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Walter Martish III

Walter Martish, III

As a young man, Walter Martish III washed 55-gallon drums, labored in the warehouse, and listened carefully when salespeople discussed the excitement and challenge of building and keeping a book of business for Oil Chem, his father’s distributorship serving the leather and textiles industries.

After college, and close looks from the NHL, he decided to help his father grow the family business.  He soon discovered that the hard-working hustle he’d developed on the ice was the same kind of drive and discipline needed to cultivate a network of steady customers.

What’s more, the trust and relationships that deliver wins in the rink also keep customers loyal in a market thick with commodity products.  So Walter racked up road miles, expanding Oil Chem’s territory beyond New England to New York and New Jersey.

Through respectful persistence–and a relentless commitment to delivering what a customer needs, when they need it, with white-glove service–he grew Oil Chem’s business one contract at a time. 

And because relationships are such an important aspect to this approach, he regularly entertained clients, adding to the hours of cultivation effort in every sale.  It was fruitful and effective, but exhausting.  He began to wonder if there was a better model.

At the same time, his friend and sometimes collaborator Pat Lutz was finding that he had more innovative ideas than his employers could bring to market.  One day, Pat posed a pivotal question: “What if I invent the best stuff in the world and you go sell it?”

An interesting idea, but Walter knew all too well that supply chain logistics could be challenging.  “Can you manufacture what you invent?”

Pat smiled.  “Of course.”

With the formation of Lincoln MFG-USA®, Walter went from selling commodity ingredients to Pat’s bespoke solutions to vexing formulation problems. 

In the twelve years since, Walter and Pat have grown Lincoln at a brisk, sustainable pace by consistently delivering quality results at a speed others can’t match.  Now they have taken Lincoln MFG-USA® to a new level with a brand new, state-of-the-art formulation lab and manufacturing facility located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Manufacturing in the USA is rooted in their values, but also in the knowledge that a vertically-integrated supply chain is a powerful guarantee that they can always deliver, no matter what’s happening around the globe.


“Lincoln is about agility–and fairness.” –Walter Martish, III