ATG Launches Industrial End User Specialist Program

SPARKS, MD -- (Marketwired) -- 06/09/14 -- Apex Tool Group, one of the largest worldwide producers of hand and power tools, tool storage, drill chucks, chain, and electronic soldering products, today announced its new End User Specialist (EUS) program, which was developed to support industrial facilities operators and industrial tool distributors located throughout North America. The service-oriented program provides end users at manufacturing sites with greater access to Apex Tool Group products that support industrial applications.

End User Specialists will drive fully outfitted trucks featuring 1,700 tools from the company's most popular hand tool brands including: Armstrong, Campbell, Crescent, GearWrench, HK Porter, Lufkin and Nicholson. The End User Specialists will provide technical expertise, offer demonstrations, facilitate customer orders, offer safety seminars, resolve warranty related issues and conduct chain sling inspections. In addition, the highly trained specialists will get hands-on with operators to ensure they are using the correct tool for every application. Industrial customers will continue to purchase tools through their regular distributors.

"The Industrial End User Specialist program demonstrates Apex Tool Group's commitment to supporting our distributors and customers in the industrial sector," said John Constantine, president of North America hand tools for Apex Tool Group. "Having on-the-ground support for the Apex Tool Group hand tool brand portfolio helps our distributors facilitate sales and provides another touch point for us with customers."

The EUS program is currently launching in select regions of the United States. The program will grow over time to include more than 30 specialists throughout the United States and Canada.

"It's important that end users understand the breadth and depth of the industrial tools brands within the Apex Tool Group portfolio. The EUS program unites brands that offer unprecedented end user benefits under one company supported initiative," added Constantine. For more information about the EUS program call 866-326-7572 or email If you are interested in becoming an End User Specialist, email

Thomas Wroe, Jr.
Chairman of the Board

Mr. Wroe is Chairman of the Board and former Chief Executive Officer of Sensata Technologies, a $2 billion global sensing and protection solutions industrial manufacturer.

He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors that governs Apex Tool Group, and is also a member of the Board’s Compensation Committee.

Mr. Wroe had a 34-year career with Texas Instruments, holding a variety of management assignments in operations, engineering, marketing, and business development across all of the businesses in TI’s Materials & Controls Division, where he was named President in 1995, and subsequently appointed Senior Vice President of Texas Instruments in 1998. The division was renamed Sensors & Controls in September 2000, and was purchased by Bain Capital in 2006. Mr. Wroe was named CEO of the business, renamed Sensata Technologies, in 2006 and served in that position until his retirement in 2012.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of GT Advanced Technologies and the Chase Corporation, and is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Cape Cod Healthcare.

Ray Johnson
Vice President, Global Operations and Supply Chain - Hand Tools

Ray joined ATG in April 2014 from Furniture Brands International where he was Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain since 2009, and most recently served as its Chief Operating Officer since 2013. He also was a Director on the Board of Furniture Brands (now Heritage Home Group), a manufacturer of ten leading home furnishing brands including Thomasville, Broyhill and Drexel Heritage. Ray led the company’s global supply chain including customer service, purchasing, planning, manufacturing, distribution and transportation for ten business units, 16 global plants and 20 distribution centers.

Prior to this, he served as President, Global Operations and Supply Chain for Newell Rubbermaid, as well as holding Manufacturing Vice President roles for several of its business units during his seven years with the company, including its Irwin Tools Division. Ray also served on Newell's Board of Directors. He also worked for Black & Decker for 15 years, holding operations, production and quality roles of increasing responsibility including Vice President of Operations for its North American Power Tools division.

A Six Sigma Black Belt, Ray holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

HK Porter Compact Bolt Cutter


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GearWrench and Rob Tucker Racing

GearWrench® is revving up its first racing circuit sponsorship since 2011 by sponsoring the Rob Tucker Racing drag racing team ( in its inaugural appearance in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello series.

This highly-successful Australian team has a long-standing relationship with our GearWrench brand in Australia. Rob Tucker’s son, Shane - already a drag racing superstar in Australia - is racing for the first time in the U.S. as part of the National Hot Rod Association’s Pro Stock circuit.

The new 2014 Jerry Bickel built Pro Stock SS Z28 Chevrolet Camaro that
Shane Tucker will be racing in the rest of the circuit, beginning with the

March 13-16 Gainesville, Florida event.

A supporting sponsor, GearWrench has branding on the front fenders and rear window of the race vehicle and the team uniforms.  “Based on our strong GearWrench partnership with Rob Tucker Racing (RTR) in Australia, it was a natural to explore sponsoring Shane Tucker’s first season in U.S. Pro Stock,” explains Paul Steinweg, Director of Marketing, Automotive.

Shane Tucker, Australian Drag Racing pro.  Photo by Mark J. Rebilas

Shane has racked up an impressive record in Australia’s ANDRA racing scene, and is already making waves on the Mello Yello circuit.   As the #16 qualifier at a race in Phoenix, Shane knocked out the #1 qualifier with a hole shot win (being fastest to start – versus fastest elapsed time - after the lights turn green), and has now returned to RTR’s U.S. headquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina to take delivery of a new 2014 Jerry Bickel built Pro Stock Chevrolet Camaro for the rest of their race schedule.

Adds Jim Stewart, Product Marketing Manager for GearWrench, “We are supplying the U.S.-based Rob Tucker Racing team with our extensive line of best-in-class GearWrench hand tools, and hope to feature Shane’s new Chevy Camaro in our SEMA show booth this November.”



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