Hawley and Lambert are combining under a single leadership team after five years of partnering closely.

Steve Hawley stepped down as president of Hawley Oct. 15, and will now focus on long-term strategy and business development with Hawley-Lambert CEO Ed Barrett. Sylvain Caya, who has worked as president of Lambert for nine years, has been appointed president of Hawley-Lambert and oversee all day-to-day operations.

In addition, a new position will be added in the U.S. for a VP of commercial, who will lead the company’s commercial functions and build upon the company’s strategic brands.

The group will keep operating under the name of Hawley in the U.S. and Lambert in Canada. However, it will continue operating on the backend as one entity: Hawley-Lambert.

“For 31 years I’ve been an owner operator and worked ‘in’ the business,” said Steve Hawley. “It’s time for me, as an owner, to work ‘on’ the business. By turning over all day-to-day operations to others, I will now be able to focus on high-level projects and strategies for a marketplace that is changing very quickly.”

“We recognize that the largest growth opportunity for Hawley-Lambert is in the U.S. market, Hawley continued. “As an owner, I want to maximize this growth opportunity, and now is absolutely the right time to make this change. For the past 5 years, our partnership with Lambert has allowed us to become a national distributor by opening a west coast warehouse in Nevada. In addition, it has enabled us to partner with many new exclusive brands, such as Look, Catlike, Northwave and Tacx. Sylvain has great leadership skills and business experience. I am confident that he will guide the Hawley team forward in the U.S. market and continue to build upon our success. Not only is this a great opportunity for the business and our vendors, but it’s also a great opportunity for the careers of our staff and the benefits for their families.”

Hawley-Lambert CEO Ed Barrett, commended Hawley for building Hawley.

“Our mantra is 'Think globally, act locally,' Barrett said. “In an industry in which the big players are getting bigger, we need to think 'globally' when we talk to our vendors, support their marketing strategies, and implement new technologies. At the same time, we need to keep acting locally to provide great service to our 5,000 retailers and build strong relationships with them through our 60 account managers and sales representatives.”

Caya said he is looking forward to identifying best practices and technology that make it easier to do business with the combined company, including a new web site that will be launched in January. The site will features an improved product search function, navigation and product content.

“We will also be going live with a new ERP in January, which will merge all inventory, finance and operations onto one common platform,” Caya said. “Another goal is to keep being a strong brand builder by leveraging our sales and marketing efforts in both countries, providing a turnkey solution to grow our partner brands in North America. We will also open our fourth DC in Spring 2016 to provide next day delivery to our Northeast retailers. All of these initiatives are a testament to our commitment to our retailers and to continue the striving for excellence culture Steve has fostered.”