Chuck Moyer

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

Fresh off the sale of their last turnaround project — the reinvigorated J&L Industrial Supply to MSC Industrial Direct in June 2006 — Chuck Moyer and Mike Wessner set their sights on a new opportunity. After an exhaustive search process, these two B-to-B cataloging lifers targeted 63-year-old Conney Safety Products. In a deal financed by the private equity firm CI Capital, Moyer and Wessner acquired the company from its parent firm, K+K America, in October 2007.

When cutting tools manufacturer Kennametal Inc. sold off its J&L Industrial Supply catalog division to maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) supplies cataloger MSC Industrial Direct Co. in a deal that closed June 8 for a cool $349.5 million, the seller said it would recognize an estimated $215 million to $225 million pre-tax gain in its fourth fiscal quarter ended June 30. These are striking figures, considering that as recently as five years ago, most people — both within Kennametal and on the outside — would've laughed at the idea that J&L could

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