Growing up with Mobil

The loyalty and passion for Mobil began long before General Petroleum, for the Vanderwall family. Pumping gas, checking tire pressure and oil was always a part of the current CEO, Cindie Vanderwall’s life. Her father bought his first Mobil Station on the East-side of Toledo just two weeks after Cindie was born, so you could say pegasus runs in her blood.

The South-side location opened up and quickly became a successful business for their family. This location was more modern and catered to the needs of their growing customer list.

During this time, Cindie's father began teaching classes at a local vocational school. Although he was never able to finish high school himself, he was able to teach and train high school students to do mechanical work on cars. This is just one example of the many ways he gave back to the community. That philanthropic spirit has continued to live on at General Petroleum through Cindie’s leadership as well as through her children, Craig and Stephanie Vanderwall.

The Start of General Petroleum

Although General Petroleum was started in 1952, it wasn’t until 1978 that the Vanderwall’s purchased the company from the Dettmer brothers. Since Cindie’s first day on May 13th of 1978, she has continued to enjoy the people she works with, whether that be people in the office, business partners, or clients.

Since purchasing the company, it has grown into one of the largest wholesale lubricant and metalworking distributors in the nation. The company has also welcomed a new generation of Vanderwall’s, Craig as COO and Vice President and Stephanie as CFO.

Circle of Excellence

The Circle of Excellence Program is designed to help distributors effectively plan, execute, measure, and continuously improve in key business areas. The award recognizes and rewards Distributors throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. General Petroleum has continuously been awarded this prestigious honor since 1988.

  • General Petroleum has been part of the Exxon Mobil Circle of Excellence for 33 years. This is one of the highest honors to receive in our industry, recognizing our endless commitment to doing what's best for our customers and promoting both our brand and ExxonMobil with integrity.”

    - Craig Vanderwall

Growing General Petroleum

Over the years General Petroleum has shifted its focus from gasoline and fuel operations to lubricant distribution. In 1985, General Petroleum started acquisitions of lubricant-only distributorships. The larger acquisitions include Fisher Oil of Muncie, Indiana, Sturgeon Oil of St. Marys, Ohio, and Tri-County Petroleum of Indianapolis, Indiana.

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The General was created in 1952 when the Dettmer brothers owned and operated General Petroleum and was used as the mascot. The cartoon’s features were modeled after General Anthony Wayne, a common name known around Fort Wayne. Bravery, strength, and courage were just a few traits the General represents. Throughout General Petroleum’s history, the General was found on labels, company stationery, trucks, and more.

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