Paul L. Cosgrave Award Winners Exemplify the Best
PRO Group has announced the dual winners of this year’s Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award: Campbell PRO Hardware and Supply in Youngstown, Ohio, and Valley Building Supply and PRO Hardware in Sweetwater, Tennessee.
“During these challenging times, these retailers have brought a new meaning to the word ‘essential.’ With each challenge, they have found even more opportunities to be meaningful to their community. We are proud to have them all as a part of the PRO family,” says Shari Kalbach, vice president and chief operating officer of PRO Group.
Read on to learn more about this year’s inspiring winners.
Campbell PRO Hardware
Tony Tsikouris is dedicated to the business he runs and the community he serves. As the owner of Campbell PRO Hardware and Supply in Youngstown, Ohio, Tsikouris has guided the business into a consistently growing operation, strengthened by his sharp eye on industrial construction opportunities. Anchoring that innovation is Tsikouris’ genuine desire to strengthen his community.
“I love helping my customers save money and improve their homes,” Tsikouris says. “It’s truly an honor to be chosen for this award, and I hope to continue serving my customers and the local community.”
Tsikouris opened the business in 1994. It began as a 1,200-square-foot store, eventually growing to 6,400 square feet of selling space equipped with a 12,000-square-foot warehouse. Tsikouris now employs 10 people at the business and has counted on PRO Group distributor The Bostwick-Braun Co. as his primary supplier for more than 25 years.
“Working with PRO Group has played a role in supporting me to the point I am today,” Tony says. “It’s truly an honor to be chosen for this award, and I hope to continue serving my customers and the local community.”
Tsikouris has grown the business by developing relationships with industrial customers, like bridge painters and local municipalities. These connections now represent more than 50 percent of his business.
Tsikouris has fully embraced the opportunity of serving industrial crews, researching their specific project needs and finding innovative products to help them work better.
As a three-time cancer survivor, he’s regularly on the lookout for charitable causes to support. He and his wife are the proud parents of two children: Nicolette, 15, and Steven, 6, who lives with Down syndrome. To Tsikouris and his family, supporting those in need is crucial.
“If any cause is medical-related, we participate,” Tsikouris says. “If someone is in need because of a medical condition, we’re there.”
On average, Campbell PRO Hardware and Supply usually raises between $5,000 to $7,000 each year for local charities. In addition to his charitable initiatives, Tsikouris is also an active member of the local Masons lodge and his church, Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church in Campbell, Ohio. He’s also a proud member of the Kalymon Society, a local Greek culture organization.
Valley Building Supply
Since 1994, DeLane Dacus and his family have overseen Valley Building Supply and PRO Hardware, which offers complete building materials and outdoor living products. The team recently purchased a former lumberyard in nearby Madisonville and plans to expand their business by moving their custom-built storage facility there.
“The Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award is named after a distinguished and successful businessman who founded PRO Hardware in 1953 and achieved retail success,” Dacus says. “It is a great honor to receive such a distinguished award.”
Since 1994, the company has sourced products from the Wallace Hardware Co. and later became a PRO Hardware and Building Supply dealer. The team remains loyal to both organizations, attending every Wallace dealer market and implementing the Wallace Hardware Partners for Profit business plan and other programs to boost business and connect with customers.
DeLane says it is a true honor to work alongside his family. “I have been told it is the greatest honor for a child to follow in your footsteps,” DeLane says. Currently, his son Jason is the vice president of Valley Building Supply. Jason’s brother-in-law, Jeff Cunningham, has also joined the team.
Valley Building Supply was recently updated through PRO Group distributor the Wallace Hardware Co. Thirteen endcaps throughout the store highlight special purchases, seasonal items and closeout deals to help shoppers save money on the items they need most.
Accurately controlling inventory goes hand in hand with running a successful modern retail establishment.
The company uses the PRO-designed inventory control system, a retail merchandising list used for initially stocking a store. The Valley Building Supply team reviews it monthly to ensure it matches exactly what the Sweetwater community needs from their local independent retailer.
Within a 50-mile radius of Valley Building Supply are numerous independent and big-box competitors. By taking advantage of PRO Group’s suite of advertising options, the team knows they can reach customers directly.
One of the key ways the company advertises in the community is through circulars. In 2019 alone, they produced 12 circulars. They’re also incorporating technology into their marketing outreach by distributing mobile text coupons to customers.
The team prides itself on constantly pushing to learn new ways to succeed in home improvement retail. All employees have undergone retail-specific training to connect with customers and manage the store effectively. In addition to keeping their retail skills sharp, the team also offers a diverse offering of services to customers, including special orders, key cutting, custom-built storage solutions and more.
DeLane and the Valley Building Supply team know giving back to the Sweetwater community is paramount. They regularly support a host of fundraisers and community events, including the local school system, youth sports teams, the Scouts, 4-H, Future Farmers of America and first responders. Notably, DeLane has devoted many resources to True Purpose Ministries, an organization that seeks to help people recovering from addiction.