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Readers Respond: Safety in the store

BY HBSDEALER Staff

An article about dangerous home improvement activities generated this letter about unattended children inside stores.

"One of the biggest issues I find with customer safety are customers who do not mind their children. Kids think hardware and home improvement stores are playgrounds, and parents think the store is the babysitter. As a responsible retailer, it is your job to educate the parents on the dangers of not supervising their own children. Your staff cannot be the babysitter, the nanny or the entertainer. Your employees have difficult jobs, selling to customers and the never-ending task lists that must be completed to maintain your business, which is hard enough without having to keep saying, ‘Johnny, don’t climb up on that’ or ‘Suzie don’t crawl in there’ every five minutes. My approach is simple and direct. I tell the parents that I am not the babysitter and that it is their responsibility to mind their kids.

I even had customers leave their children in my store and go to another store, expecting my staff to watch them. This is an accident waiting to happen."
— Rocco Arena

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LACN to hold “Second Growth” Summer Conference

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lumberyard executives from California and Nevada will learn about global demand for wood supply and its impact on markets in the United States during the Second Growth Summer Conference July 21 to 22 hosted by the Lumber Association of California & Nevada (LACN).

The Second Growth series is designed for lumber executives aged 40 and under — although the 40-and-over crowd is also welcome at the events.

The July 21 to 22 event will be held at Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Gordon Culbertson of Forest 2 Market will lead a session called "The China Syndrome; how will historical trends affecting timber resources and growth in developing countries shape future US markets?" Another session will focus an mentoring, and allow discussion on the past, present and future direction of the industry.

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A.O. Smith names new controller

BY HBSDealer Staff

Milwaukee, Wis.-based A. O. Smith announced that Daniel Kempken has been named VP and controller.

In his new position, Kempken will oversee the accounting, financial planning, internal audit and risk management functions for the global manufacturer of residential and commercial water heating equipment.

“Dan enjoys broad ranging accounting experience, both on a domestic and international basis,” said John Kita, executive VP and chief financial officer. “He is well acquainted with GAAP and SEC guidelines, as well as requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley law. In addition, he has extensive experience in acquisitions and divestitures.”

Kempken, a certified public accountant, brings more than 13 years of public accounting experience to A. O. Smith. Most recently, he was a senior manager with Ernst & Young’s Milwaukee office.

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