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CSS CONFERENCE COVERAGE

Five year membership award winners - Sally and Darren Turnball of Banks Bolts - Roma.

Five year membership award winner - Daniel Freshney of Rapid Supply.

Five year membership award winners - Chris and Linda Waring of The Bolt Barn – Lismore.

CSS Director and Founding Member, Fred Hall, along with CSS Managing Director, Jeff

Wellard present recognition awards at the 15 year anniversary dinner for CSS.

During the presentations, founding member Peter Corstor-

phin, of Kencor Sales, also noted that to be a part of CSS ensures

not only strength against the mighty nationals, but also mateship,

comradery, the sharing of information and the marketing, laughs

and travel, which all make it such a great journey.

CSS Director and founding member, Fred Hall from DBF

Tools and Construction Supplies, was MC for the night and also

conducted a presentation to Jeff Wellard, for his unwavering ef-

forts in ensuring the success of the group over 15 years.

“Jeff, myself and a few other people in this room walked

the Kokoda Track a couple of years back, and at a place called

Isurava there are four marble tablets which have four words

chiselled into them – Mateship, Endurance, Courage, Sacrifice

and I think Jeff epitomises those four words and he brings it to

the whole group. The point is, thank you for being a great leader

and for what you do for us and I would like to make a toast and

ask everyone to sing happy birthday to Jeff as it is his birthday

as well,” Mr Hall said.

CSS is born

After the success of such a productive conference and impressive

15 year celebratory dinner, it is hard to believe that it was on a

beach at Pambula, on the south coast of New South Wales in De-

cember 1998, that the idea of CSS was born. It was on this beach

that Peter Corstorphin of Kencor Sales in Victoria suggested to

Jeff Wellard (employed by a National Corporate at the time), that

there might be some merit in developing a buying group for those

independent operators in the fastening industry.

Although discussions continued for a few years, finally on

December 31st 2001, the pair agreed to run the idea past a few

people in the industry to see if it had legs. Mr Wellard was want-

ing a change from the corporate world and decided to leave his

long term employer to start a small business on his own.

Five months down the track, on May 1, 2002, CSS commenced

operations out of a single home garage converted into an office,

beginning with just four members and 10 listed supplier partners.

In February 2002, the founding members, Peter Corstor-

phin, Colin Kennard, Doug Flynn, Fred Hall and Jeff Wellard,

met in Canberra to set up the foundation for what is today a

well-structured company. The foundation set up a series of op-

erational policies and procedures, while signing off on a set of

quality based member and supplier selection criteria that focused

on membership benefits.

In the following months, several meetings took place with sup-

plier partners and of the 12 that presented, nine are still partners

with the group. (Bosch Power Tools, Reid Construction Systems,

Pferd, Makita, Powers Fasteners, ITW Polymers, Ramset Fasten-

ers, Bordo International and Bostik).

The company added members and supplier partners over the

ensuing period and grew at a very fast but monitored rate, never

deviating from the original criteria set down.

Mr Wellard’s role as Managing Director was initially a part

time engagement that developed into a full-time position early in

2003 as the business expanded.

“I was the only employee until the later part of 2006, when we

employed Paul Davy as Marketing Manager, to assist in sharing

the load. The group was evolving from being just a facilitator of

buying arrangements, to a more rounded enterprise offering ad-

ministrative, marketing and sales support,” Mr Wellard said.