Our story begins in the early 1970’s at a small liberal arts college in Berea, Ohio. Two close friends at Baldwin Wallace College (now known as Baldwin Wallace University), Jim Bartley and Bob Newman, were not only fraternity brothers, they also would work together over the holidays, selling Christmas trees in the parking lot of Mr. Bartley’s father’s Dairy Queen. 250 trees were sold at $1 per foot, and before long, the lot would be empty; Mr. Bartley and Mr. Newman now had money for gifts for their families.
The close friends also shared a dream: one day they would run a business together. The company would combine portions of each of their last names and be called “Newbart”. However, it would be several years until that vision would become a reality.
Having moved to Houston, Texas during the height of the oil boom, Mr. Bartley was working as a district manager for a card lamination company. Some years later, that company changed marketing strategies, and Mr. Bartley was given the opportunity to strike out on his own and become a reseller of their products. That’s when he decided to make the idea dreamt up years ago in a college dorm a reality. In 1983, Newbart was formed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Newman was enjoying a very successful career as a sales manager for an oil field services company. Also having relocated to Houston, he had a staff of more than 40 sales people beneath him and enjoyed tremendous success. However, as is the nature with all commodity booms, there was a bust. His staff now reduced to a quarter of its original size, Mr. Newman left for a new position with GE Aerospace in California.
Back in Houston, Newbart was a one-man operation. Mr. Bartley visited customers, took orders, as well as packed and shipped everything himself. That grind led to nearly immediate success… after only two years in business, revenue had grown by a multiple of 6. Newbart was quickly establishing itself as the authority on Identification in the Gulf Coast Region, and the company continued to grow.
As Newbart grew over time, Mr. Bartley needed someone to manage the day-to-day operations of the company. That’s when in 2004, he reached out to his good friend, Bob, and asked him to return to Houston and come onboard as Newbart’s General Manger.
When the first ideas of Newbart were discussed during those early days at Baldwin Wallace, service was always how Mr. Bartley and Mr. Newman planned to differentiate their organization from the rest. From their experience selling Christmas trees, they understood that the way to keep customers coming back year after year was to provide an exceptional experience. The principle of being a courteous knowledgeable helping hand is what set Newbart apart in the past and will continue to be our focus going forward.