Bathroom brands have high hopes for new CIO
Alex Alexandrou has been named chief information officer for Lixil Americas, home to the American Standard, DXV and Grohe bath and kitchen brands operating in the Americas region.
In this position, Alexandrou will be charged with managing corporate-wide strategy and long-term planning for all information and related technologies. Alexandrou will report directly to Lixil Americas CEO and president Steven Delarge.
“Alex has a proven history of successful strategic planning and execution involving information and technology that will greatly benefit operations at Lixil Americas,” Delarge said. “We are constantly striving to lead the industry in technology innovation to optimize efficiencies for our employees, customers and business stakeholders. I am confident Alex’s leadership will positively impact Lixil and further the company’s commitment to make things that matter for people and communities around the world.”
Alexandrou joins Lixil with 20 years of experience, including expertise in building and implementing processes that increase revenue, optimize enterprise expenditures and enable peak operations across multiple disciplines and organizations. Prior to joining Lixil, Alexandrou served as vice president of Global IT, Digital Marketing & Customer Engagements Systems for D&M Holdings, where he worked in all the aspects of IT operations, including: department strategy, business alignment and global decision making. Prior to that, Alexandrou worked for Newell Brands, where he led the implementation of a new global IT enterprise e-commerce strategy throughout the company. Alexandrou created and managed Newell Brand’s ecommerce shared services that allowed its brands to share IT services, functionality, capabilities and environment, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced cost.
Alexandrou holds a B.A. in computer science from Queens College of the City University of New York.
NLBMDA cheers on the Resilient Federal Forests Act
The NLBMDA had nice things to say about the reintroduction of the Resilient Federal Forests Act, which previously passed in the House in 2015 under the name Emergency Wildfire and Forest Management Act (H.R. 2647) by a vote of 262-167.
The Resilient Federal Forests Act (H.R. 2936) is being reintroduced by Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), who originally brought the legislation to Congress in 2015.
The legislation aims to reduce the threat of wildfires and was originally cosponsored by Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and Scott Tipton (R-Colo.).
"The Resilient Federal Forests Act strikes a balanced approach in managing the national forest system by making more land available for logging in an environmentally sustainable way," said Jonathan Paine, NLBMDA president and CEO. "NLBMDA thanks Congressman Westerman for his leadership on this important issue."
According to the NLBMDA, the U.S. Forest Service manages more than 190 million acres, 46 million of which are permitted for use as timber harvest. Timber harvests from federal forests declined by 78% between 1987 and 2015, from 11.3 to 2.5 billion board — far below the capability of these lands of 12.2 billion board feet per year.
The NLBMDA said that poor land management during the past 30 years has led to declining health of national forests, resulting in fewer jobs, fewer board feet of domestically produced lumber entering the market, and a marked increase in acreage ravaged by insects, disease and fire.
"NLBMDA supports greater sustainable harvesting of federal forests to meet long-term demand for lumber as part of a comprehensive plan that does not place U.S. private forests at a competitive disadvantage," the organization said.
Throwback Thursday: This Old Hardware store
With an appreciation for fine architecture, and confidence in the home center business, financial industry veteran Ray Branisel purchased the old Hancock Lumber Company yard in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, back in 1983. He had high hopes for his new company, which he called Old Mill Lumber and Hardware. And his admirable plans included renovating the building from eyesore to colonial masterpiece.
According to a Jan. 30, 1984, article in National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, Branisel set about making the transformation of the building, a long-neglected 1852 structure used at various times as a grain mill, harness shop and carriage factory.
“It would have fallen down in three more years if it had been left unattended,” he told National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, in a page 3 article under the headline: “Old Mill recycled into 20th cent. home center.”
The recycle included a fundamental shift from lumberyard to home center, as the new owner expanded inventory — especially hardware, tools and paint — while investing $300,000 in basic repairs.
Branisel had sales expectations of $800,000 for 1984, and $3 million by 1989, he told NHCN. “The home center industry seemed as recession proof as any,” he said. “I wanted to get into a business that was not faddy.”
Alas, the early success of Old Mill Lumber and Hardware could not be sustained. Today the renovated building serves as the headquarters and showroom of Cleveland Plumbing Supply.
Employees of CPS did not know exactly when the Old Mill store closed. An employee of nearby Chagrin Hardware (another Chagrin Falls architectural gem, which dates back to 1857) told HBSDealer the store didn’t last long past 2000, if it lasted that long.
Branisel died in 2010. His legacy includes an entirely admirable home center venture that continues to benefit the community to this day.
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