Fitzgerald family marks six decades of business

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Fitzgerald Equipment Company celebrates 60 years of service this month.

The third-generation, family-owned Rockford business invited clients and friends to celebrate during an open house Friday.

Eric Fitzgerald, the company’s president, says everyone feels like family to him.

“Being a family-owned business means supporting our community, and treating our clients and our team as a family,” says Eric, who succeeded his father Kevin as Fitzgerald Equipment Company’s president in 2019.

Eric’s grandfather, Gene Fitzgerald, founded the equipment company in 1962. Back then, they specialized in renting, selling and servicing forklifts made by Automatic Transportation Company, a Chicago-based manufacturer where Gene’s father-in-law ran the sales department.

Starting with just two employees — Gene and a single mechanic — the small shop on Wallin Avenue put down roots.

Starting with just two employees, Fitzgerald’s put down Rockford roots.(Fitzgerald Equipment Company)

Today, Eric oversees a 75-employee operation with locations in Rockford and Mackinaw, Ill. Eric’s son Riley, a 17-year-old senior at Rockford Christian High School, plans to join the family legacy one day.

Fitzgerald Equipment is recognized as a “Dealer of Excellence” by forklift manufacturer Yale, and offers a full range of material-handling products and solutions.

The company plays a critical role in Rockford’s manufacturing and warehousing operations with clients like Honeywell, Dow Chemical, Quaker, Sherwin Williams, and the State of Illinois, along with a slew of retailers and logistics companies such as Target, Menards, Lowe’s, FedEx and UPS.

To learn more about Fitzgerald Equipment Company, visit or visit them on Facebook and Instagram.

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