School Specialty Enhances Operational Team With the Appointment of Two Industry Veterans

School Specialty, Inc.

GREENVILLE, Wis., Feb. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School Specialty Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) ("SSI" or "the Company"), a leading distributor of supplies, furniture and both supplemental and curriculum products to the education marketplace, today announced two new leadership appointments as the Company continues to build out its operational team to enhance customer satisfaction.

The Company disclosed today that it has hired Daniel P. Kohler as Executive Vice President of Operations, effective immediately. Daniel will be responsible for overseeing all of the Company's operations, including manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain management. He joins School Specialty after spending more than 25-years in related operations roles, where he most recently served as Executive Vice President with HVL, a division of Atrium Innovations. In his most recent position, Daniel was responsible for supply chain management, operations and distribution, manufacturing, purchasing and quality assurance programs. Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer with Health and Wellness Products Holdings and Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, International with PeoplePC, an international technology and internet retail company. He has also held management roles with several other companies, including TY Inc., OfficeMax, and Reliable Corporation and started his career with Keebler Company (Kellogg), where he served as Regional Director, overseeing distribution center management, supply chain functions and other related productivity and sales roles.

School Specialty also disclosed today that Rick Smith has joined the Company as Director of Distribution Center Operations, overseeing the Company's Mansfield, OH distribution center, effective immediately. Rick joins SSI after a more than 25-year career working in several operational and supply chain positions with other industry leaders. He was most recently Director, Supply Chain Quality with United Stationers ("USI"), where he was responsible for defining and deploying a Quality Strategy for United Stationers Operations. In this role, he developed quality systems and led quality initiatives across product development, customer compliance and analytics, and supply chain processes. He previously held various positions with United Stationers including Vice President of Operations, Midwest Region; Director of Operational Excellence and General Operations Manager; and Director of Operations. Before his ten-year career with USI, Rick was the Vice President of Customer Care, Midwest Region for UPS Supply Chain Solutions and prior to, served as Operations and Logistics Program Director. He started with UPS as an Air Operations Engineer and Logistics Planner, where he directed integrated operating plans for national small package accounts and UPS' largest volume accounts.

Commenting on today's announcement, Jim Henderson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of School Specialty stated, "We continue to invest in our operations to ensure we have unified focus on delivering value-added products and services to our customers. Ensuring they receive products on-time and in the most efficient manner remains our priority and we will not stop until we achieve 100% customer satisfaction. Daniel brings significant experience in operations and distribution center management, and I have every bit of confidence in his ability to lead our team and help us achieve this goal. Additionally, having Rick lead our Mansfield distribution center is a coup for our organization as he has extensive experience, leading best-in-class programs for quality management, distribution center alignment and customer loyalty programs. Both Daniel and Rick understand the importance of a fully integrated, sales and operations planning model and are process driven, a very important factor as we improve processes across key function areas within our business. I would like to welcome them both to the School Specialty family and look forward to their many contributions over the coming years."

"I am very excited for this opportunity to join the School Specialty team," stated Mr. Kohler. "What led me to this position was the Company's strong reputation within the Education marketplace and the significant growth opportunities I see for its many product lines and within targeted industry verticals. My focus is clear; drive organizational efficiencies within operations that mesh many core functions together while improving our delivery times and our time-to-market. I have always been a proponent of continuous improvement, particularly in process reform and I look forward to supporting the various programs underway, while contributing to School Specialty's growth in the future."

Mr. Smith commented, "I am honored to join School Specialty as they are recognized throughout the industry as an innovative leader in the education marketplace. They have world-class brands and a loyal customer base, providing products and services that are incredibly important and meaningful to our Educators. I look forward to working with the SSI team to bring best-in-class distribution services to our customers and to ensure they receive the products they ordered, on-time and without fail. We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us and with our build-out of our Mansfield, OH facility underway, now is the right time to implement lean principles with a focus on 100% customer satisfaction."

Daniel is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and obtained his MBA in Finance at the Keller Graduate School of Management, where he graduated with Distinction. While with Keebler, he also earned the honor of being selected to attend Oxford University for coursework in Strategic Management.

Rick is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Operations Management and Aviation. He is active in a number of charitable organizations including Habitat for Humanity International, Free Wheelchair Mission and World Vision.

About School Specialty, Inc.

School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace. The Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. For more information about School Specialty, visit

CONTACT: Company Contact Dionne Manchester, SVP GW Communications (for SSI) Email: Phone: 212-786-6068

Source:School Specialty, Inc.