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Long-time Paladin Client Earns Golden Hammer

Apr 27, 2023

Image of Gene Kelly and

Gene Kelly, seated, displays his Golden Hammer Award from Estwing. Behind Gene is his nephew Pat Kelly.

It’s probably safe to say for a good part of Gene Kelly’s life he never pictured working in a hardware store. He was bound for a job in education. But after 50 years in the business, he received a Golden Hammer Award from the venerable hand tool manufacturer Estwing in December.

In the late 1950s Gene was fresh out of Eastern Normal School – now Eastern Washington University – with a desire and a degree to teach or coach. With no job prospects in the area, he did a short stint in car sales before joining his brother Wayne Kelly in the family business Kelly’s Hardware in Chelan, Washington that opened in 1925.

Kelly’s Ace Hardware has been part of the Paladin Family since 2009.

Dave Nordal, of Regina Home Building Center in Regina Saskatchewan, also received a Golden Hammer in 2022.

Gene was presented his Golden Hammer Award by Vic Weston, district manager for retail operations of Ace Hardware. Golden Hammers are awarded to retailers with 50 years or more of service. Read more



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