Management Team

True Value guides its retailers by providing solid direction and programs proven to increase their retail sales. Our people are True Value's greatest asset. They're at the core of our brand and exemplify what our name is all about. With experienced leadership in place, profitable retail growth drives the entire organization. It's why we're in a solid position to help our customers achieve success and deliver a competitive advantage to all independent hardware retailers.

Chris Kempa

Chris Kempa

Chief Executive Officer

Chris Kempa serves as True Value's Chief Executive Officer. Kempa joined the Company in November, 2019 and previously served as Chief Commercial Officer, where he rapidly implemented and executed an integrated merchandising, sales and pricing go-to-market strategy.

Kempa has a long track record of successfully leading businesses in the retail channel and has over 25 years of experience in the product distribution sector. He comes to True Value from ORS Medco, where he most recently served as chief executive officer and group president. Prior to that he was an officer at Grainger with responsibility for its international business.

Kempa holds an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, as well as a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University.

John Armbrecht

John Armbrecht

Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer

As Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, John Armbrecht is responsible for all technology and platforms supporting True Value’s wholesale distribution business and the company’s technology strategies to support business functional needs. Armbrecht began his work with True Value in October 2016 as the Senior Director of Enterprise Technology. He joined True Value after serving more than 15 years in technology leadership for multiple retail and wholesale companies including Kohl’s, Belk Stores, OfficeMax, and Sears.

Prior to his move into technology leadership, Armbrecht held multiple retail operational leadership and management positions. This combination of retail operations and technology leadership experience has equipped him to drive transformational technology programs that are both tactical and innovative. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Governors State University and studied telecommunications production engineering at Liberty University.

 
William Donahue

John Hammerle

Senior Vice President & General Counsel

As Senior Vice President and General Counsel, John Hammerle provides leadership over the Company's legal department and serves as the Corporate Compliance Officer. Prior to his promotion to the General Counsel role, John served True Value for four years as Assistant General Counsel.

Before joining True Value, Hammerle spent 12 years at Freeborn & Peters LLP. There he assisted clients in complex business litigation matters and garnered experience in both trial and appellate work across a wide array of state and federal commercial matters.

John earned his Bachelors of Science in Telecommunication Arts and Theatre from Butler University and graduated JD, Magna Cum Laude from the DePaul University College of Law.

 

JAKE KALNITZ

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MERCHANDISING, INVENTORY & PRICING

As Senior Vice President of Merchandising, Inventory and Pricing, Jake Kalnitz leads the Company’s strategy of building innovative and productive product assortments while also creating a differentiated inventory experience for True Value’s independent hardware retailers. Kalnitz joined the Company in December, 2020, as Vice President of Merchandising.

Before joining True Value, Kalnitz built experience in product distribution across multiple functions and disciplines including Finance, Supply Chain, and Merchandising. He comes to True Value most recently from Grainger, where he had responsibility for leading procurement and supplier growth strategies for the Safety business.

Jake earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is currently an Executive MBA candidate at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Theresa Shea

Eric Lane

Senior Vice President, Sales

As Senior Vice President of Sales, Eric Lane is responsible for driving the Company’s profitable growth through direct and indirect sales, new customer acquisition and business development.

 Lane is a long-tenured associate, most recently serving as Vice President of Specialty Business, where he provided leadership over True Value’s Home & Garden Showplace, International, Maintenance and Rental divisions.

 Lane has held various positions within True Value and has a wide array of experience in sales, strategic development, store expansions and remodels.  He led True Value's two-year enterprise management system initiative, managed the Company’s eBusiness and retail systems and spent 10 years in Marketing and Merchandising roles.

 Lane started his career in Merchandising at Servistar and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Juniata College.

Kelly Megel

Senior Vice President, Marketing

As Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kelly Megel is responsible for the brand’s marketing and advertising efforts, including the development of digital and e-commerce strategies, employee and retailer communications, PR and media relations, executive engagements, and events and meetings. 

Her past experiences include managing blue-chip brands like Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, Flintstones, Pearle Vision, and most recently, Discover Financial Services, where, as VP of Marketing, she managed the Brand Team, Media Team, and The Brand Creative Group (the internal agency).  

Kelly is a Michigan State University alum and is currently a student of Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management’s Executive MBA program, where she serves as the Cohort Ambassador and is on the Speaker Committee and the DE&I Committee. 

William Donahue

Jeff Olson

Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

As Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Olson is responsible for ensuring True Value Company is leveraging its financial resources effectively, while accelerating investments to further support all independent hardware retailers.

Olson has over 30 years of experience in financial optimization helping to drive commercial effectiveness and operating results. Prior to True Value, Jeff served as Vice President, Finance for The AZEK Company, a manufacturer of low-maintenance and sustainable building products, with responsibility for the company’s Residential products business. He has deep experience in wholesale distribution including over 10 years with increasing responsibilities in Finance at Essendant, a $5B distributor of business products.

Jeff holds a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 
Theresa Shea

Irma Quintana

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

As Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Irma Quintana is responsible for the Company’s talent acquisition, succession planning, performance management and training.

Quintana has over 25 years of experience leading companies through extensive change management and development of compensation philosophies.

Prior to joining True Value, Quintana served as Vice President, Global Compensation, Benefits, HRIS and US Payroll at Littlefuse. She also spent 15 years at CNA Financial, most recently as Vice President of Compensation.

Quintana holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois.

William Donahue

John Vanderpool

Divisional President, True Value Manufacturing / General Paint Manufacturing

As Divisional President, True Value Manufacturing / General Paint Manufacturing, John Vanderpool is responsible for ensuring alignment on the implementation of our paint strategy and driving sales growth of our EasyCare paint assortment and private label manufacturing efforts.

John has been at the helm of True Value Manufacturing in various roles since 2015, beginning as Senior Director of Business Development. Before joining True Value, John developed and implemented growth strategies for Benjamin Moore and improved top line sales for the J.C. Licht retail chain. John is a board member for the American Coatings Association and Chairman of the Board of the ACA PaintCare organization.

John holds a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Political Science in Chemistry and English from Augustana College.

 

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