CSTD News / Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

Arizona Tile honors the service and dedication of its employees

April 17, 2013
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TEMPE, AZ -- Arizona Tile has recognized two long-term employees, Lorelei Hough and Ed Stokes, who are celebrating their 25th year of employment with the company. Each of these employees continues to be an integral part of the company's continued success. Bob Traxler, the company's president, is also proud to be a member of this exclusive group, having celebrated his 33rd anniversary with Arizona Tile this past year. Founded by John and Eileen Huarte in 1977 and still family owned, Arizona Tile has always been employee focused, which has led to currently having 23 employees who have been with the company for 20+ years and 162 who have celebrated more than 10 years of employment.

Houghis currently serving in the role of Branch Manager in Tucson, AZ, having started in 1987 in that same position. Between her stints as Branch Manager, she worked for several years as an Outside Sales Representative in the Tucson area. Hough holds the following designations: Allied, ASID & CTC.

"Eileen Huarte offered me the position, after selling me 100% on the company and their plans for the future," explained Huarte. "How could anyone resist her? It has been amazing to be part of the evolution of the business and the growth of the company." One of Hough's proudest accomplishments: selling 168 slabs for a single residence.

Stokes, Outside Sales Representative, reflects, "I was currently working as a Branch Manager for a Fortune 500 company (Sherwin Williams) in 1988, and saw an opportunity to bring solid management practices from there to a small, exciting, young company that was looking to grow throughout the southwest region. Through the years, the excitement of meeting new customers, always having accessibility to new products revolving around customer interests and needs, and a bevy of fellow employees with whom I have become good friends, has kept me motivated." Ed's proudest accomplishment: "Keeping a strong faith, raising two beautiful outstanding daughters and being a part of a dynamic young company that has grown from eight stores in 1988 to 23 stores in 2013."

Randy Morreim, Vice President-Stone Division, reflects: "Ed started working at the Tempe order desk 25 years ago. At that time in the company's history, you had to do it all, write up the order, pack the order and reorder more stock when we ran low. Ed stepped up to the plate back then and continues this same work ethic today in his sales position. Ed is great at keeping the mood light and always looks at the bright side of things. His positive attitude is reflected in his sales ability, as his customers genuinely enjoy working with him as I do."

Morreim, whohas served in his current role since 2003 and has been with the company for 32 years, previously served the company in numerous positions, including General Manager, Branch Manager and initially, warehouse personnel. During this time, he spearheaded the company's entry into the granite slab business.

"Without a doubt, it was simpler times when I first started, but one thing has stayed consistent over all the years, the single focus and commitment that John and Eileen Huarte have to their employees," said Morreim. "I'm so proud to be part of such a great company."

Gary Skarstenwas named Executive Vice President, CFO in September 2003, having served in other roles since joining Arizona Tile in 1987. In this role, his responsibilities include real estate development, financial planning and management, as well as overseeing the Human Resources and Training department. He also works closely with the President and other members of management in setting overall policies and the direction of the company's operations.

"I feel extremely fortunate that I was able to spend the past 25 years with Arizona Tile and be part of the dream and vision that John and Eileen had for a tile distribution company," said Skarsten. "In the good times in construction history, but also during the more recent challenging times, we have always been a company that provides great customer service and products. It is that dedication to excellence from the Arizona Tile team that really makes me appreciate being part of Arizona Tile."

Beth Gaughanwas appointed Vice President of Sales in September 2003. In her role, she leads the implementation of sales strategies in the field and showrooms, including the management of eight Regional Sales Managers. She oversees the development of new showrooms, as well as the remodeling of existing showrooms, and is involved with the development of new product lines. Gaughan guided the development and promotion of the National Builder Programs and is responsible for maintaining positive customer relations, which includes working with the training department to design training outlines for Customer Service Representatives and Sales staff. Additionally, she oversees the function of the Sales Support Team and the merchandising of product in all Arizona Tile and customer showrooms.

She previously served the company in various roles, including Sales Manager, Outside Sales Representative and Showroom Consultant. Gaughan joined Arizona Tile in April 1987 as a Showroom Consultant.

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