Golden Hammer strikes for independents

The Vendor Center’s Wabschall, Gentry Hipp and HCN’s Ken Clark

Las Vegas -- The independent retailer and the family business were celebrated last night at the 30th Golden Hammer Awards ceremony.

Poolside at the LVH-Las Vegas Casino, hundreds of retailers and vendors mingled, the band (Voodoo Cowboys) played, and three industry leaders expressed gratitude and humility upon receiving Golden Hammers.

(View slide show here.)

Entering the Home Channel of Fame during the ceremony, Orgill president and CEO Ron Beal credited the staff of the Memphis, Tennessee-based distributor for the company’s success at serving and supporting independent retailers.

The Home Channel Hall of Fame was founded in 2004. In attendance at last night’s ceremony were 2012 inductee Bob Taylor, the Do it Best CEO, and charter inductee Joe Orgill, a career mentor for Beal. 

David Stine, one of six brothers at the helm of the Sulphur, Louisiana-based Stine Home & Yard accepted the Golden Hammer Retailer of the Year Award. He credited all the employees back in Louisiana who work for the 12-store, family-owned business.

In celebration of receiving the Tools of the Trade Award on behalf of Hipp Modern Builders Supply in Mountain View, Ark., Gentry Hipp took his own picture during his acceptance speech, and promptly posted it to Twitter. 

It was a move that revealed the kind of acumen with marketing and social media that the small, independent hardware store is known for.

Darrell Wabschall, the founder of The Vendor Center, a company that connects retailers to vendors in an online environment, presented the Tools of the Trade award to Hipp. And Midwest Fastener’s Glen Gevaart and Mike Martin presented the Hall of Fame plaque to Beal. 

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