Rockler Woodworking and Hardware names new CEO

Andy Barnes

MEDINA, Minn. — Minnesota-based and family-owned Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, one of the nation's premier retailers of woodworking tools and supplies, has announced the appointment of Andy Barnes as the company's new CEO. Barnes brings decades of experience in finance, operations, and customer experience with national and regional retailers like Farm & Home Supply Co. and Best Buy Co.

"I'm honored to join Rockler and lead a company that has such an incredible reputation for its in-store service and assortment of unique and innovative products," said Barnes. "At Rockler, it's the whole experience that sets us apart. Whether it's teaching a new woodworking skill to a customer, problem-solving with a professional or innovating a product that helps woodworkers with their craft, Rockler deeply cares about the customer. Across the whole company, everyone shares the same passion for woodworking and supporting our amazing customers, and I'm excited to see how we can continue to build on that strength."

In addition, Rockler is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and its development of 100-plus patents creating a deep assortment of quality products. Rockler's vision for the future is to continue developing innovative products and share their woodworking expertise to assist all skill levels of woodworkers create confidently. There will also be a continued emphasis on in-store classes to invite new people into the hobby and craft of woodworking. Barnes is one of those new students, as he looks forward to learning the ropes in woodworking from Rockler's expert instructors in his new role as CEO.

"No matter their skill or experience level, Rockler is geared towards everyone who wants to create in the woodworking space," Barnes says. "What we have to offer—from our assortment to our in-store classes and expert staff—is unique in the retail space. At the end of the day, the customer gets to judge how we are doing, so we want to make sure they have a great experience every time."

Barnes comes to Rockler from Farm & Home Supply, where he served as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, he was the CFO at Skybridge Americas and AMT Consumer Services. He received his MBA from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, where he was coincidentally assigned a student project and worked alongside Rockler management. Little did he know that would foreshadow his current role as CEO of the nation's lead supplier of specialty hardware, tools and other high-quality woodworking products.

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About the author
Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).