The Royal Group turns 100

The Royal Group (TRG) celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the company has been focusing on the people behind its success: its customers and employees. That approach aligns well with TRG’s family values.

Horse, buggy, boxes

The company that’s now TRG began with one family, the Nerenbergs, in one location: Chicago.

Sam Nerenberg delivered wooden boxes with a horse and buggy near what’s now the Chicago Loop. Soon after, Sam’s brother, Herman, joined him, and the Nerenbergs moved on to box manufacturing.

From that humble start, TRG has expanded to include 36 locations and 1,500 employees. It’s one of the largest independently owned corrugation solution providers in the country.

Powerful partners

TRG’s century of success has a lot to do with its long-term leaders. Jordan Nerenberg, Sam’s son, invited Bob McIlvaine, now TRG CEO, to join the company 32 years ago.

“Jordan was president of the company and well known in our industry,” Bob said. “He ran a successful business, had a great family and was respected by people both professionally and personally. I wanted to be like that.”

As it turns out, Bob reached his goal. The Nerenberg family trusted him and his management team to run the family business and grow it as well. Bob and his team helped strengthen TRG by developing its name and identity. Later, he helped the Nerenbergs find the right people to buy their business: The Schwarz family.

The story of the TRG-Schwarz Partners partnership is a highlight of TRG’s history and culture. “Our family businesses shared values, and those values were able to work together to make The Royal Group what it is now,” John Schwarz said.

A Royal road show

At TRG, “company culture starts at the top,” said Joe Remillard, general manager of Dalton Box. “We treat each other with dignity and respect. We treat each other like family. That has helped us be more successful every year.”

Its employee-focused culture has made for some joyful birthday parties at TRG locations. Festivities, including customer tours, an employee luncheon, photo sessions, goodie bags, raffles, free T-shirts, and special appearances by TRG leaders, began in April at or near each TRG facility.

The goal? To celebrate the people — from customers to front-line employees — who have helped TRG thrive.

“All of the 100 year celebrations had a great turnout,” said Melanie Knowles, marketing director at TRG. “A big thank you goes out to all of the team members at our facilities who devoted so much of their time beyond their regular job duties to make it all happen… lots of planning, communicating and executing helped guarantee the success of this awesome event.”

Bringing the story to life

A special video is the centerpiece of TRG’s celebrations. At each 100th anniversary event, employees enjoy an exclusive viewing, complete with movie popcorn and treats.

The video reveals TRG’s history and evolution through interviews with TRG employees, leaders and members of the Nerenberg and Schwarz families. It won’t be made public until the last local celebration is complete (stay tuned!).

In the meantime, watch this sneak peek — and wish your colleagues at TRG happy birthday!

Lead image: John Schwarz, Kevin Miller (TRG President) and Bob McIlvaine (TRG CEO)