2014 INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP AWARD RECIPIENT
Empire Southwest is a family owned company founded in 1950 as Empire Machinery, an Eastern Oregon Caterpillar and John Deere dealership by Jack Whiteman. The name Empire originated from an area of the Pacific Northwest called the Inland Empire. However, when Jack was awarded Caterpillar’s Arizona territory in 1959, he moved the company to Phoenix and began building partnerships with Arizona’s mining and construction industries.
John O. Whiteman succeeded his father as CEO in the mid-1990s. Under John’s leadership, Empire focused on customer service, encouraged community involvement among its employees, established the official Corporate Values and celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Third-generation President and CEO Jeff Whiteman took the company reins in early 2002. He has led the company through the economic uncertainties following 9/11 and in 2008-2010 and through times of tremendous opportunity and growth. In addition to being a strong advocate for Empire’s Values, Jeff has also instituted the 6 Sigma process improvement model and renewed Empire’s commitment to supporting its clients, communities and employees. Under Jeff’s direction, Empire continually ranks among the top Caterpillar dealers in the world. The company has more than 1,600 employees in a territory that includes the state of Arizona, southeastern California and portions of northern Mexico.
Mining makes up 40% of Empire's total market percentage and includes dedicated support for over 15 mine sites throughout Arizona, California, and Mexico. Several of these sites are consistently awarded zero injury safety achievements and high client loyalty rankings in Caterpillar's Dealer Excellence program.
Empire’s experienced mining support team is responsible for the sales and support of CAT and other allied products used in coal and metals mining applications. With the recent acquisition of Bucyrus by Caterpillar, the product line has been greatly expanded and includes everything from draglines and rope shovels, to skid steer loaders and small utility dozers.
Empire’s goal is to provide mine-specific product and service solutions that help clients improve productivity, enhance safety, increase efficiency and lower cost per ton. Empire is proud to serve as an active partner in the mining industry and to support the efforts of their mining clients and the communities they serve.