Civic leaders joined Do it Best Corp. employees this week in celebrating the company’s 70th anniversary at the co-op’s headquarters.
Local government officials joined more than 400 current and former Do it Best Corp. employees in celebrating the co-op for its performance as one of the world’s most successful hardware distributors and one of Indiana’s largest privately held companies. Sales for Do it Best’s current fiscal year are expected to approach $3 billion.
Fort Wayne and New Haven presented proclamations declaring “Do it Best Corp. 70th Anniversary Day” in each of their cities to commemorate the day in 1945 when Arnold Gerberding incorporated Hardware Wholesalers Inc. 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,” says Bob Taylor, president and CEO of Do it Best Corp. “From those humble beginnings as a regional hardware co-op, we’ve grown to serving more than 3,800 member-owned locations throughout the United States and in 54 other countries.
“At the same time, a big part of our growth as a co-op can be attributed to what hasn’t changed – our unending commitment to our No. 1 goal of helping our members grow and achieve their dreams.”
Do it Best Corp. has benefitted from continuity of leadership, with Taylor serving as only the fourth president and CEO in the co-op’s 70 years.
In addition to the 400-plus employees who work at its Fort Wayne headquarters, the co-op employs 1,100 workers collectively at its eight regional distribution centers and five regional lumber offices.