In 1904, Arthur Ratsikas arrived on Ellis Island from Greece, and, in 1906, he founded a small painting company, A.G. Williams. More than a century later, the staff has grown to more than 40 employees, working from service centers in Pelham and Greenwich, Connecticut. “Most people think of a painting contractor as a guy with a bucket and brush, in a station wagon with two of his cousins. That’s not us,” quips George P. Williams, Ratsikas’ grandson, who now runs the company with a fleet of 22 vehicles.
Taking the helm 30 years ago, Williams and his brother, Arthur, grew the company’s annual revenue from $250,000 per year to more than $3 million within the first decade. The firm has also weathered the country’s financial storms. Just as their grandfather kept it afloat during the Great Depression, George and Arthur stayed in business during the 2008 recession and even hired some of their competitors’ laid-off staff. Their current clientele is about 60 percent residential and 40 percent commercial—and George boasts that nearly 90 percent of their customers are repeat business.
Along the way, they’ve helped out in the community. A.G. Williams has donated to groups researching cures for breast and ovarian cancers and helped repair homes for disabled local residents. “We love to give back, as a team, to this society that gave us this success,” George says.