The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Commentary: A Tribute to a Distribution Veteran

When one of my mentors in this industry emailed in December to say he just left his office for the last time at the company he had been with for 48 years, it struck me how much impact he has had on so many people in this industry.


I first met Roy Otto, former owner of Machine Tool Supply in Eagan, MN, 25 years ago. He has been a teacher to many people in this industry and beyond. He has been generous in sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for the industry, and has been a strong role model for hundreds of employees, peers, suppliers and competitors.

Roy started in the warehouse of in 1959, worked hard and moved into inside and outside sales. It was natural that he ended up with an equity stake. Roy built a well-planned exit strategy, sold his business a few years ...

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