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Ace names Vendors of the Year for 2008

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware recently named three Vendors of the Year for 2008: Henkel, an international company that offers laundry and home care products, cosmetics, toiletries and adhesive technologies; Plaskolite, the largest private producer of smooth sheet acrylic; and Stanley Tools, a worldwide manufacturer and marketer of tools.

Henkel, with headquarters in Dusseldorf, Germany, is a long-time supporter of a top Ace charity, Children’s Miracle Network. Henkel has helped sponsor the Children’s Miracle Network Vendor Golf Outing and the Ace/CMN Tour de Kids. “We hope our collective efforts can continue to support organizations such as the Children’s Miracle Network that have a need, are relevant to us and important to our customers,” said Brian Hippler, national account manager for Henkel.

Founded in 1950 in Columbus, Ohio, Plaskolite has worked with Ace for more than 30 years. “We’re both leaders in our respective industries, and that’s part of our success,” said John Szlag, national sales manager for Plaskolite.

Stanley Tools has also enjoyed a long relationship with Ace and has supported co-op members with customized programs. “It’s a team effort on our side and something our entire group is very proud to be part of,” said George Clark, national account manager for Stanley. “It means a lot to us. We’re very appreciative of the fact that we’re held in such high honor.”

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Executive vp to leave Home Depot

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bob DeRodes, executive vp and chief information officer of Home Depot, will leave the company at the end of the year.

DeRodes will continue his responsibilities for Home Depot’s information technology until his departure. The company will begin an immediate search to replace him, with DeRodes’ assistance.

“Bob has led a significant IT transformation at The Home Depot, and we thank him for his contributions to our company,” Frank Blake, Home Depot’s chairman and CEO, said in a company release. “We are pleased he will remain with us through the transition to ensure that our business technology transformation initiatives continue to run smoothly.”

DeRodes joined Home Depot in February 2002 and developed and built the company’s IT infrastructure, facilitating numerous initiatives including self-checkout; continual point of sale upgrades; and BEAR, the company’s back-end automated receiving system. Under DeRodes, Home Depot also implemented SAP Finance and opened the Austin Technology Center in 2005, which provided backup systems and security for the company’s data management infrastructure.

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NLBMDA holds 2008 legislative conference

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Washington, D.C. Senators, members of congress and legislative aides played host to lumberyard owners and executives from around the country this week as the National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association (NLBMDA) gathered here for their annual legislative conference. As in years past, the pro dealers pressed their case for relief from product liability lawsuits and skyrocketing health insurance costs. But two new issues — the recovery of the housing market and green building mandates – were added to the agenda.

Acontingent from the Northwestern Lumber Association met with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska), while Kentucky dealers visited Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Republican from their home state. Approximately 140 dealers, hailing from Alaska to Florida, ducked in and out of congressional offices. NLBMDA members also paid a call to Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, whose father, former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, delivered the conference’s keynote address.   

Four LBM executives from New York State crammed seven visits into one afternoon. Dean Kelly of Jay-K Independent Lumber, Robert Peterman of Peterman Lumber, Brian Rivenburgh of Strober/ProBuild and Seth Arluck of New Hampton Lumber lobbied against green building mandates that favor one type of certification or standards over another. They also urged their representatives to support the reform of the Federal Housing Administration, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

“The [housing] market is not there because there’s a limited availability of [mortgage] money,” said Kelly, who operates a home center in New Hartford, N.Y.

The three-day event, which started on March 31, kicked off with a green building forum sponsored by the LBMI, the national association’s educational organization. Speakers from the Green Building Initiative, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Energy Star for Homes and LEED for Homes talked about their different programs and standards, drew an overflow crowd to the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where the conference is being held.

More congressional visits are scheduled for today, when NLBMDA members will seek additional co-sponsors for H.R. 989, the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act. Introduced in February 2007, the bipartisan bill will hold retailers harmless in lawsuits where they merely sell a product that later causes injuries or damage.

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