Joseph A. Hardy III
Joseph A. Hardy
Joseph A. Hardy III
January 7, 1923
|Known for||Founder of 84 Lumber Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Hardy World|
Jodi Santella Williams
|Children||Maggie Hardy Knox|
During the 1970s, 84 Lumber’s business grew and opened 229 stores. In 1984, the company undertook an expansion plan to open at least 30 new stores. Along with grand openings, stores were remodeled and renovated from no-frills lumber yards to new and improved building materials stores. In 1987, as the improvement plan generated success, the business opened their strict policy of cash-and-carry to options of using credit.
Joseph Hardy's son, Joe Jr. worked his way up through the ranks and became Chief Operating Officer at 84 Lumber, however, he was passed over as successor of the company when he attracted multiple sclerosis. He would get tired easily and have to go home at a reasonable time to sleep, Joseph Hardy viewed this as a flaw and fired his son.
In 1992, after 34 years of running the company, Joe Hardy handed the daily responsibility of 84 Lumber to his daughter, Maggie Hardy Knox, who had served as Executive Vice President. The company continued to expand, opening its 400th store in 1997.
With Hardy Magerko as leader, 84 Lumber began targeting construction customers and thus added a professional sales force, consisting of 450 new sales representatives, to the team. While this proved to be successful, the company was still facing stiff competition from big-box retail stores and saw the need to expand into the growing do-it-yourselfers crowd.
The company opened its first retail store, 84 Plus, in 1999. In an effort to appease the retail and professional customers, 84 Plus stores featured two separate sections dividing 12,000 supplies; one section was designated for contractors while the other section was designated for do-it-yourselfers. Over a hundred 84 Plus stores opened in the United States.
The early 2000s proved to be successful for 84 Lumber. In 2002, the company hit record sales and in 2004, they opened 18 new stores.
In 2008, however, 84 Lumber’s profits plummeted when the housing market crashed and brought the building supplies market down with it. Vast spending and impulsive decisions contributed to a tough financial situation as well, placing 84 Lumber on the brink of bankruptcy in 2009.
The situation for the company improved some years after the crash, as the market started to bounce back. With a restructuring of the workforce and the selling of company real estate, Hardy Magerko was able to turn the company around and increase sales 27 percent from 2012 to 2013.
Because of his successful management of the company and his guidance to his daughter, Maggie, 84 Lumber is now the leading privately held building materials supplier to professional contractors and build-it-yourselfers in the United States.
Hardy announced on Sunday, September 9, 2007, at a tailgate party at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort that he was backing out of the 2007 general election for Fayette County commissioner, and thus ended his political career. Hardy finished first in vote-getting in the 2007 primary for Fayette County commissioner.
Hardy and his first wife (for 50 years), Dorothy, had five children, the youngest of whom, Maggie, is now president of 84 Lumber. With his second wife, Debra, he has two daughters, Taylor, and Paige. Eighty-four-year-old Hardy married Kristin Georgi, a 22-year-old salon employee at Nemacoln Woodlands Resort. Having agreed to a pre-nuptial and wedding contract, the wedding took place on Saturday, May 5, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. On Monday, Aug. 20, 2007, Hardy filed for divorce, with the petition citing irreconcilable differences. Hardys fourth wife was 51-year old Rebecca Davis, whom he married in December 2009. On November 21, 2014, Hardy married Jodi Santella Williams. They have one son together, named JJ Alexander Hardy. Hardy has served on the Washington & Jefferson College Board of Trustees.
Hardy has recently been quoted saying, "I want to die broke. For the remainder of my life, I want to enjoy and participate in the giving of money to help improve people's lives."
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- "Daughter Knows Best: Inside The 84 Lumber Saga". Forbes. Retrieved January 21, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Woman, 24, ditches billionaire hubbie, 85, after 3 months' marriage because he's 'sex mad". Sunday Mirror. 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2009-08-02. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "84 Lumber founder Hardy marries for the fourth time". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- "W&J: Board of Trustees". W&J College Website. Washington & Jefferson College. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-28. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- http://www.catholicgbg.org/DOGWeb/wsotft3.nsf/PageByKey/9E27FFBEF258763D85256FB9005EAB27.html[permanent dead link]