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Canadian distributor Acklands-Grainger gets new president

Richmond Hill, ON -- O.W. Eric Nowlin, 51, has been named president, Acklands – Grainger Inc. The company is Chicago-based W.W. Grainger’s Canadian subsidiary, with 2011 revenues of $993 million (C$982 million). In this role, Nowlin...


Richmond Hill, ON — O.W. Eric Nowlin, 51, has been named president, Acklands – Grainger Inc. The company is Chicago-based W.W. Grainger’s Canadian subsidiary, with 2011 revenues of $993 million (C$982 million). In this role, Nowlin will oversee the growth and performance of Acklands-Grainger and will report directly to Mike Pulick, senior vice-president and president, Grainger International.

“Eric brings an impressive track record of delivering results and developing talent that will benefit the Acklands-Grainger team and our customers,” said Pulick. “The business is performing very well and I’m confident Eric will help Acklands-Grainger advance its goal of helping businesses be more efficient and keeping employees safe on the job.”

Nowlin joined Grainger’s US business in 2006 as a regional branch services vice-president. He was later named vice-president, business development and most recently served as vice-president, customer service, where he led Grainger’s multi-channel customer service network in the US, comprising 5,800 team members, 370 US branches, eCommerce, phone centres, KeepStock customer engagements and Grainger’s service offerings. As part of his new role, Nowlin will relocate to the Greater Toronto Area.

“Acklands-Grainger has a proud, 124-year history of serving Canadian businesses and I’m thrilled and humbled to be joining this team,” said Nowlin. “I look forward to building on our momentum in Canada and leveraging our scale in industrial, safety and fastener products to advance our lead in the MRO market and help businesses from coast to coast get the products they need while saving time and money.”

Prior to joining Grainger, Nowlin spent more than 20 years with Maytag, holding various roles in sales, field operations and business development, including vice-president, sales (Western Division) and business development and vice-president, national accounts and customer development.

Nowlin holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University. He serves on the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Chicago and co-founded and served on the Board of Directors of the Coto Community for Hope.

Acklands-Grainger says it is Canada’s largest distributor of industrial, safety, and fastener products, with 2011 sales of $993 million (C$982 million), 172 branches, six distribution centres and 2,600 team members. For more, visit www.acklandsgrainger.com.