Sexton Group Ltd, “Sexton Group”, was started in February 1985 by Ken Sexton who also founded Kenroc one of Western Canada’s largest Gypsum Specialty Dealers. Headquartered in Winnipeg, the buying group originally had three members. The initial goal was to increase purchasing power for independent dealers specializing in gypsum, insulation and other related products.
Mr. Sexton had a vision – to rapidly expand the buying group and increase buying power for independently-owned building materials retailers across Western Canada and NW Ontario. In April 1985, Bob Mondy was hired as the general manager. He spent the next eight months travelling across the Prairies and the West to meet with retailers. By the end of the first year, Sexton Group had 34 members in Western Canada, Northwestern Ontario.
Within the next few years, Sexton Group saw many developments. Its cutting-edge technology, which included computerized invoicing, allowed the group to add many new dealers without significantly increasing cost. Cost efficiency was and still is an important advantage for the Sexton Group. By 1987, Sexton Group had expanded its supplier list to include not just drywall and insulation, but a whole range of building materials, hardware and tools.
In the early nineties, as big-box stores started to infiltrate both urban centres and rural regions across the country, Sexton Group was ready. By 1990, Sexton Group had 145 members. The buying group retained its niche – dealers, primary in rural areas that served professional contractors. A new slogan, “Grow with us,” carried the company well into the next decade.
The efforts of then-general manager Bob Mondy to rapidly build a sophisticated buying group and help independent dealers remain competitive did not go unrecognized. In 1995, the Western Retail Lumbermen’s Association (WRLA) named Mondy Mr. Lumberman. Mondy, who made a point of crisscrossing the country to visit each member at least once a year, was nominated and honoured for his dedication to continual communication with dealer members.
In 1996, Brian Kusisto was appointed President of Sexton Group. Like his colleagues, Kusisto recognized that member dealers form the pillar of the organization. This customer focus helped push the combined Sexton Group members’ sales to over $1.0 billion.
In 2005, Sexton Group capitalized on the decision of a competing buying group to exit lumber and building materials, adding 35 new members.
Again, Sexton Group was recognized for industry leadership in March 2002, when owner Ken Sexton was awarded the WRLA’s 2002 Industry Achievement Award. The WRLA celebrated Sexton’s keen sense of the significance of good interpersonal relationships in the context of business. “You, Ken, are in the top of your class by recognizing the importance of the right people and the right purpose,” said WRLA President Stan Burkholder at the ceremony. “Thank you for solidifying the industry as you have.”
In 2006, Steve Buckle was hired to succeed Bob Mondy, who retired in 2009. Thus began another round of rapid growth as the group expanded its membership base in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.
By December of 2011, Sexton Group had increased its national presence to over 400 member locations Canada wide. Efficiency, accuracy and member focus remain the name of the game. With only 16 employees, Sexton Group relies heavily on technology to manage 1000’s of invoices a month. Further investments in administrative and communications technology continue to be made.
In 2013, Sexton Group launched its new website and joined Social Media; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Technology is no substitute for daily contact with members and suppliers but having a presence online is a necessity.
January 2014 Steve Buckle was appointed President of the Sexton Group, to accommodate this change, Brian Kusisto moved into the role of CEO and Ken Sexton to the role of Chairman.
In 2019 Ken Sexton passed away. He was a visionary and his contributions to the industry were significant. The Sexton family will carry on his legacy and continue to own the businesses he founded.
In February 2020, organizational changes were made to position the Sexton Group for continued strength and growth to maximize its ability to serve members’ needs for years to come. Eric Palmer was appointed Vice President and General Manager of the Sexton Group. Tom Bell was appointed to Vice President of Business Development to focus on the needs of members and recruitment activities. Steve Buckle moved into the role of CEO of Sexton Family of Companies and Brian Kusisto to the role of Chairman.
Sexton employees are squarely focused on the one-to-one communication necessary to understand and resolve issues and opportunities in 100’s of communities across Canada. “Every day is a new day and every market is unique and they require our full attention,” states Eric Palmer.
“We value the relationship with our members and suppliers,” says CEO Steve Buckle. “Everything we do is in their best interest. They make Sexton Group successful.”