I had the opportunity to sit down with the current owners and editor of The Wholesaler and discuss with them what the industry and this publication means to them, and where they plan to take it going forward. What was clear across the board was the level of pride each has in relation to what they call “the family”. The family extends beyond the people in the room—it includes the wholesale distributors, the manufacturers, the buying groups and associations, and every single individual that is part of this industry.
Linda: What does it mean for you to be part of The Wholesaler family?
Cate: Being a part of The Wholesaler and PHCPPros family is just that—it’s family. I have been in this business for more than 45 years. My father, Tom Brown, started with Ed Scott and The Wholesaler when I was a young kid and I’ve in the mix one way or another. I grew up hearing about Southern Wholesalers, ASA, ASHRAE, MCAA. I watched as my parents made great friends in the industry and had great fun attending industry events. I am so grateful to be able to still be in this business and carry on what my father was and is so incredibly proud of.
Dave: Knowing I am part of a wonderful team that is dedicated daily in providing the industry’s most valued content which helps the wholesale distributor succeed in business is one of the greatest opportunities of my lifetime.
Brad: Being part of The Wholesaler and PHCPPros is two part for me. First, it’s being part of a small company that has an amazing team of hardworking and talented people. Second, we all have the same goal in mind which is to bring the best reporting and information to our PHCP industry. We are dedicated to this industry, and only this industry, which sets us apart from other media companies.
Ruth: I am honored to represent The Wholesaler magazine while incorporating it into the partnerships I have within this amazing industry. The magazine holds close its commitment to channel success, its strong partnerships with its channel partners, and above all, celebrating and reporting on our industry family. That is the backbone of my mantra—partnerships built on trust and integrity and personified by the magazine as well.
Linda: What has been the proudest moment for you in your role?
Cate: My proudest moment is when I am introduced to someone in the industry and they say, “Cate Brown, daughter of Tom? He is the greatest guy!” Those are big shoes to fill and I strive for that every day.
Dave: When Tom Brown graciously transitioned the company, it was a very proud moment for me. It showed his confidence and trust in us as business owners and ensured our family-owned business would continue to support an industry we all had grown to love so much.
Brad: Simply meeting so many amazing people from across the country and developing not only great business relationships but true friendships. I look at my role here as not only developing long-lasting business partnerships with clients but creating a family and friendship environment. We don’t look at client interactions as simply a quick sale; it’s more a long-lasting mutual partnership. Having that type of relationship is where great things can happen.
Ruth: There hasn’t been just one. There are so many, but it comes down to individuals trusting me and the magazine to tell their story. Honesty, trust, and integrity are the backbone to relationships, and I worked hard in my previous role to establish the rapport and am honored to continue to serve by championing others’ success in any way we can. It warms my heart when I pick up the phone and call someone I haven’t connected with in a while, and just like that, we fall back into the familiarity and connectability established years ago.
Linda: What do you hope to accomplish in the next 25 years of The Wholesaler magazine?
Cate: I am confident that we will keep striving every day to be the best deliverer of news in the wholesale community. We will keep ourselves open to new ideas and continue to evolve as we have done with our website, digital offerings, podcasts, and webinars. Who knows, we may have The Wholesaler broadcast network some day! We will never stop printing, though!
Dave: To continually adapt to the ever-changing times while maintaining our family first-dedication to the PHCP industry!
Brad: First I hope I’m still alive in 25 years. I just want to see The Wholesaler continue to evolve and delivering current and valuable content to the readers via both print and digital. I realize print has been challenged over the past few years but I’m a firm believer that if you provide value, no matter what platform information is being delivered, people will find it and want it. We are the leaders in that today and hopefully will be in 25 years.
Ruth: To continue the path of bringing to our audience the tools and takeaways to implement on a daily basis. Every day we work toward helping our industry companies stay relevant, stay connected, and to reach out for guidance when needed. Every day is an opportunity to make ourselves better than we were the day before.
Linda: What do you want readers to know?
Cate: I want our readers to know that serving and reporting on the plumbing, heating, cooling, and piping industry is the only profession our company covers. It is our livelihood and our employee’s livelihood. We take our business and our decisions very seriously. We are a small team and everyone who works on The Wholesaler is invested in making sure we put out the best product we can.
Dave: Our entire team at The Wholesaler is solely dedicated to serving the PHCP industry. We are extremely proud of our team and the relationships we have built through the years among our wholesaler and manufacturer partners. There is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling then doing business with your friends. Our industry is full of great people and The Wholesaler is proud if it’s 75 years of service and looks forward to many more great years ahead.
Brad: Every day, you the reader are our main focus and we are dedicated to providing the absolute best content and reader experience.
Ruth: We report and serve in good times and during challenges and support the industry by digging in and helping to find solutions. The magazine will show up each month on your doorstep to keep you updated and informed, and our phone lines and email are always available for a direct outreach to voice your support, concern, or to help in finding a solution.
Tom: We’re going onward and upward. We’re here for the industry and our commitments are 100%.
Linda: What do you hope will be the legacy of The Wholesaler?
Tom: The Wholesaler is celebrating 75 years in publication. That is an amazing legacy in and of itself. It has to be one of the oldest trade magazines still in existence in this country. But I want this magazine to be around for another 75 years and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t. There is no other profession more viable than plumbing, heating, and cooling, and piping, and so the possibilities for where that will go in the future are endless. There is no reason why The Wholesaler wouldn’t be part of that future. So, I think the future is great and I would hope that we continue to serve the industry and with the great passion we have done so for so many years.
The Future Looks Promising
As The Wholesaler rounds out 75 years, the future looks bright and promising. With a pledge to continue be the publication that reports, serves, and supports you—the professionals that keep our industry moving forward during good times and bad—The Wholesaler is ready to take the lead, keep the conversations flowing, and the find the solutions to keep us all successful.
Congratulations on 75 years, cheers to another!