Hardware Retailing

FEB 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | February 2017 84 84 HARDWARE RETAILING | February 2017 T he NRHA Retail Management Certification Program is designed to provide retail business owners with an avenue for developing their key employees' leadership and management skills. The six-month program uses college-level curriculum that was developed in conjunction with Ball State University's John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise. The management training course includes three visits to NRHA's Indianapolis headquarters over the course of six months for an intensive, interactive learning experience with 15 to 20 students from across North America. Program topics focus on lead- ership, problem-solving, business strategy, advanced retail operations, project management, financial man- agement and human resources management. Each student in the program is required to develop a major business improvement project that provides a return on the owner's or sponsor's investment in sending the student through the course. To date, the 110 students who have graduated from the program have conservatively returned over $6.5 million to their companies through these projects, either through sales gains or expense reductions. The ideal candidate for the training program is a retail manager or owner who has a minimum of three years of experience managing a home improvement retail operation. Management experience is a course prerequisite so students can share their career experiences and successes with classmates in a roundtable-style learning environment. Students are currently completing the program's seventh class. NRHA is recruiting for the spring 2017 course, which has the following schedule: • Application deadline: Feb. 28 • Visit 1: April 11-14 • Visit 2: June 13-16 • Visit 3: Aug. 8-11 • Course completion: mid-October 2017 "We have come a long way since the launch of the first class four years ago," says Scott Wright, executive director of the Retail Leadership Institute. "We have continued to make tweaks to the program since we started. We recently switched university instructional partners to Ball State because we felt they were a perfect fit for the program and for our industry." The lead instructor for the program, Rob Mathews, is director of the Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship at Ball State and grew up in the hardware business. "Rob's parents owned and operated hardware stores in central Indiana and southwest Florida. Until last year, Rob owned and operated a home center in Pendleton, Indiana," Wright says. "He has the university instructional experience focused on helping develop entrepreneurs, as well as practical industry knowledge. We're very fortunate to have someone with his unique skillset leading the course's instructional and curriculum design efforts." In addition to Ball State, which oversees more than half of the course instruction, NRHA provides and sources training using industry experts in key instructional areas, making the program uniquely focused on needs specific to independent retailers. NRHA Retail Management Certification Program In 2014, NRHA developed a scholarship program for students attending the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program. To date, 46 students have received half-tuition scholarships totaling $292,000 to attend the program thanks to scholarships from NRHA and the following manufacturers, wholesalers and co-ops: Benjamin Moore & Co., Bernzomatic, Blish-Mize Co., The Bostwick-Braun Company, Do it Best Corp., Fulton, Home Hardware Stores Limited, Hyde Tools Inc., Intertape Polymer Group, MiTek Builder Products, National Hardware Show ® , PACOA, PRO Group Inc., Simple Green, Stanley Black & Decker Inc., Trimaco LLC, Wallace Hardware Co. and The Wooster Brush Co. Supporting the Cause

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