PEOPLE are at the Core of Distribution’s Differentiating Belief


A fundamental part of the spirit of distributors is their unrelenting commitment to their people—their employees. While visiting over 30 independent distribution companies during the We Supply America tour, I repeatedly heard “I am not just a number” and “they truly care about us as people.” And I have seen this in action. So many of these companies are committed to providing a culture of training, mentoring, career paths, support, and more.

On the Road with Dirk – 08.22.21

We Supply America RV

My goodness … the world hasn’t gotten any less volatile, complex, or uncertain in the last week. What is going on in Afghanistan for instance both enrages me and hurts my heart as I see our soldiers and marines lifting children over walls, providing water, and cradling infant babies.

We’re in this for Each Other


“[It’s about] making sure that the whole team knows and understands that they’re not just picking a product, they’re delivering a key component, a finished product, that our customers rely on us to deliver.”

On the Road with Dirk – 08.15.21

We Supply America RV

Twelve weeks ago today, I packed the We Supply America RV, pulled out of my home in Barrington, IL, and began the We Supply America tour. Since then, I’ve traveled 10,000 miles and visited over 20 different distribution companies in more than 10 different states. I’ve met with countless company leaders and employees, given hugs, shaken hands, laughed, cried, and—most importantly—celebrated the noble calling of distribution.

Hill & Markes Does Business with the World in Mind

Hill & Markes

“Hill and Markes is family-oriented. We care about the community; we care about our customers, and we care about our employees. We will do anything. We will always make it happen. We will always rally and make it together.”

Longing for Labor Day: Distribution in the Time of the Delta Variant

Republic Co

It’s funny what can trigger an idea in your mind. Labor Day popped into mine earlier this year—it seemed many were thinking “we just need to get to Labor Day.” This moment that signals the end of summer was a marker of whether or not we “made it” through the pandemic.

Indiana Oxygen Driven and Finishing Strong

Indiana Oxygen

I’m strolling down pit row looking up at the stands of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The space feels grand and exciting even though it’s empty. Wally Brant, owner of Indiana Oxygen, walks beside me.

Leading from the Middle: The Purpose of Distribution

C.H. Briggs

I asked Julia Klein, CEO of C.H. Briggs, what she thinks the role of distribution is in our society. What she said about distribution struck me. “People call us the middleman, but I’ve said for years that we lead from the middle.”