Todd Deaton Celebrates 40 Years In The Textile Rental Industry

Congratulations to Mr. Todd Deaton, Executive Vice President at Wildman Business Group, on celebrating 40 years with the company this year. His valuable contributions, continued loyalty and dedicated leadership at Wildman has played an integral role in the business and led them to where they are today.

Todd began his career early in 1977 after graduating high school. Starting off as a Route Driver, he was quickly promoted to Branch Manager, Plant Manager, General Manager, Vice President, and now leads the Uniform & Linen Division as the Executive Vice President.

“We truly would not be where we are today without Todd’s guidance and expertise over the past 40 years,” said Josh Wildman, CEO of Wildman Business Group. “Todd has an eye for growth, is excellent at cost reductions and has led our largest and most profitable division to success. It is because of his leadership that our business has steadily grown and I’m blessed to have him as a part of the Wildman family.”

Utilimaster Highlights Wildman Trucks In New Promo Video

Wildman Uniform & Linen is proud to drive Utilimaster vehicles, serving thousands of customers every week, all while keeping our drivers safe.

Our Utilimaster trucks provide space to keep product out of the aisle, plenty of shelving for safe transportation, and the reliability we expect from Utilimaster, to keep drivers on the road and safe.

How to Determine a Return on Your Company Event

How to Determine a Return on Your Company Event

For those of you who are HR, Marketing, or Admin Managers, it’s that time of year again. Spring? Yes, but more precisely, it’s a time that management starts planning the company’s annual summer event. To really nail it, the logistics and timing are important – you’ll need to be cognizant of a number of items including employee vacations, where the party is going to be held, and the budget.

With your day-to-day job priorities taking up the majority of your time, you may find it tough to plan a successful party. Don’t worry – Wildman is here to make sure your event isn’t a flop.

Defining Success

You want your event to be a success because ultimately it’s a reflection of your work.  But how do you measure a successful company event? Most would answer “that everything went off without a hitch” or “the boss seemed happy”. Those aren’t necessarily wrong, but another factor, and perhaps the most important, would be employee engagement.

Why engagement? Of course you want everyone to have a good time, but employee engagement is a factor with real implications on a company’s bottom line. Several studies have indicated that engaged employees are happier, more productive, and tend to stay longer.

Gallup, for example, conducted a very large study in 2012 in which they discovered that businesses with engaged workers were twice as likely to be successful financially, while those with the most engaged employees were four times as likely to achieve such success. The study further found that high workforce engagement resulted in greater attendance, fewer safety incidents, higher productivity and profitability, and lower turnover. 

Increasing Engagement

“Great!” you think, “How do I put together an event that people find engaging?” The honest answer is there’s too many variables involved to come up with some simple event checklist that will ensure success. However, there are several considerations around engagement that should be addressed up front to improve the odds of success.

  1. Get Management Behind You: In your initial planning meeting, ask management what their goal is for the event. You’ll probably get a variety of typical answers like, for everyone to have a good time or for workers to know management cares. While these are great, this is where you suggest the overall goal should be high employee engagement for all the business reasons stated earlier. The idea is to get management behind you and help promote engagement as leaders across the organization.
  2. Break the Mold: If your company’s summer picnic (or whatever annual event) is the same every year—the same place, same agenda, same food, even third Saturday in June, it’s time to change things up. If employees know what’s going to happen, then they’re less likely to be excited. Break the mold; get creative. Come up with a new theme, change the format or venue, etc. Sure, you might be limited to some degree, but ask yourself how you can make it different each time in order to keep people curious as to how you will top last year’s event.
  3. Create an Experience First: There’s no doubt that planning and coordinating are critical for a successful event, but what’s even more important is to focus on what kind of experience you are creating for employees. If it’s just show up, eat some food, converse, and listen to the owners talk for a few minutes about the company, people may not leave as excited as you’d hoped. An easy way to create an experience that will encourage engagement is through games. Again, don’t go with old staples, like horseshoes and softball which can exclude people. Be creative. Have a Company Olympics with silly games that involve everyone. Draw up teams that mix people outside of departments and announce the rosters ahead of time. Being on competitive teams makes it hard for employees to hide and forces social interaction.
  4. Reinforce the Memory: Assuming you have a well-executed event built around a positive experience, you want to reinforce the memory of that experience. A good way to do this is with memorabilia tied to the event. Team shirts and trophies are standard examples for team activities, but you want it to be a memory for everyone. If families are invited, have something planned for significant others and especially children to take home and savor the memory of a happy day together as a family. Also, make it something practical and durable that they can use on a regular basis as opposed to something cheap that will get tossed out a few months later.
  5. Gather Feedback: Once the event is over, yes, you can sigh with relief but should not forget to gather feedback from the attendees. The simplest way to do this is through a (very) brief survey. Keep it to under 5 questions that requires minimal time and effort. The responses will be a big help in planning future events, and the number of responses you get back will also be another indicator of employee engagement at your company.


Pulling off a company event like an annual picnic or an Employee Appreciation Day is no easy feat, but if you focus your planning efforts around “return on engagement” then you’ll enjoy the satisfaction that comes from knowing you’ve helped make the company a positive and more successful organization.

New Year. New Goals

Warsaw’s Wildman Business Group has experienced impressive growth. Here are five keys to that growth.

As a third-generation leader of the company his grandfather founded 65 years ago, Wildman Business Group CEO Josh Wildman knows something about growth. What started as a dry cleaning and laundry service has evolved into a diversified operation that now offers uniform and linen rental services, facility services, first aid and safety products, custom branded promotional products and apparel, and licensed sports specialty products.

In addition, Wildman Business Group recently celebrated the opening of a second location in Fort Wayne. This expansion allows the company to better serve customers and support its growing business. “We’re very excited about this new location,” says Wildman. “We’ve always been part of the greater Fort Wayne community, and now we are happy to call it our second home.”

That kind of growth doesn’t happen by accident. According to Wildman, the first step in achieving such impressive results is forming a plan. “We are blessed to have a CEO Emeritus who led us in developing the discipline and processes that helped us become who we are today,” says Wildman.

Having grown the company ten fold over the past 16 years, he shares the following principles to explain how Wildman Business Group continually achieves its goals.

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