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.

Cathy Anderson

Cathy Anderson

Senior Vice President Human Resources, General Counsel and Secretary

As True Value Company's general counsel, Cathy Anderson provides legal services to the co-op, manages legal matters and serves as secretary to the company. She is an accomplished attorney and executive, who has 27 years of experience in law, business strategy and management.

Before joining True Value Company in 2003, Anderson was executive vice president, general counsel and secretary for Alliant Foodservice, Inc. in Deerfield, Illinois. During her seven years with the $7 billion foodservice distribution company, she handled the legal aspects of mergers and acquisitions, labor relations, commercial matters, intellectual property and government contracts, among other significant issues.

At The Nutrasweet Company, Anderson served as deputy general counsel and assistant secretary from 1992 to 1995 and as director, commercial law services from 1986 to 1992. She also provided legal services on behalf of the international division of American Hospital Supply Corporation, a predecessor company of Baxter International, in Evanston, Illinois from 1976 to 1986.

Anderson holds a J.D. from Loyola University, Chicago and bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. A member of the American and Chicago Bar Associations, she currently serves on the board of directors for Evanston-Northwestern Healthcare and is affiliated with Georgetown University Corporate Counsel Institute.

 

 David Elliot

David Elliott

Senior Vice President, Marketing

David Elliott joined True Value Company in April of 2017 from Mitre 10, the leading hardware and home improvement co-op in New Zealand. Elliott possesses over 25 years of global marketing experience. He is highly respected for his ability to develop growth strategies in support of independent hardware retailers.

As the general manager of marketing, Elliott led a re-launch of the Mitre 10 brand, enhanced the company’s digital and traditional advertising, revamped the consumer loyalty program and implemented an omni-channel strategy, including the development of a robust social media presence.

Prior to Mitre 10, Elliott was the general manager of distribution and marketing for the New Zealand Racing Board, where he was responsible for increasing the marketing and sales performance for brick-and-mortar stores as well as online channels. Additionally, he has served in various retail marketing roles for Chevron International and Caltex International across diverse geographies.

Elliott holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Stirling in Scotland.

John Hartmann

John Hartmann

President and Chief Executive Officer

John Hartmann has 20 years of corporate experience at the senior executive level, with 16 years spent in the hardware and home improvement sector. Hartmann joined True Value in 2013 and led the company through the creation and implementation of a strategic plan focused on critical reinvestments in the business to drive growth and profitability for True Value Company and the independent retailers it serves. Most recently, he led the company through a change in ownership to unlock over $200 million of shareholders’ equity and establish True Value as the only hardlines wholesale distributor with a globally recognized brand and no stock requirement. 

Previously, Hartmann led New Zealand-based cooperative Mitre 10, where members saw profitable sales increases by over 25 percent during his four year tenure as Chief Executive Officer. Hartmann joined Mitre 10 from industrial distributor HD Supply, where he held a variety of roles before being appointed Chief Operating Officer of the electrical and plumbing divisions of the private equity-owned business. Prior to this, he spent several years in strategic planning and business development roles at The Home Depot. 

Hartmann also previously served as vice president of corporate services for Cardinal Health after moving into the corporate world following a decade serving as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Hartmann holds a JD from Syracuse University College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. He also received a certificate in the Accelerated Leadership Program from Emory University, Goizueta Business School.

Hartmann currently serves on the board of directors and audit committee of AmeriGas [NYSE: APU] and is a National Trustee for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Eric Lane

Eric Lane

Vice President, Specialty Businesses

As vice president of specialty businesses, Eric Lane provides leadership over True Value Company's retail identities and niche businesses including Home & Garden Showplace, International, MRO - Maintenance, Repair and Operations, and the Rental Division including Grand Rental Station, Just Ask Rental and Taylor Rental.

Most recently, Lane served as True Value's business development director of retail growth where he was responsible for driving profitable retail sales growth including the opening of new stores, and the expansion and remodeling of existing ones. Eric also led the growth of branch stores with existing retailers, recruiting and identifying new retailers, and guiding True Value's real estate strategy.

Prior to that, Lane led True Value's two-year Enterprise Management System initiative, served for six years in eBusiness and retail systems, and spent 10 years in marketing and merchandising roles. He began his career at Servistar in merchandising, buying and field management.

Lane earned his bachelor's degree in business management from Juniata College.

Tim Mills

Tim Mills

Senior Vice President, Growth

Tim Mills joins True Value Company on Nov. 6, 2013 from leading distributor HD Supply, one of the largest diversified industrial distributors in North America. Mills has held executive roles in operations, sales, and mergers and acquisitions and most recently was vice president and general manager in their Power Solutions division.

