Centuries in the Making: The Requarth Co. (est. 1860)
The April issue of HBSDealer profiled a handful of lumberyards that have survived and thrived beyond the century mark. One of the keys to success across the board: They move on when opportunities present themselves.
See the April 2018 digital edition here.
What follows below is a look at The Reqaurth Co., an Ohio institution since 1860.
The Requarth Co. (est. 1860)
Providing lumber and building materials for the Wright Brothers is just one example of Requarth’s deep role in helping to make history in Dayton, Ohio. During the general contractor phase of its existence, the company constructed Dayton’s tallest building in 1904.
More recently, Requarth has moved to preserve the city history, by remodeling the downtown warehouse that served the company for about five generations, converting it into an award-winning architectural showpiece and modern showroom. The results have been historic: In 2017, the company enjoyed its best year of sales in 157 years.
President Alan Pippenger is the great-great grandson of company founder Frederick August Requarth. He told HBSDealer that the company’s history is important to the day-to-day operations in a number of ways.
“First, it’s a story about resilience, surviving the economic panics of the late 19th century, the world wars and all those events,” he said.
Its history also serves as a daily reminder of the need to transform and reinvent. The company has developed in various stages since 1860, beginning as a wood turning shop, then a material supply company, then it shifted into the role of general contractor. After the Great Depression and World War II, Requarth became a supplier to home builders. And in the 1960s, the company operated three home centers.
“You look back at our history, each generation has to reinvent and add to our deep ties to this community,” he said. “From the Wright Brothers on, we’ve been an important part of this community. And thanks to that, people will drive downtown to look at kitchens.”
Today, The Requarth Co. has found its stride as “your source for cabinetry lumber and more.” That description reflects the company’s 2011 acquisition of Supply One Cabinets, a Dayton-area family business that also has nurtured multiple generations of roots in the community.
The move from a contractor-based dealer to a pro dealer with a kitchen-and-bath showroom operation required some changes.
“It brought a lot more consumers into the location, and made it more important for them to find us,” he said. “[As a result], we upped our marketing effort dramatically.”
This included an upscale Requarth website that puts an emphasis on design and high-quality images. But the company is actively thinking ahead to the next generation of consumer interaction tools.
“Unfortunately, websites are old news,” Pippenger said. “Right now, our website is reaching our customer base, but it won’t in five or 10 years. We’re starting to think now about where that’s going.”
Evolving and adapting are hallmarks of the company — even name changes. Its acquisition of Supply One in 2011 eventually led to a name change from Requarth Lumber to the temporary Requarth Supply One to the current The Requarth Co., with “Lumber, Millwork & Kitchen” built into the logo.
But the most important phrase in the Requarth playbook is “every job done right” — which emerged through careful and open strategic planning.
“That’s what’s on our T-shirts,” Pippenger said. “That’s what we talk about in employee meetings when we share ‘every job done right’ stories with each other. That’s really the core of what we strive for as a company.”
McCoy’s names first regional support manager
McCoy’s Building Supply, the San Marco, Texas-based pro dealer and farm and ranch retailer, has made a series of managerial promotions, including the creation of its first regional support manager position.
John Brown — a native of Lufkin, Texas, and a 30-year veteran of McCoy’s, who began his career working part-time in the lumberyard of his hometown store — has been appointed to the new position. For the past 17 years, Brown has served as manager of the Lufkin location.
In his new role, Brown will provide direct support to McCoy’s store managers as they mentor assistant managers and others in the company.
“Mentorship, versus education alone, is a hallmark of a McCoy’s leader,” said Meagan McCoy Jones, executive VP and COO. “For us to ensure all our leaders are growing as mentors, we’ll need some additional support, and John is particularly gifted in this way.”
After celebrating its 90th anniversary last year, McCoy’s said that the new position highlights the company’s commitment to growth in the 21st century. “John thoroughly knows our company culture and has always demonstrated such high integrity and concern for others,” said CEO Brian McCoy. “He is a time-tested and dynamic leader at McCoy’s and was the ideal choice for this new position.”
