(262) 782-0500 16601 W Cleveland Ave | New Berlin, WI 53151
Garage Doors & So Much More
1945. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) dies and Harry Truman becomes president. World War II ends. Oral penicillin is developed. Henry Winkler “The Fonz” is born. The first ballpoint pen goes on sale. Gas is 15 cents a gallon and...
You won’t find his name in history books, but Joseph W. Wilde was a man of vision. Born in Milwaukee in 1904, the son of a tool and die maker, Joe had an early interest in design and construction. He attended Milwaukee’s Spencerian Business College and the lessons he learned in school would serve him well later.
Joe became an entrepreneur at the age of 23 when he purchased six lots south of 85th and Greenfield Avenue in West Allis. He spent many months developing house plans; by the time he was 25 years old he had built four homes, one of which he would live in for more than 50 years.
Throughout the 1930s, Joe was a salesman for area lumber companies and in the early 1940s he went to work for the Convertible Door Manufacturing Company in Milwaukee where he sold millwork and garage doors.
In 1945, Joe decided to start his own garage door company located at 1940 W. Forest Home in Milwaukee. His new company purchased doors and operators from lumber dealers around the state who shipped them directly to the company’s Milwaukee warehouse on 8th & Montana.
Starting the new company took a great deal of work and Joe worked seven days a week to get it off the ground. Because he was spending so much time at work, in 1956 Joe moved his business a few blocks from his home. The company’s advertisements from the period state that their new location, 8251 W. Greenfield Avenue was “right across from the roller coaster at State Fair Park”. Here Joe had a larger building which housed his offices, showroom and warehouse.
1956 was also the year that Joe’s son Donald returned from the service and began working full time at the business. In the years that followed, Joe’s wife, Frances, and all five of Joe’s children would spend time working at the company.
Over the years, Joe introduced new products based on customer needs. The following are some of the items sold during the company’s early years, many of which you can still find in and on area homes:
The company even manufactured their own flush plywood doors for a time which started the flush door market in Milwaukee and surrounding counties. Joe enjoyed using his artistic talents while working with the flush doors and soon thereafter he started his own garage door design company so that his customers could personalize their doors.
Joe painstakingly developed each of the dozens of garage door designs that were later installed on many of Milwaukee area homes. Click here to see some of Joe’s more popular designs including an antique auto, lantern, flying geese, and a variety of flower themed patterns.
Joe served as president of the Joe Wilde Company, Inc. until his retirement in 1970 and also served as president of the NARI Home Improvement Council in 1969.
In 1971, the company moved to their present facility in New Berlin.
Donald J. Wilde, president from 1971 through 1996, maintained the company’s customer-oriented philosophy. During his tenure several product lines changed to meet the preferences of the firm’s customers: iron railing products were replaced by aluminum railing, Jalousie storm doors were replaced by Larson aluminum storm doors and new awning styles were added. In 1994, Don was honored as Business Person of the Year by the New Berlin Chamber of Commerce for his contributions to the business community. Don retired in January 1997 after more than 40 years with the company. He still drops by the office to offer guidance and advice.
Joseph R. Wilde, the company’s president from 1997 to 2007, was responsible for the commercial overhead division for many years. In addition, Joe led the company to six consecutive years in Wayne-Dalton’s President Club, which honors top distributors throughout the country. The company continued to refine its product offerings; in 2002 the company added steel service doors and a variety of new garage door styles and colors. Joe Wilde Company, Inc. was the first in the region to offer garage door design software. Joe retired in October 2007 after 45 years with the company.
Chris M. Teifke, Joe’s granddaughter and Donald’s daughter, is the current president and owner of the company. Chris returned to the company in 1994 after careers in banking and real estate. She has many fond memories of growing up in the family business and recalls pasting color samples on brochure pages as a child (she earned three cents for each completed page!). Today, Chris is proud to be surrounded by a staff of experienced employees who help her uphold the company’s reputation for excellence.
Other third generation employees include Dave Wilde, current vice president of the company, and Mike McGowan, one of the company’s senior service technicians.
For over 70 years, the Joe Wilde Company name has stood for integrity and we’re proud to have built our reputation on always delivering a quality product and providing our customers with honest and reliable service. These are family traditions that we plan to continue far into the future. Although we’ve worked hard to earn our reputation, we also constantly remind ourselves that we didn’t do this ourselves but with the help and hard work of a lot of folks that went before us. We greatly appreciate their efforts and understand our responsibility to them – and to each of our customers. We make every effort to stay on top of our industry and the preferences of our customers, and the result is a stable, growing, family-owned business
“The same qualities that Grandpa Joe believed in – quality products and honest, reliable service – are alive and well today. We intend to remain a leader in exterior home improvement products and will continue to offer quality workmanship and excellent service, with individualized attention to every customer’s needs. Because we’re family owned, we have a personal commitment to your satisfaction and to our products. That’s both the legacy and the promise of Grandpa Joe and each and every employee of the Joe Wilde Company.”
Chris (Wilde) Teifke- President/Owner
We’ve done great things in the past. Today, we’re doing great things for the future.
1945 – Joseph W. Wilde founded the company located at 1940 W. Forest Home Avenue in Milwaukee.
1956 – Company moved across from State Fair Park to 8251 W. Greenfield Avenue in West Allis. Son Don joins the company.
1962 – Son Joe joins the company.
1969 – Joseph (Sr.) served as president of the NARI Home Improvement Council Company receives award for Outstanding Exhibit at the Wisconsin Retail Lumbermen’s Association held at the Milwaukee Auditorium.
1970 – Joseph retires from business he founded. His son, Don takes over as president.
1971 – Company moved from West Allis to New Berlin to present location.
1977 – Joseph’s grandson Mike McGowan joins the company as a service technician.
1987 – Joseph’s grandson, Dave Wilde, joins the company as a sales representative.
1994 – Joseph’s granddaughter, Chris (Wilde) Teifke, joins the company as a systems administrator. Don honored as Business Person of the Year by the New Berlin Chamber of Commerce for his contributions to the business community.
1997 – Don retires after more than 40 years with the company. Joseph’s son Joe takes over as president.
2002 – Steel Service Doors added to Product Line.
2005 – Began offering Door Design software allowing customers to view different garage door designs on pictures of their own homes.
2007 – Joe retires after 45 years with the company. Joseph’s granddaughter (Don’s daughter), Chris takes over as president.
2009 – Company received certification as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) through the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. New Jingle Launched. Company helps form and joins the Southeast Wisconsin chapter of Central States Door Dealer Association (CSDDA).
2010 – Company is accredited as an IDEA Accredited Door Dealer. Retractable Awnings, Garage Screens and Entry Doors added to Product Line.
2011 – Garage Flooring added to Product Line.
2013 – All eligible technicians within Company earn IDEA Certification.
2014 – Company adds Screen Rooms and Patio Rooms to Product Line.
2015 – Company earns Angie's List Super Service Award for 14th straight year.