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Golden Hammer Profile: Leviton

BY Steph Koyfman

Taking home the 2014 Golden Hammer Award for Electrical Supplies was Leviton, Melville, New York-based supplier of electrical wiring systems, network solutions and lighting products.

What set this electrical company apart from the others was its ability to recognize needs as they arise in the marketplace and respond to them at a rapid and innovative clip.

"Leviton strives to deliver innovative and smart solutions that meet the demands of the marketplace, create smart environments and improve people’s lives – from adding product functionality to improving reliability to simplifying ease of use and installation," said VP sales and marketing Carol Lynch. 

A few examples of this: Leviton’s Universal Dimmers, which help take the guesswork out of matching dimmers and bulbs (whether they’re LED, CFL or incandescent). Additionally, there’s the USB Charging Device, which makes it possible to charge one’s electronic gadget of choice without taking up a wall outlet. The Slim Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter was invented as a space-saving solution, taking up 25% less space in the wallbox than other GFCIs.

At this rate, more is certainly to be expected of Leviton, which was originally founded as a tinsmithing business producing mantle tips for gas lighting in 1906 by Russian immigrant Isidor Leviton. In 2014, the company has its sights set on sustainability and energy efficiency, as well as more innovations in safety products (Lynch cites the SmartlockPro Self-Test GFCI, which automatically performs a test every 15 minutes to make sure protected power is available).

Of course, bringing Leviton to ultimate Golden Hammer status is its treatment of customers.

"Leviton’s commitment to our customers is evident in every solution we make available," said Lynch. "From the top-down, Leviton holds reliability, safety, service and an uncompromising focus on quality as sacred tenets for operating our business to ensure we meet the needs of our customers and remain ahead of industry trends."

The above is one of a series of profiles recognizing this year’s Golden Hammer Vendor winners, to appear on HomeChannelNews.com and in HCN Daily. Thirty-one Golden Hammer Vendor winners were honored this year at the 2014 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

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Toro mowers help Liverpool course prep for British Open

BY David Salazar

Over 150 British Open golfers will be vying for glory on the green this weekend at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. To get the course in shape for the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the golf course staff looked to Toro mowers.

For the past 10 years, the course has had an exclusive contract with Toro, and they renewed in 2013 for five more years, which brought 10 new eco-friendly mowers to the links.

One of the century-old company’s models used in the run-up to the British Open was the TriFlex hybrid mower, which the course started using as a demo product in 2011.

“I prefer the new riding position, the onboard diagnostics are very useful for our mechanics and I like the whole concept of removing the hydraulics from the cutting units, which virtually eliminates hydraulic leaks,” course manager Craig Gilholm said. “We’ve got two for our greens, plus another two for cutting our tees and surrounds.”

In addition the hybrid riding mower, the course also uses six of Toro’s all-electric eFlex walking mowers with brush attachments.

“These are a new concept to us, being all-electric,” Gilholm said. “We had three machines out cutting the other day and can do seven greens on a single charge per machine. According to Toro, we should be able to do up to nine greens without the attachment, so that’s impressive for a battery-powered machine.”

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Houzz launches site tailored to U.K. users

BY David Salazar

Palo Alto-based home renovation platform Houzz has crossed the pond, launching a site focused on users in the United Kingdom.

Houzz allows homeowners to connect with design and architecture professionals and each other for their renovation projects. Now the company’s million U.K. users will be able to find professionals and source nearby materials for their renovation projects

“U.K. users have been an important and growing part of the Houzz community and we’re thrilled to deliver a dedicated U.K. site and team to better serve their needs,” co-founder and CEO Adi Tatarko said. “Now U.K. homeowners can access relevant content and a growing network of professionals, in addition to the global resources Houzz provides.”

Houzz’s team in London will be led by Vivienne Sung, who has been the company’s U.K. managing director since January, and who is an advisor at mobile dating app Dattch and London-based dog boarding site myDogBuddy.

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