Horizon Distributors announces new VP among series of promotions

Horizon is also opening six new stores over the next two months.

September 20, 2022

Horizon Distributors, a wholesale distributor of landscape and irrigation supplies, recently announced several promotions and new store locations. These changes are effective January 1.

Phil Stephens, currently general manager of the West Division, has been promoted to vice president of Horizon. Stephens will take over all field management, with the three division general managers reporting to him. Jeff Clay will remain as president of Horizon but will now be free to pursue strategic corporate initiatives.  Stephens has worked in the green industry for over 30 years and has held multiple roles at Horizon, including vice president of sales and marketing and national sales.

Shawn Connors, general manager of the South Division, has announced his retirement effective May 1, 2023. Connors has dedicated 26 years to the Horizon business and has been instrumental in growing the business from seven stores in Phoenix to 83 branches in 12 states.  Richard Thornton, region manager, has been promoted to general manager of the South Division, which includes Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Texas.  Thornton has been in the green industry for 24 years, eight years as region manager for the Arizona and Nevada regions.

Eric Rippe, currently a region manager, has been promoted to general manager and will be responsible for sales and operations in California, Oregon, and Washington. Rippe has been with Horizon for 23 years and held multiple positions in sales and management. 

Chris Hudson has been promoted to senior director of supply chain and will manage all aspects of product procurement, including sourcing, purchasing, pricing and data. Hudson has over 30 years of experience. This change is effective immediately and will serve to help Horizon streamline the procurement process. 

Horizon is also opening six new stores over the next two months, including their first store in the Raleigh market. All stores will carry a complete selection of irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides, landscape lighting, hardscape and power equipment and will be open merchandised for a faster transaction for the landscape professional. 

New locations are in New Braunfels (San Antonio), Brookshire (Houston), Denton (Dallas), Spokane Valley, and Woodinville (Seattle), which will be a “mega store” with over 20,000 square feet of warehouse space. 

“I can’t express how thrilled I am for the future of Horizon,” Clay said. “We are promoting from within and opening an unprecedented six stores in two months, all resulting in new opportunities throughout our organization. Keep an eye on Horizon – we’ve got some exciting times ahead.”