content-page.php

About Us

Our Businesses Make Our Customers’ Lives More Comfortable and Convenient.

Our businesses aim to leave you feeling refreshed, energized and prepared. Whether we’re delivering excellent home-HVAC service or a great cup of coffee on your commute, our friendly team works hard to improve your day.
About Us

Our Mission

The Wills Group aims to be the preferred choice for employees, customers, and business partners in our chosen markets and geographies. We strive to have a deeper understanding of our customer’s needs, and we are sincerely committed to meeting those needs to the best of our ability. We are committed to developing and building businesses that deliver a superior customer and client experience. Additionally, we ensure that our companies' brands reflect this commitment across all stakeholder groups.

Our Businesses

We operate several brands focused on environmental comfort for the home, and convenient access to life’s essentials when you’re on the go.

Company News

2016 Charitable Match Campaign

Through the Wills Group 2016 Charitable Match Campaign together we raised $75,124, a 58% increase in total employee giving over 2015! A number of very deserving charities in our local …

The Wills Group Receives Governor’s Proclamation

Governor Larry Hogan presented Lock Wills with the Governor of the State of Maryland’s Proclamation in recognition of The Wills Group’s 90th Anniversary at the Board of Director’s meeting in …

Wills Group employees learn how to prepare a meal for $10

Last December 9th, members of our Eliminating Childhood Hunger Committee (ECHC) collaborated with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to create an opportunity for Wills Group employees to learn …

1926

Jim Wills and Harold Swann, two civil engineers working on road construction, saw an opportunity to capitalize on America’s growing fascination with the automobile. The pair got together and acquired the La Plata Oil and Mechanicsville Oil Companies. Thus began Southern Maryland Oil.
Read more

1936

The company switched from rail transport to 2,000-gallon tank trucks to bring oil from Baltimore to the Owings Plant. It also began distributing Texaco Havoline Motor Oil in quart cans, prompting the first dealer meeting to introduce the new product.
Read more

1936

The invention of the gun-type burner for fuel oil opened up the residential heating market. The company was quick to adapt to include this innovation and soon began offering weekly and bi-monthly fuel oil deliveries.
Read more

1940

In an early example of the company’s commitment to treating its people right, The Wills Group introduced a variety of new benefits to its employees, including a vacation plan, sick leave, and a Christmas bonus.
Read more

1942

Challenged by the fuel rationing implemented during World War II, the company secured a contract with the Naval Air Station Patuxent River (NAS Pax River) to be the principal fuel supplier.
Read more

1946

The company begins to build service station sites and as the growth of the company accelerated, it was converted from a partnership to a corporation. The name changed from Southern Maryland Oil Company to Southern Maryland Oil Company, Inc.
Read more

1948

In October, the company suffered the loss of one of its founders, Harold S. Swann, who was serving in the capacity of Vice President and Treasurer. His death was a tremendous loss to everyone connected with the organization.
Read more

1950

Continuing the tradition of valuing employees, President Wills proposed increased coverage in the Hospitalization Plan for medical services.
Read more

1953

Employee benefits continued to improve, and in December, Jimmy Wills announced the Harold S. Swann-James W. Wills Jr. Profit Sharing Plan. The Wills Group was the first company in Maryland to offer a plan in which employees received a portion of year-end profits for their retirement.
Read more

1957

Following the tragic death of Founder Jimmy Wills, his wife Julia B. Wills became President of the company. She was succeeded four years later by her son, Blackie Wills.
Read more

1964

This year marked a major geographic expansion to the Eastern Shore as the company received the Texaco franchise in the Annapolis area, and the next year, construction began on the Annapolis Bulk Plant.
Read more

1966

In 1966, the Installation Department was created. During this era, the company completed its new main office on U.S. Route 301.
Read more

1969

1969 marked another growth year and our facilities were extended to the eastern shore with our newest business unit, Delmarva Oil.
Read more

1970

The 70’s began ten of the fastest growth years in the company’s history.
Read more

1973

America was shaken by the Arab oil embargo, which led to supply shortages, and federal regulations of supplies and prices.
Read more

1981

In 1979, the next generation of Wills Family leadership, J. Blacklock “Lock” Wills Jr., was given $6,000 and a challenge...
Read more

1984

Following the success of the early convenience retailing experiment, Lock, along with a rising generation of leadership...
Read more

1986

On its 60th anniversary, the company announced a new corporate structure that created a holding company, The Wills Group, Inc., for subsidiary corporations including: SMO, Inc., Dash In Food Stores, Inc., Delmarva Oil, Inc., and Southern Maryland Oil, Inc.
Read more

1987

With growth and success came another form of recognition, when the company was honored by the state of Maryland with a Certificate of Commendation for its response to underground testing regulations.
Read more

1995

The company continued its tradition of caring for employees with the announcement of an enhanced 401(K) plan.
Read more

2000

At the tail end of 2000, the company announced a major acquisition: purchasing 137 Texaco and Shell-branded motor fuel outlets from MOTIVA Enterprises.
Read more

2003

The company opened a next generation Dash In prototype facility to replace a facility destroyed in a tornado the year before.
Read more

2003

SMO opens Shymansky Institute for technical training at its Maple Avenue Plant.
Read more

2005

Continuing to build on the revamped Dash In, The Wills Group continued to modernize the Dash In Food Store offering and introduced a new “Franchise” business model. The first franchise was the Beantown Dash In in Waldorf, Maryland.
Read more

2009

The company announced it’s first joint venture with MOTIVA and the formed a new operating company: Potomac Energy Holdings (PEH).
Read more

2010

On February 14, 2010, the company mourned the loss of extraordinary leader and former president, Blackie Wills. His business acumen and personal charm were vital to the company’s survival and success, and his contributions laid the foundation for achievements beyond his tenure.
Read more

2012

August saw the acquisition of the Besche Oil heating fuel business.
Read more

2014

Dash In unveils its new Village concept.
Read more
Hein Logo

2014

We acquired the Hein Brothers business assets in August.
Read more

2016

We celebrated our 90th Anniversary in grand style with an Employee Celebration at the Renaissance in Washington, D.C. on March 19.
Read more

2016

The company completed a major Corporate Brand Refresh project in the Summer. Besides creation of the new TWGI logo, we established a new Purpose for our next decade . . . Lives in Motion.
Read more

2017

Going forward the Wills Group will continue to invest in its business and its employees. In the coming decade the company will focus even more on understanding and serving its customers.
Read more

Timeline

Wills Group Leadership

Our Executive Team and Board of Directors help The Wills Group stay focused on our mission to build businesses that deliver superior customer and client experiences. They do this by setting the corporate strategy for The Wills Group, as well as overseeing the execution of that strategy.

Leadership Team

Lock Wills Lock Wills

Why Southern Maryland?

We are proud of our roots in Southern Maryland and are eager to share the unique benefits of our geography with visitors, potential employees, and other stakeholders. Southern Maryland is an area of natural beauty and connectivity; our proximity to Washington D.C. affords us access to world-class cultural institutions such as The Kennedy Center and The Smithsonian, while our picturesque setting provides us easy access to Southern Maryland’s beautiful scenery and coastline. Whether attending an NFL game at FedEx Field, or taking in a day on the water in Historic Annapolis, Southern Maryland is a family-friendly destination that offers something for everyone.

Learn More About Our Region