John Mellowes is a prominent business leader who has made an impact in Southeastern Wisconsin. He has served on nonprofit boards and raised more than $13 million for charities.
He is the founder of Charter Wire, a wire manufacturer in Milwaukee. Additionally, he founded Milwaukee Wire Products which became the nation’s leading supplier of fluid-level indicators and auto trunk latches.
Early Life and Education
Mellowes is a fourth-generation member of Charter Manufacturing, an international steel bar, rod and wire manufacturer. Since 1965 he has served as Chairman and CEO for over two decades.
He serves on the boards of IEWC and the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, in addition to serving on MSOE’s Board of Regents.
John Mellowes’ grandfather Alfred was an innovator in the iceless refrigerator industry – later to be known as Frigidaire. He also founded Lock Washer Industries and Charter Wire, passing along his business philosophy to his son Charles N. who currently heads Charter Wire’s executive team.
John Mellowes is a fourth generation family leader of Mequon-based metals manufacturing businesses. In 2013, he succeeded his father as CEO of Charter Manufacturing.
His leadership enabled the company to acquire Aarrowcast Inc. in Shawano; Wells Manufacturing Company, now Charter Dura-Bar; and Cobra Metal Works in Fort Worth.
He further enhanced the company’s capabilities by purchasing a bar outlet facility in Saukville and expanding the Cleveland SBQ mill.
Charter Manufacturing was recognized in 2013 as a top workplace in Southeastern Wisconsin and earned Deloitte & Touche’s “Wisconsin 75” list and Recognition Award for Corporate Leadership. Furthermore, Charter Steel completed their $12-million furnace expansion project in Fostoria, Ohio.
Achievements and Honors
John Mellowes is a proud member of the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame and recipient of Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin’s 2014 Wisconsin Business Leader of the Year award.
This esteemed honor is presented to those making a positive contribution to their community. It recognizes their achievements, leadership qualities and accomplishments as well as the positive effect they have had on their company.
Mellowes is a fourth-generation member of the Charter Manufacturing family and has served as CEO since 2013. He joined his parents’ company in 1965 and served as chairman and CEO from 1980 until 2013, before being promoted to Chairman and Chief Executive in 2014.
John Mellowes has been the CEO of Charter Manufacturing, a privately held provider of steel and steel components, for nearly three decades. He represents the fourth generation of family leadership at this Mequon-based company that manufactures steel bars, rods and wire as well as off-highway equipment components.
Over his career, he has served on the boards of trustees at MCW and Froedtert Hospital as well as being an important advisor to the Hope to Health Campaign. Furthermore, he and his wife Linda T. Mellowes established two named funds at MCW – one for the chair of medicine at MCW and another for Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine Center.
He was recently recognized by the Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin as 2014 Wisconsin Business Leader of the Year, an award presented to those who have made a difference through their businesses and community service activities.
John Mellowes is a renowned businessman with an estimated net worth of $20 Million. He has received numerous awards for his contribution to the community and industry, including being named both Wisconsin Business Leader of the Year and Entrepreneur of Wisconsin.
He is the chairman emeritus of Charter Manufacturing, which manufactures steel bars, rods and wire. He began working for the company in 1965 and served as CEO for 30 years; however, he will retire this July and pass the reins on to his sons. However, he will remain on the board of directors as chairman emeritus. The Mellowes family has been in this business since 1930; its headquarters are in Mequon, Wisconsin with annual revenues approaching $1.2 Billion.