November 6, 2019
The Growing Cost of Lumber – February 2020
February 20, 2020

Ryan Darrenkamp Named General Manager

You might have noticed that we’ve been growing, and while we’re blessed to have experienced 50 great years in business, the last few years have seen an acceleration that has changed how we operate. Growth is exciting, but we don’t want to lose site on what’s brought us this far; a focus on our customers and their communities by providing product at a great value and service that they won’t receive anywhere else. To set the stage for continued success and support the growth of our business, GR Mitchell is adding a new role to our organization, General Manger.

GR Mitchell Welcomes Darrenkamp

GR Mitchell is pleased to announce that Ryan Darrenkamp, former VP of Operations at Darrenkamp’s supermarket, is joining the staff at GR Mitchell. Ryan told us that he’s excited to get back to work after a self-imposed year-long hiatus on the heals of Giant’s acquisition of the 4-store grocery chain. And despite opportunities for him to stay in the grocery business, he feels that this is the right move that provides a familiar environment at a locally-owned business to do what he enjoys most, manage people. It’s Ryan’s management style and leadership experience that make him such a great candidate for this role.

The Need For More Leadership

GR Mitchell is a locally owned business with values and priorities consistent with those of when we started 50 years ago, but an increase in the size of our operation is driving a change in how we manage our team, our inventory, deliveries, and even vendors. Improving relationships with local builders, strengthening ties with contractors through the evolution of our turnkey services, and creating the best building materials and retail hardware environment in Lancaster are increasing the momentum to a level we haven’t previously experienced. During this time of transition employees are welcoming of a dedicated person on staff that can focus on developing processes that make their job easier, troubleshooting issues that bog them down, and being a grounded hub for the day-to-day in Willow Street. All of which will benefit our customers and ensure we are keep our attention on making them happy.

GR Mitchell owners, Tom Keller and Betty Marley, are eagerly anticipating Ryan’s arrival, too. With an energetic focus on operations there’s opportunity for him to improve GR Mitchell’s efficiency which has an obvious benefit on the bottom line, but his addition also allows Tom and Betty to focus more on their own areas of expertise, sales and finance. As General Manager, Ryan will work side-by-side employees in the True Value store (where Ryan naturally feels most comfortable thanks to his retail experience), the lumberyard, in our fleet of delivery vehicles, the architectural mill in Refton, and most other areas of GR Mitchell.

First Days As General Manager

To start, Ryan will be working closely with Tom to learn more about the industry, GR Mitchell’s operations, and the pathway to sustainable growth. It’s likely to take 6-12 months to fully integrate Ryan and despite admitting that he has a lot to learn about the lumber and building materials industry he’s excited to hit the ground running. As he walks through the doors of GR Mitchell as an employee for the first time on December 4th, Ryan hopes to start by getting to know the staff, learning everyone’s name, and gaining an understanding about each of us on a professional and personal level.

With more big changes in the works as we closeout 2019 and kickoff 2020, like new business management software upgrades and a grand reopening celebration of our showroom and hardware store to name a few, we’re confident that the addition of Ryan as General Manager positions GR Mitchell for more good things to come.