His leadership experience includes serving as vice president of distribution operations, process excellence and customer service for Bankers Life and Casualty. Mills also held the role of vice president at Information Resources Inc., the leading market information firm that provides the analytics, business intelligence solutions, and subject matter expertise to the world's leading consumer packaged goods and retail companies. Mills also holds his Six Sigma Master Black Belt from GE Capital.

Mills earned a master's in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University's College of Business and his bachelor's in Business Administration and Management, from the United States Air Force Academy.

Jean Niemi

Jean Niemi

Vice President of Communications

As Vice President of Communications, Jean Niemi is responsible for employee and retailer communications, brand PR, executive engagements, media relations, events and meetings.

Niemi joined the company in 2014 from Kraft Foods Group where she was head of Corporate Affairs with responsibilities for external and internal communications as well as community involvement. Prior to that, she was at The Home Depot for almost nine years guiding the strategic communications execution for corporate positioning initiatives including brand, executive and industry communications. She also worked across business units to develop integrated traditional and social media campaigns.

Niemi holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University in Alleghany, N.Y. She is affiliated with the Arthur W. Page Society Future Leaders and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.


Cathy Anderson

Deborah O'Connor

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Deborah O’Connor joined True Value on May 26, 2015 as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. O’Connor comes to our company with a wealth of retail experience, having worked in various finance roles over the last 25 years. Most recently, O’Connor spent seven years at OfficeMax, where she was the senior vice president of integration and finance playing a critical role in the OfficeMax/Office Depot merger. Since 2008, O’Connor has held a number of finance leadership roles, including interim CFO and senior vice president and chief accounting officer.

Prior to joining OfficeMax, O’Connor was with ServiceMaster for over 15 years, most recently as senior vice president and controller, where she oversaw numerous acquisitions including Terminix, TruGreen/ChemLawn, American Home Shield and Merry Maids. Previously, she was also an accountant with Arthur Andersen for seven years, working in the firm’s Commercial division while also receiving her CPA certification. O’Connor graduated from Arizona State with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

Jean Saelens

Vice President and Corporate Controller

As vice president and corporate controller, Jean Saelens is responsible for accounting and reporting, financial planning and analysis, tax and other transactional areas. She has been corporate controller since 2011, becoming a vice president in August 2014.

Saelens joined True Value in 2008 as the Logistics controller, a role she redefined from accounting function to business partner. During that time, she managed financial and accounting functions for the distribution centers and private transportation fleet and partnered with distribution and transportation management to analyze and review operational and strategic results.

A highly accomplished, results-driven financial executive, Saelens has spent 20-plus years in public and corporate accounting and consulting. Prior to joining True Value, she was director of Knowledge Management at the Johnsson Group. She also has served as vice president and controller at McDougal Littell-Houghton Mifflin Company, accounting manager at World Book International and senior auditor at Ernst & Young.

Saelens is a registered certified public accountant who holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance from Saint Mary’s College and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She is a member of Financial Executives International.

Abhinav Shukla

Abhinav Shukla

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Abhinav Shukla is the Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all aspects of supply chain, global sourcing and strategic procurement. In addition, he has general management responsibility for expanding True Value’s omni-channel/e-commerce offering and for True Value’s paint business (private brands and contract manufacturing).

Shukla has led strategic, transformation initiatives at several Fortune 500 companies focused on improving their financial and operational performance. He has held senior operating roles, and has been a trusted adviser to corporate boards and C-suite officers on topics ranging from supply chain revitalization, capital allocation, corporate strategy and M&A. Prior to joining the company, Shukla was a consultant for the highly-regarded global consulting firm AlixPartners. He has been the co-founder of AlphaHarvest Capital, a New York-based investment management firm, and served as a Principal at Druker Capital. Shukla began his career with international roles in the automotive industry and oil field services, followed by consulting stints with McKinsey & Co. and The Boston Consulting Group.

Shukla is a CFA Charterholder, and has a master's degree in Management and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and is also a board member for the American Coatings Association. Shukla was previously a founding board member of America Needs You – New Jersey (formerly “New Jersey Needs You,”) a non-profit that enables first-generation college students to realize their career ambitions.

Barbara Wagner

Barbara Wagner

Vice President and Corporate Treasurer

Barbara Wagner joined the company in 2001 as Vice President and Treasurer. Her responsibilities include the corporate finance areas of capital market finance, cash management and treasury operations, member/shareholder investments and risk management.

She has over 20 years of experience in corporate finance. Prior to joining True Value Company, Wagner held various positions at the Chicago-based companies Fruit of the Loom, Farley Industries, and Northwest Industries.

Wagner holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Northern Illinois University and earned an MBA from DePaul University. She is a certified public accountant.