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Acuity Brands Announces New President of Acuity Lighting, Lighting Controls Business

Acuity Brands Inc. recently announced that Trevor S. Palmer was appointed president of the company’s lighting and lighting controls business (ABL).

Palmer assumed responsibility for driving innovation across the company’s lighting and lighting controls products, growing market share and executing the digital transformation of the business on March 1.

He has more than 27 years of experience in the building technology industry and recently served as senior vice president of Acuity Brands’ Digital Lighting Networks business.

“Trevor has successfully led and grown our lighting controls business, a key driver for our future,” said Neil M. Ashe, chairman, president and CEO of Acuity Brands. “Trevor is a proven leader with an outstanding reputation for driving performance and for cultivating strong relationships within our independent sales network. I’m excited to have him in this expanded role as he executes on our vision to transform and grow our business.”

Richard K. Reece will take on the combined role of executive vice president of the company and vice chairman of ABL. In this role, he will continue to partner with Ashe on corporate and business development activities and he will work with Palmer to deepen Acuity Brands agency engagement across its independent sales network and to ensure a smooth transition of its ABL business.

For more information, visit

OmniCable Hires Todd Sweeney as VP of Business Development

Omni Cable LLC recently added Todd Sweeney as vice president of business development. In this role, Sweeney is responsible for identifying and implementing company growth initiatives.

Sweeney brings more than 12 years of industry experience. “Todd brings great knowledge of our customer base, all of our industrial products and in particular, some of our near-term growth initiative products. He is an experienced leader of people, businesses and sales organizations, successfully leading and managing large businesses,” said Greg Lampert, OmniCable president and CEO. “I am confident that he will be a great cultural fit as he knows the company well, and many at OmniCable know him from his interactions with us as a supplier partner.”

Prior to joining OmniCable, Sweeney spent the last two years with A-Z Wire and Cable as senior vice president of sales and corporate strategy driving significant growth. Before that, he spent 10 years at General Cable (Prysmian now) as vice president of industrial sales, vice president and general manager of the Industrial and Construction Business Unit and vice president of sales and marketing for the Prestolite business.

For more information, visit

Atkore Inc. Acquires FRE Composites® Group.

Atkore Inc. has acquired FRE Composites® Group, a leading manufacturer of fiberglass conduit solutions for the electrical, transportation, telecommunications, and infrastructure markets.

FRE Composites manufactures fiberglass conduit systems that are lightweight, corrosion resistant and easy to install. The company offers its premier BreathSaver® product, which is the only conduit system listed to the UL 2196 2-Hour Fire Test for both vertical and horizontal installations, making it an ideal choice for numerous applications.

FRE Composites is headquartered in Saint-André-d'Argenteuil near Montréal, Québec with an additional production facility in Pueblo, Colorado. With approximately 90 employees, it will continue operating at both locations.

For more information, visit

Southwire to Build Copper Rod Manufacturing Plant

Supporting its long-term modernization strategy and building on its goal to remain generationally sustainable for the next 100 years and beyond, Southwire will soon begin construction of a copper rod manufacturing plant in Carrollton, Georgia, featuring an SCR-9000S Copper Rod System.

Southwire started operation of its current copper rod system in Carrollton in 1980, and four decades later, copper continues to be the primary source of metal for the company’s wire and cable operations. Construction of the new plant is expected to begin in the first quarter, and production should begin in the new facility by the end of 2022. When the construction project is completed, the current system will be decommissioned.

The new 100,000 square-foot facility will be located on the same property as the existing manufacturing plant and will utilize the company’s patented Southwire Continuous Rod (SCR®) technology, which transformed the wire and cable industry in the early 1960s and is still the preferred system around the world. The new SCR system in Carrollton will have the capability to produce more copper rod than any other SCR rod system in the world.

In support of Southwire’s Carbon Zero initiative to achieve 100% carbon-free energy for our operations by 2025, Southwire is partnering with Carroll EMC to utilize all renewable electricity for the facility.

For more information, visit

Klein Tools, Top Workplaces USA, Names 2020 Electrician of the Year

Klein Tools recently announced John Kinney from Woburn, Massachusetts, as the winner of its annual Electrician of the Year award. As the 2020 grand prize winner, Klein Tools awarded Kinney a check for $1,000 cash and $1,000 in Klein Tools products to help support and grow his company, Kinney Electric.

