Hall of Fame distinction

In 1999, Bob Taylor achieved a feat accomplished by no other home improvement executive in the annals of business journalism.

He was compared with “Bonanza” character Adam Cartwright and U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush — in the same article.

We’ll explain later.

First things first: Do it Best Corp. CEO Bob Taylor is to be congratulated for his selection as the 2012 inductee of the Home Channel Hall of Fame.

Taylor began his hardware-retailing career in his family business, Taylor’s Do it Center in the Virginia Beach, Va., area. After serving on the Do it Best Corp. board of directors, he joined the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op in 2001 and was named president and CEO in 2002. Ten years, including eight straight years of $100 million-or-more member rebates, finds him poised to enter the Home Channel Hall of Fame.

He’ll join previous honorees Larry Stone of Lowe’s Cos. (2011); Pat Farrah, one of the co-founders of The Home Depot (2010); and Joe Orgill (2004). The Hall even includes the man who tried, failed and then successfully recruited Taylor to Do it Best, Mike McClelland (2006).

Taylor’s name will join the esteemed group during an induction ceremony that will highlight the Golden Hammer Awards breakfast event May 2 during the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

“It’s a true honor to be recognized at this high level within our industry,” Taylor said. “Any success I’ve enjoyed has been the result of the tremendously talented individuals I’ve had the chance to work for and with along the way. That starts with the best mentor I could have ever had, my Dad.”

Taylor is no stranger to recognition.

In the April 1999 article of Home Channel News, part of an “Industry Innovators” series of profiles, Bob Taylor, then the CEO of the five-store Taylor Do it Center, appears confident and comfortable in a picture above a headline that reads: “Firmly at the helm of his family’s five-store operation.”

Then comes the single-article record for Bonanza-Bush comparisons.

First, “Bonanza’s” Adam Cartwright, the oldest son of the fictional Cartwrights of the long-running TV show. “Adam was a very serious-minded, intelligent high-integrity guy,” McClelland said. “That’s Bob — he fits that to a T.”

A few paragraphs later, it’s a comparison with Bush the First.

“He has the ability of George Bush to disagree with somebody strongly on issues, and then turn around and talk about that person as a good friend,” said Steve Hawkinson, of People’s Do it Center in Galesburg, Ill. “He never gets his nose out of joint.”

The Golden Hammer Awards breakfast will also recognize leading product manufacturers. And a panel of retail honorees will discuss: “The Recovery: Is it real? And what to do about it.”

kclark@homechannelnews.com