Family-Owned Weber Continues Making Its Mark Known Globally

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 9, 2005 | Go to article overview

Family-Owned Weber Continues Making Its Mark Known Globally


Byline: Maya R. Payne Medill News Service

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CORRECTION/date 11/10/2005: To correct a story in Wednesday's Business section, Dennis McGrath is chief executive officer of Weber Marking Systems.

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Business profile

Name: Weber Marking Systems Inc.

Chairman: Joseph Weber Jr.

CEO and President: Dennis McGrath

Business: Manufacturer of high performance labeling and coding products for industrial markets.

Location: Arlington Heights

Web site: www.webermarking.com

2004 Revenue: $90 million

Employees: 1,000 worldwide

In 1932, Joseph Weber made a business of stamping ink onto boxes by hand. It was revolutionary and marked the beginning of Weber Marking Systems Inc.' s foray into identification systems.

His son, Joseph Weber Jr., carried on the tradition with technological investments and global expansion. Under his watch, the company has grown with $90 million in sales with 1,000 employees and 50,000 customers worldwide. Ownership remains in the family.

Weber Jr., 73, is the company's chairman. His son, Doug Weber, 42, is vice president for international sales.

Weber Jr. led the company during its most exciting phases of its development, moving it into new geographic and technological territory, said Roy Webb, national sales manager for Mark Andy Inc., a printing press manufacturer in St. Louis.

Named the chief executive officer last August, Weber Jr., 73, is also the company's chairman. His son, Doug Weber, 42, is vice president for international sales.

Weber Jr. led the company during its most exciting phases of its development, moving it into new geographic and technological territory, said Roy Webb, national sales manager for Mark Andy Inc., a printing press manufacturer in St. Louis.

Mark Andy has supplied Weber since the 1960s, providing presses for Weber's 13 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries, including England, Turkey and Thailand.

"They've moved very aggressively into the international market and have expanded their organization to be a global company," Webb said. "As they've grown, the intimacy of the organization has never changed."

The two companies' closeness over the years has been manifested in idea sharing and equipment testing.

"Because they've been such a big customer and we have a very trusting relationship, we share technologies with each other and if it works there, we might consider putting it into mass production for the industry," Webb said.

In August, Dennis McGrath, 57, was named Weber's president and CEO. A Weber employee since 1972, McGrath said the company has a strong customer focus.

"In an era of mergers and acquisitions, it's kind of refreshing to have a family-owned company that started in 1932 that is still vibrant today with the same principles," McGrath said.

Weber once had a distributor network, but decided in the late 1970s to shift to a direct sales organization. The transition was complete by the late 1980s, McGrath said. …

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