A panel of Klein Tools employees looked not only at the electricians’ continued excellence in their field, but also their focus on personal safety as well as the safety of those around them and their dedication to supporting their local communities.

“We are proud to present John Kinney as the 2020 Electrician of the Year,” said Greg Palese, vice president of marketing at Klein Tools. “This year, we reviewed hundreds of applications from talented electricians from across the country. John stood out to us not only for his skill as an electrician, but for his continued dedication to his community.”

For more information on the Electrician of the Year award and all winners, visit

In other company news, Klein Tools earned the 2021 Top Workplaces USA award, issued by Energage, a purpose-driven organization that develops solutions to build and brand Top Workplaces. This is the inaugural year for Top Workplaces USA, built on the program’s 14-year history surveying more than 20 million employees across 54 markets for the regional Top Workplaces awards.

“As a 164-year old representative of the American manufacturing industry, we are honored to receive this recognition as a Top Workplace in the United States,” said Klein Tools Chairman Thomas Klein Sr. “We are especially proud of how all of our hardworking Klein Tools’ employees, on the plant floors through senior leadership, have not only maintained, but also strengthened our company culture while processing and adapting to some of the most drastic operational challenges in recent memory.”

Winners of the Top Workplaces USA list are chosen based solely on employee feedback gathered through an employee engagement survey issued by Energage.

For more information, visit

Atkore’s New Mobile Showroom Tours Country

Atkore has launched a new hands-on Mobile Showroom that brings interactive training and product demonstrations directly to customers’ and contractors’ front door or job site.

The new mobile showroom is traveling across the United States and is staffed by Atkore technical sales managers who provide an on-the-spot learning experience.

The Mobile Showroom allows customers and contractors to learn about the breadth of Atkore’s industry-leading electrical products and experience its innovative products and solutions.

With safety always at the forefront, Atkore is focused on protecting visitors by adhering to cleaning, social distancing, face mask requirements and other safety protocols.

For more information and to make a reservation, visit

Topaz Opens New Distribution Center in Northeast

Topaz Lighting Inc. opened a 200,000 square-foot distribution center in Monroe Township, New Jersey. The consolidation of inventory from the company’s Pennsylvania and New York warehouses into a single new flagship location will improve fill rates and reduce split deliveries.

With enough racking to store 20,000 pallets of material, this facility will serve as the northeast distribution hub supplying Topaz’s customers and Topaz’s rep warehouses.

“Our new facility is an integral part of our nationwide distribution capability,” said Dave Ingemi, vice president of supply chain and global operations. “The sheer capacity of product that can be housed in the facility and its proximity to the port gives us maximum capability in supplying customers, our other two distribution centers, and our 12 stocking rep facilities located strategically throughout the country.”

For more information, visit

Milbank Manufacturing Earns Safety Award

Milbank Manufacturing’s Kansas City plant was recently recognized with the Safety Innovation Award from the Missouri Association of Manufacturers as part of its annual Safety Excellence Awards program. This award recognizes a manufacturer that best demonstrates how innovation within the organization has been developed and applied to create significant safety, health and/or environmental improvements and operational effectiveness.

The success of Milbank’s commitment to safety is evident in the following areas:

  • Empowering employees by building open lines of communication.
  • Positive reinforcement of safe behaviors
  • Visual reminders throughout the plant of safety precautions and employee successes

Milbank’s safety department works closely with the continuous improvement and training departments to obtain measurable improvements in all aspects of the facility and to openly communicate these metrics to employees.

For more information, visit

Ledvance Names VP of Trade Sales

Ledvance LLC recently announced Jonathan Lubeck has been named vice president of trade sales for the United States and Puerto Rico. A veteran of more than 30 years with the company, Lubeck has held a wide range of sales Jonathan Lubeck and marketing leadership and individual contributor positions. In his most recent role, Lubeck served as vice president of agent sales, while also managing trade sales in the northeast region.

For more information, visit

Shat-R-Shield Promotes Kevin Ruzicka to Director of Sales

Shat-R-Shield Inc. recently promoted Kevin Ruzicka to director of sales. Ruzicka started in the electrical industry in 2007 and has held positions with Fishco Group, Holophane, Holt Electrical Supplies and was hired by Shat-R-Shield as

the north central regional sales manager in May 2018.

