Westlake Ace Hardware recently introduced a program to recognize its store associates and celebrate the work they do in communities across America. Helpful Hearts focuses on associates who are doing the unexpected, always finding ways to help others, choosing to live their lives with integrity and striving to be role models in the communities they serve.
“Helpful Hearts speaks to who we are as a company and our core values of service, passion, respect, integrity, teamwork and excellence,” says Joe Jeffries, president and chief executive officer of Westlake Ace Hardware. “Each and every day, our hardworking associates in communities across America deliver on The Helpful Promise by providing exceptional service. The individuals we honor with this program exemplify how that promise extends far beyond the walls of our stores and into the communities where we do business. We’re a neighbor first, retailer second—and neighbors always help neighbors.”J
Westlake Ace has chosen three associates as the inaugural Helpful Hearts honorees. Rob Tynes is the general manager of Westlake’s store in Roswell, New Mexico. During his first year as general manager of the store, Tynes was looking for fresh ideas on how his store could give back to the local community of Roswell. Being very passionate about helping the underserved, especially children, he created a new multi-faceted event called “A Merry Westlake Christmas.” Working with a local preschool, the store adopted 20 children for the holidays. Each child filled out a Santa wish list, and Rob began brainstorming ideas to make the kids’ holiday dreams come true.
Bill Say is the general manager of one of Westlake’s stores in the Kansas City area. He knows what it means to have a Helpful Heart—both inside his store and with the Kansas City-area refugee community. In 2017, his family founded Once We Were Refugees (OWWR). The organization provides tuition-free, nine-week sewing classes to refugees in the Kansas City metro area. After graduation, each refugee is provided with a sewing machine and other supplies to get started in a career. To date, more than 200 students have graduated from the program, many going on to learn additional skills to use industrial sewing equipment, gain employment and support their families.
Ella Scott, head cashier at a Westlake Ace store in Wichita, Kansas, is widely known as a giving person. In fact, she sometimes just can’t help herself. While Christmas shopping, Scott found a deal on socks, hats and gloves that was too good to pass up. Along with Westlake store general manager Mike Thornton, they bought 100 of each item and distributed the cold weather supplies to people standing outside a local shelter waiting to receive a warm meal. Among other selfless acts of generosity from the duo through the years, Scott and Thornton have donated toiletry packages to the local women’s shelter and clothing to the Wichita Children’s Home.