Board of Directors

  • Ronald Port

    Ronald B. Port, M. D.

    Chairman of the Board Retired Physician

    Ronald B. Port, M.D. has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors since April 2007 and has been a Director of the Company since 1984.

    During his tenure at the Company spanning more than 30 years, Dr. Port has been instrumental in the transformation of Lawson. As Chairman, Dr. Port provides overall leadership and governance to the Board while ensuring that strategies and policies agreed by the Board are effectively implemented by the CEO and management. Additionally, through his leadership, Dr. Port ensures that there are good corporate governance practices in place promoting the highest levels of integrity. In this time, he guided Lawson through its strategic transformation, including network optimization, expansion of the sales force, acquisition efforts and solidifying the Company’s foundation.

    Dr. Port is a retired physician and has a BS degree from the University of Illinois and received his MD degree from the Chicago Medical School. He is Board Certified in the specialty of Diagnostic Radiology and performed his Residency at the University of Chicago Hospital and Clinics. He is the son of Sidney L. Port, founder of the Company.

  • Michael G. DeCata

    Michael G. DeCata

    President and Chief Executive Officer

    Michael G. DeCata is President and CEO of Lawson Products. He joined the Company in 2012 in his current capacity and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2013. In addition to a 20-year career in leading industrial and distribution companies including W.W. Grainger, General Electric and United Rentals, Mr. DeCata has extensive financial expertise honed in consulting roles at private equity firms.

    Mr. DeCata has led the Company through it revitalization, from stabilizing its supply chain to growing sales through acquisitions, additional sales reps and sales rep productivity. Before joining Lawson, Mr. DeCata conducted acquisition analysis and due diligence for several private equity firms in New York, Connecticut and Boston, including Hamilton Robinson Capital Partners, from 2009 to 2012. Prior to that, he was President of Chefs' Warehouse, a $300 million specialty food distributor. From 2008 to 2013, Mr. DeCata served on the Board of Directors of Crescent Electric Supply. He was the Vice President of Fleet Operations and also led the Contractor Supplies Division of United Rentals, a $4.0 billion construction equipment rental company between 2003 and 2006. In earlier roles, Mr. DeCata led the eastern region of W.W. Grainger representing over $1.4 billion in sales and consisting of 152 branch locations and a team of approximately 2,000 from 1997 until 2002, and worked in a variety of cross-functional as well as cross-business positions at General Electric from 1979 until 1997.

    Mr. DeCata has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Clarkson University.

  • Andrew Albert

    Andrew B. Albert

    Forsythe Technologies and Transco, Inc.

    Andrew B. Albert has served on the Board of Directors since 2009. He brings to Lawson’s Board a career in banking, private equity investment and manufacturing spanning four decades.

    Mr. Albert has been Managing Director and Operating Partner of Svoboda Capital Partners LLC, a private equity investment firm, since 2007. From 2000 to 2006, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nashua Corporation, a manufacturer and converter of specialty paper products and toner. His background in strategic planning, capital markets, valuation and financial matters contributes a unique set of skills to the Board. He also served as non-executive Chairman of Nashua's Board of Directors from 2006 through 2009. Mr. Albert is a Director on the Boards of Transco, Inc., the Parkinson's Foundation and the Advisory Board of the University of Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Center.

    Mr. Albert has a BA from Washington University and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin.

  • I. Steven Edelson

    I. Steven Edelson

    Principal, Mercantile Capital Group, Managing Member of International Facilities Group

    I. Steven Edelson was elected to the Board of Directors in 2009. He joined Lawson’s Board following two decades spent in private equity and real estate development.

    Mr. Edelson co-founded International Facilities Group (IFG), a leading facilities development and management company, in 1995 and currently serves as a non-Managing Director . IFG provides development advisory services and acts in a development capacity in the real estate industry. He currently serves as Principal and Managing Director of the Mercantile Capital Group, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a Trustee at the Truman Institute for Peace and the recipient of the 2005 Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor. In 2014, Mr. Edelson became a National Association of Corporate Directors Board Leadership Fellow.

    Mr. Edelson has a Bachelor of Finance from Roosevelt University.

  • James Errant

    James S. Errant

    Managing Partner of Gore Range Brewery, Managing Partner of Frites, LLC

    James S. Errant has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2007. Mr. Errant has extensive experience in logistics, inventory management, operational efficiency and business management from a four-decade long career in restaurant development and operations.

    Prior to joining Lawson’s Board, Mr. Errant developed, owned and operated thirteen restaurants between 1973 and 2011. He was involved in all facets of the business including design and construction, concept and product development, marketing, finance management, and employee management. Mr. Errant’s experience in managing all aspects of this business provides valuable insight and guidance to the Board.

    Mr. Errant has a degree in Finance from the University of Denver.

  • Lee Hillman

    Lee S. Hillman

    CEO of Performance Health Systems, Former CEO of Power Plate International

    Lee S. Hillman was elected to the Board of Directors in 2004. He brings to Lawson a career in management, consulting, accounting, finance including distribution expertise honed in several board positions and while the CEO of two specialty health and exercise equipment distributors.

