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Obituary: Bill Schmidt, Sr.

Bill Schmidt, Sr., CEO and owner of Top 40 supplier Hit Promotional Products (asi/61125), died Saturday at the age of 73.

Under Schmidt’s guidance, Hit has grown rapidly to become the fifth-largest supplier in the industry. In 2014 Hit generated $270 million in revenue, accounting for 150% growth over a five-year span.

A perennial member of the Counselor Power 50, Schmidt led his company to several industry honors, including the 2011 Counselor Supplier of the Year award. He also helped orchestrate Hit’s acquisition last year of Admints & Zagabor (asi/31516).

Hit Promotional Products was founded during the 1950s under the name Hit Sales Corporation. Schmidt’s father acquired the company and moved it to Florida during the 1990s. In 2001, Schmidt bought the company from his father and renamed it with a focus on the promotional products industry. 

“The small things are what everyone cherished most about him,” said the company in an email. “He walked all three of Hit's factory floors every single day, and genuinely cared about each and every person at the company. From the entry level team member, all the way up to CFO, he was admired and respected amongst all. He was not only a boss to so many people, but more of a father figure, friend, and mentor to countless people across our company and industry.

“There is not a single person Bill Schmidt did not touch that he did not make better. Our company and family have lost a legend and he will be missed more than words can express.”

Schmidt is survived by his wife, Liz, and two sons, Bill and CJ.