Frederick Peter “Pete” Weber, co-founder of Integrated Supply Network (ISN), an automotive tool and equipment wholesale distribution company, died Jan. 9. He was 73 and had cancer.
Weber began his career with the Chicago Pneumatic Tool Co. and Ace Tool Co. before buying a small business in Lakeland, FL in 1972 with his friend Chuck Anker. Originally named Wholesale Tool Supply, the company eventually grew from eight associates into a nationwide company now called ISN. The company employs more than 250, including Weber’s son, Bruce (the CEO), son Peter and daughter Nellda Clark.
Weber was known as a tough negotiator — a skill that also helped with his passion for poker. “He was a very no b.s. kind of guy; he didn’t give any out, and he didn’t take any,” said Alan Tecmire, who operated a tool truck in the 1980s and met Weber while buying from Wholesale Tool Co. Tecmire, now with Bosch, went to work for Weber at ISN in 2007. “He certainly understood the warehouse distribution tool business extremely well,” he said.
Weber was a leader in private-label brands, including a brand called Mountain. “He went oversees and sourced product, mostly for hand tools and some electric tools,” Tecmire said. “At the time, that was pretty unusual.”
ISN truly cared about outstanding customer service, Tecmire said. For example, the company opened several strategically located distribution centers across the country, making it possible to ship products to most customers within one or two days, he said.
“He was pretty demanding and rode employees pretty tough, but he took care of people, too,” Tecmire said. “Many people worked for him for 20-25 years or more. He was tough but loyal.”
In addition to his three children, Weber is survived by his wife, Judy, and five grandchildren.
We encourage you to add your comments below concerning this article.