04 Feb THE NEXT CHAPTER IN THE HUB STORY
By now you’ve probably heard the news about our acquisition by Applied Industrial Technologies. A change like this always inspires questions and speculation, so I wanted to use this forum to elaborate a little on what happened and what changes you can expect from us.
I started working at HUB while still in my teens. Mark Magstadt, our founder, was my boss. He had started the company from nothing in 1990, and I was one of the first people outside of his immediate family that he had hired. I had gone to school with his kids. Before he agreed to take me on as a salesman, he had done his best to talk me out of the job. He told me selling real estate would be a much quicker path to my financial goals; but his warnings fell on deaf ears. Or rather, I took them as a challenge to prove to him (and myself) that I really could succeed in this business.
As the years went by, our little company began to pick up steam, and before long, we had a solid core of energetic and ambitious team members ready to take on the world. Most of us were in our twenties at the time, and Mark began to realize that the plans he had for the rest of his life were at risk of being consumed by the momentum of this business.
Under his leadership, the company had grown to $5 million in sales. One day in 2005 as we sat in a diner after a day on the road, Mark asked me if I would like to buy him out.
These last 10 years as the leader of HUB have been incredibly rewarding. I am so blessed to be able to look back and see how far this company has come and the amazing team that we’ve assembled. It’s been a thrilling—and sometimes scary—ride. Any of you reading this who run a business will understand the prestige and status of being a boss is balanced by the awful realization that a whole lot of people are depending on you to be successful. It’s not always easy on the family. Lately, I’ve found myself staring at the same reality that led my predecessor,Mark Magstadt, to sell.
Sometime in early 2015, I began discussions with AIT. HUB had been on the acquisition radar for some time, and I had been getting calls from suitors on a regular basis. The only way I was going to entertain an acquisition was if I could be certain the buyer was interested in us because of our people and culture, and that they would help us continue serving our customers the way we always have.
The better we got to know each other, the more both parties could see the win/win in HUB becoming part of AIT. They believe our culture and skill set will be a great addition to their lineup of companies, and we definitely come out ahead with added distribution locations, buying power, and other resources. If you ask my team, they will tell you how wonderful it is to have a lot of benefits that they never had before!
We will be folded into AIT’s Applied Maintenance Supplies & Solutions (Applied MSSSM) division. This is a collection of autonomous companies who serve manufacturers’ maintenance, repair,
operations and production needs. You probably won’t notice any changes at all in doing business with us at first, but you should gradually become aware of enhanced services and product offerings. I am staying on as general manager. I’m hoping you’ll stay on as our “Boss.”
If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them! If you contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll answer you speedily and I’ll also send you a Boss button just for reaching out!
Have a great month!