Multiquip Founder Levine Retires After 30 Years

Fri December 20, 2002 - National Edition

Irv Levine, chairman of Multiquip Inc., retired Dec. 19, nearly 30 years after founding one of the world’s leading light- and medium-sized construction equipment companies.

“It’s been an unbelievable experience for me and one hell of a ride,” said Levine, who is credited with helping build North America’s rental industry. “Multiquip is admired and respected by our customers and competitors and many companies have tried to emulate us, but without success. I believe our success is truly due to the philosophy of taking care of our customers and our employees.”

Levine founded Multiquip in Long Beach, CA, in 1973, establishing the company as the U.S. distributor for Mikasa compaction equipment. Today, Multiquip has surpassed more than $200 million in annual sales with offices in England, Mexico, Canada and Brazil. The company is one of the leading suppliers of soil and asphalt compaction equipment; concrete placing, finishing and cutting machines; portable power generation equipment; dewatering pumps; welders and light towers.

With a foundation built on the strength and success of Mikasa rammers, Multiquip expanded into the pump and generator businesses by forming MQ Power in 1985 to distribute sound-attenuated portable generators. In 1988, Multiquip acquired Whiteman, and Essick and Mayco three years later. It then purchased Engine & Equipment in 2000, Stow Construction Equipment and Sanders Saw (2001) and Diamond Back Diamond Blades in May 2002.

In 1971, Levine introduced Mikasa rammers to the United States while serving as vice president of Long Beach, CA-based Leasing Enterprises that became U.S. Rental Corp. and was eventually merged in United Rentals. Two years later, he founded Multiquip and in 1979, the company moved to its current location in Carson, CA.

Tom Yasuda, in a move announced June 7, is Multiquip’s new chief executive officer. He has been associated with Multiquip for more than 20 years serving most recently as executive vice president, and has been instrumental in establishing Multiquip as a force in the construction and rental industries.

Levine departs Multiquip with an endless list of accomplishments and contributions to his credit. In early, 2002, he was inducted into the American Rental Association’s Hall of Fame and he orchestrated many fund-raising events, including Comedy Nights at the ARA shows in the 1990s that raised thousands of dollars for such charities as Children of Hope — a Los Angeles-based organization that provides shelter and food for homeless women and children. He also supports the Challenge Center in San Diego, a rehabilitation center for patients with spinal cord injuries and is a director of the National Council at Northeastern University. Levine also is a longstanding member of the ARA and the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED).

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