CEO, Windy City Wire
I co-founded Windy City Wire in 1994. My business partner and I were both in our twenties, with a ton of energy and the passion to transform a sleepy industry. We grew rapidly through constant innovation and by leveraging technology to provide a superior customer experience. Although we were very profitable during the first 10 years, we had to reinvest all of our profits back into the business each year to fund our continued growth.
We first met the Seidler team in late November 2005. I remember it well because our initial phone call was the Monday before Thanksgiving … and they flew to Chicago on Friday to visit us. Their straightforward approach was completely different from the private equity crowd that had been hounding me for years. We reached an agreement within a week and closed in January.
The personal fit was great from the start. They allowed us to obtain a meaningful estate planning distribution and maintain a majority of our hard-earned equity. We were also able to keep a debt-free balance sheet and retain control of the Board and day-to-day operations.
We have had a successful, collaborative partnership since 2006. The Seidler team helped us identify and close three highly accretive acquisitions. They also provided valuable insight and guidance as we transformed our business from solely distribution into an integrated manufacturing and distribution model. This transformation enabled us to offer the highest quality and most innovative product set in our industry. I can’t imagine a better group than Seidler to have as partners.