Mike Miazga 2015-08-10 03:10:54
WANE CONFERENCE STRESSES LEADERSHIP Attendees of the recent Wholesalers Association of the North East Executive Leadership Conference in Annapolis, Md., were treated to a riveting capstone presentation by retired U.S. Naval Commander Kirk Lippold. Lippold, who commanded the U.S.S. Cole, presented his five pillars of leadership to the assembled audience at the Loews Annapolis Hotel through his vivid recollection of the fateful Oct. 12, 2000, day when al-Qaeda detonated a bomb alongside the U.S.S. Cole in the port of Adan in Yemen. Lippold’s five pillars include integrity, vision, personal responsibility and accountability, trusting and investing in people, and professional competence. “When you build that foundation for your people, you will be amazed at what they can accomplish,” he said. Earlier, Andy Ray of Pannell Kerr Forester of Texas, talked about middle-management change drivers. “The typical change initiative is a trial-and-error approach,” he said. “Radical impact happens when a middle manager creates a significant and substantial result that matters in a business. You have the opportunity to energize your business through the middle and not at the top.” Ray asked attendees if their middle management team has proactively created a significant and sustainable $100,000 result in the last 60-90 days. “The difference between managers who master radical impact creation and those who do not is the willingness to practice,” he said. How does one make a radical impact in a company?Ray suggested identifying 1-3 rising stars in the business who demonstrate a commitment to go above and beyond and “know the business.” He says give each of the rising stars the $100,000 challenge and for two months let them use Fridays to work on the challenge. “You have to change the way work happens in order to change the result,” he said. The day kicked off with Jason Bader, managing partner at the Distribution Team, speaking about driving a culture of profit in an organization. —Mike Miazga FORMER ASA PRESIDENT HERB STRONG DIES Herb Strong Jr., retired president of Indianapolis based Economy Plumbing Supply and former American Supply Association president, died June 24. Born in 1925 and raised in Indianapolis, Strong joined his father in the family business in 1946 after graduating from Purdue University and serving in World War II. He was Economy’s president from 1960 until his retirement in 1998. Strong was active in the wholesale plumbing industry, serving as president of many local, regional and national organizations, including the Indiana Association of Credit Management, the Central Wholesalers’ Association and ASA. During his 52 years with Economy, Strong saw many changes within the industry and his own company, including a move from its original location on North Alabama St. to its current headquarters on North Capitol Ave. In 1984, Strong introduced the concept of “self-serve” to the local wholesale market by bringing supplies out from behind the counter and providing customers with aisles of plumbing supplies for inspection and selection — a concept unheard of at the time and before the advent of home centers and the concept of “do it yourself.” Strong retired in 1998, but continued to serve the company as a director and consultant throughout the rest of his life. Strong remained active in many industry, civic and social organizations, including the Riley Revitalization Program, Service Club of Indianapolis, Army-Navy Club, Contemporary Club, Second Presbyterian Church, Woodstock Country Club and more. Strong’s son, John, currently serves as president of Economy Plumbing Supply and grandson, Stephen, joined the company last year. John Strong served as ASA president in 2013. The Strongs are the first father-and-son duo to hold the national association’s presidency. Herb Strong was ASA president in 1996 and its vice president from 1990-1995. WINWHOLESALE ACQUIRES M. COOPER SUPPLY Dayton, Ohio-based Win Wholesale acquired M. Cooper Supply, of Mokena, Ill., in a transaction that closed July 1. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. M. Cooper Supply is a plumbing distributor providing services to the Chicago metro area, all counties in northern Illinois and northwest Indiana from its distribution center in Mokena. The company will do business as M. Cooper Winsupply. Tom Schleisner, Win Wholesale area leader, has been named interim president of M. Cooper Winsupply. Current M. Cooper executives Dave Poteete and Greg Goode will remain with the company in senior-level positions. Poteete, formerly COO of M. Cooper, was named vice president of M. Cooper Winsupply. M. Cooper Supply was owned by Dennis Goode who sold his 100% ownership to Win Wholesale. M. Cooper Winsupply is located at 8605 Spring Lake Drive in Mokena, Ill., with an 80,000-sq.-ft. distribution center and has 75 employees. In other company news, Des Moines Winsupply opened in Iowa to provide contractors with premier commercial, industrial, wastewater and geothermal pumps and accessories for the central Iowa area. The new company is part of WinWholesale, which is a majority shareholder of Des Moines Winsupply. Will Boston, previously with Cedar Rapids Winpump that also is part of the Win Group of Companies, is the manager of Des Moines Winsupply. KEIDEL SUPPLY EXECUTIVE RETIRES Cincinnati-based Keidel Supply recently announced executive Barry Keidel is retiring after 44 years with Cincinnati’s largest local plumbing supplier and wholesale distributor. Keidel grew up in the business, working many different positions in the company, including becoming president following his father in the early 1990s. The company noted under Keidel’s direction it grew from a neighborhood supply shop to a large showroom and distribution center. Keidel Supply currently has three Ohio locations. Mike Barton became Keidel Supply CEO in 2009 and the company will continue to operate under his leadership. Keidel will remain on the company’s board of directors. MILWAUKEE TOOL DEBUTS NEW PRODUCTS Milwaukee Tool recently hosted its annual New Product Symposium that brought media members from across North America to Waukesha, Wis., for two days of new product releases and hands-on demonstrations. More than 40,000 sq. ft. Of new products were on display, the company noted. In keeping with its recent trends, the company again debuted a bevy of new products across its tool and accessory platforms at the event. To put Milwaukee’s growth into perspective, it had two people working in its hand-tool department in 2009. That number now stands at more than 500. “It’s all about productivity and performance, but we don’t want to sacrifice what that user is experience with our tools,” Milwaukee Tool Power Tools President Shane Moll said. “How do we innovate and make their job easier?” In other company news, Milwaukee recently announced an expansion of its operations in Greenwood, Miss. This along with other investments to Milwaukee Tool facilities in the state represents a $35 million investment in Milwaukee’s U.S. manufacturing operations over the last four years. The expansion in Greenwood will create 126 new positions of which 105 already have been filled. Milwaukee now has 508 employees in Greenwood and 891 workers throughout its three Mississippi locations. “We firmly believe that through investing in our people we will deliver disruptive innovation and the highestquality products for our users and distribution partners,” Milwaukee Tool Group President Steve Richman said. SUPPLY NEW ENGLAND DEBUTS TRAINING ROOM Attleboro, Mass.