Posted April 16, 2021

Evergreen honors professional development recipients at annual conference

Thirty-nine professionals earn Certified Tool Specialist or Certified Operations Specialist credentials.

Fourteen professionals were recognized during the group’s 2021 Partnership Conference in Orlando, FL. Eleven others were recognized for achieving their next Diamond Level. Evergreen recognized 4 individuals as Evergreen Certified Tool Specialist and another 10 individuals as Evergreen Certified Operations Specialists.

The 13 individuals earned initial certification by completing a multi-year training and education program that included completion of 137.5 hours of continuing education covering product, applications and selling skills. To achieve a Diamond Level, the professional must first become certified and then complete another 52.5 hours of professional development and have a teaching experience. There are nine Diamond Levels available in the program.

Becoming an Evergreen Certified Operations Specialist requires more than 120 hours of training in areas such as purchasing, inventory management, human resources and operations. Becoming an Evergreen Safety Specialist requires nearly 70 hours of specialized training in safety products and applications.

Achieving their first Diamond Level were:

  • Andrew Green, American Producers Supply (Marietta, OH)
  • Loretta Collins, Darragh Company (Little Rock, AR)
  • Joey George, Edge Construction Supply (Spokane, WA)
  • Katie Lancelle, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Chuck Andreas, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)

Earning their second Diamond Level were:

  • Dan Gust, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Dan Steinbrecher, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)

Earning their third Diamond Level were:

  • William Smith, Acme Tools (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Keith Turtenwald, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • James Samuelson, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)

Earning his ninth Diamond Level was:

  • Eric Steinbrecher, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)

The following sales professionals earned their initial certification:

  • Joe Green, Carson’s Nut-Bolt & Tool (Portland, OR)
  • Jeff Deinhammer, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Brad Etzel, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Jessie Lyon, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)

“There are now 425 sales professionals in the tool and fastener industry who have earned the designation as Evergreen certified,” said Evergreen CEO Kevin Higginbotham. “Through this program they have demonstrated their commitment to this industry and their own professional development.”

Evergreen Certified Tool Specialists earn the right to wear a championship-style gold ring or a handsome, custom-made gold watch. Following initial recognition, sales professionals build toward the Diamond Levels by taking additional classes and workshops designed to sharpen their skills further.

Evergreen also launched a certification process for employees in the operations side of a distributor’s business. Operations certification requires 120 hours of professional development.

Earning operations certification this year included:

  • Brandon Hunter, Acme Construction Supply (Portland, OR)
  • Andrew Green, American Producers (Marietta, OH)
  • Royce Mullins, Darragh Company (Little Rock, AR)
  • Jose Vasquez, Darragh Company (Little Rock, AR)
  • Bill Diel, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Steve Klocko, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Josh Pavich, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Steve Sundby, Lincoln Contractors Supply (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Mike Gott, Tool & Anchor (Denver, CO)
  • Joey Ortega, Tool & Anchor (Denver, CO)
The Evergreen Marketing Group is a member-owned cooperative founded in 1989 by six construction/industrial supply distributors. It currently consists of 55 distributors with more than 350 locations in the United States and Canada and has combined revenues of over $3 billion dollars. The group is focused on driving growth and profitability of its distributors and preferred suppliers through an on-going program of training & education, business development and partnering.
Evergreen maintains a state-of-the-art 11,000 square foot training center in Farmer’s Branch, Texas and offers the industry’s only professional certification program for distributor sales and operations people. Evergreen members are the leading distributors of tools, fasteners, concrete accessories and other construction/industrial products. Learn more at