J.D. Ewing, COE Distributing Chairman and CEO, Lauded as Outstanding CEO and Top Executive
By: COE Distributing
Ewing is celebrated among western Pennsylvania's leading business executives, selected by a panel of independent judges, all of whom won the award in 2020. This year marks the seventh class of Pittsburgh executives honored for their achievements both within their companies and the community.
"I'm humbled to be acknowledged alongside many of our region's most accomplished executives,"
Raised in his family business, Ewing has worked at COE in one capacity or another all his life. When he took the helm in 1989, he was COE's sole employee — tackling sales, driving trucks, loading product and learning each position inside and out. This direct experience at every level of the business coupled with a passionate commitment to employee engagement form the core of Ewing's leadership style.
More than 30 years later, J.D. has grown the enterprise from his grandmother's typewriter repair shop to one of the largest distributors of office furnishings in the United States with more than 100 employees. Along the way he's earned top accolades, including Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year and Inc. magazine's Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies.
Ewing grew the company from revenue of $220,000 in 1989 to more than $92 million in 2019. Pivoting when offices closed in 2020, J.D. and his team began producing acrylic screens and dividers and antimicrobial upholstery for chairs to bring the company out of an abrupt sales slump to its most profitable months in history.
"COE's team came together under J.D.'s leadership as COVID-19 upended our business model," said COE President Michael Flaherty. "J.D.'s vision for a highly engaged and cohesive workforce is really what brought us through successfully."
COE Distributing's robust employee engagement program offers career development initiatives like Rising Stars training, Employee Recognition and Profit Sharing along with personal benefits such as Financial Workshops, Volunteer Paid Time Off and Virtual Book Clubs. COE also enjoys an employee engagement partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins featuring a bi-weekly peer-to-peer recognition program awarding a game-worn Penguins helmet to an employee embodying COE's core values of Customer Service, Teamwork, Innovation, Quality, Transparency, Safety and Respect.
J.D. is currently chair of The Community Foundation of Fayette County and serves on the board of directors of The Challenge Program, a mentoring initiative connecting business and education to develop a skilled workforce.
Learn more at http://www.coedistributing.com.