Other Leading Industries | Retail
Owner and CEO
Blain’s Farm & Fleet | Janesville
Jane Blain Gilbertson became chief executive officer and sole owner of Janesville-based Blain Supply Inc. and Blain’s Farm & Fleet in 2014, succeeding her brother, Robert. The family-owned retail store chain today has 45 stores across Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Michigan and employs about 4,400 people.
Blain Gilbertson joined the family business in 1985 and progressively took on responsibility for areas including marketing, merchandising, buying, e-commerce and store operations. Following the death of her father and uncle, Blain Gilbertson and her brother bought out the remaining family shareholders in 1998. The siblings ran the business together for 16 years, until Blain Gilbertson bought out Robert in 2014 and he retired.
In recent years, Farm & Fleet has grown steadily, expanding into Michigan; adding new locations in its home state, with stores in Grafton, Rhinelander and Monroe; and renovating several existing stores. Blain Gilbertson has said the company’s goal is to have 50 stores by 2026.
Over the years, the retailer has also diversified, evolving from its origins as a discount supply store primarily serving farmers to a chain of stores that sells items across various categories, from home goods to clothing to outdoor recreation equipment.
Education: Bachelor’s, Miami University