History | About Us | Cantwell-Cleary

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Message from the President...

Cantwell-Cleary President

For over 100 years, Cantwell-Cleary has stood for integrity, respect, honor, and community stewardship. These guiding principles have been the cornerstone of my family’s enduring success in the packaging industry. Passed down through the generations, I am proud to carry on the traditions of my father, grandfather and Mr. Cantwell and prepared to work diligently on the next 100 years of packaging excellence.

Thomas A. Cantwell (1887 – 1968)

Thomas A. Cantwell Original Building for Cantwell-Cleary

The Beginning

Founded in 1914 by Thomas Cantwell, the company was originally named T.A. Cantwell and Company. Mr. Cantwell was a native Washingtonian, avid sportsmen and generous philanthropist. One of his beneficiaries and alma mater, Gonzaga, recognized his generosity by naming one their largest buildings, Cantwell Hall, after him. After graduating from Georgetown University in 1909, Mr. Cantwell pursued his athletic career and professionally pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds. Historical BuildingMr. Cantwell was also a pioneer in his time, being one of the earliest suppliers of corrugated paper shipping cartons. Replacing the popular wooden crates, corrugated shipping boxes were much lighter, economical, and easier to handle. For over 50 years, Mr. Cantwell’s vision to provide innovative, economical packaging supplies with exceptional customer service laid the foundation for the company’s success. In addition, Mr. Cantwell’s founding principles of integrity, respect, honor, and philanthropy still hold true today.

William F. Cleary (1909 –1975)

William F. Cleary Two men sitting down

The Right Partnership

In the 1920’s, William F. Cleary joined the T.A. Cantwell Company. His intelligence, dedication, and hard work earned the respect of Mr. Cantwell and eventually was offered a partnership, creating Cantwell-Cleary Company. With an eye on innovation, expansion, and purchasing prowess, this dynamic partnership grew the company for several decades. In the early 1970’s, the company moved operations from Washington, D.C. to Landover, Maryland.

Vincent de Paul Cleary (1938 –2013) & Shirley A. Cleary

Vincent de Paul Cleary

Building for the Future

Mr. Vincent Cleary joined the company in 1958 after graduating from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration. Eager to contribute to the family business, Mr. Cleary worked his way up from sales associate to President & CEO of Cantwell-Cleary, where he remained for over 50 years. Vincent & Shirley ClearyUnder his guidance and direction, Cantwell-Cleary grew steadily, gaining market share. He was a natural leader, family man and gentleman. By his side his wife and partner, Mrs. Shirley Cleary, assisted in the daily marketing, sales, and operations of the company. Together they succeeded in growing the business. In 2004, the company expanded into the Virginia market by opening a Richmond warehouse. After Mr. Cleary’s passing in 2013, Mrs. Cleary continues as owner & CEO of Cantwell-Cleary, carrying on the family traditions and principles that are still evident today.

Fiber Products, Inc. - 2011


In Mr. Cleary’s effort to grow the company, Cantwell-Cleary acquired Fiber Products, Inc., a full-service packaging equipment sales and service company. This acquisition strengthened the packaging machinery division, giving Cantwell-Cleary a clear market advantage by providing added products and services to new and existing customers. Today, Cantwell-Cleary provides on and off-site service and repair to companies throughout Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and surrounding areas.

William C. Cleary – President

Working on the Next 100 Years

William C. Cleary – President William C. Cleary in the Navy

Mr. William C. Cleary grew up in the packaging industry. With the depth of knowledge and experience from his father and grandfather, Bill was able to learn the intricacies of the packaging industry early on. However, after graduating from Villanova in Mechanical Engineering, Bill had a patriotic calling, and in 1985, joined the United States Navy, as an aviation pilot. Bill proudly served his county with honor and dedication for over 15 years. Navy emblemHowever, it seemed destined that Bill would return to the family business and, in 2018, he rejoined Cantwell-Cleary as the Vice President of Operations. In conjunction with Mrs. Cleary as CEO, Bill guided the company through various challenges with virtue, integrity, and honor. Today, Bill, now President of Cantwell-Cleary, looks to the future determined more than ever to carry on the legacy of his forefathers and work towards the next successful 100 years.