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Toro gets ready to celebrate 100 years in business

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Toro Co. is turning 100 this July, but plans are already under way for its year-long centennial.

In reflecting on the longevity of the company, Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO, cites “the character of our people and channel partners, and their relentless commitment to serving our customers and building market leadership through innovation.”

The company has created a website that details the company’s milestones and achievements over the past 100 years, including its entry into the golf market in 1918, its more than 1,500 patents, and its development of a global network spanning over 90 countries.

Toro is also launching a social media campaign on behalf of the celebration, encouraging people to visit the website to contribute their own stories, as well as share Toro memories on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #Toro100.

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Meet Robert Kelly, LDAC’s Lumber Person of the Year

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Lumber Dealers Association of Connecticut honored their 2013 Lumber Person of the Year, Robert A. Kelly, at their 2013 Annual Banquet in November.

Kelly says it was a Wall Street Journal ad, promoting a lumberyard for sale, that first inspired him to join the industry and leave his government job during the Watergate era.

"Immediately, I had a vision of a horse-drawn wagon delivering rough-hewn beams to the docks and thought, ‘That’s for me,’" he told the LDAC.

Kelly purchased Torno Lumber and immediately encountered economic struggles when the oil crisis of 1973 hit, but thankfully, sales suddenly picked up before he fully formulated an exit strategy.

His philosophy is "to always do whatever my wife tells me to do" and to "laugh a lot and to think dirty thoughts … I also believe that there will be plenty of time to rest and catch up on sleep after death."

Kelly also served in the U.S. Marine Corp. Reserve as an infantry officer in Vietnam, where he was wounded four times. He spent 30 years in the Economics Department at Fairfield University and is a member of the American Legion, the Purple Heart Society, the Second Marine Division Association, India 3-9 Association and Leathernecks of Connecticut. He has been a member of the NRLA and LDAC since 1973.

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HCN Stock Watch: Down for the count

BY HBSDEALER Staff

HCN Top 30 stocks were dragging their feet at Friday’s close, with the vast majority taking a hit of 2% or more.

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