Richard W. Schwartz is chairman of the board of Winsupply Inc. He is an advisor and advocate for the strategic direction of the organization, assists with ongoing training efforts, is an ambassador and visits Winsupply companies, helps reinforce the basic principles and philosophy of the company, and represents the interests of shareholders.
Winsupply owns a majority equity stake in nearly 600 local companies across the United States. Collectively, Winsupply is known as “The Winsupply Family of Companies” and includes Win-branded locations, Noland Company, Carr Supply, Security Plumbing & Heating Supply, Wyatt Irrigation, APCO, Michigan Temperature Supply, Electrical Sales Inc., Tacoma Electric Supply, and Thomas Pipe. The companies conduct business-to-business wholesale distribution of supplies and materials in plumbing and heating; hydronics; pipe, valves and fittings; HVAC and refrigeration; electrical; fastening hardware; waterworks and utility; pumps; turf irrigation and landscape; and fire system fabrication.
Winsupply Inc. is one of the largest privately held companies in Ohio. The company continues to grow by offering unique entrepreneurial opportunities in the industries it supports including residential and commercial construction markets.
Schwartz is a graduate of the University of Akron in Ohio, with a Bachelor of Sciencedegree in industrial engineering, and is a recipient of the university’s Frank L. Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award. He is a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel who also served in the Reserve at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Schwartz began his career with Winsupply’s predecessor, Primus Inc., in 1972 when the organization had 40 locations and sales were $35 million. Today, after increasing the number of locations more than ten-fold, the organization’s annual sales were nearly $3.7 billion at the end of the fiscal year Jan. 31, 2019 and it employs some 6,500 employees nationwide.
In 1978, Schwartz became a member of the Primus Board of Directors and was elected president and CEO in 1998. Heled development of the organization’s service companies in the areas of accounting, finance, data processing and support services. Schwartz also was instrumental in the growth and development of three of the five Winsupply regional distribution centers.
As CEO and chairman, Schwartz emphasized strategic planning, increased the board’s involvement in strategic decision making and oversight, reorganized middle and upper management, strengthened vendor and industry partnerships, and improved use of capital. In July 2011, he relinquished the role as president to focus on CEO and chairman duties. In September 2015, Schwartz handed over his CEO duties while retaining the title of chairman.
Schwartz is past chairman of the board of National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. He has been a member of the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors since 2011. He formerly served on the Dayton Development Coalition Board as well as the Dayton Foundation Governing Board and the American SupplyAssociation’s Executive Committee. He is a member of the Dayton Rotary Club and Fairmont Presbyterian Church in Kettering, Ohio.
Schwartz enjoys hiking, biking and flying private aircraft in his leisure time.