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Our Story

Five generations of leadership

When you form a business relationship with NetPlus Alliance, you're partnering with a company that celebrates five generations of family leadership in the industrial distribution industry.

Our Story

Our roots date back to 1885, when William Nolan founded his machine and steam fitting shop that carried his name, which was also located in Lockport, NY. Fast forward to 1931 – at the height of the Great Depression – Ward Bros Mill Supply Company was founded by William Nolan's nephews: Sam Sr., Ben and Will Ward.

Despite the financial turmoil the country was in, Ward Brothers managed sales of just over $100,000 in mill supplies, piping products and machining services in their first year.

In the 1950s and 60s, the next generation to oversee Ward Brothers was Sam Ward Jr. and his cousins Bill and Jim Judge. After earning a degree in Industrial Distribution from Clarkson College and a stint as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Dan Judge joined the company in 1969 as operations manager.

In 1984, to reflect the breadth brought to the company by acquisitions over the previous decade, the name was changed to Ward, Beals & McCarthy, Inc. From 1988-89, Dan Judge served as president of NIDA (National Industrial Distributors Association) and as founding co-president of IDA (Industrial Distribution Association).

Trumbull Industries acquired Ward, Beals & McCarthy in 1990, retaining Dan Judge to manage Lockport operations and Industrial Marketing initiatives.

In 1993 Dan became president of I.D. ONE, the first cooperative buying group for industrial supplies.

In 2000, members of the cooperative liquidated to merge into another buying group.

Finally, in 2002, decades of industrial distribution and buying group management and generations of experience came together and NetPlus Alliance was formed.

The fifth generation of NetPlus Alliance leadership came in 2006 when Jennifer Judge Murphy joined as Marketing Director.

As you can see from our history, NetPlus is a family-run business – just like many of the companies that are part of our group. All of our members are important, from the smallest to the largest.