Ray Gabel - Former Vice President, Merchandising and Marketing - Hardlines presented the history of Home Hardware and described the qualities that set Home Hardware apart from their competition. 
Ray Gabel recounted the history of the Home Hardware Company.  Starting in 1964 122 independent hardware retailers purchased Hollinger Hardware of St. Jacobs and formed a owner operated cooperative as an effort to counter the entry of "big box stores".  Through a succession of acquisitions Home Hardware has grown from the 122 owner operators to more than 1,100 stores with $6 Billion in sales and developed a national chain which emphasizes service, quality and community involvement. 
The Home Hardware brand received numerous awards for its management style, marketing, brand recognition, employee relations, and community relations. Ray started his career at Home Hardware in 1964 and has transitioned to Senior Advisor Merchandising.
In recognition of Home Hardware's support for our Internet auction, the Rotary Club of London South made a significant contribution to the Rotary International Foundation and presented Ray with an award from the foundation and a certificate of appreciation from Operation Eyesight.
In addition to our auction Home Hardware supports a number of other charities including special Olympics, Tree Canada Foundation, Sick Kids Foundation, and many other charitable organizations.  Home Hardware has been active in Haiti-helping to build 22 schools, 1 hospital and a trade school.
Ray was accompanied by Ron Harris, owner of Harris Hardware who spoke about Ray's help to owner operators and his experience as an employee of Home Hardware and as a store owner.