The Top of the Barrel

You don't bite the hand that feeds you...work for the customers, says cooper and award-winning entrepreneur Bill Wilson

The rural acres of Green County, Pa., are about as far as you can get from Pittsburgh's metropolitan sprawl without leaving the state entirely. But Bill Wilson, president of Wilson Forest Products near Jefferson, enjoys plenty of contact with the wider world. His family business and its subsidiary, Keystone Cooperage, make oak wine-barrel stock -- the staves and barrelheads -- as well as finished barrels. And while the completed barrels generally stay in the U.S., the wood stock is exported worldwide, keeping Wilson in touch with customers from South America to Australia, Europe, and Asia.

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