    Mr. Hillman has served as President of Liberation Advisory Group, a private management consulting firm, since 2003. In addition, he has been the Chief Executive Officer of Performance Health Systems, a distributor of specialty health and exercise equipment since 2012, and its predecessor since 2009. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Hillman served as Executive Chairman and CEO of Power Plate International and headed up the Company’s North American operations from 2004 through 2006. Previously, Mr. Hillman was CEO of Bally Total Fitness Corporation (Bally) from 1996 to 2002 where he was also Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2002. Mr. Hillman currently serves as a member of the board of directors of HC2 Corporation and of Business Development Corporation of America (where he is also Chair of the Audit Committee) and the board of of Adelphia Recovery Trust. Previously he served on the Board of Directors of HealthSouth Corporation, Wyndham International, RCN Corporation (where he was Chairman) and Bally (where he was Chairman), Professional Diversity Network and Bally Total Fitness (where he was Chairman). Mr. Hillman’s previous experience in finance and accounting, capital markets, compensation planning and strategic development provides a broad ranging skill set to guide the Company.

    Mr. Hillman has a BS in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

  • J. Bryan King

    J. Bryan King

    Principal, Luther King Capital Management

    J. Bryan King, CFA, was elected to the Board of Directors in 2017. He has a career in investment management spanning over three decades, and has served as Chairman or managing partner of several industrial distribution companies.

    Mr. King is a principal of Luther King Capital Management (LKCM) with over $15 billion of AUM and has acted as an investment manager since 1993. He established and leads several alternative investment partnerships, such as LKCM Capital Group, that focus on long-term investment strategies in public and private companies. In 2003, Mr. King established an advisory board to support LKCM Capital Group and its affiliates’ investment activities in distribution, packaging, shop, field and engineering services, and rental focused businesses. TestEquity, Relevant Solutions, Leading Quality Assurance, Industrial Distribution Group, Rawson and Golden State Medical Supply are among the businesses where Mr. King has served as chairman of the board or managing partner.

    In addition to chairing and leading business, Mr. King has served on or advised dozens of public and private boards as well as has taken an active role in the not for profit world by establishing and/or serving on numberous charitable organizations’ boards.

    Mr. King has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Princeton University and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

  • Thomas Postek

    Thomas S. Postek, CPA, CFA

    Geneva Investment Management of Chicago

    Thomas S. Postek has served on the Board of Directors since 2005. As a former partner and principal of a leading national investment firm and analyst covering industrial distributors, he brings relevant financial and industry expertise to the Board.

    Mr. Postek is a Chartered Financial Analyst affiliated with CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management. He was a partner and principal of William Blair & Company, a Chicago-based investment firm, from 1986 to 2001. During his tenure at William Blair, he covered various business services as an analyst, including industrial distribution. Mr. Postek is also a director of UniFirst Corporation.

    Mr. Postek has a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst certification.

  • Wilma  Smelcer

    Wilma J Smelcer

    Former Chairman, Bank of America, Illinois Former Trustee of Goldman Sachs Mutual Fund Complex

    Wilma J. Smelcer joined the Board of Directors in 2004. She has a banking career spanning three decades during which she held a number of senior executive positions at Continental Bank and Bank of America.

    Ms. Smelcer served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Chicago Stock Exchange from 2001 until April 2004. From 2001 through 2006, she was a trustee of Goldman Sachs Mutual Fund Complex (a registered investment company). She served as Chairman of Bank of America, Illinois, from 1998 to 2001. Ms. Smelcer served as a Member of the Executive Committee and Vice Chairman of the Economic Club of Chicago and also as a Member of the Executive Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago. She also served as Chair of The Chicago Network from 1998 to 1999.

    Ms. Smelcer has a BA and MBA from The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Executive Management

  • Michael G. DeCata

    Michael G. DeCata

    President and Chief Executive Officer

    Michael G. DeCata is President and CEO of Lawson Products. He joined the Company in 2012 in his current capacity and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2013. In addition to a 20-year career in leading industrial and distribution companies including W.W. Grainger, General Electric and United Rentals, Mr. DeCata has extensive financial expertise honed in consulting roles at private equity firms.

    Mr. DeCata has led the Company through it revitalization, from stabilizing its supply chain to growing sales through acquisitions, additional sales reps and sales rep productivity. Before joining Lawson, Mr. DeCata conducted acquisition analysis and due diligence for several private equity firms in New York, Connecticut and Boston, including Hamilton Robinson Capital Partners, from 2009 to 2012. Prior to that, he was President of Chefs' Warehouse, a $300 million specialty food distributor. From 2008 to 2013, Mr. DeCata served on the Board of Directors of Crescent Electric Supply. He was the Vice President of Fleet Operations and also led the Contractor Supplies Division of United Rentals, a $4.0 billion construction equipment rental company between 2003 and 2006. In earlier roles, Mr. DeCata led the eastern region of W.W. Grainger representing over $1.4 billion in sales and consisting of 152 branch locations and a team of approximately 2,000 from 1997 until 2002, and worked in a variety of cross-functional as well as cross-business positions at General Electric from 1979 until 1997.

