OAK BROOK, IL -- Ace Hardware Corporation, the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry, recently announced changes to its board of directors.
A total of 11 individuals, including nine Ace Hardware retailers and two external business professionals, comprise the Ace Hardware board of directors, which sets strategic policy and direction for Ace management.
The Ace Hardware board of directors elected its new chairman, Jim Ackroyd, chief executive officer of Vision Ace Hardware, an 11-store chain in southwest Florida. Ackroyd was elected vice chairman in 2013 as part of a planned chairman transition. Ackroyd was also re-elected to another three-year term as a member director of the Ace Hardware board of directors.
Ackroyd, 58, has been a member of the Ace Hardware board of directors since 2008 and served as chairman of Westlake Hardware, Inc. and as a board member of Ace Hardware International Holdings, LLC. Ackroyd previously worked for Arthur Young, Congoleum Corporation, Albany International and Ackroyd Consulting (real estate consulting). He was the chief financial officer for Incon Corp. and the Wynn Group of Companies. Ackroyd holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Bentley College and is a certified public accountant.
Mark Schulein, 44, president of Crown Ace Hardware, a 16-store chain based in Huntington Beach, Calif., was elected a member director. Schulein is a second-generation owner of Crown Ace Hardware; he has been actively involved in the business for the past 20 years. In 2013 Schulein was recognized as a nominee for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals National Corporate Person of the Year and sits on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity in Orange County, Calif. He graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Effective March 1, 2014, non-member director John Costello resigned from the Ace Hardware board of directors due to schedule conflicts arising from his role as president of global marketing and innovation officer for Dunkin Brands, Inc. The board of directors appointed Richard W. Bennet III, effective June 10, 2014, as a non-member director to serve Costello's unexpired term.
Bennet, 61, is co-chief executive officer of CCA Global Partners based in St. Louis. CCA Global Partners is an international cooperative that provides retail infrastructure to more than 2,700 independent and franchise operations in the flooring, and other industries. Bennet holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Central Missouri and a Master of Business Administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Non-member director Jeffrey Girard was re-elected to the Ace Hardware board of directors. Girard, 66, owns and manages Beam Dynamics, Inc., a private business that manufactures precision metal components used in scientific research. Girard is qualified as an audit committee financial expert for SEC purposes based on his tenure as CFO at two Fortune 500 companies.
Member director David Karsten was also re-elected to the Ace Hardware board of directors. Karsten, 50, is president and CEO of Karsten's Ace Hardware, a three-store chain in Arizona, a position he has held since 2001. In 2014, Karsten became a Governance Fellow for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the highest level of credentialing for corporate directors and corporate governance professionals.
Member director Gina Schaefer was re-elected to the Ace Hardware board of directors. Schaefer, 43, owns and operates nine Ace Hardware stores in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. In 2013, Schaefer was named a "Woman Worth Watching" by the Profiles in Diversity Journal publication.
About Ace Hardware
For 90 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the place with the helpful hardware folks in thousands of neighborhoods across America, providing customers with a more personal kind of helpful. In 2014, Ace ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Eight Years in a Row," according to J.D. Power. With more than 4,850 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe, Ace is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace and its subsidiaries currently operate 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Shanghai, China; Panama City, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 60 countries. For more information on Ace, visit www.acehardware.com.