Fun facts about the 2020 Top Guns

At the 2020 National Hardware Show, a virtual event running through Oct. 15, the tradition of recognizing the “Top Guns” of retail continued as part of the event’s educational program.

This year’s class of Top Guns, as selected by the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NAHPA), features a slate of respected retailers representing a variety of business models and a common theme of community service.

Here are some fun facts about the 2020 honorees.

Will Aubuchon IV

• Will Aubuchon IV
President and CEO
W.E. Aubuchon Company

Will Aubuchon IV represents the fourth generation of the business founded by his French-Canadian great grandfather when he was just 23. The company is an undisputed American success story and now operates more than 100 stores across New England. Will, a member of the board of the NAHPA, began doing odd jobs at the family business when he was just 13 years old.

Will Aubuchon participated in a recent HBSDealer webcast on eCommerce. Check it out here.

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Kevin Hancock

• Kevin Hancock
President and CEO
Hancock Lumber

Hancock Lumber is now in its sixth generation  -- that’s right, sixth -- of family ownership. The business operates a land company, a sawmill division and 9 lumberyard locations in Maine and New Hampshire. Kevin Hancock’s forward-thinking leadership style makes for a riveting business presentation. He appreciates business success, but believes the company’s “real mission is to enhance the lives of the people who work here.”

Hancock presented many of his key leadership ideas in his book: “The Seventh Power:  One CEO’s Journey into the Business of Shared Leadership.”

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Kirby Scales, center.

• Kirby Scales
General manager
Russell Do it Center

Russell Do it Center operates nine stores in central Alabama. Scales credits his success in the business partly to luck – he submitted his resume through normal channels – and also to an aptitude for helping customers.

Scales is a wildcat supporter. In 2017 Russell Do it Center presented a carved wooden wildcat to the Benjamin Russell High School, home of the wildcats. ”We believe in committing to the schools we believe the city school systems are the heartbeat of our community and it is our civic duty to support all levels of education and athletics,” he said.

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Patrick Goebel

• Patrick Goebel
Star Lumber

Founded in 1939 by Earl Goebel, Star Lumber is one of the largest independent lumber dealers in Kansas. Patrick played a central role in the renovation of an attractive tudor revival house to benefit the Wichita Chidren’s Home charity. The Star Showcase Home project was captured in a series of videos in the style of “This Old House,” with Goebel playing the role of Bob Villa in many of the episodes.

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The National Hardware Show continues through Oct. 15. For more information, visit

[CORRECTION: The founder of Star Lumber was Earl Goebel. A previous version of this article had the name incorrect.]