Frederick Peter "Pete" Weber, Jr., who co-founded the company now known as Integrated Supply Network (ISN), died on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Lakeland, Fla. from cancer. He was 73. He will be missed by his many friends, family and associates.
Pete was born in Lynbrook, N.Y., on March 4, 1939, to Martha and Fred Weber. He graduated from Lynbrook High School and Clarkson College of Technology in Potsdam, N.Y. He was employed by Chicago Pneumatic Tool Co. and Ace Tool Co. before buying a small business in Lakeland with his long-time friend, Chuck Anker. The business's original name was Wholesale Tool Supply.
Wholesale Tool grew from eight associates into a nationwide automotive tool and equipment distributorship now known as Integrated Supply Network. The business now employs over 250 associates, 140 working out of the Lakeland-based headquarters.
Weber had the reputation of being a very hard worker, successful business person, influential mentor, and a tough negotiator who values relationships and provided opportunities for those around him to learn and succeed. Those who knew him well are proud to have been a part of his life and feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity. Pete loved his family and friends, his business, golf, and playing cards. Toward the end of his life, Pete's grandchildren became his greatest source of joy.
Pete is survived by his wife, Judy; three children Nellda Clark and Bruce Weber in Lakeland, and Peter Weber in Lake Wales; and by his five grandchildren, Conner, Jeff, Nellda, Madeline and Miles.
Funeral Services were held on Monday, Jan. 14 at Lakeland Funeral Home Chapel at 2125 S. Bartow Highway in Lakeland. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the American Cancer Society.
"Pete Weber was an industry leader who was well known for his insight about all facets of the tool and equipment industry," noted Mike DuBois, category manager for electronics/diagnostics, shop tools and equipment who also serves as publishing and editorial manager for the company. "Pete was incredibly successful because of his ability to understand and interpret significant amounts of information about any situation, product, or company. Pete prided himself on being well informed about every aspect of the company and its operations. Pete was generous with family, friends, employees and suppliers. While a tough negotiator, he understood that 'the deal' had to be good for all parties involved or it would not succeed."
"Pete drove myself and all the employees at ISN to always attempt to improve; whether it was themselves, the company, the job they did," DuBois continued. "Pete taught us that in business it’s important to decide where you want to fit in the channel. He always cautioned us against being 'a tweaner.' This is being caught in the middle be it pricing, quality, etc.
"He also always cautioned us to know what we wanted to do well and stick to those things we could do well. He was famous for saying: “you can’t be all things to all people!
"Perhaps the greatest testament to Pete Weber was illustrated by the people in attendance at his memorial service. There were people from all walks and stations in life. There were captains of industry who had been on both the winning and losing side of negotiations, there were local people who knew Pete from golf, social events, there were people of all ages who he had touched and made their lives different and better, there were a large number of family including children, grandchildren and extended family members.
"If the most that any of us can hope to do is make a difference in this life, I would venture to say that Pete succeeded by all estimates. He was instrumental in building an organization and a culture that allowed people to prosper, and build families, lives and futures."