Direct Supply Press Release
***For Immediate Release***
Contact: Bob Klein, Senior VP, Corporate & Legal Affairs
(414) 760-5804, [email protected]
Direct Supply today celebrated the opening of the first new building constructed as part of the company’s $85 million expansion project. This continues Direct Supply’s 23 years of growth at its campus on Milwaukee’s Northwest side. The company started in 1985 with just five employees housed in a small space in one of nine adjacent warehouse buildings. Since then, the company has expanded in place 27 times, and employs over 850 employee owners in the City of Milwaukee.
In June, 2006, the company announced a plan to begin a 10 to 15 year expansion project, linking its nine existing buildings with seven multi-story connectors and adding more than 500,000 square feet of office space for up to an additional 2,500 employees. Today, the company celebrated the opening of the first connector building with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by its employees, Governor Jim Doyle, Mayor Tom Barrett, business partners, friends, and state and local officials.
“Our new three story building can house up to 450 Champion Partners, as we call our employee owners,” said Bob Klein, Direct Supply’s Senior Vice President of Corporate & Legal Affairs. “Since we announced our expansion plans in June, 2006, we’ve added over 200 new Champion Partners, and we expect that growth to continue and accelerate in the coming years,” said Klein.
The company’s expansion project, which also anticipates the purchase and rehabilitation of several industrial and vacant sites for parking and the potential construction of additional facilities, is the result of a public-private partnership among the company, its landlord KJ Greentree LLC (a Chicago developer), the State of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee.
“Direct Supply is committed to staying in the City of Milwaukee. We’ve been here since we opened our doors, and we have a strong attachment to Wisconsin, Milwaukee and our neighborhood,” remarked Mr. Klein.
“We are deeply grateful to the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin for helping us continue our 23 year history of creating great new jobs here at our home,” remarked Bob Hillis, Direct Supply President and CEO.
Direct Supply is a privately held, employee-owned company started in 1985. The company is the largest supplier of equipment for nursing homes, assisted living centers and retirement communities in the U.S. It also operates the nation’s largest supply chain eCommerce network for those customers. The company is a major employer of graduates from the MSOE, Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin System.