Executive moves at Westlake Ace Hardware
Westlake Ace Hardware promoted current chief operating officer Joe Jeffries to president and COO, continuing to support CEO Tom Knox.
In addition, Andrew Schmitt will be promoted to the position of VP of operations for Westlake Ace Hardware. Schmitt currently holds the position of director of retail operations for the Western Division for Ace Hardware Corp.
“I am pleased to announce the promotion of Joe Jeffries to the role of president and COO of Westlake Ace Hardware,” Knox said. “Joe is a proven leader with an outstanding vision for operations, merchandising and new store development, as well as growth strategy design and implementation.
"I’m also excited to welcome Andy Schmitt to the Westlake Ace Hardware team. I worked with Andy extensively during our time at the Ace Hardware corporate headquarters — he will be an exceptional addition to our leadership team.”
Westlake Ace Hardware is the popular name of Ace Retail Holdings, the subsidiary of Oak Brook, Illinois-based Ace Hardware Corp.
Jeffries joined Westlake Ace Hardware in 2014 as the COO. Prior to joining Westlake Ace Hardware, Jeffries was CEO and COO at A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts Inc., a regional chain of arts and crafts retail stores. Before that, Jeffries spent eight years with Office Depot, where he held several executive positions that oversaw retail store operations, space planning and visual presentation. He also spent 13 years with Home Quarters Warehouse, where he started his career.
Schmitt joined Ace Hardware in 2010 as senior finance manager. In 2011, he transitioned to the retail operations department, where he held various positions including director of retail operations for the Western Division, regional manager (Texas), and corporate manager of retail operations.
Prior to joining Ace, Schmitt was director of finance for Factory Card and Party Outlet, a division of Party City. He also held various financial and procurement roles with Allstate Insurance Company. Schmitt holds a bachelor of science degree in finance from Illinois State University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.
In June 2017, Westlake Ace Hardware announced the acquisition of two new neighborhood hardware stores, bringing the chain’s total store count to 100 locations.
DA and PRO Group plan for meeting
Two major players in hardware distribution set the date for their Executive Planning Conference. Manufacturers will meet with Distribution America and PRO Group-affiliated distributors at the annual meeting Nov. 14-16, 2017.
Developing new business relationships and strengthening existing partnerships is the focus of the event. The three-day conference provides manufacturers the opportunity to meet face to face with key distributor executives. A golf tournament and other networking events are planned.
Event organizers say the EPC has paved the way for group manufacturers to gain traction within the network of Distribution America and PRO Group distributors. They provided the following comments from attendees.
• “The Executive Planning Conference is a cost effective and time saving way of meeting with the majority of our customers’ decision makers,” said Jake Golab, retail sales manager at B&K.
• “We implemented programs with key members that will drive sales of retail assortments and add more profit to the bottom line,” said Jeffrey Herrin, national account manager at Southwire Co.
The EPC will be held at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Florida.
Fairway hires two new sales managers
Fairway Building Products has brought on two new territory sales managers to lead business development efforts in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Dan O’Boyle will be overseeing the South Central Pennsylvania region. He was most recently serving as a Regional Sales Manager for Ryan Herco Flow Solutions, a distributor of fluid control/filtration systems and handling products.
Bill Goldsmith's territory will include Maryland and Northern Virginia. He has over 20 years of experience in the building products industry, including stints at companies like Allied Building Products, Carter Lumber and 84 Lumber.
“Dan and Bill both bring a wealth of experience to our distribution company,” said Greg Burkholder, president and CEO of Fairway Building Products. “We are excited about the contributions they will make at Fairway and deliver to our growing customer base.”