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Wini (Blacher) Galkin

Wini (Blacher) Galkin

~ Inducted 2017

In 1917, Arthur Galkin I founded Natco Products Corporation as a recycler of waste materials. He had two sons, Bob and Warren. In 1949, his eldest son, Bob, graduated from Brown with a semester at Oxford and a BA in International Relations. At that time, Natco had two divisions; a division that manufactured mats, matting, and stair treads, with a large portion coming from other company's remnants, and a bag division that manufactured beach and travel bags. Bob joined Natco in 1949 and went into sales. He subse- quently became the company's sales manager at a time when sales were limited to the Northeast. In 1952, he married Wini Blacher who had just grad- uated from Pembroke. They trav- eled the country together finding new markets and salesmen to cover them. This foray turned Natco into a national company that sold to most of the major chain stores. Then Bob became President of Natco, and started a search for more opportunities both at home and abroad. After Warren Galkin gradu- ated from Brown with an ScB in Physics and Wharton with an MBA, he spent three years in the Navy as an engineering officer, followed by eighteen in the reserves. He retired as a lieuten- ant commander. He entered Natcos bag division as produc- tion manager, installed produc- tion and cost accounting sys- tems, and designed and built automated production equip- ment. He then became plant manager and designed machines for the mat division, including Robert Galkin Wini Galkin one that used suction cups to handle the hard surface ^oor covering, the ^rms main product. As a result of these innova- tions Natco is now an interna- tional company, servicing all of the major chains, with factories in China, Canada, and three U.S. states. As things settled down, Bob and Warren became chairman and vice chairman of the board and Bobs son-in-law, Mike Litner, took over as president. This allowed the Galkin brothers and Wini, a philanthropist in her own right as an heiress of her family's jewelry business, to get involved in the community. Bob and Wini traveled the world in their spare time picking up valu- able antiques. They have donated some collections that have been displayed at the Newport man- sions, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Brown University, and Rhode Island College. Bob and Wini received honorary doctorates from Rhode Island College for their philanthropy and were both elected to the Rhode Island Warren Galkin Commodores. Warren became involved as a benefactor of the Boys and Girls Club of Warwick and was the first inductee in its Hall of Fame. He established physics and brain science fellowships at Brown, funds a scholarship and the Spanish department at Community Preparatory School, is a major supporter of the John F. Kennedy Museum, and received the Common Cause Distinguished Service Award. The Galkins now join such illustrious trios as the Hassenfelds, the Herreshoffs, the Flynns, and the Cooneys as members of the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.


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