JD Ewing Awarded Smart 50 Award

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.”