UNIONTOWN, Pa. – Dec. 7, 2020 – PRLog — For the seventh consecutive year, national office furnishings wholesaler COE Distributing and its President and CEO J.D. Ewing are highlighted among the Pittsburgh region’s Smart 50, an elite honor recognizing leaders of flourishing companies as identified by Smart Business Magazine.

Since 2014, the Pittsburgh Smart 50 Awards recognize the top executives of the 50 smartest companies for their ability to build and lead successful organizations.

“It’s incredibly meaningful to be recognized with my team alongside so many of our region’s top companies, particularly during such a grueling year,” said Ewing. “Building a strong team has enabled our company to thrive during the most trying circumstances and reach our highest levels of success.”

Businesses face few trials as staggering as the COVID-19 pandemic. For a company devoted to furnishing offices, the abrupt and prolonged closure of offices across the United States seemed especially daunting.

Ewing encouraged COE’s marketing team to quickly pivot and promote work-from-home solutions right away. Seeing an urgent need for products to help make offices safer, COE plunged into manufacturing for the first time ever. The team created an expansive line of acrylic screens and dividers in-house, bringing the products to market within just two months.

The temporary foray into manufacturing paid off. COE achieved its highest revenue month in company history in August — and shattered that record in September, topping out for the first time ever at $10MM revenue.

While COE expanded its product offerings to meet emerging demand, it simultaneously expanded its already robust employee engagement programs to ensure team members stayed connected and felt supported. Not only did Ewing make good on promises not to furlough any employees or cut benefits, he increased pay for all eligible employees, hired 15 additional staff, gave employees an additional 80 hours of COVID paid time off and delivered one of COE’s highest profit-sharing payouts during the pandemic.

“If we don’t have a strong team of employees who are invested, we can’t make the shifts needed to keep the business moving forward,” Ewing said. “Keeping our team, not just employed, but highly engaged, is how we remain relevant.”

UNIONTOWN, Pa. – Nov. 12, 2020 – PRLog — Mike Flaherty, COE Distributing’s chief financial officer, is recognized for outstanding performance and corporate stewardship as a recipient of the Pittsburgh Business Times CFO of the Year Award.
 

Flaherty is among just 16 financial professionals in western Pennsylvania honored in the 2020 awards program.

Now in his second year at COE, Flaherty has already proven to be a strong asset to the company. He secured funding needed to foster continued growth at COE and realized significant savings through a variety of efforts to reduce interest and costs while improving inventory management and purchasing processes. Flaherty’s guidance was key in COE’s recent addition of a distribution center in Houston and he played a pivotal role in securing and administering Paycheck Protection Program loans and managing collections to help COE successfully navigate through the challenges of COVID-19.

“Mike Flaherty is a true A Player, who checks the boxes of being humble, hungry and smart,” said COE President and CEO J.D. Ewing. “Not only does he propel his direct team forward with positive leadership, he propels our entire company forward in growth and profitability.”

An effective leader and teacher, Flaherty helps members of his team ascend the ranks while exemplifying COE’s core values of customer service, respect, teamwork, quality, safety and transparency. He’s embraced the company’s 2020 goal of helping its team members become more financially fit, serving as a valuable resource for employees.

Winners of the CFO of the Year awards were selected from a pool of online nominations by the Pittsburgh Business Times editorial staff and a panel of judges who were winners of the 2019 award. The recipients will be profiled in a special edition of the Pittsburgh Business Times on Nov. 13 and at a virtual event on Nov. 19.

COE Distributing President J.D. Ewing Named to NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Board

UNIONTOWN, Pa. – Nov. 11, 2020 – PRLog — J.D. Ewing, President and CEO of national office furnishings wholesaler COE Distributing, has been appointed to the board of directors of the National Association of Wholesalers’ Institute for Distribution Excellence.
 

The NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence is a leading provider of research exclusively for and about the wholesale distribution industry. The NAW Institute conducts research into strategic management issues with best practice distributors, publishing leading-edge studies, reports, white papers and other publications with practical application for wholesale distribution firms of all sizes and across all lines of trade.

Ewing will serve a four-year term, attending meetings each spring and fall in Washington, D.C., and evaluating and giving feedback on research proposals and manuscripts.