    Mr. DeCata has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Clarkson University.

  • Neil E. Jenkins

    Neil E. Jenkins

    Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel

    Neil Jenkins is Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel at Lawson. He brings more than 35 years of legal and business experience in these functions to the Company. He has been at Lawson since 2001.

    Mr. Jenkins was a corporate attorney at Bally Manufacturing Corporation, a gaming and entertainment conglomerate, from 1981 to 1992 and served as Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel from 1985 to 1992. He then served as Executive Vice President of Bally Gaming International, Inc., a gaming equipment manufacturer from 1993 to 1996 where he had oversight responsibilities for business development and legal matters. Mr. Jenkins has served as a director of three public companies, a charity organization and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Lycée Français de ChicagoLycee Francais de Chicago, a French international school. Mr. Jenkins served in the United States Army from 1971 to 1974.

    Mr. Jenkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brown University and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He holds a Master of Science in Financial Markets from the Center for Law & Financial Markets at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

    • Ron Knutson

      Ron Knutson

      Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Controller

      Ron Knutson is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Lawson Products. He joined Lawson Products in 2009, bringing extensive financial expertise across public and private companies within the distribution, transportation and retail sectors.

      Mr. Knutson directs all financial operations for Lawson Products, including internal and external Securities and Exchange Commission reporting, relationships with the banking and financial analyst communities, working directly with the Board on audit, finance and compensation related matters and overseeing the Company’s enterprise risk management process. During his tenure at Lawson, Mr. Knutson has driven many of the key strategic initiatives, including network optimization, ERP implementation and sales channel transformation to rebuild the financial strength of the Company. Earlier roles include Senior Vice President and CFO of Frozen Foods Express Industries, Vice President of Finance at Ace Hardware Corporation, CFO and Treasurer at Mascal Electric and Senior Manager at KPMG.

      Mr. Knutson holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Illinois State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

      • Shane McCarthy

        Shane McCarthy

        Senior Vice President, Supply Chain and Business Development

        Shane McCarthy is the Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Business Development. He brings more than two decades experience in supply chain management to the Lawson Products management team.

        Mr. McCarthy joined the Company in 2008 as Vice President of Distribution and Logistics, and also served as Vice President of Operations. In his current position, Mr. McCarthy’s responsibilities include inventory demand planning and forecasting, packaging operations, distribution, transportation, safety, and facilities & real estate. Mr. McCarthy also leads business development strategy for Lawson, including acquisitions. Prior to joining Lawson Products, Mr. McCarthy worked for eight years at Cardinal Health, a leading healthcare distributor. He worked in a variety of supply chain roles that developed his expertise in inventory management, transportation and warehouse management. Those roles included VP Warehouse Distribution, Operations Manager, VP, Operations and Regional Inventory Manager. Previous to Cardinal Health, he worked for PocketCard, Inc. an internet start-up, in the card payment services industry from 1999-2001; and prior to that as Financial and Cost Accounting Manager at Superior Graphite Co., a Chicago-based manufacturer.

        Mr. McCarthy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration/Master of Management degree from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

        • Matthew Brown

          Matthew Brown

          Senior Vice President, Sales

          Matthew Brown is the Senior Vice President of Sales and brings more than 30 years of sales experience, primarily at Lawson and Kent Automotive (now a division of the Company), to the management team.

          Mr. Brown joined Lawson as part of the Premier/Kent Automotive acquisition in 2001, having served as Director of Sales for Kent Automotive. Since joining Lawson as Regional Sales Director, Mr. Brown was promoted several times and is now responsible for the Lawson Products’ sales organization, including Kent Automotive and strategic and government sales in North America. In this role, Mr. Brown is responsible for driving sales through productivity efforts, channel expansion, customer service and relationships as well as expansion of the sales force. Mr. Brown commenced his career at Kent Automotive in 1998 as a District Sales Manager. Earlier roles include District Sales Manager at Unitog from 1994 to 1998 and Sales Representative at State Chemical from 1989 to 1994.

          Mr. Brown earned a Bachelor of Science in Business, with emphasis in business and finance, from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

          Executive and Operating Management

          Elizabeth Abrahamson
          Elizabeth Abrahamson
          Vice President, Marketing & Continuous Improvement
          Susan Eaglebarger
          Susan Eaglebarger
          Vice President, Human Resources
          William Holmes
          William Holmes
          Vice President, Sales Operations
          Kevin Hoople
          Kevin Hoople
          Vice President, Information Technology
          Rick Pufpaf
          Rick Pufpaf
          Vice President, Compensation & Benefits, Assistant Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer
          James Ryba
          James Ryba
          Vice President, Product Management/Pricing
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