Alco Standard Corporation
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Born in Appleton, Wisconsin, on August 10, 1928, Raymond B. Mundt attended Appleton High School, graduating in 1945. After serving in the US Navy, Mr. Mundt returned to Wisconsin to further his education. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Many years later, he and his wife Ruth would present his alma mater with $2.5 million to develop a business school program to emphasize entrepreneurship and business ethics—the very principles that marked his career.
Mr. Mundt joined Kimberly-Clark Corporation in 1953 as a printing and business papers salesman for the Midwest region, based out of St. Louis. This was followed by a promotion to the division’s Sales Manager in the firm’s Chicago regional office. Several years later, Mr. Mundt was asked to go to California. He was sent with the task of pre-selling product from a new Kimberly-Clark paper machine at the state’s first, fully integrated paper mill. Because of his successful efforts, Mr. Mundt was promoted to vice president of marketing, and later also vice president of sales, for all of Kimberly-Clark’s printing paper output in the US.
In 1969, Mr. Mundt received his AMP degree from Harvard Business School. The following year he left Kimberly-Clark and joined Alco Standard Corporation. Mr. Mundt was named president of the company’s four newly acquired paper distributors ($600 million in sales) and set his sights on creating a national paper and paper products distribution organization. Under his leadership, the business grew to have annual sales of $6 billion and, under the Unisource name, had a distribution network of companies covering all of North America. He was named chairman and chief executive officer of Unisource in 1977 and retained the position through 1999.
Mr. Mundt grew this business by promoting the entrepreneurial spirit of the unique, individual companies within Unisource. He created synergies between all of their presidents but retained their original management teams and encouraged them to operate and grow entirely on their own. His supportive staff, with expertise in human resources, legal affairs, financial aids, warehousing, and trucking, numbered 12.
In 1973, Mr. Mundt was promoted to vice president of all of Alco Standard and one year later, president and chief executive officer. He became chairman and chief executive officer of Alco in 1985 and served in that capacity through 1995. Under his watch, the company had become a $12 billion American corporation with two businesses: Unisource and Ikon Office Products Company. Alco reported 25 consecutive record profit quarters and increased shareholders value by 18% compounded every year.
Beyond his work at Alco, Mr. Mundt has contributed to his community on the Board of Directors for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Harvard Business School, Temple University, Philadelphia Symphony, Philadelphia Zoo, and Philadelphia Savings Fund Society. Professionally he is also a member of the National Paper Trade Association. The many honors he has received include the Brotherhood Award, National Conference of Christians & Jews (Sept. 1992); Financial World Bronze Award (1982), National Award (1990), and CEO of the Year (1991); Stanley O. Styles Paper Industry Excellence Award (1994); Philadelphia Chapter of Corporate Growth, Peter Hilton Award (1989); American Jewish Human Relations Civic Achievement Award (1992); and Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1998).
Mr. and Mrs. Mundt live in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, and are the parents of R. Scott, William, Robert, and Mary (deceased).