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Annual Top Gun Honorees Announced

Hardware Retailing magazine, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and the National Hardware Show® announced the winner’s of this year’s Top Guns award honorees. The field of candidates was deep but it is with great excitement they welcome Brent Burger, Joe Taylor and Michael Wynn to the slate of past honorees.

While the individuals recognized as Top Guns have been diverse, they also share many similar qualities, including: determination, innovation and a strong sense of commitment to their communities and the industry at large.

Hardware Retailing has been conducting its Top Gun awards for the past eight years and has honored more than 30 independent retailers for their best-in-class operations and their willingness to give back to the home improvement industry.

In addition to a cover story in the May issue of Hardware Retailing magazine, the honorees will also appear at a live awards presentation and panel discussion at the National Hardware Show on May 7 at 1 p.m. The awards presentation and panel discussion will take place on the NRHA Village Stage.

The list of this year’s Top Guns includes:


Brent Burger, representing Campbell’s True Value, with five retail locations throughout Maine.

Burger is a true example of all the values represented by past Top Guns. Not only has he helped drive and grow a local chain of hardware stores by finding new niche opportunities and streamlining operations, he has also done more than his share to give back to his community and the industry. From running innovative charitable operations to his service as chairman of the board of directors at True Value Co., Burger is certainly among the industry’s high-flying elite.


Next up is Joe Taylor of Taylor’s Do it Centers, with 11 retail locations throughout Virginia.

The story of Joe Taylor and the Taylor family has become deeply ingrained with the story of the home improvement industry. Taylor’s Do it Centers have emerged as among the most successful family-run hardware operations in the nation not just for their longevity (85+ years) but for their growth, innovation and the operation’s commitment to giving back to the community. There’s no doubt that his time at the helm of Taylor’s Do it Centers has earned Joe Taylor the designation of Top Gun.


The final Top Gun in this year’s class is Michael Wynn, representing Sunshine Ace Hardware with six retail locations throughout Florida.

Yet another representative of a long-standing family business, Michael Wynn is the latest in a long line of home improvement retailing pioneers. As president of Sunshine Ace, Wynn has helped guide the company toward new retail directions through leading-edge merchandising, store design and technological advancements, all of which add to the chain’s local appeal.

For his willingness to embrace change without losing sight of the past, Wynn is assuredly among the Industry’s Top Guns.

For full interviews with each of the 2014 honorees, be sure to check out the May issue of Hardware Retailing magazine and to meet the winners make plans to attend Top Guns Award presentation at the National Hardware Show and NRHA All-Industry Conference on May 7.

About Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell was an assistant editor of Hardware Retailing and NRHA. Amanda regularly visited with home improvement retailers across the country and attended industry events and seminars. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ball State University and has received honors for her work for Hardware Retailing from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

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