Holston GasesGiving local control to its offices and maintaining a positive bottom line continues to drive Holston Gases’ success after 60 years in business.
By Jim Harris

Many distributors or other companies with multiple locations across several states consolidate their sales, accounts receivable or other operation functions within a single site. Holston Gases, however, prefers to have personnel in its 26 locations conduct their business on the local level.

“We have resisted the temptation to centralize functions,” President and CEO Robert Anders says. “Being decentralized has driven the decision-making and the management of all functions of our operation to the local level.”

CandelaCorp picCelebrating 30 years in business, Candela uses new technology and a solid name to excel at lighting distribution.

By Chris Kelsch

As a relative newcomer to Candela Corp., CEO Mike Paulsin has gotten a lot done in a relatively short amount of time. He joined Candela in 2016 as COO, and since that time has overseen a dramatic upgrade in Candela’s technology.

As a result of those efforts, he was recently promoted to CEO. “This company has made a commitment to technology,” Paulsin says. “Since the beginning of 2016 we have upgraded everything including order entry, accounting and enterprise resource planning [ERP] systems.”

Such technology upgrades have enhanced a business that was already well regarded. Bill and Terri Baas, Candela’s founders and current owners, established the company in 1986.

Derstines AerialWith the correct technology and an engaged workforce, Derstine’s plans to continue to grow its revenue in the next five years.
By Bianca Herron

Derstine's Inc. is an independent, family-owned, full-line wholesale foodservice distributor. Since 1983, the company has provided food operations and restaurants with high-quality products and unmatched customer service.

“My parents started the company together and their goal was to further our family for the future,” President Zach Derstine explains. “They wanted an income source that would provide the kind of revenue needed to not only buy a home, but also provide a future for their family. They both came from poor farming families; in fact my father was an orphan; his parents both died before he was 10-years-old, and he was raised by a Mennonite minister from the neighboring community. Ultimately, they wanted to provide their kids with a different life than they had.”


Topicz picTopicz prides itself on providing strong service.
By Alan Dorich

Teamwork is essential for Topicz, Director of Business Development and Operations Adam Greenberg says. “It is key to delivering the best product to our customers,” he states. “Everyone has the key to our success.”

Based in Cincinnati, the company distributes full-line convenience store goods. Greenberg notes that the Topicz family started the company in 1926, but his grandfather, Marvin Schwartz, purchased it in 1983.

At that time, Topicz had a 7,000-square-foot building. Since then, Greenberg says, the company has grown to be the largest company in its market, with a 120,000-square-foot location that features 8,000 square feet of refrigerated and frozen storage space. 

Nissco picNISSCO gives its members a stronger presence in the jan/san distribution market than they would have otherwise.

By Chris Petersen

There may be no better representation of the phrase “strength in numbers” than a group purchasing organization like NISSCO. The Virginia-based group provides group purchasing services to more than 230 distributors in the janitorial/sanitary and safety industry, the vast majority of which are small, family owned and operated companies. President Keen Umbehr says NISSCO understands the importance that group purchasing has for these smaller operators, and the group concentrates on serving their distinct needs in a way that’s responsive and based on relationships.


NexusManufacturer’s representative Nexus sells environmentally friendly nonfood disposables to foodservice and janitorial distributors.

By Stephanie Crets

As one of the primary leaders in the western region of the United States, Nexus is a cutting-edge and world-class manufacturer’s representative firm specializing in the sales and marketing nonfood foodservice and janitorial disposables. Since 1985, Nexus has been on a positive growth trajectory. “There are a lot of very professional rep agencies across the country that do a very good job in their respective marketplaces,” President Patrick Nunan says. “However, what makes Nexus unique is the quality and focus of our team. Because we started as a disposables and supplies firm and remain focused on that category we provide a unique level of expertise and experience to our clients. Additionally, our success has always hinged on our focus on the large operator/end user. This benefits our manufacturer clients and our partner distributors.”

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