What started out 45 years ago as a small wholesale apparel company selling a Latin clothing staple has transformed itself into an internationally known designer, distributor and licensor of brand name apparel. George Feldenkreis created Supreme International in 1967 and entered the apparel market selling guayaberas – pleated, four-pocket shirts widely worn in the Caribbean. It also was a hit in the Florida market, which is Supreme International’s headquarters. Over the past four decades, Supreme International has purchased other brands to own some of the most widely distributed brands today, including its current namesake – Perry Ellis.

Some manufacturers are rigid in their ways and resistant to change, but not StyroChem. The expandable polystyrene (EPS) manufacturer keeps successful by  customizing for its clients. “We’re [more] willing to take on harder challenges than other manufacturers in our industry, such as customizing formulations,” Director of Technology and Specialty Sales Melissa Wallum says.

Virgil Siedhoff Sr., founder and owner of Siedhoff Distributing, bought a truck in 1954 and started delivering milk in glass bottles door to door. He could not imagine then how much his business would grow over the next five decades. Today, the company has three separate divisions: dairy distribution, trucking and truck repair.

John Ness, president of ODW Log- istics Inc., explains that the fully integrated third-party logistics company makes promises, and those promises help its customers keep theirs, as well. “We don’t produce products,” Ness explains. “We talk about taking care of customer inventory, and making deliveries on time, integrated systems and all the things that we do to partner with clients.”

When J. Erskine Love Jr. founded Printpack in 1956, he was the sole employee operating a used cellophane bag machine in the basement of a Georgia office building. Today, the Atlanta-based company – led by Love’s oldest son, President and CEO Dennis Love – is one of the largest packaging converters in the world, with approximately 4,400 employees and 22 manufacturing plants throughout the United States, along with two facilities in Mexico, two in the United Kingdom, one in Poland and one in China.

The sole purpose of any business is to serve the needs of the customer in any way it can. Throughout his 30-year career in the power and process industries, Robert West has carried this ethos with him while instilling a culture of care and accountability wherever he went.

Before accepting a position Dearborn Mid-West (DMW) Conveyor Co. earlier this year, West already realized this attitude was prevalent throughout the company. This made it an easy decision to sign on as vice president of operations for the bulk division of the manufacturer of turnkey material handling systems.

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