BRADFORD WHITE PROMOTES CARNEVALE TO PRESIDENT Ambler, Pa.-based Bradford White Corp., recently announced the promotion of R. Bruce Carnevale to president and COO. In his new position, Carnevale will be responsible for managing all operational aspects of Bradford White Water Heaters, Laars Heating Systems and Niles Steel Tank. “Our industry, products and distribution channels are changing dramatically, and these changes are creating new challenges for our company and customers,” Bradford White CEO Nick Giuffre said. “Bruce has been an agent for change since he joined Bradford White more than 20 years ago and his strategic vision, combined with his extensive product and industry knowledge make him the ideal candidate to guide our company into the future.” Carnevale began his career with Bradford White in 1996 serving as product manager-international sales. Most recently he was executive vice president and COO. He also is a member of the corporation’s board of directors, a trustee and actively serves on several committees and boards in support of the plumbing and HVAC industries. “In recent years, Bradford White Corporation and our family of companies have made tremendous strides to expand our capabilities and infrastructure,” he said. “We also have put a great emphasis on research and development to provide new and more innovative product solutions to our wholesaler and professional installer customers. But most importantly, we have invested in great people. Building a team of talented, dedicated and passionate industry professionals truly vested in the success of our customers has been critical to our own success.” In other Bradford White news, Matt Kozak was promoted to the position of national sales manager. In his new role he will lead the regional sales managers and manufacturers representatives to support the execution of the company sales initiatives as well as work with the Bradford White subsidiary companies to jointly execute corporate sales and integration initiatives. Kozak started at Bradford White in 2007 as regional sales manager of the Southeast. He was promoted to director of sales-East in 2012. ROBERTSON HEATING SUPPLY ROAD SHOWS CONTINUE TO THRIVE Alliance, Ohio-based Robertson Heating Supply used to save its Expo and Buying Show for big occasions such as its five-year anniversaries. “We did one every five years going back into our 83-year history,” Robertson Heating Supply Vice President of Marketing Scott Middleton said. “They were traditionally a single-location event at our distribution center in Alliance.” Thanks to having branches in football-crazed areas, that strategy changed 10 years ago. “We started taking the show on the road annually,” Middleton explained. “We liked the August timeframe because football is big around us, the preseason is getting started and my (Cleveland) Browns still are undefeated.” And the rest, as they say, is history. Robertson once again enjoyed huge success with its expo and buying shows this summer, which were held at the University of Michigan’s Michigan Stadium (The Big House), Heinz Field in Pittsburgh (home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers) and FirstEnergy Stadium (home of the Browns). In previous years, the road shows have gone to Ohio State University and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and PPG Paints Arena, home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. “Our goal with these shows is value and partnership,” Middleton said. “It gives customers a place to come and interact with reps and vendors ranging from vendor regionals up to senior management. It’s certainly a great buying opportunity plus there is that interaction. We bring key decision-makers together from both sides. Our vendor partners are able to meet key customers face to face. It’s a strong annual event for all involved.” Middleton said a typical expo has 60-70 manufacturer booths and attracts 400-500 people. “For us, it’s a good-size event,” he said. “It’s one afternoon. We have found them to be incredibly successful. It’s a show our customers and partners wait for and plan purchases around.” Some expos also have offered training opportunities and guest speakers such as former NFL player Chris Spielman and former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel. Middleton added the purchasing part of the show continues to be a key attraction. “We try and have a strong mix of both A-moving items as well as displaying new items,” he said. “It’s a very good educational opportunity because all our partners are in one location at one time. It’s a buying show first and we set goals to achieve, but the true success is in the interaction; the questions, the answers, the follow-up and developing deeper relationships.” A number of customer incentives also are part of the shows, ranging from the opportunity to earn Yeti coolers, NASCAR race tickets and even getaway trips. “It’s an exciting time of year,” Middleton said. “Football is starting up. Customers come to these events, talk football, get good deals on products and are able to interact with our staff and our vendor partners. We see these as a win for everybody. It’s a day of camaraderie and partnership.” —Mike Miazga reporting HUTCHERSON NAMED FERGUSON COO Ferguson recently appointed Alex Hutcherson chief operating officer. In his new role, Hutcherson is responsible for the national execution of the distributor’s strategy and has direct responsibility for Ferguson’s sourcing, supply chain, product management, change management, national sales and corporate services teams. Hutcherson succeeds Kevin Murphy, who recently was named CEO. Hutcherson joined Ferguson in 1988 as a trainee in Cocoa Beach, Fla. He has held numerous positions within the organization for more than 29 years, including branch manager, general manager and area manager. In 2012, Hutcherson was promoted to vice president of HVAC and took on the senior vice president of HVAC role in 2016. Additional leadership changes effective Aug. 1 at Ferguson include Mark Westerbeck, formerly vice president of industrial, being named to the newly created role of vice president of operations. Rob Braig will assume responsibility for profit and loss in addition to strategy for Ferguson’s industrial business group. Jimmy Cross will assume nationwide responsibility for Ferguson’s blended branches. He had served as senior vice president of the East for the last decade. Carlton Harwood will now lead Ferguson’s HVAC business group. J. LORBER CO. TO OPEN FOURTH LOCATION Bensalem, Pa.