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.”

Odom picThe Odom Corporation has proven its logistics chops in the wilds of Alaska, Washington, and Idaho; and it continues to lead the beverage distribution market.

By Chris Petersen

One of the truest measures of success is how a company works under adverse conditions, and for a wholesale beverage distributor conditions don’t get much more adverse than Alaska. The Odom Corporation was born in these conditions, and COO Adam Hilpert says it has been the company’s ability to adapt to those conditions and still provide top-notch service that has allowed the company to grow into one of the largest distributors in the Pacific Northwest. According to Hilpert, the experience and problem-solving skills the company has accrued over the last 80-plus years in serving Alaska have been crucial for its continued success.

“Alaska has a lot of complexity as it relates to logistics, and the Odom family has done a very good job of learning how to deal with those challenges,” Hilpert says. “ We’ve had to learn to deal with a combination of logistical challenges  that include transporting freight via truck, plane, and barge. We have some markets that are only accessible by air and sea, so it’s forced us to become proficient in understanding a broader array of logistic requirements.”

Topaz Lighting picTopaz Lighting’s strong culture enables it to invest in the company’s future.
By Tim O’Connor

When a company finds success and leads its industry it can be easy to stand apart. Making the investment necessary to reach the next level comes with uncertainty and challenges that the company must be prepared to meet. That was the choice facing lighting manufacturer Topaz Lighting three years ago.

It was CEO Tim Gomes’ faith in his employees and the company’s culture that gave him the confidence needed to embark on a strategy to upgrade nearly every facet of the company.  “When I challenged our employees with the grand plan three years ago everyone knew what the challenges and the stresses were going to be like,” Gomes says. “Instead of shrinking and succumbing to these pressures we’ve coalesced around the strength of our culture and persevered through these challenges.”

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