Ace dealer to use land bank for new Grand Rapids site
With the help of a county land bank and a city redevelopment agency, Rylee’s Ace Hardware is planning a new store on the site of an abandoned gas station in Grand Rapids, Mich., according to a report in MLive.com.
Rylee’s president Lori Terpstra, who also operates three other hardware stores, hopes to build a new 10,000 sq. ft. unit by early March, 2013. The project was made possible by the Kent County Land Bank Authority, which decided to buy the property for $65,000-plus in back taxes on Rylee’s behalf before it went to a tax foreclosure auction. Rylee’s put up the money for the land bank acquisition, according to the news report.
“It couldn’t happen without the land bank,” said the land bank agency’s executive director, David Allen. “We were able to assure them they wouldn’t have to go to the auction and compete with an out-of-state bidder.” The land bank, whose mission is to stabilize neighborhood property values, made no profit on the deal.
Because of the former gas station, the site is contaminated with several underground gasoline storage tanks that need removal. Funding from the city’s Economic Development Office and the Environmental Protection Agency will help the Ace dealer recoup the costs of the clean-up, according to the article.
Hillman adds to executive team
The Hillman Companies and its subsidiary, the Hillman Group, have announced that they have hired two executives to fill newly created positions at Hillman.
Effective May 7, 2012, Doug Roberts joined the company as general counsel and secretary. Roberts, 49, has 25 years of wide-ranging experience, including expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, general corporate and international matters. Prior to joining Hillman, Roberts was a partner at Thompson Hine in the firm’s corporate transactions and securities and international practice groups and was the chair of the firm’s private equity subgroup.
Effective May 29, 2012, Todd Spangler joined the company as senior VP, president and general manager and will lead Hillman’s Tempe, Ariz., facility. Spangler, 42, is an operational and engineering leader with a 20-plus-year track record of continuous improvement and customer satisfaction in a variety of manufacturing environments. Most recently, Spangler was director of site operations and plant manager for First Solar.
Mick Hillman, CEO, commented on the executive changes: "We are excited to have Doug and Todd on board. Given the rapid growth in both size and complexity of Hillman, Doug’s expertise will be a great asset. And with much of the growth coming from our Tempe operations, Todd’s focus on operational excellence will take that organization to the next level."
Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Cincinnati, Hillman is a leading value-added distributor of more than 80,000 SKUs, consisting of fasteners, key duplication systems, engraved tags and related hardware items to more than 20,000 retail customers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America and Australia, including home improvement centers, mass merchants, national and regional hardware stores, pet supply stores and other retailers. Hillman provides a comprehensive solution to its retail customers for managing SKU intensive, complex home improvement categories. Hillman also offers its customers value-added services, such as inventory management and in-store merchandising services.
Do it Best hires a manager, promotes another
Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. promoted Jason Hipskind to regional sales and business development manager for the southeastern United States and hired Jean Fahy to serve the western United States. Both will focus on building and strengthening member-owner relationships with the co-op.
Hipskind is a 13-year veteran of Do it Best, most recently serving as a RetailPLUS! manager for the past two-plus years. He also brings extensive experience in retail development and member support over the previous decade to his new position.
“I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to lead the southeast team of very talented professionals as we continue to grow and strengthen our member relationships in this important region of the country,” Hipskind said.
While new to Do it Best, Fahy is no stranger to the home improvement and building materials industries, bringing nearly two decades of experience to her new role at the co-op. Previously she was western regional manager at Elkay Manufacturing and a strategic account manager at Masco Buider Cabinet Group, among other positions.