ABOUT EMPIRE Southwest
Empire Southwest is a family owned business founded in 1950 as Empire Machinery, an Eastern Oregon Caterpillar and John Deere dealership. When founder Jack Whiteman was awarded Caterpillar’s Arizona territory in 1959, the company relocated and began building partnerships with Arizona’s construction and mining industries that endure today.
In the decades that followed, Arizona’s booming economy and a culture based on integrity and customer service fueled steady growth for Empire. A willingness to diversify and respond to client needs led the company to establish additional support services, and eventually there were five divisions operating under the corporate name Empire Southwest: Machinery, Power Systems, Hydraulic Service, Precision Machining and Transport.
John O. Whiteman succeeded his father as CEO in the mid-1990s. Under John’s leadership, Empire focused on customer service, encouraged community involvement among its employees, established the official Corporate Values and celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Third-generation Chairman and CEO Jeffrey S. Whiteman took the company reins in early 2002. He led the company through the economic uncertainties following 9/11, instituted the 6 Sigma process improvement model, and looked for new ways to support client businesses. He formed an alliance with Trimble technology dealer Sitech Southwest, expanded the company’s agriculture focus, launched a truck and trailer division, and directed the creation of a renewable energy group.
Empire now ranks among the top Caterpillar dealers in the world. The company has more than 1,600 employees in a territory that includes Arizona and southeastern California. Employees share a comprehensive benefits package, family-friendly leadership, and pride at being part of one of the Southwest’s most respected companies.