In the role of director of sales, Ruzicka will serve on Shat-R-Shield’s Senior Leadership Team, reporting to Karen Clouse, Shat-R-Shield’s president. Shat-R-Shield’s regional sales managers, customer service manager and pricing analyst will report to Ruzicka.

For more information, visit

Arlington Presents Sales Awards

Arlington Industries Inc. recently announced the recipients of its rep sales awards for 2020 sales of Arlington’s MADE IN USA unique, innovative, and labor-saving products.

Presented to firms representing Arlington at this year’s virtual one-on-one National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA) meetings, they recognize outstanding sales achievement by this high-performing

group during an especially challenging pandemic year.

  • Inside Salesperson of the Year, given by Arlington’s customer service staff to the inside salesperson delivering the best performance at a firm representing Arlington: Andrea Baird of Electrical Lines Inc.
  • National Sales Achievement Award: George Pickett & Associates Inc.
  • Central Region Sales Achievement Award: Walker-Loudermilk Co.
  • Western Region Sales Achievement Award: G.T. Sales
  • Eastern Region Sales Achievement Award: Holbrook-Associated
  • Canadian Sales Achievement Award: TMC Sales

Arlington extends its congratulations to all of the winners.

For more information, visit

NEMRA Announces New Appointments

NEMRA announced the appointment of three officers to its Board of Directors and four executive committee members to the NEMRA Manufacturers Group (NMG).

The new appointments to NEMRA’s Board of Directors include Lawrence C. Rodger III, CPMR of Synergy Electrical in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania; Joe LiPuma of Yusen Associates in Woburn, Massachusetts; and Tony Munden of Munden Enterprises in Bedford, Nova Scotia. ”I am very pleased to welcome these newest members to our Board of Directors,” said Jim Johnson, president of NEMRA. ”They each have a unique background, with diverse experiences that make them an asset to NEMRA’s Board of Directors and to the organization as a whole.”

New appointments to the NMG Executive Committee include Phillip Gerard, vice president, sales, Panduit; Jeff Bristol, senior vice president, C&I sales & corporate Tony Munden marketing, MaxLite; Melissa Kidd, senior vice president, sales, Atkore International; and Goran Haag, president, Champion Fiberglass. ”Reps and manufacturers rely on one another for growing market share and in developing channel relationships,” said Johnson. ”Each of these individuals embody this understanding and bring talent, expertise and energy to the committee.” NMG provides its members with a forum where manufacturers and representatives can improve communications, reduce transaction costs, add value and increase opportunities for professional development.

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DDS Hires Customer Success Manager

Distributor Data Solutions (DDS) recently announced that electrical distribution and e-commerce veteran Pam Nation has joined its team as head of a new customer success initiative. As DDS’ new customer success manager, Nation brings more than 15 years of distribution and e-business experience to help DDS customers excel at their online and digital offerings.

Her vast knowledge of data, wholesale distribution and e-commerce are an ideal mix to help DDS customers navigate their e-business journeys, including employing best practices and avoiding pitfalls.

Prior to joining DDS, Nation served as e-business analyst at Springfield Electric Supply Co., a highly regarded electrical distributor based in Illinois and one of DDS’ longest distributor customers, where she helped spearhead Springfield’s data management and webstore initiatives, overseeing internal process improvements as well as substantial growth of their online sales channel.

For more information, visit

DDI System Launches Inform ERP Software Version 22

DDI System recently released Inform ERP Software Version 22, which offers dozens of new features. Drag and drop scheduling adds warehouse transfer shipments alongside customer delivery orders using Inform’s unique Truck Manifest. Track daily and operator picking status and completion rate for both warehouse transfers and customer sales orders on the Order Picker Progress screen.

Inform’s redesigned make-to-order assembly/fabrication display embeds kit components in line with the container product. In the components’ grid, each user customizes their display to add new editable fields with an easy-to-use column chooser. New make-to-order features make assemblies easier than ever with the ability to create new component items on-the-fly and procure kit components directly from order entry.

This product release integrates with Mailgun to send and analyze email campaigns crafted directly in the ERP. Inform Marketing Manager builds targeted lists based on customer sales history and standard customer attributes and provides a simple HTML email editor to craft graphically rich messages complete with product images and links to your e-commerce site.

For more information, visit