Ace celebrates 90 years
Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corporation is hoping to gain a sales and marketing boost from its 90th anniversary.
To commemorate the occasion, Ace is hosting a nationwide promotion April 2-7, during which time customers can get 20% off gallons of Clark+Kensington paint+primer in one, as well as special offers on a variety of lawn, garden and outdoor living items. Some home maintenance products will also be priced at 90 cents in honor of the milestone.
Additionally, customers will have a chance to win prizes from brands like Craftsman, Scotts and Weber throughout the month of April. More details will be available on Ace’s Facebook page.
“It’s a privilege to lead this great company; a company that has grown quite large but to this day is still comprised primarily of local, family businesses around the globe,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation. “I believe our five founders would be exceedingly proud to see the small business success and servant hearts of Ace beating strong after all these years.”
Ace was founded in Chicago in 1924 by five independent hardware store owners: Richard Hesse, E. Gunnard Lindquist, Frank Burke, Oscar Fischer and William Stauber.
True Value recognizes Cleaver Farm & Home
Chanute, Kan.-based Cleaver Farm & Home was recognized by Chicago-based True Value Co. as one of 13 “Best Hardware Store in Town” honorees.
Accepting the award at a True Value hosted ceremony were Chris and Jason Cleaver.
The retailer converted to the co-op’s Destination True Value format in spring 2013, and the owners see continued community support along with opportunities for growth.
The farm-and-ranch segment has been an area of focus for the wholesaler, which describes the segment as its fastest growing.
The Best Hardware Store in Town program has been recognizing True Value retailers since 2007. “These are talented business people who work incredibly hard to bring their communities the best service and shopping experiences possible,” said John Hartmann, president and CEO of True Value Co.
First Griffith Award goes to Ace dealer
Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corporation, the industry’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative, recognized Les Orchekowsky of Sierra Vista, Ariz., with Ace’s first-ever Ray A. Griffith Retail Leadership Award.
Named after Ace’s former CEO Ray A. Griffith who retired in March 2013, the award will be given annually to the Ace retailer that most personifies Griffith’s outstanding leadership traits and exemplifies Ace’s core values.
“While we had numerous, excellent candidates for Ace’s first-ever Ray A. Griffith Retail Leadership Award, I can think of no one more deserving than Les Orchekowsky for this recognition,” said David Ziegler, chairman of the board, Ace Hardware Corporation. “Les has an innate ability to not only master and excel at his business, but also to motivate his employees, generate camaraderie among industry peers and deeply connect with his community.”
Orchekowsky was recognized with the award at Ace Hardware’s annual Spring Convention & Exhibits, held in Houston Feb. 24-26. He was presented with the honor in front of thousands of Ace retailers, corporate employees and vendors.
Orchekowsky, his wife Kathy and family own and operate three Ace Hardware stores throughout southeastern Arizona in the communities of Sierra Vista, Benson and Bisbee. Established in 1981, Orchekowsky is a proud and dedicated member of the community and is intensely committed to his customers and employees.
Selection for the award was based specifically on several pieces of criteria, including alignment with Ace’s long-term growth strategy 20/20 Vision, created to help drive retail sales and profitability. Additional areas of criteria for selection included a spirit of collaboration among industry peers to drive best practices and cross-functional relationship-building, as well as a strong commitment to the community and philanthropy.