“We seek board members with intellectual curiosity who are leading thinkers interested in strategies to enhance distributor performance,” said Patricia A. Lilly, NAW’s Chief Thought Leadership Officer. “We are pleased to have J.D. Ewing lend his skills and experience to help guide research to improve the performance and profitability of merchant wholesaler-distributors.”

Ewing has had the opportunity to gain experience in every position in his company while growing it from his grandmother’ typewriter repair shop to one of the largest distributors of office furnishings in the United States.

He’s earned top accolades including Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. He is frequently tapped to share his expertise on topics such as supply chain management, efficiency and leadership.

Placing premiums on life-long learning and employee engagement, Ewing developed robust training programs to cultivate leaders and create a culture of respect, empowerment and satisfaction at COE.

“I’ve worked diligently to foster collaboration among my team, our customers and vendors and witnessed cooperation between all the players pay dividends,” Ewing said. “The opportunity to serve on the NAW Institute Board is an ideal fit for my interest in continually improving operations to provide a better experience for employees and clients alike.”

COE Distributing Equips Future Ready Center to Prepare Brownsville Area Students for Workforce

 
UNIONTOWN, Pa. – Oct. 19, 2020 – PRLog — A donation of stylish, modern office furnishings helped students in the Brownsville Area School District turn an underutilized middle school library into a next-generation center for career preparation and development.

From a reception area to comfy sofa and club chairs with tablet arms for the fireplace work area, COE Distributing outfitted the new career resource center by donating more than $40,000 in furnishings from its private-label brand OfficeSource in silver, black and blue. Four pedestal tables, 16 stools and funky, cushioned “spool chairs” round out the Center’s unique new look.

District officials will cut the ribbon on the Future Ready Center on October 22, ushering in new opportunities for students to prepare for post-secondary life. Located in the former Brownsville Area Middle School library, the Future Ready Center was designed from the ground up by students to provide the resources and tools they’ll need to explore a variety of careers in an environment that will inspire them.

“We wanted it to be a modern, urban design with large open spaces and an airy feel” said Lynn Jellots, a Brownsville Area teacher who coordinates the Center with librarian Jennie Karwatske. “Mr. J.D. Ewing from COE made a generous donation above and beyond our expectations, offering furniture designs that met our vision for the Center.”

The FRC will afford students opportunities to complete career interest inventories then gain familiarity with various careers, explore internship and job shadowing options, increase preparedness for success in post-secondary institutions and obtain industry-based credentials. It also will be an information hub where students can conduct research and monitor opportunities for scholarships, internships, employment, SAT exam dates and upcoming workshops.

The project was an ideal collaboration for COE. Not only is President and CEO J.D. Ewing a Brownsville Area High School graduate, he volunteers with organizations that mentor students to become productive members of the workforce. At COE, he’s instituted special training for Rising Stars and a host of offerings to help all employees continually grow both personally and professionally.

“Our strength as a company comes from our employees,” Ewing said. “I’m passionate about employee engagement and about sharing with the next generation and equipping future employees for success.”

COE Distributing Named to Pittsburgh Business Times Fast 50 List

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UNIONTOWN, Pa. – Sept. 30, 2020 – PRLog — The Pittsburgh Business Times has named COE Distributing, one of the nation’s largest wholesale distributors of office furnishings, among the Pittsburgh region’s 50 fastest-growing, privately held companies.

The 2020 Fast 50 were celebrated in a virtual event on Tuesday where it was revealed COE ranked 41 on the list.

To qualify for this award, companies were required to have at least $2,000,000 in revenue in 2017. The Fast 50 are then ranked by the percentage of revenue growth during a three-year period, 2017 and 2019 for this year’s rankings. COE achieved an impressive 51% growth in sales in that time frame, joining a prestigious list of flourishing companies from diverse industries, including health care, logistics, home building and legal services.

“Our team is thrilled to be recognized for our progress over the past three years and to be ranked among some of the most successful organizations in western Pennsylvania,” said CEO and President of COE Distributing, J.D. Ewing. “Our ability to grow even when market dynamics are tough is a testament to the dedication and drive of our incredible team.”

COE has been recognized among Pittsburgh’s fastest-growing companies by the Business Times since 2013. The Fast 50 honor is the latest in a string of achievements for COE. In the past month, the company has been named a Pittsburgh Top Workplace by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and included on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in America.

A full list of all the Fast 50 winners can be found on the Pittsburgh Business Times website (https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2020/09/29/ra…).

 

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