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The World Group from the beginning.

The World Group ("the Group") was established in 1978 by Dick Wagner.

Dick Wagner, who received his MBA from Harvard, spent over twenty-seven years of his business career in warehousing and distribution. He was the Vice President of Marketing and Distribution for a large west coast refrigerated warehouse company, as well as the founder and owner of his own distribution warehouse. Dick was well known and much respected for his expertise in distribution and warehousing.

The members of his group would consist of independently owned, full service warehouses, seeking to coordinate all facets of distribution, both dry and refrigerated, for various manufacturers/processors.

In the beginning, the Group would host workshop/seminars for the warehouse and distribution personnel of existing and potential users of their facilities and services. The primary purpose of these one day meetings was to identify, discuss, and hopefully solve problems that were happening in the distribution chain. The Group would hold at least four seminars a year, each one in a different geographical location. They also sponsored events at both the Western Frozen Food Convention, and the National Frozen Food Convention.

The original concept of the Group was to involve warehouses that provided distribution for both frozen and dry products. It soon became evident that there were few, if any, warehouses that provided both services. Since Dick Wagner's expertise dealt primarily with the distribution of frozen products, the Group evolved into one of refrigerated warehouses only.

During 1982 Dick Wagner's health began to fail, and he was no longer able to lead or even assist the Group. Because of this, Dick agreed to sell his interest in the World Group and its name to the members.

In June of 1983 the Group was incorporated in the State of Wisconsin. Some of its stated objectives, which are listed in the bylaws, are as follows:

1. To establish a national identity and to create a viable reputation as a group of full servicepublic refrigerated warehouses.

2. To advance the interests and welfare of the public refrigerated warehousing industry.

3. To evaluate and improve warehousing standards and to promote a better understanding within the industry and among the general public of member activities.

4. To support governmental authorities and agencies in maintaining fair trade and competition.

Membership in the Group is considered a privilege. All members must meet the following requirements:

1. Each member company must be independently owned and not part of a larger warehouse company or a member of any other distribution group.

2. Each member must be an active member of the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW), and The Refrigeration Research Foundation (TRRF).

3. Each member must participate in the National Frozen Food Association's Certificate of Excellence sanitation program.

4. Each member must participate in the Group's activities.

The World Group has consistently provided strong leadership in the refrigerated warehousing industry. Over the years members' personnel have served the industry in many capacities. Eight IARW Chairmen and three TRRF Presidents have come from the Group. Other individuals have served, or are now serving, on the Board of Directors of the IARW, or on the Board of Governors of the TRRF. Also, many of the standing committees for both organizations are and have been chaired by Group individuals. Member personnel also serve on industry support groups such as the National Frozen Food Association and the American Frozen Food Institute, as well as regional frozen food organizations.

Today the Group has ten active members. Collectively it represents forty-one warehouse locations with a total of 150 million cubic feet of public space. It has warehouses in thirty-four cities, located in sixteen states and one Canadian province.

The services offered by the Group are exceptionally valuable. For more information, call your closest member.

The author, Douglas J. Kuehn, was the Executive Vice President of Wiscold, Inc. until 1988 when he retired due to an injury. He participated in the Group from 1979 until his retirement. He was President of the Group (1984-1987), and Chairman of the IARW (1986-1987). Today he is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Warehouse Association.
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Title Annotation:food warehousing industry association
Author:Kuehn, Douglas J.
Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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