Tom Savio, owner of Caliendo-Savio-Enterprises Inc. (CSE)

Tom Savio


Caliendo-Savio-Enterprises Inc. (CSE)

5400 S. Westridge Drive, New Berlin

Industry: Advertising specialties

Revenue: $30 million

Employees: 88 employees

Tom Savio has used an employee-focused leadership approach to grow New Berlin-based Caliendo-Savio-Enterprises Inc., which was founded by his father.

“I have always believed that you hire people and let them do their jobs,” said Savio

“Tom always stresses the importance of the employees in making CSE what it is. The focus is never on him, but on the CSE family,” said Amber Lee, an employee with the company.

CSE provides promotional products, branded uniforms and awards, ranging from in-house embroidery, branding and warehousing to fulfillment.

Recognizing the affects of the Great Recession, Savio changed the dress code at CSE from business casual to casual to reduce what employees need to spend for their work clothes.

The recession had a significant affect on the company’s bottom line, as well.

“(Business) is not like it was because customers just stopped spending,” Savio said. “With the recession and the way it has affected our business, it is a wait-and-see from here.”

However, the company recently landed an account with Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

CSE entered the uniform business after being approached by Culvers with a request to supply uniforms. CSE since added the service, providing a boost to its business.

“When (Culver’s) came to us we thought, ‘Why can’t we provide uniforms?’ We had the embroidery operations, so we did it,” Savio said.

The company now supplies uniforms to other restaurant chains.

“It all depends on the opportunity out there. We are excited and looking forward to more connections in this market,” Savio said.

Last year, the company opened a 25,000-square-foot expansion for storage to support fulfillment for online ordering and the added uniform business. The company operates primarily in the domestic market and ships internationally to support their uniform accounts.

CSE now has 87 employees at the 104,000-square-foot facility in New Berlin and one Chicago sales representative. The company had $30 million in 2009 revenue with 65 percent contributing from web-based sales.

“For us it is all about the people,” Savio said. “A good leader is only as good as his or her employees.”

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display