VAL-TEST recently participated in the 2019 PRO Group Merchandising Conference at the Embassy Suites Centennial Park, Atlanta.

Suppliers and Distributors met in a room to room format to discuss their marketing plans.

The meetings were informative and Show Specials were made available to attending Distributors.


VAL-TEST recently entered into an alliance with The PRO GROUP.

With this alliance, VAL-TEST and PRO Members will have access to each other’s select programs.

In addition, the two Groups will co-market certain programs via Advertising and Shows.


The 2018 VAL-TEST Show and Member Meeting was held January 7th-10th at the Naples Beach Resort in Naples Florida.

After the annual VAL-TEST Member meeting, approximately 70 VAL-TEST Suppliers met with 2o VAL-TEST Members to discuss their Marketing plans. In addition, the Members were able to use the Show Specials to stock up for the season.

The winners of the New Product Show Case contest were SKM Products for their Patch and Touch Stick and Allway Tool for their 5-1 Painters Tool.

The Annual Appreciation awards went to Tom Forsberg of Leaktite, Joanne Luce of VAL-TEST  and Paul Melzer of VAL-TEST for their efforts on behalf of the Group in 2017. Congratulations to the winners.

The annual VAL-TEST Show has always been a good start to the year and this year’s Show was no exception. Thank you to all who attended.


The resort cleaned up after the Hurricane and the Show is still on:




VAL-TEST joins DISTRIBUTION AMERICA as an Associate Member. More information to follow.



It was great to get out of the cold and see everyone at the recent VAL-TEST Show in Naples Florida.

At the Member Meeting, VAL-TEST members were able to discuss new Supplier Programs and the best ways to add e-commerce to their Marketing Mix.

During the Exhibits, VAL-TEST Suppliers and Members made their annual point of contact with each other to discuss New Products, New Plan O Grams and upcoming Marketing Programs. Plus, the Members loaded up for the season on great Show Specials.

The New Products Show Case winners were:  The “Ditch Pig” Rescue Rope by Mybro and the “Texture Gun”, Portable Texture Sprayer by ETX.

All attendees took advantage of the Networking Opportunities during the Luncheons and Receptions and especially during the Golf outing on the newly designed Jack Nicholas course at Naples Beach.

During the Show Reception, Supplier Appreciation Awards were given to Kevin McKay  of Gardner Gibson and Kirk Hansen of Ames.

An Industry Appreciation Award went to Dagmar Metzger of The National Hardware Show.

And the 2017 Member Appreciation Award went to Hardware Distributors Inc. of Muskegon MI.

Congratulations to the winners and Thank you for all your help over the years.


Considering all the New Opportunities that were presented to us, this Show will prove to be a great start to the Year. Thank you to those who attended to help make the Show a success.




The 2016 VAL-TEST Member Meeting and Show was held January 10th through the 13th at the Naples Beach Hotel in Naples Florida.

During their annual meeting, the VAL-TEST members discussed 2015 Group Activities and Programs, then Marketing Plans for 2016.

During the 2 days of Exhibits, approximately 100 VAL-TEST Suppliers and 40 VAL-TEST Members were able to make that “one on one point of contact” that is so important in the development of new programs. VAL-TEST members were also able to take advantage of Show Specials and even negotiate extra deals while at the Show.

At the Annual Reception, the following Suppliers and Members were honored for their efforts in the past year:

• Craig Rathbun of ENCORE PLASTICS
• Joe Brower of WPS SALES
• Bippin Merchant of SPECTRUM PAINT

The New Products Show case winners were:


Thank you to the VAL-TEST SUPPLIERS, MEMBERS and SPONSORS for making the 2016 VAL-TEST Meeting and Show a great start to the year.

Following are some images from the Show:


In early January, The VAL-TEST GROUP of Suppliers and Distributors met at The 2015 VAL-TEST SHOW at the NAPLES BEACH HOTEL in Naples Florida.

The event began with the annual VAL-TEST member meeting. Attending members discussed new supplier and marketing programs for 2015. The meeting was highlighted by the preview of a new member fulfillment program for e-commerce sites.

The next two days were dedicated to exhibits. VAL-TEST manufacturers showed off their new products and members took advantage of some great show specials. More than any other year, VAL-TEST members were able to negotiate “over and above specials” with the Exhibiting Suppliers while at the Show.

