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For those who give a damn

BY Ken Clark

It’s hard to say which quote inspires more sense of duty: the one from Ed Quinn, the TW Perry chairman who helped create the Yellow Ribbon Fund; or the one from Jessica Allen, a Yellow Ribbon Fund staffer who helps ease the many burdens of wounded veterans.

Here’s what Gaithersburg, Md.-based TW Perry’s Quinn said about the creation of the Fund back in 2005, when he and some other Maryland businessmen decided to do something — anything — to help patients of the National Naval Medical Center: “We were just local business guys who gave a damn, who cared about these kids.”

And here’s what Allen said about her role in the lives of wounded veterans: “What I do is take some of the suck out of this.”

Allen’s experience is colored by both sides of charitable activity. Her life changed Jan. 22, 2010, at 8 a.m., when she learned that her husband was injured while on patrol in Afghanistan. “My whole world now is taking care of wounded warriors,” she said.

The above quotes come from an article in the HCN Daily called, “Yellow Ribbon Fund strikes chord with LBM industry.”

It wasn’t just another article. There was something about the sincerity and commitment of Quinn, Allen and others engaged in helping veterans that sparked HCN into action.

They inspired the HCN Helping Veterans Crusade.

More than just a logo, the editorial crusade marks the beginning of a commitment to follow the stories and promote the charities at homechannelnews.com. The crusade marks a commitment to getting the word out about organizations and programs that help veterans.

There are so many. There’s the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which makes life easier for wounded vets. There’s Homes for Heroes that’s building a home for Jessica Allen’s family. And there’s Dealers Helping Heroes, the new program from the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA).

We’ll be covering these and many more organizations like them in the months ahead. And we’ll keep track of the many ways the industry can help with a dedicated area at homechannelnews.com.

If our humble effort can strike awareness that leads to one more successful match of need with charity, we’ll take it. 

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Sherwin-Williams hands out awards

BY Ken Clark

Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams recognized its top product partners at the company’s annual Vendor of the Year Awards ceremony, held at the Paint Stores Group 2013 National Sales Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

“The performance of these vendors was nothing short of outstanding,” said Pete Sedlak, VP marketing and purchasing, Sherwin-Williams. “We are proud to recognize these suppliers for their industry-leading innovations, sales growth and incredible support for our company and customers.”

Vendor Product of the Year Award went to Brewster Home Fashions for HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Wallpaper Collection. The line is on pace to become one of the best-selling wallpaper collections in Sherwin-Williams history.

The Vendor Marketing Award went to the 3M Company for the Roush Mustang Sweepstakes.

Other honorees for vendor of the year were: 

  • 3M: An 11-time recipient, 3M secured strong sales gains with multiple product lines sold in Sherwin-Williams stores by increasing focus on the professional painting contractor with targeted promotions;
  • Armstrong World Industries: Launching innovative and contemporary vinyl plank, tile, sheet goods and wood flooring products helped Armstrong World Industries return as a second-time honoree. The company secured strong sales gains through competitive pricing, a commitment to service and strong field training;
  • Dumond Chemical: A three-time recipient, the company updated its marketing materials to better educate the Sherwin-Williams field sales organization and showed significant sales increases. Dumond is committed to testing products to ensure the right product is selected for each job and partnered with Sherwin-Williams on the refurbishment of the iconic Hollywood Sign;
  • Mi-T-M Corp.: Mi-T-M capitalized on the power of the Internet and launched a new website with how-to videos specifically for Sherwin-Williams customers, making the company a four-time honoree. Its unique bundle of promotions delivered value and helped Mi-T-M achieve strong sales gains in 2012;
  • Trimaco: A first-time recipient, Trimaco expanded its offerings by identifying new products and niche items that meet the needs of Sherwin-Williams customers. A comprehensive professional show kit and robust support for sales representatives helped Trimaco secure sales gains in 2012; and
  • Chicago Aerosol: First-time winner Chicago Aerosol delivered excellent service and innovative product developments in a mature product category, contributing to double-digit sales growth for the past two years.

The Vendor of the Year Awards recognize partners that demonstrate exceptional sales growth, outstanding product performance, marketing support and stellar service to Sherwin-Williams paint stores and distribution centers, the company said.

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Home Depot launches spring hiring phase

BY Ken Clark

The Home Depot says it has begun filling more than 80,000 seasonal positions to assist customers during the company’s busiest selling season.

"Spring is always a special season for us, when we can offer employment opportunities for literally tens of thousands of Americans," said Tim Crow, executive VP human resources. 

The announcement follows a similar spring-hiring announcement issued by rival Lowe’s late last month. 

As both the company’s busiest hiring and selling period, spring serves as The Home Depot’s annual peak season, similar to the Christmas selling season for many retailers. Job opportunities range from part-time to full-time and are available on a market-by-market basis based on individual store needs and geographical variance in climate. 

This year’s hiring push by Home Depot includes an initiative called Online Military Skills Translator, a tool designed to help match an applicant’s military skills with positions that might offer the best fit. The Home Depot has also partnered with military-focused career fairs and will be participating in events throughout 2013. 

The retailer also says it is encouraging technical school students, college students and retirees to apply. 

Home Depot’s spring-aided second quarter of 2012 produced $20.6 billion in sales — more than 10% higher than sales reported in the first quarter ($17.8 billion) and third quarter ($18.1 billion).

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