our history

Industrial catalog distributors typically stock a wide range of products and have evolved into a trade channel, similar but unlike classic vertical distributors.  The successful industrial catalog distributor is dynamic, service oriented, intensely process driven, and has measurement systems to track supply chain performance.  In addition, some have a multi-channel marketing strategy which requires successful suppliers to have focused and knowledgeable representation, in this channel.

We are successful because of our focus, experience, and dedication to excellent service. Each member of our sales development team has many years of experience in this market, supported by an excellent operations staff. Our competitive advantage is a thorough understanding and alignment of the manufacturers we represent with the target distributor’s goals, strategies, and processes.

We represent a broad spectrum of manufacturers in diverse product categories including: electrical & lighting, plumbing, HVAC/R, material handling, safety & security, tools, janitorial, fasteners; raw materials, packaging supplies, law enforcement, and public safety.

What we do

About Us

our team

Rowe-Thrush, Inc. was founded in 1940 by Jack Rowe and originally named Jack L. Rowe, Inc., with a focus on electrical OEM specification. The business prospered and in 1953, his son Ted joined the business.

Over the years, Ted changed the direction of the business to focus on the electrical distribution market and the name of the business to Rowe Marketing Group (RMG). In 1962 he began expanding into hardware co-ops and the national industrial catalog channel.

Ted’s son, Michael, joined the business in 1980 and initially focused on improving operations. Over the next 30 years, Michael expanded his focus to include the national industrial catalog channel and national hardware chains.

In 2004, Bob Thrush, a former Grainger Executive with many years of experience and success in sales, marketing, product management and operations, joined RMG, and focused exclusively on growing RMG sales in the industrial catalog distribution market.  Working together with Michael Rowe and staff, the RMG industrial division experienced unprecedented growth and expansion.

In 2008, Bob Thrush purchased all assets of the Rowe Marketing Group, Industrial Division, and renamed and incorporated the business as Rowe-Thrush, Inc.  Michael Rowe was very helpful throughout the transition to new leadership, 2004 to 2008, and retired in 2010.  To help maintain and drive future growth, Tom Steffen, a former Rexel Executive and Grainger key manager, joined Rowe-Thrush as Executive Vice President, in July of 2008.  Tom has many years of experience and success in sales, marketing, product management, and general management, in the industrial and electrical distribution market.

Also, over the past several years, additional key personnel have joined the Rowe-Thrush team and have helped fuel our growth.  Our staff has many years of experience and success in disciplines such as finance, supply chain, operations, general management, and process.  Rowe-Thrush has also added personnel with technical expertise, across many product categories.

For the foreseeable future, Rowe-Thrush will focus on accelerating growth in the industrial catalog distribution market, new product categories that apply to the industrial market and expansion with the manufacturers we represent.  Rowe-Thrush will succeed because of this focus, continuous process improvement, and because of the strength, experience and dedication of its diverse employee base and the excellent manufacturers we represent.

Sales & Business Development
Joined Rowe-Thrush
Bob Thrush
2004 (RMG)
Tom Steffen
Executive Vice President
James Thrush
Sales Development
Chris Strauss
Sales Development
Operations & Administration
Joined Rowe-Thrush
Mark Winters
Director, Marketing & Operations
Robin Campbell
Jeanette Baum
Marketing & Operations
Laura Neef
Operations Manager
Karen Koukal
Product Information Specialist
Jennie North
Product Information Specialist