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True Value hires communications director

BY HBSDEALER Staff

True Value has hired Jean Niemi, a former Home Depot communications executive, as the Chicago-based co-op’s new senior director, corporate communications. 

A veteran communications executive with more than 15 years of experience at Fortune 500 corporations and leading public relations agencies, Niemi will lead and oversee all media relations, executive engagements, employee and retailer communications, and manage the corporate communications team.

She will report directly to senior VP and chief customer officer Blake Fohl. She most recently was at Kraft Foods Group, where she was head of corporate affairs with responsibilities for external and internal communications as well as community involvement. 

Prior to that, she was at Home Depot for almost nine years, guiding the strategic communications execution for corporate positioning initiatives, including brand, executive and industry communications. She also worked across business units to develop integrated traditional and social media campaigns.

Jean also brings a wealth of agency experience to the table. She was the vice president of GCI Group of Atlanta, where she oversaw the agency’s first shelter practice specializing in all aspects of the “built environment,” developing high-level communications strategy for multiple accounts including; The Home Depot, EXPO Design Center, DuPont, Georgia Pacific, Cingular, GarageTek, and Solutia. She also worked at Hill and Knowlton and Rubenstein Public Relations. 

She holds a bachelor’s of art from St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, New York. She is affiliated with the Arthur W. Page Society Future Leaders and the Ronald McDonald House Charities. 

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Whirlpool embraces chores in marketing campaign

BY HBSDealer Staff

In a new marketing effort, Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Whirlpool is celebrating the joy of chores with the launch of its “Every day, care” campaign.

The new campaign, according to Whirlpool, departs from the ‘feature wars’ and ‘one-upmanship’ common in the industry. 

“The campaign is about people, real modern families, and the impact of the care they give and receive every day.  It’s about proving how often thankless tasks are so important – they are part of the emotional glue holding families together, ” said William Beck, senior director of Mass Brands and Channel Marketing for Whirlpool. “It’s a higher purpose that’s driving our brand and a natural space for Whirlpool, because we’ve been a part of these daily moments of care that have taken place in American homes for over 100 years.”

Whirlpool says it’s a common misperception that chores are a necessary evil. The appliance brand pointed to studies that show chores are a catalyst for academic achievement, decreased truancy rates, and even building stronger family bonds.  

Studies confirm that pervasive negative attitudes of chores not only cause stress in the household but also may negatively affect future participation.

Tapping into consumer and cultural insights, the brand says it saw a deeper meaning to the role appliances play in family care. It wasn’t only about the best working machine, the latest features, and the desire for saved time; what mattered most was caring for their family. 

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New name for company formerly known as Xylem

BY HBSDealer Staff

Xylem Group, LLC, a kitchen and bath products company, has changed its corporate name to Xync Brands, LLC. 

The company also changed is the former Xylem product brand name—now Ryvyr —and its former Xylem Hospitality division name, which has become Xync Contract. 

The name changes of the Roswell, Georgia based company take effect immediately. 

With a concentration in the kitchen and bath industry, Xync Brands president Hal Weinstein plans to take the new Ryvyr brand name to market with an array of upcoming, exciting new products. 

“The brand name Ryvyr, a playful variation of  the word river, represents flowing ingenuity from which streams of products designed and crafted for total satisfaction will stem,” says Weinstein, adding that Ryvyr product designs will be named after a river somewhere in the world. Future products will use the existing global manufacturing reach of Xync Brands. 

Among the products are distinct vessel sinks pair with a myriad of furniture designs. Natural stone and ceramic countertops match exquisitely with finely crafted vanities, and mirrors pair effortlessly to create individual designs. 

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