Omni Corporate Services President Bob Hoff announced at the buying group’s annual meeting in January that a succession plan was underway and an individual had been identified to eventually take over the presidency upon his retirement.

That individual is former Lasco Fittings executive Ben Freeman, who officially started in April as the group’s director of sales and marketing and will eventually succeed Hoff.

“The leadership at Omni and within the group is what attracted me,” Freeman told Supply House Times. “The Omni members care more for the overall success as a group than the overall success as an individual.”

Freeman was a regional sales manager at Lasco Fittings and previously worked in the medical sales and technology industries (for companies such as AT&T and Blackberry).

Out of the gates, Freeman’s role at Omni is to build vendor relationships and extending new vendor program initiatives while expanding product opportunities and enhancing new programs such as the group’s innovative Fill It Now online warehouse for Omni members. “Every week I take on more responsibility and am working with Bob every day so our members and vendor partners are 100 percent comfortable with the transition,” he said.

Freeman added he wants to accomplish plenty both in the present and future. “My short-term goal is to work closely with Bob over the next two years incorporating diversity into the group,” he said. “We currently are expanding HVAC, waterworks and PVF, and are targeting other product groups down the road. Bob has built a solid foundation at Omni that allows our team to take the group to higher levels while adopting new technology and vertical business solutions. My vision is to move Omni into the future and eventually become the buying group other groups want to mirror. It is my goal to ensure our members not only have peace of mind when it comes to our future, but are excited for the future as well.”