Spirit of Life in Orlando
Ray Griffith will find himself in good company on Feb. 7.
The CEO of Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. will share the spotlight at an Orlando, Fla., ceremony on the eve of the International Builders’ Show. Griffith will be the Spirit of Life honoree at the 30th anniversary celebration of City of Hope’s Hardware/Homebuilding Industry group.
“This is an honor for Ace Hardware, but I recognize that my name and photo are attached,” Griffith told Home Channel News. “I feel privileged and happy to help.”
City of Hope is the Southern California-based research and treatment facility known as one of the top cancer hospitals in the country. Over the past 30 years, the Hardware/Homebuilding Industry has helped raise more than $140 million for the charity.
Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus, a 2001 Spirt of Life honoree, is slated to serve as master of ceremonies for the event.
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Maine governor opens the green gates
Maine is the latest battleground among competing “green” forest certification groups.
Maine Governor Paul LePage signed an executive order in December directing that “any new or expanded state buildings shall incorporate ‘Green Building’ standards that give certification credits equally to forest products grown, manufactured and certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standard, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), American Tree Farm System and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification systems.”
FSC is the only system allowed in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating, a rule that rankles competing groups.
What could be more fair than a level playing field? Well, before you could say, “timber,” voices from the environmental industry fired with both barrels.
“Gov. LePage’s executive order is deceptive and potentially undermines the health and long-term sustainability of Maine’s forests,” said Karen Woodsum, program director of the Maine Woods Campaign of the Sierra Club. Or this one from the National Resource Defense Council’s Sami Yassa: “By moving the state’s emerging green-building economy backwards, LePage is attacking one of the bright spots in the economy right now. His support of unsustainable forestry defies the interests of his citizens and common sense.”
In support of the governor, the SFI fired back against the current rules that give green preference to FSC wood offshore over SFI-certified wood in North America. “This policy is great news for North American communities,” said Kathy Abusow, SFI CEO.
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At Sears, experienced merchant gets to work
When Sears hired Lou D’Ambrosio as CEO, some analysts raised questions about his lack of retail experience. Come what may for the struggling retail giant, there will be no similar questions about its latest hire, Ron Boire.
Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears hired Boire as its executive VP and chief merchandising officer to oversee merchandising and retail stores for Sears and Kmart brands. Boire is the former president and CEO of the upscale, mall staple Brookstone. Before that, Boire was president, U.S. Toys, North America for Toys “R” Us, overseeing merchandising, marketing and operations for 600 stores in the United States. Also on his resume is an executive role at Best Buy.
An experienced hand is a much-needed tool for Sears in 2012, which announced plans to close 100 to 120 stores after a softer-than-expected holiday sales season. All hands are on deck to transform the company into a multichannel and digital retailing leader.
In a prepared statement, Boire said all the right things: “I understand the company’s challenges, but I am more persuaded by the company’s opportunities and strengths.”
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