The Most Powerful Conservative Couple You’ve Never Heard Of


Inside the company, Mrs. Uihlein is more visible. In a corporate video, she is shown meeting employees and reviewing Uline catalog pages.

The couple work both in tandem and apart. After they each wrote $5,000 checks to redo a Manitowish Waters playground, “we called to see if it was a duplicate,” said John Hanson, chairman of the town board. “They said no.”

The Uihleins responded to questions for this article both jointly and individually.

“Dick is much more interested in policy and politics,” Mrs. Uihlein wrote. “My passions are in investments and charitable work in our community.”

They started their packing supply business in 1980. “Dick quit his job, we’d just built this house, we had three little kids,” Mrs. Uihlein once said. Their son Brian, a Uline executive who was inducted into the American Platform Tennis Association Hall of Fame — the sport is a family favorite — has said the business operation “went down to the basement, then it moved up to the playroom upstairs.”

Uline lacks a visible corporate communications department and has a moribund Twitter account, unusual for a company with more than 6,000 employees. But it aggressively advertises digitally, and by widely distributing its catalog, which features more than 34,000 items, from gift wrap to shelving.

The company’s business growth is evident. Uline, which is privately held, built a 279,000-square-foot headquarters in Pleasant Prairie in 2010, and a second, 300,000-square-foot office on the same campus in 2017. (State and local tax incentives sweetened a move across the Illinois border.)

Mrs. Uihlein’s politics emerge in her essays.

“When we watch TV news, the channel is mostly set on Fox News,” she once wrote. She has also railed against the Chicago murder rate and the number of people on food stamps.


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