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Winner: Distribution Featured

10:08am EDT July 22, 2002
Joseph Dreher has come a long way from the days in 1964 when he and his partner peddled typewriter ribbons and carbon paper door-to-door to local businessmen. Considering demand these days for carbon paper and typewriter ribbon, he had little choice.

Dreher's company, Cleveland-based DREHER Business Products, is one of the Midwest's largest corporate vendors and service providers for computer equipment and accessories. His organization staffs 180 employees at five regional locations.

Dreher credits his company's success in the business-supply industry to adapting to the ever-changing marketplace. "You have to constantly be in touch with the industry," he says. "You have to recognize changes and accommodate them."

When the computer revolution began in the early 1980s, Dreher signed on with a national computer manufacturer and changed his company's focus from general office supplies. At the time it was viewed as a risky move, but the quality of the decision is self-evident. Over the past five years, DREHER revenue has more than tripled, surpassing $80 million in 1997. Dreher says his goal is to crest the $100 million mark "when the millennium changes.