The winners of the New Products Show Case were: Double Cooler for their 2 in 1 COOLER, and Wooster Brush for their SHERLOCK DUO TIP Extension Pole.

Pictured: David Cronk of Double Cooler and Jon Rose of Wooster Brush and members of the VAL-TEST Staff.

During the Show Reception, three attendees were honored with Appreciation Awards. This year’s honorees were Brook Grothe of Rubbermaid-Irwin-Lenox, Mark Marotto of Nova Wildcat Shureline, and Mike Smith of Lancaster, (pictured below with members of the VAL-TEST staff).

Between the Show Specials and the Fantastic Weather it was a Great Show and a Great Start to the Year.

Thank you to all who attended, we are very grateful for your participation.

Pictured below: The Naples Beach Golf Club

Pictured below: A beach side Luncheon at the VAL-TEST Show.

2013 Val-test Show News
The 2013 VAL-TEST Member Meeting and Show was held at the Naples Beach Hotel, January 13 through the 18th, in Naples Florida.  Approximately 100 VAL-TEST Suppliers met with 45 VAL-TEST Members to discuss their Marketing Plans for 2013 and to review New Products and Programs.

The Show started with the annual Meeting of VAL-TEST Members. New Supplier and Advertising Programs were discussed as was a new program where VAL-TEST members will participate in a selling desk at the NATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW. Sonya Jarvis of REED EXHIBISIONS was in attendance during this meeting and gave a presentation on the highlights of the Program.

During the exhibits VAL-TEST members were brought up to speed on several new Programs and were able to take advantage of some of the best Show Specials ever. (Pictured Below).

The winners of our annual new products contest were:   APEX TOOLS for their Odd Job Tool and COVERGRIP for their floor gripping drop cloth, (Pictured below).

During the Main Reception, Bryan Moskowitz of Leight Sales and Marcus Moran of Aubuchon Hardware were honored for their long standing support of the group and group programs. (Pictured below)

The spectacular weather made for wonderful Golf and Beach Outings and the excellent efforts by the Members and Suppliers made for productive meetings. All in all it was a great start to the year….Thank you to all participants.



First Half of 2012


Before we get started, we have some sad news:

Alan Moskowitz, former CEO of Leight Sales, recently passed away. Alan was an Industry Icon. In the eighties and nineties Alan was very instrumental in the development of the VAL-TEST Group.

Alan was one of the most well known and loved persons in Hardware Distribution. Because of him, we were able to establish relationships with some of the biggest wigs in Hardware and Tools. We will remember him fondly.

Alan’s son Bryan has been running Leight for several years and he will carry on as CEO.





  • We started the year off with our 50th Anniversary Show, which was great. Attending members were treated to a champagne party that took us down history lane and were given commemorative VAL-TEST 50th Limited Edition Collector’s Pocket Knives.
  • Next, to support the products that were featured at the Show, we produced custom circulars for our members who were in attendance.
  • Third, we published a late spring 50th Anniversary Promotion that was made up of several products that were on special for 50% off.
  • And most recently we produced circulars for members who wish to advertise these specials.

After the VAL-TEST SHOW, we attended the NATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW in May, and THE GROUP MERCHANDISING CONFERENCE in June. Bob and Paul Gurgos met with the Hardware Suppliers, and Paul Melzer and Joanne Luce met with the Sundries Suppliers. They met with many of our current suppliers, and then they met with 60 potential new ones.

A new supplier program summary will be going out to the membership this month.

Next up will be our Second Half Event Promotion and then the VAL-TEST SHOW in January 2013.


We started the 2012 VAL-TEST SHOW with our annual member meeting where we first reviewed our 27-New Supplier Programs, our 19-Year End Rebates and the 103-Separate Promotions that we ran during the year. Next we previewed 2012. The main topics were: New Supplier Programs, Volume Buys, Promotion Enhancements, and Member involvement in the development of Group Programs.

The VAL-TEST Marketing Programs and Promotions continue to be a very important part of our members’ business. The annual members meetings allow us to review and plan these for the upcoming year.