“My primary focus will be the growth and development of our future leaders,” Brown shared. “It is critical that everyone have the opportunity to identify and achieve their purpose. I’m excited for the opportunity to support the success of our current and future leaders.”
McCoy’s has also appointed Tyler Fenley as store manager of its Lufkin location. Fenley joined McCoy’s 10 years ago as part of the yard crew at Lufkin and worked as an assistant manager in several Texas locations including Nacogdoches, Palestine and Longview. Later, Fenley was promoted to store manager of McCoy’s Searcy, Ariz. Store, which he managed for the past three years.
“I’m excited to return home and be able to serve the community that I grew up in. It’s great to be reunited with the Lufkin team and see these familiar faces,” says Fenley. “Our customers can expect continued excellent customer service from a caring team who is here to serve.”
Regional Manager Darien Swann shares, “Tyler did an outstanding job of developing and leading his team in Searcy. I am honored to welcome him back home to Lufkin.”
Also, Laura Tafoya has been named store manager of McCoy’s League City, Texas, location.
Tafoya joined McCoy’s nearly three years ago as part of its Management Development Program, working first in the Stephenville, Texas, store before being promoted to assistant manager of the company’s Longview location.
“The MDP exposed me to the many different aspects of being a manager,” Tafoya said. “And it’s really prepared me to connect with my new team in League City and its market.”
McCoy’s Building Supply is one of the nation’s largest privately held building supply retailers and operates 87 stores and two millwork facilities in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and New Mexico.
Kodiak acquires Specialty Appliance
Denver-based Kodiak Building Partners acquired Specialty Appliance, a Colorado-based appliance dealer that serves residential and pro markets. The company will join Kodiak’s Interiors Group, one of its four segments.
Specialty Appliance was founded in 1998 by Denver natives Kirk Dryden and Greg Ulvedal. Both men will continue to run Specialty Appliance, under the leadership of industry veteran Doug Rapier, Kodiak announced.
“Specialty Appliance was started in 1998 with a small amount of family investment and with a business plan that was agreed to on the back of a napkin at Chili’s,” said Dryden. “Now, we are very eager to be starting the next phase of our journey by joining the Interiors Group at Kodiak Building Partners.”
Also in the Kodiak Interiors group are Factory Builder Stores and Arizona Wholesale Supply.
Ulvedal added, “We started as an installation company, and now, Specialty Appliance has grown to employ more than 120 employees along the Front Range of Colorado. We look forward to working with the teams at Factory Builder Stores and Arizona Wholesale Supply in the coming years.”
Specialty Appliance operates five locations in Colorado: Denver, Greenwood Village, Fort Collins, Louisville and a new location in Colorado Springs. It serves builders, retail customers, designers and architects.”
Kodiak Chairman Paul Hylbert described Specialty Appliance as a well-known player in the Colorado markets. “We are excited to add their team members into the Kodiak family, This is an important segment for us at Kodiak, and the team and management at Specialty Appliance reinforces our strength in multiple ways.”
Steve Swinney, CEO of Kodiak stated “We’ve enjoyed the process of getting to know the owners and team at Specialty. It is clear to us why they outperform the competition. They have built a sound foundation from which to grow from here. Like so many other founders or legacy management teams, they recognized that their next stage of growth could best be supported by Kodiak and that the best environment for their team was within the very decentralized culture that Kodiak offers. We are proud to add this top-notch company into our family. We know that the addition of Specialty Appliance to Arizona Wholesale Supply and Factory Builder Stores positions us as a substantial player in these product lines and geographies.”
The move extends Kodiak’s holdings to 61 facilities in a handful of states. In addition to Interiors, the company’s three other segments are Construction Supplies, Lumber and Building Materials and Commercial Drywall and Doors.