This month marks the 75th anniversary of The Wholesaler magazine — a celebration for sure. In planning for the issue, we took a long walk down memory lane, going through magazine issues, starting in 1945. It has been wonderful to page through history. It was like opening up a time capsule and taking a peek at the wholesale distributor companies, manufacturers and manufacturers’ reps steeped in our channel’s culture and history.
Pictures of founding fathers/mothers of so many companies are awesome, and wonderful to see and read about the generations that came before and how they evolved into the companies and family legacies they are today. This shows the staying power, tenacity, hard work and reliance on staying connected, informed, and relying on partnerships to achieve success.
Over the years, the magazine has had four caretakers, with the last two being Tom Brown, founder of TMB Publishing, and then the team of Cate Brown, Dave Schulte and Brad Burnside — keeping the magazine and the company family-owned and -operated. The three rebranded the publishing firm as PHCPPros in 2018, maintaining TMB Publishing as the name of the parent company.
The mark each owner placed within The Wholesaler’s pages can be seen and felt, but its core is serving, reporting, and supporting the PHCP industry. And, above all, respect — for the industry and its people.
I am so honored to be associated with the magazine that has walked the road with you and — dare I say it — helped to make the path more manageable. To do so is an honor, but it is best said by my friend Kevin Sullivan, Kevin Sullivan Communications: “While building trust through communication is a daily activity, earning trust takes time. Humility and gratitude are key building blocks.” He is so right. It’s about integrity in one’s work and one’s actions, personified within the pages of The Wholesaler Magazine.
I found it interesting how I landed where I am today — and it has been a twist of fate. But understand that I am here because of you — and for you.
After college, I moved to Chicago and set my sights on working in this great city. Not sure about what industry I wanted to pursue, I kept my options open.
I took a job as a temp, answering the phones for the American Supply Association at its then downtown Chicago headquarters. Within two months, the organization asked me if I wanted to head up the planning of its annual convention. The meeting planner at the time, Joy Anda, was going to retire. She and her husband, Larry Grinnell, who was also in the industry, set the stage for the next chapter in their lives.
So, when asked if I wanted to take up the convention planning, I thought sure! As with many individuals just starting on their path, I thought I will be with ASA for five years, max — it turned into more than 20 years! During that time, I had the honor to work for its outstanding members — wholesale distributors, manufacturers and reps in our great essential industry. I got to know and be a part of their celebrations and challenges, help provide solutions, and bring them opportunities and avenues for growth. Always visible and willing to lend a hand, my mantra was, and still is: “How can I help you?”
In 2017, when approached by Tom Brown about an opportunity with The Wholesaler Magazine as its editor, I was a little stumped — why me? I remember saying to him, “I’m honored you thought of me, but my background is not publishing.” He replied, “Well, you know this industry, the people, and can connect on what is important.” Say no more — he was right.
Way back when, I thought five years was my staying power on this path — I was wrong — and I have never been happier to say that.
When I stepped into the role of Editor-in-Chief in 2017, it was an honor to again be the caretaker of my industry, and my industry family. I am truly honored to be an ambassador to The Wholesaler Magazine, and for what it represents. At the cornerstone is building and nurturing the trust and connections of our industry channel. The magazine has done this for 75 years now, and will do so for all the years to come.
They say everything comes full circle. I was surprised when going through the old issues and noticed Larry Grinnell was, at one time, The Wholesaler’s editor. I stopped in my tracks and had a flashback. Wow. I had stepped into the role his wife had at ASA and — fast-forward 25-plus years — I find myself holding the position Larry held here at the magazine. It looks as if fate had brought it all together.
Thank-you for trusting me to work with you in partnering for success. Here is to 75 more years for your company — and mine. And a special thank-you to Tom Brown — for all he has done for the industry, and me.
As they say, no man is an island. It takes a team — one that is dedicated to excellence and upholds the mission of the organization to move you forward and keep you looking ahead. I’m honored to work with the team at PHCPPros, who help bring to you each month your trusted industry publication. And the team knows how to have fun! Thank you!!