Chairman of the Board
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 Win companies, helps reinforce the basic principles and philosophy of the company, and represents the interests of shareholders.
Winsupply owns a majority equity stake in 580 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, and Wyatt Irrigation. 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 the residential and commercial construction markets.
Schwartz is a graduate of the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Science degree 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 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 an estimated $2.5 billion at the end of the fiscal year Jan. 31, 2015.
In 1978, Schwartz became a member of the Primus Board of Directors and was elected president in 1998. He led 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 four 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 chairman-elect of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. He formerly served on the Dayton Development Coalition Board as well as the Dayton Foundation Governing Board and the American Supply Association’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.