Canadian Packaging

Design Group doubles in five years to surpass 1,000-professionals mark

By Canadian Packaging staff   

General Barry-Wehmiller Design Group

Nationwide engineering consulting firm sets sights on 2,000 by 2023

ST. LOUIS, MO—Barry-Wehmiller Design Group has announced that the organization has eclipsed 1,000 professionals for the first time in its history.

Established in 1986 with a mission to provide engineering and technology solutions to industry, Design Group has grown from a single office in St. Louis to over 35 locations across the U.S. The firm attributes its growth to a process it calls ’visioning.’

“It started with a simple concept in 2001,” states Design Group managing partner Joseph Wilhelm. “We asked ourselves the question:  What could our business look like if our capacity for growth was only limited by our ability to engage passionate professionals within a proven business model and a vibrant, people-centric culture?”

In 2011, when the organization was about 500 employees, Design Group leadership established a vision to reach 1,000 professionals. The team recognized that increased scale would provide higher value to clients, and greater opportunities for emerging leaders within the firm.


“We are exceptionally proud to have achieved this latest organizational milestone, doubling the size of the firm in just five years. We are committed to delivering value in support of the technology needs of our clients, while consistently providing professional growth opportunities for all of our associates,” Wilhelm comments.

Design Group celebrates this historic achievement at the same time that the firm recognizes its 30-year anniversary.

Wilhelm expects that the firm will double in size again within the next six to seven years.

“We are attracting incredible talent into Design Group today, and our business model allows professionals to participate directly in the development of sustainable client relationships.  Our team members appreciate the ability to work directly with clients in this capacity, as they help build the business for the future.”

Design Group has grown virtually every year since it was first established.

“This pattern of sustained growth and critical mass enables us to serve our clients as a financially strong, viable engineering firm providing technology solutions to a wide range of markets and industries,” concludes Wilhelm.

“The phenomenal growth and success of Design Group is a testament to what is possible when you set aside traditional incremental thinking and imagine what the future could bring,” comments Barry-Wehmiller chairman and chief executive officer Bob Chapman. “The unique combination of the firm’s sound business model and a culture of Truly Human Leadership creates personal growth opportunities and meaningful work for its team members, which ultimately benefits everyone—Design Group’s professionals, its clients, and all of those connected to the company.”

Design Group is the largest consulting division among Barry-Wehmiller’s 11 divisions. Since 1987, privately-held Barry-Wehmiller has experienced 16 percent compound annual growth through acquisition and organic initiatives. Today, the organization is a rich blend of the legacies and capabilities of more than 80 companies spread among 100-plus locations around the globe.

Barry Wehmiller Design Group operates from over 30 offices across the U.S. and Puerto Rico providing engineering and technology services to the world’s leading companies through the efforts of almost 1,000 engineering and technical specialists.  Design Group professionals have direct industry experience with industrial automation, process engineering, regulatory compliance and systems integration.  Design Group also provides professional engineering, architectural and construction management services through our wholly owned and professionally licensed subsidiary, Design Group Facility Solutions, Inc.

Barry-Wehmiller is a diversified global supplier of engineering consulting and manufacturing technology for the packaging, corrugating, sheeting and paper converting industries. By blending people-centric leadership with disciplined operational strategies and purpose-driven growth, Barry-Wehmiller has become a $2+ billion organization with 11,000-plus team members united by a common belief:  to use the power of business to build a better world. CEO Bob Chapman shares the story of the company’s transformation in his new book, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family. To learn more, go to

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