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Robert J. Hillis

Robert Hillis

What’s a solid formula for success? Put together the very best team you can find and get out of the way.

So says Bob Hillis, president, chief executive officer and founder of Direct Supply, a fast-growing, employee-owned, Milwaukee-based supplier of equipment and information systems to America’s long-term heath care facilities.

He should know. Out of every 125 applicants, Direct Supply chooses just one, based solely on what the company calls B, C, D and Es — brains, character, drive and experience — and many of his team hail from Marquette.

“Nothing is more important than finding the next great champion partner (Direct Supply’s term for employee) and Marquette plays a big role in that,” Bob says. “Great people are the real lifeblood of our business.”

Not only does Direct Supply employ Marquette graduates, but the company also has provided internships and tuition support for a growing number of students. Direct Supply has continuously increased its support of college programs, most recently with a five-year commitment to the Internship Express program serving sophomores seeking meaningful work experience.

And what exactly can that work experience provide? The feeling that you’ve made a real difference — in the lives of 3.2 million of America’s seniors. “It’s rewarding to improve the lives of so many people,” Bob says.

It’s rewarding to lend a hand in the growth of those who serve Direct Supply’s audience. In addition to serving on the College of Business Administration Dean’s Advisory Council, Bob has mentored several Marquette interns and graduates, and he has spoken about leadership at several Marquette-sponsored programs.

After all, this company knows leadership. In its list of principles, it identifies Direct Supply as a place where you’ll work beside of the smartest, most talented people you’ll ever know, and enjoy a career where you’ll be led, not managed.

 

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