Gibson Welding has long history in Destin

ABRAHAM GALVAN
The Destin Log
Dean Gibson works on his first steal structure in 2000, after taking over the business his father had started. [SPECIAL TO THE LOG]

Gibson Welding Sheet Metal & Vent Inc. has been a family-run business for 44 years in Destin and has no plans on stopping.

In 1973, Ernie Gibson started his own welding company and operated it until weeks before his passing in April of 1992, when he sold it to local business owners who held on to the company for a few years before deciding to close the shop. That’s when Gibson’s eldest son, Dean Gibson, stepped in.

“At the time, I already had my sheet metal and vent company running. Before they closed (Gibson Welding), I asked for their phone number,” said Dean Gibson, the current president and owner of the company.

Gibson said by just having that phone number, he regained most of the loyal customers his dad’s business had acquired throughout the years. He decided to combine both company’s names together and has been operating off Mountain Drive for over 20 years now.

“We have been here since the Destin was just a village,” he said. ”I can promise you we are the oldest and continuous in operation welding fabricating company in Okaloosa County. … I have no doubt about it.”

With two certified welders, the custom metal fabrication company provides services on structural steel, railings, custom copper work and more.

“There’s isn’t anything we can’t or probably haven’t dealt with at one point or another," Gibson said. "I am blessed to have a really good team.

“Condominiums, restaurants and building structures is where we mainly excel. We do tremendous pontoon repair work in the area as well,” he added.

Working for almost six years as a shop foreman, Richard Winthurst said whatever Gibson promises, he makes it happen.

“We do things other welding companies can’t or are afraid to do. We don’t get the easy stuff,” he said.

Winthurst said other companies refer customers to them because they don’t have the means to create the ideas they might have.

“If we don’t have a machine to get a specific job done, we will get it,” he said.

Gibson said he has no plans on retiring and will continue to run his business until he dies.

“We have helped the city of Destin ... and Okaloosa County,” he said. “My dad even helped build Destin Water Users originally. My dad maintained the operation of that fleet over there before there any welders in the area.”