Norine Carlson-Weber, founder of Alpha Source Inc.

Norine Carlson-Weber


Alpha Source Inc.

6619 W. Calumet Road, Milwaukee

Industry: Medical device distribution and manufacturing

Revenue: $12.2 million

Employees: 35

After being laid off by her former employer, Norine Carlson-Weber started Alpha Source Inc. selling specialty lighting in 1986. She founded the company after completing one year of the executive MBA program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“After I was terminated from my previous employer, I though I could do things better and wanted a chance to try that,” said Carlson-Weber, the company’s president.

Carlson-Weber has since grown Alpha Source to a multimillion dollar business focused on manufacturing and distributing medical devices, replacement parts and supplies. The Milwaukee-based company has 35 employees and posted $12.2 million in 2009 sales.

“We started as an exclusive distributor, and our first client being John Deere, and have since built a large client base and added other medical parts and batteries,” Carlson-Weber said.

The company supplies to the government sector but focuses on domestic hospitals and exports internationally.

“We are more diverse, but it is all related,” Carlson-Weber said.

Carlson-Weber said the federal government’s health care reform package could provide a boost to the company.

“(Reform) will have more impact if more people access health care,” she said. “There may be more price pressures and cost reduction. We are currently coping with the regulatory requirements and fast pace of change. Over the past year, we have become more lean and dependent on technology while focusing on expense control.”

In the meantime, Alpha Source will continue to focus on innovation.

In 2005, Carlson-Weber purchased Access Battery based in Elizabeth, Colo., and moved its manufacturing facility to Milwaukee. Since the acquisition, Alpha Source achieved ISO quality management certification, specific to manufacturing and designing medical devices.

Alpha Source is currently expanding its research and development.

“We will be adding more R&D and design components by the 2010 and one medical product,” Carlson-Weber said.

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