American Direct Announces Lance Simpson as President and Chief Executive Officer
Founder and former CEO, Byron Whetstone, to remain on the company’s board of directors to help drive the strategic vision of the business.
LENEXA, Kan., July 11, 2023 / — American Direct Procurement, LLC (“American Direct”), a national
distributor of doors and related hardware as well as a leading access control and commercial integration
business, today announced that Lance Simpson has joined American Direct as President and Chief Executive Officer. Effective immediately, he has assumed day-to-day leadership and succeeds American Direct’s founder, Byron Whetstone, who will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors and remain involved in shaping the strategic vision of the business.
Mr. Simpson is a proven executive with an excellent track record across multiple companies in the industrial distribution sector. Prior to joining American Direct, he served as Chief Operating Officer of Cook & Boardman, where he helped triple revenue over four years through both organic initiatives and acquisitions. Over his 30+ year career, Mr. Simpson has held various leadership positions at several businesses with over $1 billion in revenue, including Crescent Electric Supply, HD Supply Waterworks, and Hughes Supply.
“I’m incredibly honored to have the opportunity to lead American Direct through its next phase of growth and success,” said Simpson. “I have known Byron and the company for a very long time and believe American Direct is uniquely positioned in the industry given its established focus on addressing the convergence of hardware and technology”. Simpson continued, “I couldn’t be more excited to help unlock the full potential for the company going forward”.
The transition comes after Byron Whetstone, the company’s founder and long-time CEO, spent the past several years searching for the right successor to lead American Direct while he steps back from the day-to-day operations of the business. “As I reflect on what we’ve built at American Direct since the early-1990s, I am excited to welcome Lance into our American Direct family”, said Whetstone. “He is a proven executive, a top leader in our industry, and is the perfect fit for our business as we continue to execute on an exciting growth opportunity.”
In October 2021, American Direct partnered with Aves Capital Management, a Chicago-based private investment firm, to support its acquisition of Avalon Communication Services and to help accelerate Whetstone’s vision of creating a leading total security solutions business. “Lance has distinguished himself as a dynamic leader with an impressive track record that will be invaluable as we continue scaling American Direct,” said Zachary Nemes, board member at American Direct and Managing Director at Aves Capital Management. “We are excited to partner with Lance during the next chapter at American Direct and look forward to the support and strategic guidance that Byron will continue to provide.”
About American Direct Procurement
American Direct is a Lenexa, KS-based national distributor of doors and related hardware and electronic access control products for a range of construction clients. The Company also provides design, innovation, and installation services to general contractors and other end-users, offering fully integrated safety and security solutions at the door opening. Founded in 1991, American Direct provides nationwide distribution and installation services, with additional facilities in Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Denver, CO; Greenville, NC; Houston, TX; Lancaster, PA; Phoenix, AZ; and Portland, OR. American Direct owns and operates the AccessNsite access control technology platform, and operates under multiple commercial integration banners in various local markets, including Avalon, CH Edwards and Security Control Systems.
About Aves Capital Management
Aves is a Chicago-based alternative investment firm focused on special situation-oriented private equity and opportunistic credit investing. Aves specializes in providing privately negotiated financing solutions to high quality businesses that are navigating strategic or operational change, operating in out-of-favor industries, facing event-driven complexities and managing business plans built around non-traditional assets. Aves often takes a contrarian approach when investing and strives to provide businesses with solutions designed to address complicated liquidity or growth capital needs. For more information, visit: http://www.avescap.com/.
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