History of Midwest



Bruce McNeil

Midwest's Early Years  • 1932 –1962

Over 80 years...It may seem hard to believe that a company with 200 employees and ten branches from the Midwest to the West Coast was once operated out of an old jail in St. Paul, MN.

Founded by partners Bruce McNeil and Fred Sweet, Midwest was originally a neon sign wholesaler, later moving into neon sales and installation, and then sign supplies. Midwest grew and was incorporated in 1946.

In 1958, McNeil became the sole owner of Midwest and the supply business when Fred Sweet purchased the neon manufacturing side of the business and formed FMS Corporation. With the business growing, McNeil needed additional help, and that came in the form of a young Bill Anderson.




Bill Anderson

A Growing Company  • 1962 –1999

In August 1962, Bill Anderson was hired as a clerk typist where he was able to quickly learn all aspects of the business. A mere two years after he was hired, Anderson became Vice President. That same year, Midwest entered a new arena and began to sell screen printing supplies in addition to sign supplies.


In January 1976, Bruce McNeil died and Bill Anderson became President. Anderson purchased Midwest in October 1977 and changed the name of the company to Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co.

With a new name, new president, and larger product line, the company was ready to expand into new locations. Midwest opened its first branch in New Berlin, WI (a suburb of Milwaukee), in 1981. Other branch locations soon followed with Omaha in 1984, Denver in 1986, and Kansas City in 1991. That same year, Midwest's St. Paul branch and corporate locations moved to its current location, a larger 120,000 square-foot building.


In 1994, Midwest acquired Washington Color & Chemical of Seattle, WA, and Screen Supply Inc. of Salt Lake City, UT. With these acquisitions came the addition of four West Coast locations to Midwest's market: Hayward, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Portland, OR; and Seattle, WA.

Midwest now had nine branches and was a very strong leader in both the sign and screen printing industries. As the digital market began to grow, Midwest also played an active role by partnering with top computerized-graphics and digital-product manufacturers in order to offer Midwest's customers a total solution.

In 1999, Midwest purchased Calcom, Inc, strengthening its screen supply offerings to West Coast customers.




 Nancy JP Anderson
Chief Executive Officer


Midwest Today  •  2004 Present

On July 18, 2004, President Bill Anderson passed away after having served the company for nearly 42 years. His wife, Nancy JP Anderson, became C.E.O. of the company. In 2013, Russ May was appointed to serve as President.


Midwest continues to look for ways to improve services for their customers. In 2006, Midwest expanded its Omaha warehouse in order to accommodate additional inventory. In August of 2007, the Kansas City branch moved to a new facility that is better suited to offering the services Midwest customers have come to appreciate. In October 2014, Midwest opened its tenth branch location in Indianapolis, IN.


Service…quality…commitment…involvement. Since it was founded in 1932, Midwest has made it a priority to meet its customers' needs with first-rate supplies and equipment, knowledgeable staff, and dedication to helping businesses grow in an always-changing industry. Midwest has built a tradition on these qualities and looks forward to continuing that tradition in the years to come!