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Mitchell Lewis is now chief at BlueLinx

BY HBSDEALER Staff

BlueLinx Holdings, Inc. has a new president and CEO in Mitchell Lewis, who will be leading the company effective Jan. 20.

Additionally, executive chairman Howard Cohen is stepping down, though he (and Lewis) will both serve as members of the board. Roy Haley, who has been on the board since May 2013, will take Cohen’s place as non-executive chairman.

"After a thorough search, we are convinced that Mitch is the ideal candidate to lead BlueLinx," said Cohen. "We believe his experience in the building products industry and his exceptional track record of driving growth will strengthen BlueLinx and build a bright future for the company."

Lewis, who has been working in the building products industry for approximately 24 years, will be leaving his most recent position as president and CEO of Euramax Holdings, Inc., an international producer of metal and vinyl products serving the residential repair and remodel, commercial construction and recreational vehicle industries.

In the past, he also worked for Amerimax Building Products, Inc. Prior to 1992, he practiced law with Alston & Bird LLP, specializing in mergers and acquisitions.

Lewis will also be joining the company’s board of directors.

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Merillat Cabinetry gears up for product launch

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Merillat Cabinetry has announced its plans to unveil a new collection of products at KBIS 2014 that will amount to somewhat of a rebranding for the company.

"Orville Merillat used to say, ‘Do your best and then some.’ This launch is our ‘then some,’" said Dan Smith, product development director.

Visitors at KBIS can expect to see six new door styles and seven new color options, including the new Bayville door style with its "pillow-like" edge and a new Dusk color.

In addition to the new cabinetry options, Merillat will also exhibit new storage products and design solutions, as well as promote its ability to ship built-to-order cabinets in as little as five days. A replica of an early kitchen hand-built by founder Orville Merillat will also be on display at the booth.

"KBIS will be an extraordinary statement for our company," said Rick Roetken, president, Masco Cabinetry. "Business is strong, we have a lot of momentum on our side, and we’re ready to show the world what we’ve been up to. We’ve spent the last two years listening, working, and building. This is a long-awaited public unveiling of those efforts as we work to build relationships, one handshake at a time."

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Central Garden & Pet reshuffles management structure

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Central Garden & Pet Company has made a couple executive appointments. Effective immediately, J.D. Walker has been tapped to lead the Garden segment, with Dan Pennington leading the wild bird and private label business. Both will report to EVP Michael Reed.

“I am pleased with the appointments of J.D. and Dan to lead their respective commercial areas of the Garden business and the return of Mike to his leadership role for our Garden segment,” said president and CEO John Ranelli. “I believe this is a winning combination of leadership and experience. Mike, J.D. and Dan are experts in their fields, and together with their knowledge of Central, we fully expect a seamless transition. I look forward to working collaboratively with the Garden team to create value for our customers, employees and shareholders.”

In his new role, Walker will be responsible for sales, marketing, innovation, control products, grass seed products, decor products, retail sales and service within the Garden business. Pennington will be charged with overseeing the wild bird business within the Garden segment, as well as Central Garden & Pet’s private label lawn and garden business.

Walker has been with the company since 2011 and has 33 years of experience in consumer packaged goods, including 16 years in garden products. His resume includes stints at Duracell, Gillette and Spectrum.

Pennington hails from Pennington Seed, where he has worked for 32 years in virtually every aspect of the business.

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