City leaders from Fort Wayne and New Haven, Indiana, recently joined Do it Best Corp. employees in celebrating the company’s 70th anniversary at its world headquarters.
Fort Wayne mayor Tom Henry, New Haven Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Charlie Hatten and New Haven 3rd District city councilman Craig Dellinger joined more than 400 current and former Do it Best Corp. employees in celebrating the hardware co-op distributor, one of Indiana’s largest privately held companies.
Both Henry and Dellinger read proclamations declaring “Do it Best Corp. 70th Anniversary Day” in each of their cities to commemorate the date in June 1945 when Arnold Gerberding incorporated Hardware Wholesalers Inc. in Fort Wayne with 96 original members. The company’s name changed to Do it Best Corp. in 1998 after a successful merger with Our Own Hardware, a regional co-op serving the Midwest.
“It’s incredible to think about how much has changed since our founding. From those humble beginnings as a regional hardware co-op, we’ve grown to serving more than 3,800 member-owned locations throughout the U.S. and in 54 other countries,” said Do it Best Corp. president and CEO Bob Taylor.
In addition to the 400-plus employees who work at its Fort Wayne world headquarters, the co-op noted that it employs an additional 1,100 employees across its eight regional distribution centers and five regional lumber offices. Sales for its current fiscal year are expected to approach $3 billion, according to Do it Best.