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Glen Morosohk Top Guns

NHPA Top Guns Honoree Glen Morosohk Exceeds Expansion Goals

The independent paint industry is in Glen Morosohk’s DNA. His grandfather, David Morosohk, started as a painter in the 1920s and opened his own paint store. Norman Morosohk, Glen’s father, joined that paint store business in 1945 after returning from WWII and then opened his own paint sundry distribution company, Monroe Paint Distributors, in 1950. Glen cut his industry teeth at his father’s distribution company and currently serves as general manager for Ricciardi Brothers, a multistore paint operation headquartered in New Jersey, where he forged his own career in the paint industry. As a result of his career achievements, he is one of the 2024 North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) Top Guns Awards honorees.

For 18 years, the Top Guns Awards program has recognized innovative, passionate retailers who are leading their operations and the independent home improvement industry at large with strategic investments focused on preserving independence and growing the channel. This award recognizes individuals as representatives of their operations who, through the work of engaged, dedicated staff, are making marks in their local communities.

Glen joined Ricciardi Brothers 30 years ago and was tasked with building their business. He succeeded, growing the operation’s store count from four to 47.

“When I started with Ricciardi Brothers, the operation had four very successful stores, and I was hired to expand the store footprint and build a business and modernize it,” Glen says. “Today we have 47 locations throughout New Jersey, Delaware and greater Philadelphia.”

A Family Legacy

Just like Glen’s path to success has a foundation built on family, Ricciardi Brothers also owes its growth to a focus on family. Joseph Ricciardi founded the company in 1929 in Newark, New Jersey. In 1970, business ownership transitioned to brothers Walter and Robert Ricciardi, and they opened their own paint store in Maplewood, New Jersey.

At Ricciardi Brothers, every employee is treated like one of the family, and general manager Glen Morosohk nurtures a warm and welcoming environment in each of the operation’s 47 locations.

With the help of Glen, the brothers aggressively grew the company throughout three states over the course of three decades. That rapid growth can be attributed to the family atmosphere present across the stores and the employees who are an extension of the Ricciardi family, Glen says.

“The key to our success is our people,” he says. “We have a lot of longevity with our staff. They are experts. We have thousands of years of combined experience behind our counters, and without our employees, growth and success don’t happen.”

Ricciardi Brothers is a family-owned business and not just in name—each and every employee is treated like a member of the family. Many of the employees have been with the company for 20, 25, 30 or more years.

“This type of longevity doesn’t happen by accident. If people aren’t treated well, they don’t stay,” Glen says.

One prime example of Ricciardi Brothers going above and beyond for its employees came after Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast in 2012. The operation had stores that were closed for weeks after the storm because of damage, no electricity or both. During that time, Glen says the company still paid all its employees whether they were actively working in a store or not.

“Our employees are our extended family, and we didn’t want them to suffer,” Glen says. “A lot of companies didn’t do that. Gestures like that have long memories and go a long way to build rapport with employees.”

The communities where Ricciardi Brothers have stores are also an extension of the Ricciardi family. The company supports those communities in various ways, from sponsoring local youth sports teams to nonprofit causes. But Glen says true community involvement comes at times of greatest need. Ricciardi Brothers has raised money for hurricane relief and donated thousands of blankets to residents who had no heat during winter storms. During 9/11, the company provided HEPA-filtered respirators to first responders at ground zero.

“When there’s a disaster, flood, hurricane or people without electricity from storms, we are there for them,” Glen says. “It’s when people really need us, that’s when we really show up.”

Open to Innovation

Ricciardi Brothers has thrived thanks to a willingness to evolve over nearly the last century of operations. Glen says he and leadership at Ricciardi Brothers are not afraid to embrace change or try new processes or systems. The company was an early adopter of e-commerce and has offered online sales for over 15 years.

“Our e-commerce served us well during the pandemic. While a lot of people were scrambling to set up websites because customers couldn’t get into stores, we had a robust system already working that absolutely exploded during that time,” Glen says. “It’s one area where being proactive rather than reactive really paid off.”

In recent years, the independent paint channel has turned to consolidation as a growth strategy, and Ricciardi Brothers is embracing consolidation for its expansion. Glen says he enjoys the challenges involved with acquisitions, including putting deals together and finding the right path that leads to the deal going through.

“We’re in active growth mode, and our growth plans are about opportunity more than geography,” he says. “While there are currently holes within the company’s existing footprint, there is also room for expansion beyond those boundaries. We’d like to grow within the reach of our distribution center, but nothing is off the table if it presents an opportunity for profitable growth.”

