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Jolley returns as CEO of The Merit Group

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Spartanburg, S.C.-based The Merit Group announced that Mitch Jolley will be returning as CEO for the company. Jolley served as Merit CEO from 1990 to 2009. He replaces Jay Baker, who has served as CEO since October 2009. 

The reason for the replacement was not explained explicitly, but a press release announcing the change in leadership had high praise for Baker’s contributions, and described Jolley as an executive  "uniquely qualified to lead this company as we move from a focus on transition to a focus on growth.” 

“Mitch Jolley is a man of extraordinary leadership skill, and we are excited to have him back leading our company,” said Caleb Fort, principal of The Merit Group.

The group includes paint and sundry distributor Lancaster, Merit Supply and Merit Trade Source.

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Lowe’s says Aloha to Iwilei

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s will open an 117,000-sq.-ft. store in Iwilei, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu Thursday, according to a report in the Honolulu Star Advertiser

The store will be the company’s fourth in Hawaii, and second on Oahu. According to the report, the store was originally planned in 2005, but various setbacks have delayed its opening. It will be located very close to a Home Depot and a City Mill home center.

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Central Garden & Pet makes exec appointment

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Central Garden & Pet has announced the appointment of Gus Halas as president and CEO of its Central Operating Cos., effective April 18.  Halas will report to William Brown, Central’s chairman and CEO.   

Halas has worked as a consultant to the company since 2009. From 2003 to 2009, he was chairman, president and CEO of T3 Energy Services. He previously served as president and CEO of Clore Automotive and Marley Cooling Tower Co. and held senior executive positions with a number of other companies, including Ingersoll-Dresser Pump Co. and Sulzer Industries. 

Based in Walnut Creek, Calif., Central Garden & Pet is a supplier of lawn, garden and pet products under a variety of brands, including Pennington, Kaytee, Amdro, Sevin, Ironite, Norcal and New England Pottery.

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