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Ace elects new board members

Ace Hardware elected three new members and re-elected one member to the Ace board of directors during its annual shareholders meeting on June 3, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based co-op announced.

Ace owners Jim Ackroyd and Gina Schaefer were elected to their first terms, and Jeff Schulein, also an Ace retailer, was re-elected to the board for his third and final term. Jeffrey Girard, owner of Beam Dynamics, a private business that manufactures precision metal components, was elected to his first term as the board’s second non-member director.

The election was a hotly contested one, as a group of about 750 co-op members who call themselves “Concerned Ace Owners” presented an alternate slate of Ace owners to fill the four open board spots, an initiative which was defeated. According to Patrick Smith, one of the Concerned Ace Owners nominees, his slate was defeated approximately 1,300 to 1,000 votes -- a 34 percent margin -- although he added that the results have not been certified.

“On the one hand, we’re disappointed. On the other, we stood up and spoke our piece and the board listened, so I feel we did accomplish a lot,” said Smith, president of Dunn Hardware in Lyndhurst, Ohio. A total of 12 people, including 10 retailers and two outside directors, make up the board of directors, which sets strategic policy and direction for Ace management.

In addition, Ace retailer and seven-year board member David Ziegler succeeded Tom Glenn as chairman. Glenn had completed his maximum term on the board, according to the company’s by-laws.

Ackroyd, 52, is the CEO of Vision Ace Hardware, an 11-store chain with stores throughout southwest Florida. Schaefer, 37, owns and manages Logan Hardware, the parent store of a five-store Ace Hardware chain in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area. And Schulein, 66, is CEO of Crown Hardware, a 16-store Ace Hardware chain in Southern California and Arizona.