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.
Do it Best names new VP marketing
Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. promoted Rich Lynch to the position of VP marketing.
Lynch will replace Tim Miller, who as previously announced will replace John Snider as VP retail logistics when Snider retires on June 30. Lynch will immediately begin serving the co-op in his new role as VP marketing. In his new position, Lynch will lead a team of executives dedicated to helping co-op member-owners grow their business through effective, flexible and scalable advertising, e-commerce, retail marketing and store design. He’ll also oversee the company’s media and promotional campaigns.
Lynch has more than 25 years of experience in the retail, home-improvement and co-op industries, and he has held the position of Do it Best retail marketing director since 2011.
"It is an absolute honor to join the outstanding executive leadership team at Do it Best Corp.," Lynch said. "I’ve enjoyed working closely with Tim over the past three years, adding to my knowledge of this organization and how we can best serve our members, and I look forward to building on the many accomplishments we’ve realized as a team."
Do it Best CEO Bob Taylor added: "As retail marketing director, Rich has consistently demonstrated a clear creative capability for launching and enhancing programs and services that hel our members grow and make the best even better."
Ace store opens in Alpharetta, Ga.
A new Ace Hardware store opened in the Crabapple section of Alpharetta, Ga., according to an article on northfulton.com.
The new store, Ace Hardware Crabapple, will hold a grand opening event that will run all day April 11. The store at 12350 B-1 Arnold Mill Rd. opened for business earlier this month.
The store is owned by Herb and Gwen Velazquez, who live in the area.
Home improvement solutions as well as paint and lawn and garden will be the emphasis.