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Hall of Fame Dinner 2009

The 2009 Industry Hall of Fame dinner was another gala event in the year. As trustee of the Hall of Fame, the Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association is honoured to play a part in this process. This year's inductees were two men who have truly been captains of industry in their illustrious careers.

Gaetan Martel joined a small manufacturer of weather stripping in Boucherville, Quebec with sales of just over $3 million. He, along with his partner and a venture capital firm, purchased the company. They launched an aggressive expansion plan to become the market leader in weather stripping, carpet runner and garden hose in Canada, in some categories achieving 90%. This included the purchase of Jacob & Thompson which opened up the industrial side of the business for them. With the acquisition in 1996 of one of their top three competitors in the USA they expanded south of the border. Mr. Martel and his partner bought out the venture capital company in 2004 and, with tremendous foresight, offered shares to their employees. Today the company is 35 times larger than when he started, has won numerous vendor awards, and is considered a North American market leader. Mr. Martel has been a supporter of the Parkinson, Heart and Stroke and Breast Cancer Foundations and since retiring has been establishing his own foundation for children with autism.
Like so many other great retailers, Mr. Sales began his Career as a student working in the stockroom at a K-Mart store. After working his way up the executive ranks with that organization he made the move to Canadian Tire Retail as Senior VP Marketing in 1991. Soon after, he became Executive Vice President with responsibility for the entire supply chain including the development of PartSource, a specialty automotive chain and strategic business unit of Canadian Tire. He held the position of CEO from 2000 until his retirement in 2006. His bold strategies for the revitalization of Canadian Tire and the acquisition of Mark's Work Wearhouse, have led to several industry awards, including Distinguished Retailer of the Year in 2004, by the Retail Council of Canada, and CEO of the year by Canadian Business Magazine in 2005. Mr. Sales was inducted into the Canadian Marketing, Hall of Legends in 2009. Since retiring as CEO, he has served on numerous Boards across North America including Tim Hortons, SuperValu Inc., Georgia Gulf Corporation and Discovery Air. Mr. Sales is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.

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