-based Supply New England recently marked the completion of its new “Live-Fire” training room with a ribbon-cutting celebration and cookout for customers and vendors. The “Live-Fire” event featured hands-on product demonstrations and served as a new equipment showcase for the company’s many contractor customers. “Training our customers always has been a priority for us,” Supply New England Training Instructor Nancy Imhoof said. Supply New England employees and customers now have the opportunity to improve their troubleshooting skills and develop a mastery of each piece of equipment and its operation through the use of the training room. Supply New England Customer Service Advisor Dennis Del Toro assisted with the room, installing seven boilers, an on-demand water heater and a 95% AFUE variable-speed furnace with an 18 SEER modulating heat pump. BLACKMAN PLUMBING SUPPLY SPONSORS TWO LOCAL EVENTS Bayport, N.Y.-based Blackman Plumbing Supply was one of the Gold sponsors of the Dan’s Papers Taste of Summer Events: Taste of Two Forks and GrillHampton. Blackman had more than 1,100 sq. ft. Of booth space to display products from many of its luxury brands at the food-based events. The company had the exclusive rights to display kitchen (indoor and outdoor) and bath material at the shows, including the debut of its new Brown Jordan and Danver outdoor kitchen. The company’s bathroom booths featured faucets, fixtures, lighting, tile and accessories. “This food festival is a great way to showcase our luxury product offerings to the consumer in a smart, sophisticated and fun way and to show Blackman has so much more to offer than just plumbing,” said Blackman Vice President of Retail David Lyon, who custom-designed both booths. APR SUPPLY ACQUIRES SAGE SUPPLY CO. Lebanon, Pa.-based APR Supply Co. Recently announced the acquisition of Sage Supply Co. The transition began in June 2015, and will be APR Supply Co.’s first location in New York. Sage Supply Co., is a distributor of plumbing and HVAC products. Sage was founded in 1953 by Sam Ainslie, Al Anthony, George Ainslie and Earl Grady. Greg Fiske was the owner at the time of the acquisition. Sage operated one branch location in Johnson City, N.Y. Sage Supply also offered one of the area’s premier bath showrooms. That Johnson City showroom will become the eighth APR Supply Co. Location to display kitchen and bath fixtures, and will operate under the Oasis Showrooms name. Dave Orso, regional manager of APR’s Williamsport, Bloomsburg and Hazelton branches, will be overseeing operations of the Johnson City location. Orso has been an employee of APR Supply for 14 years. FERGUSON CONCLUDES ‘FEED THE NEED’ EFFORT Ferguson, the 2014 Supply House Times Supply House of the Year, recently concluded its second annual Feed the Need campaign. More than 250 of the company’s locations collected food, supplies, toiletries and monetary donations for 106 nonprofit organizations around the country. Ferguson headquarters led the effort, donating nearly 4,300 pounds of food to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank — more than double its total from a year ago — and providing almost 7,000 meals to Hampton Roads residents. Associates also collected several hundred pounds of food and a variety of supplies for the Peninsula SPCA. In other company news, Jacuzzi Luxury Bath recently announced it has entered into a distribution agreement with Ferguson. Effective Sept. 1, Jacuzzi Luxury Bath products will be exclusively available to the wholesale channel through Ferguson Enterprises. Furthermore, Jacuzzi brand wholesale products will be sold online through shop. ferguson.com and other online retailers. The Jacuzzi product offering is stocked at Ferguson distribution centers, allowing Ferguson to service customers nationwide. FIRST SUPPLY ANNOUNCES PERSONNEL MOVES Wisconsin-based First Supply recently announced a pair of key personnel moves. Dave Robinson has been hired as director of operations. Robinson has more than 20 years of broad experience in purchasing, transportation, operations management and logistics. The company also recently announced the appointment of Mike Meiresonne to the role of director of sales and marketing. Meiresonne first joined First Supply in 2014 as the Northern Region general manager. MORRISON SUPPLY DONATES $3,000 TO LOCAL RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE More than 200 golfers recently gathered at Bear Creek Golf Club in Dallas for Morrison Supply’s second annual DFW Gold Tournament benefitting the Fort Worth chapter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Morrison raised $1,500 at the tournament for the charity that seeks to improve children’s health by providing programs and shelter to their families. Participating golfers included builders, plumbers, HVAC and commercial contractors, as well as Morrison and Expressions Home Gallery associates. Morrison matched the amount raised at the tournament, donating $3,000 directly to the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth. AD MERGES WITH CANAPLUS Affiliated Distributors recently announced the establishment of AD Canada Plumbing & Heating through a merger with Canaplus Limited Partnership, the leading buying group in Canada for independent Canadian wholesale distributors of plumbing and heating supplies and related products. Beginning Jan. 1, the 23 current members of Canaplus will become the founding members of AD’s newest division. These members operate more than 250 branches coast to coast across Canada and have substantial market share, AD noted. This is AD’s seventh merger since the group’s founding in 1981 and its third within Canada.
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