Nashville House & Home & Garden™

MAY-JUN 2019

Nashville House & Home & Garden™ is the area's #1 luxury home and garden publication. We're devoted to everything for decorating and remodeling.

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Page 36 of 56

G R E AT E R N A S H V I L L E H O U S E & H O M E & G A R D E N ™ 36 Hermitage Lighting Offers So Much More Than Lighting F o unded as Hermitage Dis- tribung Company in 1944, Hermitage Lighng has g rown to offer lighng, appliances, hardware, and plumbing fixtures. The increasing availability of household appliances in the years a er World War II, the advent of the hot plate, and a weekly game of pinochle all played significant roles in the create of Hermitage Lighng Gallery. While playing pinochle with sev- eral of his friends, Jack Tenzel was encouraged to relocate from Arkansas to Nashville where he founded Hermitage Distribung Company in 1944. Two years later he purchased property on Church Street in the heart of the city, which would serve as the company's headquarters for the next 14 years. A name change in 1947 to Hermitage Electric Sup- ply Corporaon (HESCO—the par- ent company today) was chosen to beer reflect the company's ex- panding diversificaon into com- mercial as well as residenal lighng. Tenzel's son-in-law, Gerald Fleischer, joined the company in 1954. By 1958, HESCO's business had expanded and the company had out-grown its original locaon. Her- mitage moved into a new 16,000 square foot showroom on Demon- breun Street to be0er serve its growing base. The 1960s was a me of change, not only in Nashville, but also throughout the United States. Ger- ald Fleischer worked his way up t hrough the ranks of the company to become Hermitage's president in 1965. Serving in that capacity, F leischer oversaw a phenomenal 300 percent increase in Her- mitage's business. By 1974, Hermitage was again looking for larger space to accom- modate its steadily growing imprint on the Nashville landscape. As Interstate highways were be- ginning to crisscross the country in the 1960s and 1970s, many busi- nesses were relocang to suburban areas made easily accessible via the expressways that connected downtown urban areas to subur- bia. The roung of Interstate 40 through the heart of Music City ne- cessitated another move for Her- mitage. In order to be0er serve its base of lighng dealers, the com- pany moved to a locaon on Lafaye0e Street. A New Era Hermitage Lighng connued its tradion of steady growth over the next two decades. Gerald Fleischer was sll serving as president of the company when his son, Jack, came onboard in 1983. The younger Fleischer, who be- came the third generaon in the family business, proved to be as adept as his father at maintaining the company's track record for growth. Jack's input, in addion to the 24,000 square foot showroom on Lafaye0e Street, resulted in a rapid 35 percent increase in sales. In 1996, Jack Fleischer succeeded his father as president of Her- m itage Lighng. He knew he had big shoes to fill. "My father was, first and fore- m ost, a true Southern gentleman," says Jack, the company's current president. "He was from a small town, president of his high school class, and he always had a way of making the people around him feel good. He was an incredible mentor to me. In addion to being my busi- ness partner and my dad, he was my best friend." As the company's president, Jack Fleischer has connued the steady growth of Hermitage Lighng dur- ing his 20 years at the helm. A 60,000 square foot building housing Hermitage's Naonal Ac- counts Division, along with the Company's 40,000 sq. . of space on Lafaye0e Street, now provide 100,000 sq. . of warehouse and showroom space. Seven businesses are now housed under the roofs. The Light- ing Division, Appliance Division, Electrical Division, Hardware and Plumbing Division, Internet Divi- sion, and Kitchen and Bath Division all share the same showroom and serve the residenal building and remodeling segment of the Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky markets. The Naonal Accounts Division distributes products throughout the United States and overseas. The Kitchen and Lighng Divisions service clients from the Bahamas to the Rocky Mountains. The more than 80 employees of Hermitage Lighng pursue the s ame goal: to provide the finest products in a se1ng of true South- ern hospitality backed by unparal- l eled customer service. "This is what makes us unique and sets us apart," says Fleisher. "It is always a pleasure for me to re- connect with customers that have been with us for generaons. That is the ulmate compliment to Her- mitage and to our staff. "Hermitage is a perpetual win- ner of reader's favorites awards in the Nashville area. And the com- pany enjoys giving back to the community that it calls home," Fleischer says. Whether serving on he advisory board for Nashville's Habitat fo Hu- manity or on the government af- fairs commi0ee for the American Lighng Associaon or serving with the local Rotary Club, he says he believe in being involved in his in- dustry and his community. "People know wo us as Her- mitage Lighng Gallery, but we're more than just lighng. We create home environments. We have cer- fied kitchen designers that help our customers design their ideal custom kitchen or bath. We carry a full range of appliances from Whirlpool to Sub Zero. Our cabinet and door hardware, along with faucets, sinks, and Whirlpool tubs, all come with our price guarantee and my commitment to providing what we like to call 'outrageous customer service'." For more informaon call 651/ 843-3300 or visit www.hermitageligh/

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