-based J. Lorber Co., has plans to open its fourth store location in Newtown Square of Delaware County in the fall. “Establishing a physical presence in Newtown Square further cements our commitment to the Delaware Valley region and our strategic growth plans,” said Michael Lorber, executive vice president for J. Lorber. “For nearly four generations and 100 years, we have enjoyed being a family-owned and -operated company with deep roots in this region. We are very excited to expand with our fourth location into Newtown Square.” The new store location, open to contractors and the public, features an open concept layout for customers to shop the aisles for products with knowledgeable staff ready to assist, the company noted. In addition to trade products available, J. Lorber Newtown Square also will include The J. Lorber Bath Studio which will display products from manufacturers such as American Standard, Delta, Bertch and Maax Bath, among others. A training room also will be onsite for product demos and training. The new location will be managed by Dylan Bender, a J. Lorber employee for the last four years who has worked inside sales at the Pennsauken, N.J., location. Joining Bender is Elizabeth Wenzel who has worked in various roles at the Bensalem, Pa., location. The opening of the store is planned for fall of 2017 with more information to follow. INAUGURAL GRANITE GROUP EMPLOYEE GOLF TOURNAMENT RAISES FUNDS Employees from Concord, N.H.-based The Granite Group recently banded together for a great cause at Green Meadow Golf Club in Hudson, N.H., where the inaugural employee golf tournament was held. The goal for the tournament was to raise money for a special charity, the company noted. When all donations from the employees were tallied up, the distributor was able to raise $4,000 for Make-A-Wish New Hampshire. Holly Blanchard from Make-A-Wish NH was on hand for the check presentation to cap a fantastic day of fun with a purpose, The Granite Group noted. “We are extremely proud to see our team members work together to raise this kind of money for such a fantastic organization,” The Granite Group COO Chris Ploss said. “Yes, getting out to play some golf was nice, but the most important thing is we know we’ll have a part in helping a special child get a special wish. We already are looking forward to doing this again next year and shooting for an even bigger number.” The Granite Group, the recipient of Supply House Times sister publication Plumbing & Mechanical magazine’s 2013 Supply House of the Year honor, has 34 branches throughout New England and 16 Ultimate Bath Store locations in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island. PLUMBERS’ SUPPLY CO. MAKES ACQUISITION New Bedford, Mass.-based Plumbers’ Supply Co., recently announced it has acquired South Shore Supply out of Brockton, Mass. The Brockton location will receive daily inventory from Plumbers’ Supply’s 85,000-square-foot distribution center to ensure product is on the shelf when its customers need it, the distributor noted. Plumbers’ customers will have access to a wide variety of heating and HVAC product lines, including the likes of Lochinvar, Uponor, Weil-McLain, Viessmann, Rinnai, RUUD Heating & Cooling products, Fujitsu and many more. “South Shore Supply has been known for providing its customers with a superior level of service and an extensive inventory,” Plumbers’ Supply Co. said in a news release. “Product selection and availability will be enhanced as part of Plumbers’ Supply Co., ultimately providing customers with more options and the same high level of service.” FIRST SUPPLY OPENS NEW BRANCH La Crosse, Wis.-based First Supply recently held a grand-opening event for its new Weston, Wis., branch. The 12,000-square-foot facility will house inventory from key vendor partners with a focus on serving plumbing and HVAC contractor needs. The Weston location will be a “self-pick”-style facility, designed to establish local inventory while complementing the distributor’s twice-daily service out of Rhinelander and Plover, Wis. First Supply noted the opening of the branch “will enhance the ability for contractors to get what they need, when they need it, providing a best-in-class customer experience.” Managing this facility will be Jerry Barnett, who brings years of industry knowledge gained through managing the First Supply facility in Rhinelander. To ensure this new branch lives up to the standards of all customers, First Supply explained, Barnett will have an onsite branch supervisor in Robert Gregurich, who brings a reputation in the Wausau area of being a go-to resource and is highly respected in the market, the distributor added. First Supply is a fifth-generation, family-owned regional wholesale distributor of HVAC, builder, plumbing, well & septic, and industrial PVF products. With 29 locations in the upper Midwest, First Supply employs more than 600 people. ASA DISTRIBUTORS REPORT SALES INCREASE American Supply Association member wholesaler-distributors reported a median sales increase of 6.5% for the month ending July 31, compared to the same month in 2016. Calendar year-to-date, all respondents reported median sales growth of 7% and the median increase for the trailing 12 months is 7.5%. The June report showed a median sales increase of 7.5% compared to the previous year. Inventory rose 4% compared to the prior year and the median three-months average days sales outstanding decreased from 45.1 to 44.9 days. 53.2% of respondents reported an increase in gross margin percentages for the month of July vs. 2016, and company year-to-date profit before taxes increased for 62.5% of the total sample. The percentage of respondents having more full-time-equivalent employees compared to a year ago declined from 64.6% in June to 63.8% in July. Industrial PVF distributors reported a median sales increase of 7.8% for the month compared to July 2016. The June report showed an increase of 7.4% compared to the previous year. Calendar year-to-date, PVF respondents reported a median sales increase of 7% and the median increase for the trailing 12 months is 7.6%. Inventories grew 1% compared to the prior year and the median three-months average DSOs dropped from 45.5 days in June to 43.5 days in July. PVF respondents reporting an increase in company YTD profit before taxes declined from 64.7% in June to 58.8% in July. WINSUPPLY OPENS NEW TENNESSEE BRANCH Dayton, Ohio-based Winsupply has opened a new Winsupply company in Franklin, Tenn., its fifth new company of 2017. Winsupply of Franklin will serve plumbing contractors in one of the fastest-growing markets in the U.S., and throughout greater Nashville. Earl Semadeni is the president of the company. Semadeni and his team of five employees have more than 40 years of combined experience in plumbing to meet their customers’ needs. The location has a new 3,000-square-foot plumbing showroom.
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