Central Ace Hardware – Founders
A “Mom and Pop” Business
Central ACE Hardware opened its doors on June 1, 1979 – the realization of a 20-year dream by Louis and Beth Williams. Their vision of a value oriented, customer first, service oriented business continues today. Louis and Beth have four children – Ron, Mike, Sandra and John.
Louis Williams was employed in the Space Industry and retired from NASA in 1987. After retiring, Louis immersed himself in the business because it was something he truly enjoyed. His immeasurable experience prepared him to lead the expansion of the business. He was also often sought out for his expertise in all types of repair issues. At 76 years young, Louis lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in August 2007. He is missed by family, friends, staff and the community.
Beth Williams, often referred to by the staff as “Mom” launched the business as the first office manager, cashier and multifaceted “hands on” owner. Beth is officially retired, but still assists with office and accounting functions part time. She is known to make surprise appearances in the stores, checking to make sure all is happening according to the standards the customers expect.
Family Owned and Operated
As roles changed and the business expanded, ownership transitioned from the parents to the children. Together, as a family, they mutually participated in guiding a small single store business into a successful four-store chain in one of the most competitive retail business environments. Ron, Mike, and Sandra continue as business partners, with the business philosophy instilled in them by their parents – placing value and customers first.
- S. Belt Ellington store opens June 1, 1979
- S. Belt Ellington store relocates November 1, 1984
- Existing Rosenberg Ace store acquired June 1, 1999
- Clear Lake store opens January 3, 2006
- Cypress store opens April 15, 2007
- Corporate office opens 2008
Ron was the first employee of Central Ace Hardware. Ron served as manager of the Beamer store from 1979 to 2007. Ron went to school locally, graduated from J. Frank Dobie HS in 1971 and graduated with a B.S. Math from the University of Houston in 1977. Ron and his wife Patsy have two sons, Sean and Mark. Ron is responsible for multiple areas including human resources, marketing / advertising, training, and asset management. Ron also serves as the President of the Greater Houston Ace Retailer Group.
Sandra joined the family business in 1981. She graduated from J. Frank Dobie HS in 1976 and graduated with a B.B.A. Accounting from the University of Houston in 1981. Sandra began part-time as a cashier and working in the office alongside Beth Williams. Her responsibilities grew as the business expanded and Sandra is now responsible for all financial operations along with over sight of the contract United States Postal Units in three of the four stores. Sandra has also served on the board of the Greater Houston Ace Retailer Group.
Mike joined the family business in 1981, after leaving the oil industry. Mike graduated from J. Frank Dobie HS in 1975 and later attended San Jacinto College, receiving an A.A. HVAC. Mike and his wife Linda have two sons and a daughter, Trey, Michael Jr. and Brandy. He began in the family business by managing the sales floor and power equipment service department. Mike later worked as the manager of the Rosenberg store from 1999 to 2007. Mike is responsible for implementation of hardware / software, merchandise updates, inventory integrity, along with the implementation of multiple special projects.