and Debate team
In addition to this remarkable list of volunteerism and accomplishments, John’s philanthropy to various community organizations and groups is beyond generous. John has a unique fondness for this community particularly in the areas of education, public policy, and healthcare.
John is a brilliant entrepreneur and a humble family man who is among a small group of people who not only believe in the American dream but also achieve it. John exemplifies the qualities that make America—the land of opportunity. John will always be remembered for his contributions to this community, to his company, to the manufacturing industry, to many organizations, but most importantly for the love and sacrifice that he so generously gives every day to his family and friends.