Our History

Four Generations

Originally established in 1921 by University of Iowa baseball star George Frohwein and businessman James Burns as Frohwein & Burns, Tallgrass has never left the family of its origin. In 1948 the business changed its name to Frohwein Office Supply, and became Tallgrass Business Resources in 2011.  Larry Parsons (George’s son-in-law) joined the firm in 1950, with Larry’s sons Dave and Doug following in 1975 and 1980, respectively. From George Frohwein to Max Parsons (Doug’s son, CFO), Tallgrass Business Resources has expanded to four locations and 45 employees while remaining a family owned, local business through four generations and nearly 100 years.

Combining Talents

Today’s Tallgrass Business Resources is the result of multiple acquisitions. In December 1976, Frohwein purchased Shank Office Furniture and Supply of Iowa City, followed by Courier Office Supplies of Coralville in 1983.  Matthews Office Equipment was acquired in 2004, adding our Davenport location.  2011 saw the addition of Pioneer Workspace Solutions in Cedar Rapids which precipitated the branding change from Frohwein/Pioneer/Matthews to a new, unified Tallgrass Business Resources.  Iowa Business Supply in Iowa City was acquired in 2015, followed in 2019 by Best Office Systems and Supplies (BOSS) which added a Clinton, IA location. 

Current Management

CEO/President – Doug Parsons
Vice President – Dave Parsons
Controller – John Wasta
CFO – Max Parsons
COO – Carly Grantham
Director of Supplies Sales – Jayson Reid
Director of Furniture Sales – Tom Vander Vaart
Design Team Director – Diane Ocasio
Davenport Location Manager – Sue Christenson

What Does “Tallgrass” Mean?

After the merging of Pioneer and Frohwein, it was mutually decided that a new, unified image needed to be created to best represent the company as a whole. After much deliberation, the name Tallgrass Business Resources was chosen. It is a nod to the tallgrass prairie ecosystem that once covered most of Iowa and western Illinois but has since been lost to development and agriculture, and helps illustrate our constant commitment to sustainable business practices.

What Do We Do?

Simply put: we are a solutions company. We are able to outfit your entire office with furniture, supplies, and imprinted products to help you create a cohesive brand and culture. We help businesses do what they do, better!

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