History Banner

Since 1907, we have been committed to providing unprecedented customer service through automation and building relationships. We have grown from our humble beginning in Milwaukee to an international presence today, with established partner offices around the world, providing personalized service to manage all your transportation needs safely and effectively. 

View our photo gallery

  • 1907


    M.E. Dey & Company was established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by Mae Elizabeth Dey. Awarded Custom Broker License Number 5, Miss Dey and her company operate exclusively as a Customs Broker.

  • 1920's

    Becoming a Family Business

    Mae Elizabeth Dey’s nephew, Rolland Gardenier joins the company while attending Marquette University.

    In 1927, M.E. Dey expands the firm and the company incorporates. Key customers include iconic Milwaukee companies, such as Harnischfeger and Falk.

    Rolland takes over the office after Mae Dey’s passing in 1929.

  • 1940's - 1960's

    Expanded Operations

    Operations expand to include Export Forwarding and a license is obtained to operate as a Federal Maritime Commission Forwarder.

    Rolland’s oldest son, Richard Gardenier, joins the company at age 20 and obtains his Broker’s License in 1951. The beginning of the 3rd generation.

    M.E. Dey continues growth primarily as a Customs Broker.

  • 1970's

    Time for Change

    Richard becomes president. His oldest son Robert Gardenier, an accountant, joins the firm after graduating from Marquette.

    A second office is opened at Mitchel Airport in Milwaukee as airfreight volume grows.

    M.E. Dey is a pioneer in technology and installs their first computer system becoming the first Milwaukee Customs Broker to automate office operations

    A Freight Forwarding Department is established as the company expands to offer full export services.

  • 1980's

    Transition & Expansion

    The entire import entry process is automated and M.E. Dey becomes the first Milwaukee Customs Broker to interface directly with U.S. Customs through the Automated Broker Interface system (ABI).

    Rolland Gardenier dies, just days short of sixty years of service

    Sandi Siegel joins the company as an entry writer and obtains her Broker License in 1986.

    The company expands again with the opening of a Chicago office next to O'Hare International Airport to better service this major Midwest gateway.

  • 1990's

    A New Era

    Richard Gardenier retires from the company with over 40 years of service and Rob becomes President. The company transitions to the 4th generation of leadership.

    Sandi Siegel becomes Executive Vice President of the Import Division and together with Rob strategically expands Import operations. Their expansion efforts include the creation of a Logistics Division and an International network of over 75 countries. This allows the company to manage all transportation needs for their growing customer portfolio.

  • 2000 - Today

    A Strong Future

    The company experiences continued growth on a national scale as Remote Location Filing allows Customs Brokers access to all US ports. A domestic transportation division is created to provide expanded service.

    As the complexity of trade demands more of importers and exporters, a Compliance and Consulting Division is added to provide additional support for customers.

    Rob leads the business with a focus on automation and development of electronic services.

    M.E. Dey expands with a third office in the Port of Long Beach to better handle the growing volume of freight moving to and from Asia.

    Sarah Azar, Rob’s niece joins the firm as Project manager in 2013.

    M.E. Dey receives President’s ‘E’ Award for excellence in Export Services

    In 2018, Rob and Sandi’s daughter Leah Gardenier joins the family business.

    In 2019 Rob transitions to Chairman and Sandi assumes role of President.

    Today – M.E. Dey & Co., Inc., which began with a single employee, now operates three offices and employs more than 60 professionals to assist clients with nearly all aspects of their Import and Export programs. Having survived a worldwide depression, numerous recessions, two major and several minor wars, protectionism and the ravages of inflation, the company's commitment to exceptional customer service has remained constant and transcends the time of steam and sail, to the era of containers, stack trains and global service.

    As we transition from the 4th to 5th generation of leadership we salute Mae Elizabeth Dey as we return to our historic roots as a Woman-owned business.