COE Distributing Names New President, Restructures for Long-term Growth, Profitability

For Immediate Release
UNIONTOWN (April 6, 2021) — Planning for future double-digit growth in revenue and profits, office furnishings wholesaler COE Distributing has enhanced its executive team to support targeted initiatives and provide the ultimate client experience through hyper-focused customer service.

Effective immediately, J.D. Ewing will move from his role of president into the position of chairman, continuing his role as CEO. Ewing has grown this third-generation, family-owned business to one of the largest distributors of office furnishings in the United States with more than 100 employees. Under his
leadership, COE brought new products to market last year in the midst of a global pandemic and achieved its highest revenue months in company history in August and September, topping out for the first time ever at $10MM revenue.

Moving forward, he will focus on key customer relationships, refining company culture and big-picture strategy to move COE forward and position the company for explosive and sustainable growth.

“Over the past year, the COE team has navigated substantial challenges and repeatedly shown ourselves, our clients, our vendors and the world how we embrace change, becoming better and stronger because of it,” Ewing said.

“I’m particularly excited about the metamorphosis we’re now beginning. Our energized leadership team is committed to doing what’s best for the company and our redefined roles will allow all team members to leverage their strengths to achieve optimal performance.”

Former chief financial officer Mike Flaherty will transition into the role of president and chief operating officer, overseeing day-to-day, core operations.

A CPA and finance executive with 30 years of experience and an MBA from Duquesne University, Flaherty has served COE Distributing as CFO for two years. Since beginning his career with accounting, finance and information technology positions with Westinghouse Electric, he’s spent 15 years in various executive
positions with Reynolds American before assuming the role of CFO for American Beverage Corporation. Flaherty was named Pittsburgh Business Times CFO of the Year in both 2014 and 2020.

COE will hire a new CFO and has delineated several new positions to enable leaders to focus more intently on specific goals and continuous process improvement.

Jennifer Jubin has been named vice president of customer experience to oversee all employees and processes impacting customers. Jubin joined COE in 2016 as VP of operations. Skilled in strategic leadership, analytics, forecasting, budgeting and problem solving, she holds an MBA from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.

John Townsend was appointed director of warehouse operations managing COE’s three distribution centers in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Texas. Jack Kramer was elevated to fill Townsend’s previous position as facility manager for the Pennsylvania warehouse.

Earlier this year, COE Distributing created two new positions and retooled its marketing department in anticipation of burgeoning demand for e-commerce services. “The move to online sales has accelerated over the past 12 months, and our team is prepared to provide the resources our customers need and want in this increasingly digital environment,” said Chief

Marketing Officer Melanie Ewing, who was elevated to that role in the recent department expansion. Melanie Ewing most recently served as marketing director and continues to shape the marketing team she built from the ground up as it develops to meet business goals and growth demands.

Scott Nichols joined COE as director of e-commerce sales strategy, a key position created to optimize and enhance e-commerce business by implementing best practices to maximize growth and sales and create best-in-class representation of products on e-commerce platforms. He joins COE from Milwaukee-based National Business Furniture, where he spent 13 years in a variety of roles involving merchandising, product management, e-commerce, channel development, sales, global sourcing, pricing, customer service, market strategy and vendor relations.

COE’s Leslie Eldridge assumed Melanie Ewing’s post as marketing director in the recent restructuring. A skilled communicator leading creative teams in bringing strategic marketing initiatives to life, Eldridge brings an eye for detail and the ability to conceptualize the big picture to her new role. Eldridge has exceled in numerous capacities during her more than 20-year tenure with COE, most recently serving as senior graphic designer and web content manager.

Additionally, accomplished supply chain executive Bob Nau joined COE in December as director of supply chain. Nau brings expertise in reengineering business processes to optimize inventories to COE and has previously excelled in similar roles with Medrad, Respironics and Fenner Dunlop Americas.

“We’re poised to move forward with the right people in the right seats on the bus doing the right things,” J.D. Ewing said. “Change often can be difficult, but we have a culture of attacking change with positivity and success, always keeping our core values of customer service, teamwork, quality, transparency, safety and respect in view.”