Maintaining a uniform company culture can be challenging when stores are separated by hundreds of miles. For Ricciardi Brothers, the operations team is a critical piece of imparting and maintaining company culture, and frequent visits from senior management also play an important role in promoting the family business culture, Glen says.

“Getting to know our team on a personal level helps nurture the culture,” he says. “Knowing their wives’ and childrens’ names and personal milestones such as weddings, additions to their families and more are crucial.
Care about them and they will care about you.”

The ability to be nimble—a big opportunity for all independent retailers—is another key to success for Ricciardi Brothers. Glen leans into the company’s capacity to make decisions and change course quickly and efficiently, something the big-box competitors can’t do.

“Year after year, we have made those changes to stay agile and relevant,” Glen says. “During the pandemic, we probably reinvented our business at least once a day. You have to be able to react quickly if you’re going to make the proper decisions that solve your operation’s problems within the marketplace.”


“The best advice ever given to me was from my father. He taught me not to fear making decisions. He told me, ‘The only person who never makes a mistake is a person who never makes a decision. If you learn from your mistakes, you will make fewer of them.’ That axiom has served me well over my career.”
—Glen Morosohk, Ricciardi Brothers


What the Future Holds

While Glen is proud of what he and Ricciardi Brothers have achieved in the last 30 years, he’s excited about the future of the company and the independent channel thanks to the next generation taking an interest in careers in the home improvement industry.

Glen says he and leadership at the company strive to develop people from within the organization. They have added middle management positions to offer additional growth opportunities and provide ways for employees to move into roles such as assistant store managers, store managers and operations.

“We’ve been able to develop young people who didn’t have a career—that’s our goal, we’re trying to create careers for people rather than jobs,” Glen says. “Because of the continuous growth Ricciardi Brothers has seen over the years, it’s been a good way for these young people to move into the business, and many of them are in leadership now.”

Glen is grateful for those people who built him up, challenged him and encouraged him throughout his career, including his father, Norman.

“I started working at our family’s paint sundry business, and my father was the one who really let me spread my wings,” Glen says. “I had ideas for the business, but he taught me the basics of good business strategies and let me run with it.”

Ricciardi Brothers senior partner Walter Ricciardi is another influential figure in Glen’s life.

“When I came into this company, there were a lot of things they were doing right, and there were a lot of things that could be improved,” he says. “Like my father, Walter gave me the runway to be able to make those improvements and grow the business. I’m forever grateful to him for that opportunity.”

Glen also thanks his peers for the successes in his career. Throughout his career at Ricciardi Brothers and his time at ALLPRO as purchasing committee chairman, vice president and president, he says he has had the fortune to meet who he calls some of the most talented people in the industry. Over the years, he has stayed in contact with many of these peers and they regularly share ideas, struggles and wins.

“Mistakes are expensive. You have to learn how to make decisions, but as you go along the line, hopefully your experience takes you to a point where you make fewer and fewer mistakes,” Glen says. “Having those discussions in advance with colleagues has been invaluable.”

Even after 50 years in the business, Glen still loves his job and can’t wait to get into work each day.

“I think this is a great way to live your life—where you spend the bulk of your waking hours during the day in something that’s pleasurable to you,” Glen says. “This business has been good to me and my family. It’s a great honor for me to be recognized for my work in the field for all those years, and I’m very proud to be picked as a Top Guns honoree.”


Celebrate With Us!

Meet the Top Guns Awards honorees at a reception on Aug. 29 sponsored by the National Hardware Show. The reception will be part of the Independent Home Improvement Conference, taking place Aug. 27-29 at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Marco Island, Florida.

Learn more at ihiconference.org.


Meet the Other Honorees

DARREN TOMASINI
President and CEO of Dazey’s Supply

Involved in the independent channel since he was a college student, Darren’s leadership methods may seem unorthodox to some but have led to the growth of Dazey’s Supply beyond northern California into Oregon and Indiana. During his time at Dazey’s Supply, Darren has built a strong company culture that draws employees in and makes them want to stay and continues the founder’s commitment to serve the community in small and large ways.

 

WENDY STINE
President of Stine Home + Yard

2024 top guns

Part of the third generation of the Stine family to lead Stine Home + Yard, Wendy has been a part of the business her entire life, working as a store associate, store manager, corporate purchasing buyer, director of merchandising and now, president. She is proud of the way Stine Home + Yard competes with big-box competitors, serving customers with high-quality products, affordable prices and exceptional service, and supports the communities where the operation’s 13 stores are located.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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