Ferguson (Newport News, Va.) named facilities after three of its founding fathers, David Peebles, Charlie Banks and Jake Thomas. In recognition of all they have given to the company, President Chip Hornsby announced the tributes during the recent grand opening of Ferguson's new 150,000-sq.-ft. corporate office building.

The building at 618 Bland Blvd. that housed Ferguson's former corporate offices and Peebles Supply has been named the David L. Peebles Building. "Additionally," said Hornsby, "as he was also the driving force of our training program, it is only fitting that we recognize his vision and passion for training and career development by naming our training facility the David L. Peebles Training Center."

Hornsby continued: "In 1967 Mr. Peebles hired Charlie Banks as the first management trainee. I don't think that either of them suspected that 22 years later, Banks would become the president of the $600 million company. In 1996, Banks had built the corporate office at 12500 Jefferson, where the company has grown to $5 billion. It was under Banks' leadership that Ferguson became the top supplier in the country, as well as the most profitable. He became Group Chief Executive of Wolseley, our parent company, in 2001 and it's fitting and appropriate that we name this building after the industry giant who built it - Charles A. Banks."

As the company continued to grow, David Peebles hired Jake Thomas in 1971 to manage the financial end of the business. Thomas became the driving force behind the installation of a computer system throughout the company and managed the development of Ferguson's proprietary distribution software system called Trilogie. "He was responsible for taking those first steps that have allowed us to grow with the age of technology," said Hornsby. "To commemorate this achievement and many others, the impressive information and technology development area in FEI II, our newest building, has been named The James B. Thomas, Jr. Data Center."