Hallie Busta 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Mother Nature Strikes Distributors Recent tornadoes left a path of damage across the lower Midwest and southern states, affecting some distributors’ facilities. A report by catastrophe risk management consultants Eqecat found that most of this season’s tornadoes hit rural areas, although a few of these were responsible for significant life losses and property damage. Another Eqecat report following the record-setting EF5 tornado that hit Joplin, MO, on May 22 said that preliminary insured losses could be as high as $3 billion. The company also reported that nearly one quarter of the city’s buildings had been destroyed and one-half to three-quarters suffered wind damage. Although WinWholesale’s Joplin Winnelson location (Joplin, MO) remained untouched when a tornado destroyed parts of the community, the company said that it had taken steps to help locals and employees recover from personal damage. During the nine minutes of tornado activity, more than 8,000 homes and apartment units in addition to more than 500 commercial properties were heavily damaged or destroyed, AIR Worldwide reported. The National Weather Service reported an estimated 138 fatalities and more than 1,100 injured in the Joplin area as of June 2. Kevin Chandler, president of the Winnelson branch, said the company has helped the community by handing out bottled water and helping them move their belongings. He noted that a return to normal business activity will depend on the length and extent of the cleanup process. “This tragedy has changed the town so drastically [that] it could be years before we actually know,” he said. Brauer Supply Co.’s Joplin location also was destroyed, the company said in a release. They have diverted the location’s telephones to its Springfield, MO, location. The Home Depot Foundation announced in May that it will provide the Joplin community with $1 million for immediate relief, recovery and long-term rebuilding efforts, according to a company release. “As we learned through our work in the Gulf after similar destruction from Katrina, the rebuilding will take years,” said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO of The Home Depot. The American Supply Association had not yet been contacted directly about companies needing assistance, but many member companies take care of each other in disaster-type situations, according to Ben Stephens, ASA’s director of marketing and communications. “Our members work relatively quietly and they take care of their own … [they] communicated with each other and without making too much of a spark over it,” he said. Earlier this spring, Ferguson’s branch in Raleigh, NC, suffered extensive damage after a tornado hit while customers were in the showroom. “When something like this is happening in your store, you feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to keep everyone safe,” said Mike Cassidy, the location’s operations manager. Cassidy was able to move his customers and employees to safety, but the building suffered extensive wind and water damage. Ferguson relocated the branch to a nearby temporary office space and warehouse where it was operable within two weeks of the storm. Showroom customers were being sent to the company’s Chapel Hill, NC, location until the 4,000-sq.-ft. Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Preview Center opened (scheduled for late June). Meanwhile, the company said it is reconstructing its old location to feature a warehouse, counter and redesigned showroom, which it hopes to open in early fall. Ferguson facilities were hit again on April 27, this time at its Fire & Fabrication branch in Guntersville, AL. Due to the extent of the damage, business was routed through the company’s Birmingham, AL, branch, while information technology communications were set up on-site through the company’s “Branch in a Box” mobile network. The location was already closed because of the storms, so no employees or customers were in the building. “All in all, we are lucky,” said Sharon Cooper, general manager at the Raleigh branch. “We had no loss of life. We lost our roof, not our talent. Our new house will be awesome and our customers rallied with us.” Security Supply Hosts Employee Training Day On May 7, Security Supply Corp. (Selkirk, NY) held its 10th annual employee training day, involving 80 associates from 12 branches. The employees learned about new and existing products and received technical and application advice from manufacturers during a series of 40-minute sessions throughout the day. Participating vendors included Allied Air, Zoeller, Zurn, Milwaukee Tool, Taco and Honeywell. Security Supply personnel conducted additional sessions on computer training and HVAC design, and Kim Willey, chief operating officer and vice president of operations, reviewed the company’s financial performance. Associates were later asked to rank the sessions by quality of content, overall usefulness and the presentation itself. Based on the results of this survey, Milwaukee Tool Corp.’s regional manager Nick Mathiowdis and representative Steve Ziamandanis, president of Gus Z. Associates, received the “Presenter of the Year” award. PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Wiseway Supply (Florence, KY) added Mike Quatman, Brian Childs, Nick Sarakatsannis and Steve Rizkallah to its electrical outside sales team. Tony Faulkner has rejoined the company as an electrical inside salesperson. Also, Terry Rosenbalm, formerly with Winnelson (Dayton, OH), was hired as a plumbing outside salesperson. Joplin Supply (Joplin, MO) hired Tom Braddish as its outside plumbing salesman for parts of Kansas, northern Missouri and part of Joplin. Interline Brands (Jacksonville, FL) appointed John McDonald as senior vice president of sales. Previously he was president and chief operating officer of Service Brands International. Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) appointed Len Swatkowski as technical director. Most recently, he was a program manager for Jarden Consumer Solutions, but in the 1990s he spent a decade in an executive technical role for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. Watts Water Technologies promoted Hal Clay to national product manager — fire protection. He joined the company in 2009. Basco Shower Enclosures hired David McCullar as customer service director. Kohler Co. Promoted Adam Horwitz to director of kitchen products, marketing and cast iron development for its Kitchen & Bath Americas division. Villeroy & Boch appointed Michael Swan as general manager of its bath and wellness division in the United States, Canada, Central and South America, and Mexico. He will also continue in his current role as global head of the international project business division for the company. Danze named Jeanine Murray associate brand manager. Brasstech, a member of the Masco family, hired Kimberly Frechette as eastern regional sales manager, succeeding Chuck Molina. Most recently, she was sales manager for BainUltra. Uponor named Bill Gray vice president of sales for Uponor North America. For the past three years he was general manager for Uponor Ltd. In Canada. Decolav hired Dave Schwei as eastern regional manager; Angela Ciarlilo as central regional manager; Spencer Chiaro as western regional director; and Shannon Monti as hospitality global director. MJSI promoted Jim Coretti to vice president of sales. He joined the company, which offers water-conserving plumbing products, in 2007. Tecumseh Products Co. Appointed the following as regional sales engineers: Brandon Stewart for the southeast territory; Doug Potvin, upper western U.S.; Robert Chandler, parts of the Midwest; and Rick Rasch, northeastern U.S. Also, Mark Fowler and Rich Watson moved to the wholesale distribution sales team, with Fowler covering the southwest and Watson serving Florida. AirTight, a critical site service contractor, added Jim O’Neill and Jason Koch as service technicians. BITS AND PIECES REP UPDATE... McCoy Sales, a Kansas City, KS-based manufacturers rep firm, added Matt Robb to its outside sales staff serving wholesale customers, engineers and end users in Kansas and western Missouri. AIM/R: The 39th Annual Association of Independent Manufacturers / Representatives (AIM/R) Conference, “The Future’s So Bright,” will be held at the Sandestin Resort, Destin, FL, Oct. 10-14, 2011. It will focus on industry economic trends, business operations, sales skills and networking. EXPANSION, ACQUISITIONS... Ferguson (Newport News, VA) opened a Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Depew, NY, in June that carries appliances, lighting, cabinets and countertops in addition to plumbing products and fixtures. Over the next few months the company plans to expand the showroom to 6,000 sq. ft. But will remain open. Shelly Hermans is showroom manager. Wiseway Supply (Florence, KY) hosted a grand opening celebration for its new Franklin, OH, branch for a full week in June. Product demonstrations were provided by vendors including Leviton, American Water Heater, HEP, Mansfield Plumbing, Keeney, Charlotte, Encore Wire, Allied Electric, Cully and Moen. Dan Craver is the branch manager. Kessler Sales & Distribution (KSD) said it would open its ninth regional distribution center, to be located in Kansas City, MO, in July. The 85,000-sq-ft. Facility will serve wholesalers in the Midwest and through the Rocky Mountains. Raypak has upgraded its classroom facilities to help fill the need for small group/hands-on training regarding commercial boilers and water heaters and electronic controls. EXPANSION, ACQUISITIONS... BNP Media, parent company of Supply House Times, is partnering with BirdDog Career Centers, the leading job/ career center resource focused on this market. Companies seeking employees or job seekers can access the Career Center by clicking on the BNP/BirdDog widget found on the Supply House Times home page. John Guest USA has become an approved vendor of Omni Corporate Services Ltd. W. A. Roosevelt Co. (La Crosse, WI), a five-location wholesaler selected Noritz America as its exclusive supplier of tankless water heaters. THIS N THAT... The Virtual Green Expo, a BNP Media event to be held on Aug. 4, will feature a variety of webinars including one by renowned Supply House Times columnist Dan Holohan, who will walk attendees through older heating systems and show how to get the most out of them without putting a lot of money into their upkeep. For more information, visit www.thevirtualgreenexpo.com. Appropriate Designs released The Hydronics Design Studio — professional version 2.0, a set of powerful software tools to help heating professionals design high-performance hydronic heating systems. For more information, contact John Siegenthaler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-865-8903. Mincron Software Systems held its annual user meeting April 10 – 13 in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, offering an array of educational, best practices, and networking sessions. Rich Schmitt and Mincron announced the completion of integration into the PriceOptimizer, and Mincron shared the design finalization of the Web and mobile platform. APR Supply Co. (Lebanon, PA) announced that Dave Robinson, CFO/COO, was honored as a CFO of the Year in the medium private company category by the Central Penn Business Journal. Grundfos Pumps was named Lochinvar’s 2010 Supplier of the Year. MrPEX Systems formed a strategic partnership with Climate Automation Systems to offer their ENV package under the name IDC (Integrated Dynamic Control).
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