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Lowe’s manager gets call from Obama

BY HBSDEALER Staff

President Barack Obama called the Lowe’s store manager who helped guide customers and employees to the back of his store moments before the front was ripped apart by a tornado. The president thanked manager Michael Hollowell for his actions, according to a press release from the White House.

The Sanford, N.C., store was one of many buildings damaged by dozens of tornadoes that brought destruction to North Carolina on Saturday, when 21 people were killed by the storm. 

Hollowell credited his team and the corporate emergency-planning policies for the safety of the 100 or so people caught in the store. 

Based on television news show interviews of participants and witnesses, store managers and employees had to act quickly to move customers to the windowless rear of the store, and at one point they had to convince customers that there really was a danger after a tornado was reported.

No one was hurt in the incident, but the store was severely damaged. 

A statement on the White House website said the president called Michael Hollowell "to offer his gratitude for Mr. Hollowell’s swift action that saved so many lives." 

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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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