Uline | Pleasant Prairie
Dick Uihlein co-founded Uline with his wife, Liz Uihlein, in 1980, and, since then, the couple has grown the shipping and packaging distributor to an 8,500-employee operation with an estimated $6.1 billion in revenue.
In 2010, the Uihleins relocated the company from Waukegan, Illinois, to Pleasant Prairie. Dick, serves as company CEO and Liz as president.
The Uihleins started Uline in their basement. They initially launched the company selling carton-sizers, which reduce boxes to a desired size. From there, the Uihleins went on to grow the company to become the continent’s leading distributor of shipping, packaging and industrial supplies, with a catalog of products 800 pages long.
Uline recently ranked No. 5 among Deloitte’s list of the largest privately held companies in Wisconsin, based on sales revenue. In addition to its Pleasant Prairie headquarters and Kenosha facilities, the company has distribution centers in Minneapolis; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Los Angeles; Atlanta; Dallas; Seattle; Reno; and locations in Mexico and Canada.
In a 2020 BizTimes interview, Liz described herself as a “merchant” who is focused on Uline’s ever-growing catalog of products, while Dick focuses on the bigger picture and expanding into new markets.
Dick and Liz Uihlein each have a net worth of $3.8 billion, according to Forbes.
Over the years, the Uihleins’ profile has grown in the state and nationally for their contributions to conservative political causes, having reportedly given over $190 million to campaigns in the U.S and been among the top contributors to GOP candidates and causes nationwide for the past decade. They were major backers of former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and president Donald Trump. A 2018 story published in The New York Times billed the Uihleins as the “Most Powerful Conservative Couple You’ve Never Heard Of.” They gave a reported $38 million in the first 18 months of the 2022 election cycle, ranking No. 2 among federal campaign donors for Republicans and No. 2 among donors overall, second to George Soros, according to ProPublica.
Dick is also president of the Ed Uihlein Family Foundation, a grantmaking institution that supports civic organizations and political groups and causes, including the Leadership Institute, the Media Research Center, and the National Right To Work Committee. Dick is the great grandson of August Uihlein, co-founder of Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. in Milwaukee.
In addition to Uline, the couple owns EAU Holdings, which operates restaurants, a salon and a spa in Manitowish Waters.