Over the last two years, we’ve all had to make adjustments to our daily lives and along the way have found a new normal at home, at work and in all areas of our lives. For the team at the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA), we had to make major changes in how we did business just like you, the retailers we serve. From forming a hybrid work environment to connecting with retailers at virtual markets or chatting over Zoom calls instead of meeting in person, we made the necessary changes to stay connected to you, our members.
While we’re happy we’ve been able to keep in contact virtually, this year, we wanted to return to connecting with retailers in person in their stores.
In addition to returning to wholesaler markets, NHPA has kicked off a new series we’re calling Renee on the Road. As the retail engagement specialist for NHPA, my job is to share all the cool programs, services and initiatives the association has to offer. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do that in person for the first installment of Renee on the Road. NHPA senior designer Aubrey Smith and I headed to Florida, where we toured several independent home improvement businesses in Orlando and Tampa.
Check out some of the highlights from the recent trip below. Throughout the year, we plan on visiting more stores throughout North America. If you would like our team to visit your operation, reach out to me at rchangnon@YourNHPA.org to let me know you would like us to stop by! I’ll see you On the Road!
Susan Stratton of Toole's Ace Hardware chat with Renee Chagnon.
Susan Stratton of Toole’s Ace Hardware chats with Renee about the 11 store chain and how the team trains employees across all the stores.
Renee with the Toole's Ace Hardware team.
Renee enjoyed meeting the team from Toole’s Ace Hardware in Groveland, Florida, and touring the store.
Sarasota Paint in Bradenton, FL.
The Sarasota Paint store in Bradenton, Florida, prioritizes a well-merchandised store featuring a broad product mix.
Renee with the Bay to Bay Ace Hardware team.
The team at Bay to Bay Ace Hardware was excited to welcome NHPA to their store in Tampa.
Bay to Bay Ace Hardware's grill sauces display.
One of the new lines introduced at Bay to Bay Ace Hardware when the Starr’s took over was a grilling department, which includes a variety of sought after rubs and sauces.
Walker Paint's vintage products display.
At Walker Paint, customers can view the gallery of items that have been saved over the years, including old paint cans and vintage photos from early in the history of the operation.
Renee with Massiel and Walker at Walker Paints.
Renee chats with Walker and Massiel about the business and their strong company culture.
Miller's Hardware toy aisle.
Miller’s Hardware has a wide variety of products customers seek out, including toys and old fashioned soda pop.
NHPA's Renee Chagnon and Aubrey Smith.
NHPA colleagues Renee and Aubrey pose for a rare snap together on the trip. Aubrey’s creative eye snapped all the cool photos we took and shared them on our social media throughout.
Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex.