GFI is a manufacturer of pedal steel guitars and was founded by Gene Fields.
Gene Fields spent his entire professional career involved in the playing, design, and production of musical instruments.
He was a member of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame (inducted 2015) and a member of the Texas Steel Guitar Association Hall of Fame (inducted 1998).
He spent 23 years working for Fender Musical Instruments, mainly in research and development. His designs at Fender included the PS 210 keyless pedal steel guitar and the Starcaster semi-hollow bodied electric guitar. Gene co-designed (with Leo Fender) the Mustang Bass, Marauder and Bronco guitars, among other projects, before spending 7 years with Fender's string division.
Later, Gene designed and oversaw production of the Sierra line of solid body guitars and basses. He was also general manager of MCI Intertek for 3 years, making design refinements to the EMCI pedal steel guitars.
Gene decided to go into business for himself and began with the GFI Student Model pedal steel guitar, the GFI Kari-All Storage Seat and cases for the steels. With encouragement and financial assistance from good friend, Blackie Taylor, Gene designed and produced the first GFI Professional Series pedal steel guitar.
Gene passed away in November, 2014 at the age of 85.
Bob Diekmeier began working for Gene in 1992 and learned every aspect of producing GFI pedal steel guitars from the ground up.