Evergreen Marketing Honors Members, Partners, Trainers and Sales Pros in Virtual Conference

The construction/industrial supply cooperative honored its distributor member and supplier partners of the year, top instructors and sales certifications.


The Evergreen Marketing Group made three separate announcements on Tuesday, each recapping award recipients and achievements that were honored during the group's live-streamed Virtual Conference held on Aug. 5.

Members, Suppliers of the Year

Evergreen has recognized five distributor members and five manufacturer partners as 2019 Member or Preferred Supplier of the Year. The awards were presented during the live-streamed general session of the virtual conference.

Earning distinction as 2019 Distributor Members of the Year were

Earning distinction as 2019 Preferred Suppliers of the Year were

The awards were created to recognize the top distributors and manufacturers based on multiple criteria. Distributors and manufacturers were first divided into tiers based on size. Within each tier, the distributors and manufacturers were then ranked based on a number of criteria including contribution to the group, growth, participation and member and supplier input.

Top Trainers

Evergreen GreenEvergreen awarded Billy Viars of Simpson Strong Tie and George Wall of Eagle Industries its 16th annual “George A. Sheatz Excellence in Education Award” at its Virtual Partnership Conference.

Viars and Wall earned the recognition as the top manufacturer instructors participating in the group’s 2019 training program on behalf of their companies.

Supplier instructors are rated by students and Evergreen training center staff during each school. Those instructors who achieve the highest ratings earn the award, which was named after George A. Sheatz, a former tool and fastener distributor who was instrumental in Evergreen’s Training & Education programs for nearly 20 years.

“George had a life-long commitment to professional development,” said Kevin Higginbotham, Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen. “His efforts inspired much of what we try to accomplish in the Evergreen program.” 

“Over nearly two decades, thousands of tool and fastener distributor sales people were touched by George and his passion for learning.  In winning this year’s George Sheatz Award, Viars and Wall along with their companies join an elite group of professional trainers in the tool and fastener industry.”

Past winners of the award include Bill Ley (JOBOX – Apex Tool Group), Jon Finch (Milwaukee Tool) Sean Cores (3M Fall Protection), Calvin Mixon (Construction Electrical Products), Wil Granger (DeWalt Industrial Tool Group), Sean Millham (DeWalt Industrial Tool Group), Keith Ripley (Diamond Products), Kevin Kauffunger (Freud Americas), J.C. Tiller (Greenlee Textron), Chris Mackzum (ITW Ramset), Taylor Hoppe (Milwaukee Tool), Raul Soto (Milwaukee Tool), Jack Zenor (Powers Fasteners), Mike Fraser (Stabila), Darrell Hammond (Stabila), Brendan Conway (Sumner) and Patrick Kearl (United Abrasives/SAIT).

Sales Professional Certifications

Thirty-eight sales professionals were recognized as Evergreen Certified Tool Specialists during the group’s Virtual Partnership Conference. Twenty-one others were recognized for achieving their next Diamond Level. Evergreen also recognized seven individuals as Evergreen Certified Operations Specialists and another six as Evergreen Safety Specialists.

The 38 individuals earned initial certification by completing a multi-year training and education program that included completion of 137.5 hours of continuing education covering product, applications and selling skills. To achieve a Diamond Level, the professional must first become certified and then complete another 52.5 hours of professional development and have a teaching experience. There are nine Diamond Levels available in the program.

Becoming an Evergreen Certified Operations Specialist requires more than 120 hours of training in areas such as purchasing, inventory management, human resources and operations. Becoming an Evergreen Safety Specialist requires nearly 70 hours of specialized training in safety products and applications.

Achieving their first Diamond Level were

  • Mark Lindlauf, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Geoffrey Carr, Colony Hardware Corp. (Orange, CT)
  • Matt Fridell, Colony Hardware Corp. (Orange, CT)
  • Brian Vaccaro, Colony Hardware Corp. (Orange, CT)
  • Dan Gust, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Dan Steinbrecher, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)

Earning their second Diamond Level were

  • Josh Roehrich, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • William Smith, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Arlyn Van Beek, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Keith Turtenwald, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • James Samuelson, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)

Earning their third Diamond Level was

  • Aaron Schmitz, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Derek Smith, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Steve Bailey, Total Tool Supply (St. Paul, MN)

Earning his fourth Diamond Level was

  • Scott Peterson, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)

Earning his fifth Diamond Level was

  • Matt Brevik, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)

Earning their seventh Diamond Level were

  • Jeff Johnson, Acme Construction (Portland, OR)
  • Joe Roeder, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Chris DeBalsi, Pro Tool & Supply (Waltham, MA)
  • Kevin Dobson, Pro Tool & Supply (Waltham, MA)

