An engaged board of advisors can be a significant differentiator in how well a company performs. With that in mind, we invited MDM's Board of Advisors to spend two days helping us in our planning process as we continue to expand our coverage of wholesale distribution. MDM is a relatively small company with six employees. Our meeting reinforced for me the need for outside perspective and strategic planning for any size company to grow to its potential.
In addition to our board, Brent Grover was a guest at this meeting, offering his unique perspective and insight. In combination with regular surveys and input from all our readers, our board is critical to help us develop editorial focus for the year ahead, as well as offer their deep experience and industry knowledge as we explore new ways to increase the value of our information services.
We also welcome new MDM Advisory Board member Doug Savage of Bearing Service Inc., Livonia, MI. Doug replaces David Barth, a longtime friend and advisor to MDM.
Bearing Service Inc. is a distributor of bearings, power transmission components and other related items to the Michigan market. The company distributes to 1,500 active customers and sells 30,000 different inventory items from five sales locations. Bearing Service Inc. was started in 1943 by Doug's grandfather, Herb Mann, and was purchased by Doug in 1978 from his father's estate (Shea Savage). At that time the company had sales of $1.3 million; sales in 2007 were more than $20 million. Bearing Service Inc. has been ISO 9002 certified since 1998.
Doug has been active with industry associations. He is a past president of the Power Transmission Distributors Association (1999), Bearing Specialists Association (2004), and Independent Bearing Distributors Association (1988).
With the completion of the pending sale of Industrial Distribution Group, Dave Barth is retiring from his remaining activities in the industry, including his position on MDM's board. He has sat on the Board of Directors of IDG, the publicly traded industrial distributor based in Atlanta, since Dave's investment and management-consulting company assisted IDG with its formation in 1997. He was an architect and advisor for many M&A deals for more than two decades in industrial distribution, first in his role with W.W. Grainger in the 1980s and then with his company through the 1990s. Dave has generously shared his industry knowledge with me for more than 15 years. He has been an important mentor and close friend. Thank you, Dave.