1972 Robbie Gilchrist graduated from high school and took a summer
job in the fasteners industry. He intended to go to college, but
the summer job lasted 13 years until he ventured out to start his
own fastener distributorship.
In 1985 Gilchrist refinanced
his house, borrowed from friends and took out a Small Business Administration
loan to start Capital Fasteners Inc. in High Point, North Carolina.
Robbie met his wife,
Gina, while she was also working in the fastener business. As the
fledgling company grew, Gina established her own career outside
the industry to provide a household income while Robbie built the
After great success,
Gilchrist sold the thriving enterprise to Questron Technology, Inc.
in 1999 after expanding the business to include branches in Chesapeake,
VA, and Jacksonville, FL.
Robbie Gilchrist never
did receive a four year college degree, but he and Gina decided
to assist future students by forming the Gilchrist Foundation. Scholarships
are awarded to those who are already engaged in the fastener industry
to continue their education. Children of fastener industry employees
who intend to go into the fastener business can also benefit from
As Robbie states: "We
genuinely wanted to give back and give from the heart; we have enjoyed
tremendous success and opportunity in the fastener industry, so
it is only fitting for us to allow others to benefit."