Earning his eighth Diamond Level was

  • Eric Steinbrecher, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)

The following sales professionals earned their initial certification:

  • Matt Adams, Acme Construction (Portland, OR)
  • Trevor Brown, Acme Construction (Portland, OR)
  • Clayton Johnson, Acme Construction (Portland, OR)
  • Justin Johnson, Acme Construction (Portland, OR)
  • Mikala Souza, Acme Construction (Portland, OR)
  • Danny Weikel, Acme Construction (Portland, OR)
  • Chris Arcand, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Gabe Baudeck, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Sam Kinne, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Troy Kirsch Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Ray Lakoduk, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Tom Reichel, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Jason Steen, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • James Vasey, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Tom DiFolco, A-Jax Fasteners (Jacksonville, FL)
  • Jacob McDonald, Action Bolt & Tool (Lake Worth, FL)
  • Andrew Green, American Producers (Marietta, OH)
  • Caleb Darmody, California Service Tool (Hayward, CA)
  • Eric Kurpiewski, California Service Tool (Hayward, CA)
  • Tony Dawson, Colony Hardware Corp. (Orange, CT)
  • Juan Santillan, Colony Hardware Corp. (Orange, CT)
  • Jason Switzer, Darragh Company (Little Rock, AR)
  • Jeremy Vaughn, Darragh Company (Little Rock, AR)
  • Josh Boduch, Dixie Construction Products (Atlanta, GA)
  • Brett Matthews, Dixie Construction Products (Atlanta, GA)
  • Jon Burnett, ERIKS-Savannah (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Daniel Uresti, Frank’s Supply (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Brooks Benson, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Rique LeGendre, Morgan Tool & Supply (Shreveport, LA)
  • Shay Cooper, PBC Industrial (Baton Rouge, LA)
  • David Setsky, NEFCO Corporation (East Hartford, CT)
  • Jeremy Chavez, Tool & Accessories Corporation (Annapolis Junction, MD)
  • Mike Gott, Tool & Anchor Supply (Denver, CO)
  • Adam Javorsky, Total Tool Supply (St Paul, MN)
  • Josh Lutter, Total Tool Supply (St Paul, MN)
  • Cole Mattingly, Total Tool Supply (St Paul, MN)
  • Mike Means, Total Tool Supply (St Paul, MN)
  • Matt Mooney, Total Tool Supply (St Paul, MN)
  • Mark Vandenberg, Total Tool Supply (St Paul, MN)

“There are now 423 sales professionals in the tool and fastener industry who have earned the designation as Evergreen certified,” said Evergreen CEO Kevin Higginbotham. “Through this program they have demonstrated their commitment to this industry and their own professional development.”

Evergreen Certified Tool Specialists earn the right to wear a championship-style gold ring or a handsome, custom-made gold watch. Following initial recognition, sales professionals build toward the Diamond Levels by taking additional classes and workshops designed to sharpen their skills further.

The group launched a companion recognition program for sales professionals in the specialty area of safety products and applications several years ago. The following individuals earned designation in 2019 as Evergreen Safety Specialists by completing a rigorous set of courses related to safety products:

  • Dean Avery, Colony Hardware Corp. (Orange, CT)
  • Brian Vaccaro, Colony Hardware Corp. (Orange, CT)
  • Dan Steinbrecher, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Mike Cannon, Morgan Tool & Supply (Shreveport, LA)
  • Chris Jeffers, Total Tool Supply (St Paul, MN)
  • Ken Sipprell, Total Tool Supply (St Paul, MN)

Evergreen also launched a certification process for employees in the operations side of a distributor’s business. Operations certification requires 120 hours of professional development. Earning operations certification this year included

  • Danny Weikel, Acme Construction Supply (Portland, OR)
  • Mark Lindlauf, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Gabe Davis, American Producers (Marietta, OH)
  • Geoffrey Carr, Colony Hardware Corp. (Orange, CT)
  • Brad Etzel, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Megan Okemura, Slim’s Power Tools (Honolulu, HI)
  • Darin Person, Total Tool Supply (ST Paul, MN)

The Evergreen Marketing Group is a member-owned cooperative founded in 1989 by six construction/industrial supply distributors. It currently consists of 55 distributors with more than 350 locations in the United States and Canada and has combined revenues of over $3 billion dollars. The group is focused on driving growth and profitability of its distributors and preferred suppliers through an on-going program of training & education, business development and partnering. Evergreen maintains a state-of-the-art 11,000 square foot training center in Farmer’s Branch, Texas and offers the industry’s only professional certification program for distributor sales and operations people. Evergreen members are distributors of tools, fasteners, concrete accessories and other construction/industrial products.

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