The Saturday and Sunday booth sessions
featured 50 members discussing their marketing plans with 100 VAL-TEST Suppliers. This 2-to-1 ratio allows the members to talk to almost all suppliers while keeping the exhibits busy from the beginning to end. Suppliers provide Show Specials that our members use to load up for the season.  Plus, this one on one point of contact allows our members the opportunity to enhance the specials.  We support these specials with a circular program that runs in March and April.

With all of the manufacturer changes that have taken place, the VAL-TEST SHOW is a great place for our members to negotiate programs with existing suppliers and replace old suppliers with new ones.

The winners of our annual New Products Competition were Preval for their Fan Airbrush System, and Shop-Vac for their Toolmate Tool Box and Wet Dry Vac Combo….Congrats to the winners.

During the Show we had our 50th Anniversary Party; it was awesome.  Huge fresh shrimp, Premium Adult Beverages, Passed Lobster Bits, Fancy Desserts, Lamb Chops, and a hoist of the Champagne toasting the challenges of the next 50 years.

VAL-TEST Members and Suppliers were able to socialize and network in this wonderful atmosphere overlooking beautiful Naples Beach.

At the party, we honored the members and suppliers who have attended the most VAL-TEST SHOWS. Paul and Lee Jordan from Herzog Supply, Roger Hackman of  Seymour Mfg. and Steve McLean of Savogran received awards for their longstanding support of the group.

The skies were clear with temperatures in the 80’s. It made for a fantastic golf outing and fun by the beach.

The Show was a great start to the year and a fantastic way to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. Thank you to all who attended, we are very happy that we are able to celebrate with you.


Wow…As if enduring the sluggish Economy was not enough, VAL-TEST Members and Suppliers had to also battle Mother Nature to get to The 2011 VAL-TEST SHOW.

Record Snow fall in 2/3rds of the Nation threatened to cancel the 49th meeting of the VAL-TEST Group. But by delaying the activities a half day, we were able to accommodate all late arriving members and all but one supplier.

The show turned out well and the Naples weather was good. It represents a great start to the year.

Pictured above: (A stranded Auto on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, and the beach in Naples).


At the abbreviated member meeting, we reviewed 2010, and then previewed our plans for 2011.

During the meeting we revealed our updated advertising program, which now includes an attached order form and an advertising opportunity for our dealers and contractors.

At the Booth Sessions, approx. 100 suppliers displayed their programs to 55 VAL-TEST members. The show specials came in handy for those members who used them to stock up for the season. Otherwise our members were able to discuss their plans, express their concerns, and negotiate one on one with our suppliers. This annual point of contact is invaluable.

Also, during our Booth Sessions our members voted for their favorite new products. The winners were:

Hardware Innovations for their Sylvania 5 in 1, Timer with Motion Sensors and Alarms


Ironwood Designs for their Bloxygen, Oxygen Blocking gas for left over Paint.

Pictured (Denise Ackerman Director of Retail Sales for Hardware Innovations, the makers of Sylvania Timers, and Steven Zawalick, Owner of IronWood Designs the makers of Bloxygen).


The receptions gave everyone a chance to catch up with friends and do a little networking.

Each year, we present awards to suppliers who have done an exceptional job in support of our group efforts. At this year’s reception, our 2011 Supplier appreciation awards went to Jack Crabtree of the Wm. Barr Co. and Lynn Wallis of Apex Tool.

Pictured (Bob Gurgos of VAL-TEST, Jack Crabtree of WM Barr and Lynne Wallis of Apex Tool and Russell Meeks of VAL-TEST).



The Second annual OPEN DECOR SHOW was a success with 12 OPEN DECOR Suppliers displaying their programs to approx. 30 installer customers of our 8 Distributors.

This year, we featured CEU classes for Designers and Workshops for the Installers. The CEU classes were taught by OPEN DECOR Distributors and Installers. These classes were about the different Decorative Coating options with a heavy emphasis on their impact on LEEDS credits. ASID and IDS members were in attendance.

The Workshops were taught by OPEN DECOR Suppliers, giving students a hands-on experience with their selected finish.

Pictured (Kathy Carroll of Faux by Kathy teaching her Workshop, and Nathan Giffin of Vertical Artisans with his Workshop Students).


We want to thank all the attending Val-Test Members and Suppliers for making this a great Show.

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