Ken Hartman Joins Rainier-Backed Wilmar, LLC as CEO, Bringing Extensive Tool and Equipment Industry Expertise to the Team

SEATTLE & KENT, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Wilmar, LLC and Rainier Partners are pleased to announce the appointment of Ken Hartman to Chief Executive Officer. Wilmar is a leading supplier, distributor, and category manager of tools and equipment to the automotive aftermarket and other industries. The company partnered with Rainier Partners in late 2021.

With over two decades of leadership experience in the tool and equipment industry, Hartman brings an impressive track record of business expansion through the development and execution of innovative growth strategies. Prior to joining Wilmar, Hartman served as Vice President & General Manager of ESAB, a world leader in the production of welding and cutting equipment and consumables. Before ESAB, Hartman held the title of President of Mac Tools at Stanley Black & Decker, Vice President of Aftermarket at Thermo King, and key leadership positions at Chief Automotive Technologies and Snap-On Tools.

I discovered a passion for the industry at an early age, which has driven me through my career and led me to Wilmar,” said Hartman. “The Cantalini family has created a world-class business with an incredible product line, deep customer relationships, and powerful opportunities for market and geographic expansion. Not only am I excited to work alongside the incredible team at Wilmar, but also to work with Rainier as our partner to execute on our growth strategy.”

Founded in 1971, Wilmar has become one of the leading distributors of tools in North America, backed by a reputation for quality tools, stellar service, and innovative packaging and product support. The Cantalini family will continue to be actively involved with operations and management.

Ken is a proven leader in the tool and equipment space, and his transformational leadership experience will be instrumental in identifying key growth opportunities while maintaining the culture and customer focus that makes Wilmar special,” said Rainier’s Director of Portfolio Operations, Dave Shephard. “We are thrilled to welcome him aboard and continue to partner with Wilmar as we take exciting steps into the new year.”

Rainier Partners is a Seattle-based private equity firm with over $300 million in assets under management that invests in lower middle-market services businesses. We look for opportunities where we can actively support business owners and management teams by providing growth capital, operational resources, and strategic partnership. We focus on industries in which we have extensive experience, a network of partners, and deep resources: business services, consumer services, industrial services, and financial services. We typically invite the founders or management teams of our portfolio companies to invest alongside us to align interests.

Wilmar, LLC, founded in 1971 and headquartered in Kent, WA, is a supplier, distributor, and category manager of specialty tools, hand tools, and equipment for over 750 customers in the automotive aftermarket, hardware, farm and fleet, and industrial end markets. From wrenches to grease guns and branded products to private label offerings, Wilmar works with customers to develop, source, and manage a comprehensive catalog of products.


Rainier Partners (Business Inquiries)

MiddleM Creative (Media Inquiries)
Allie Gamble

error: Content is protected !!