The National Fastener Distributors Association (NFDA) has announced the 2018 recipient of its Fastener Professional of the Year award is Jim Ruetz, CEO of Franksville, WI-based All Integrated Solutions (AIS).
The Fastener Professional of the Year award was created by NFDA to honor individuals and companies that make a substantial positive impact on people’s lives. The inaugural award in 2017 was presented to Robbie Gilchrist of Capital Marketing (High Point, North Carolina).
The award recognizes:
- An individual from a fastener distributor or supplier company who makes exceptional contributions to their company and to the industry
- Also, partners or consultants who demonstrate exemplary support of the fastener industry
In his nomination of Jim to receive this award, Robert Ward of IFE Americans said, “Jim has been a giant in the fastener industry. He is a long time NFDA member and has been a great leader in the association and in his company, taking All Fasteners through tremendous growth and transitioning it to private equity ownership to become AIS. Jim has been a mentor and a role model to many in the fastener industry.”
Jim Ruetz has spent more than 40 years in the OEM fastener and industrial MROP distribution markets. He began working full time in the family business, All Tool Sales, in 1978, putting together the company’s first catalog and tying it into the customer direct order entry system. In 1980, the company separated its fledgling fastener sales into All Fasteners, and for the next seven years, Jim served dual roles as All Tools marketing and IT manager, as well as general manager and sales for the new fastener division. “I really enjoyed the challenges of wearing a number of different hats as we grew,” said Jim. In 1989, he began to focus his efforts on All Fasteners and developing the OEM VMI business. By the mid-‘90s All Fasteners was predominately an OEM distributor, supplying customers with Vendor Managed Inventory systems.
In 2013, the Ruetz family sold All Tool Sales and All Fasteners to Highroad Capital Partners (HRCP). HRCP had acquired Accurate Components a year earlier. In January of 2015, Jim took on the CEO role for the companies and merged Accurate Components and All Tool/All Fasteners together to form All Integrated Solutions (AIS). The next year HRCP also acquired Great Lakes Fasteners, which was added to the AIS team. AIS consists of three divisions, located in Minneapolis MN, Grand Rapids MI, and Franksville WI. The AIS group also operates distribution centers in Fargo ND, Cedar Rapids IA, Traverse City MI, and Connersville IN. Today, AIS combines management of OEM fasteners with production MRO management and assembly tools to be one of the few distribution companies with the expertise in all three areas.
In May 2018 AIS was sold to MSC Industrial Supply Company, a $3 billion North American leader in metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations products and services. AIS operates as a stand-alone OEM division of MSC.
Jim holds a bachelor degree in geography from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, an associate of science in oceanographic technologies from the University of Florida Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Jim served on the Board of Directors of the National Fastener Distributors Association from 1998-2001 and as president of the association in 2001. He served as a Board member of the Central States Industrial Distributors Association (1986-1988), president of the Wisconsin Industrial Distributors Association (1984), third district alderman for the City of Oak Creek WI (2012-2015), and as the adjunct professor at Carthage College (2016 to present).
Jim is an avid motorcycle rider, logging more than 40,000 miles in the past seven years. Some of the rides have been dedicated to the Cure Duchenne charity, which is focused on finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (www.cureduchenne.org). Since 2011, supporters of Jim’s rides have donated more than $30,000 to help find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Jim has been married to Karen for 35+ years and has two children, Jennifer and Jason. Jennifer recently served a three-year term on the NFDA Board of Directors and is the AIS director of marketing. Jason works for Harley Davidson and never misses an opportunity to chide his dad about the fact that Jim rides a BMW motorcycle.
Jim will be presented his award at the NFDA/Mid-West Fastener Association/Pacific-West Fastener Association joint meeting in San Diego, March 14-16, 2019.
Nominations for the next Fastener Professional of the Year award will be open in January 2019.
For more information about NFDA and its programs, visit www.nfda-fastener.org or call 562-799-5519.