Local Retailer Elected To Ace Board Of Directors

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John Patricia, owner of Payson's Ace Hardware store, was elected to the corporation's board of directors at the retailer-owned cooperative's annual shareholders meeting June 6 at the company's headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill.

Patricia will serve a two-year term as director-at-large. Ace's 12-member board of directors sets strategic policy for Ace management.

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Tom Glenn, left, president of the board of directors of the Ace Hardware Corporation, welcomed Payson's own John Patricia to the board in early June. Patricia and his wife, Claudette, have owned the Payson Ace Hardware & Nursery since 1988. Patricia said his customers don't need to worry about any changes at the store while he is serving on the board. Claudette, store manager Joe Nation and the entire staff will keep Payson's Ace Hardware running smoothly.

"We are pleased that John is joining the Ace board of directors," said Tom Glenn, Ace retailer and chairman of the board.

"His history in the industry and with Ace Hardware, coupled with his success as a retailer, will give him the experience to help Ace implement its long-term business strategy."

Patricia, 55, and his wife, Claudette, have owned Ace Hardware & Nursery in Payson since 1988.

"It's quite an honor and I am pretty humbled by it," Patricia said of his election to the board. "Ace is among the top 25 retailers in the country and a member of the Fortune 500."

He has been in the hardware business since the age of 18 when he worked for a local hardware store while attending college at State University in Albany, N.Y.

After receiving his bachelor's of science degree, Patricia worked for RKB Enterprises. In the early 1980s, he worked for Ace as a retail business manager, and then left Ace to work for CCI Triad computer systems, now called Activant.

When he purchased his existing Ace store, it spanned 4,800 square feet. Following a major expansion in 1994, the store now includes 12,000 square feet of retail selling space and a 2,400-square-foot year-round outdoor nursery center, and caters mostly to do-it-yourself customers with its extensive hardware offerings.

"(The election) is not going to change things much here with Joe Nation, my manager, my wife, Claudette, and our staff running the store. I'm pretty much a background guy," Patricia said.

The new job will involve a lot more traveling, he said. Much of the work will be done with teleconferencing, but five to six times a year Patricia will go to Ace headquarters in Chicago for meetings.

As a member of the board, he will be helping develop the corporation's strategic plan, acting in an overseer capacity and auditing the company's activities.

"We give direction to the management to carry out," he explained.

Ace Hardware Corp. is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry. Annual retail sales for Ace's 4,700 hardware, home center and lumber and building materials locations top $13 billion. Ace currently operates 15 distribution centers in the United States and its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states and 70 countries.ore information on Ace can be found at www.acehardware.com.

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