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Home Depot employee wins silver in heptathlon

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Although the Olympic Games have concluded in Beijing, residents of Kettering, Ohio, still are celebrating the silver medal win by resident Hyleas Fountain in the Olympic heptathlon held last week. Fountain is an employee at the local Sugarcreek Township, Ohio-based Home Depot store, as part of the retailer’s Olympic Opportunities program.

Fountain is the only American other than Jackie Joyner-Kersee to medal in the heptathlon, according to the AFP news agency. The heptathlon, the women’s alternative to the men’s decathlon, combines seven events, including an 800-meter run, 100-meter hurdles, 200-meter run, high jump, shot put, long jump and javelin throw.

Fountain initially won the bronze medal, but was later awarded the silver after runner-up Lyudmila Blonska was expelled for doping on Saturday.

There were 37 Home Depot-employed athletes who qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games through the program. In all, Home Depot currently sponsors 130 athletes through the program.

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Toro’s earnings decline in third quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pointing to the weakness of the domestic economy, Toro reported fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $38.2 million, down 10.1 percent from $42.5 million last year.

New sales grew 3 percent to $492.6 million, up from $478.7 million the previous year, which the company attributed to the strength of its international business.

Professional segment net sales for the quarter increased 5.9 percent to $351.6 million, while residential sales declined 0.6 percent to $132.1 million.

The company expects overall economic conditions to remain difficult for the remainder of fiscal 2008. “In the current environment, we’ll maintain our focus on driving retail demand, managing inventory levels and addressing rising commodity costs,” said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO.

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Do it Best names e-commerce manager

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Do it Best has hired Joe Caldwell — who has a background in e-commerce infrastructure and more than five year’s experience in network administration — as its e-commerce manager.

In this position, Caldwell will oversee the development, administration and operation of the company’s Web site, doitbest.com, including coordinating on-site advertising with vendors and shipping orders. The company’s customer service center, which helps members with logistics, shipping and product information, also falls under his jurisdiction.

Caldwell will report to Bill Zielke, vp-marketing, for the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op.

Caldwell previously worked as facility manager with Brentwood, Tenn.-based American Color, one of North America’s largest full-service premedia and print companies, where he managed the print projects for Do it Best. Prior to that, he worked with Kruse International in Auburn, Ind., as a network administrator, coordinating the online and live auto auction administration.

Aresident of Fort Wayne, Ind., Caldwell is currently working toward his bachelor’s degree in internet information security at ITT Technical Institute.

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