Willard “Lee” Frickey, CEO, Sizewise

FINALIST

The concept for Willard “Lee” Frickey’s company, Sizewise, began to germinate in the 1980s. An accident left Frickey temporarily unable to walk the floors of his grocery business. In this same time period, he had to deliver groceries to an obese customer who was unable to shop for his own food. Both incidents showed Frickey there was an unserved need for greater mobility.

Sizewise, which provides bariatric wheelchairs and related medical equipment, has grown from humble beginnings in a one-car garage into a national company that employs 850. As CEO, Fricky’s leadership style fosters an entrepreneurial environment and a family-oriented culture that has enabled the company to retain its top talent. Most of the people who were employed by Sizewise in its early years still work for the company.

Sizewise’s main revenue sources are acute care needs, long-term care, home care and consumer bedding. The company offers its equipment for rental, for capital purchase and on a lease-to-own basis. It also serves as the original equipment manufacturer for companies selling related products. It was the first company in the industry to offer rentals of bariatric medical equipment.

All of Sizewise’s production takes place in the United States. At one point, the company moved some of its production to an overseas plant, but it closed the plant after finding that it couldn’t guarantee the quality of the products made there.

In addition to bariatric wheelchairs and beds, Sizewise manufactures lifts, floor pads and commode chairs, and the company provides training and protocols for safe patient handling.

Sizewise’s business model demonstrates a capacity for sustained growth as the global population ages and continues to fight obesity.

HOW TO REACH: Sizewise, www.sizewise.net

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