Our Sales Force

Our experienced, aggressive and successful sales associates have personal relationships with all of our customers and the combined sales force have more than 300 years of experience in the paint and hardware industry. We have superior knowledge of all the phases of distribution from the two-step distribution process, to the buying groups, to the independent stores and all the national and regional paint manufacturers.

AGENCY PRINCIPALS

MURRY RUTKIN

Murry served as a public relations specialist for six years in the National Guard before he attended The University of Baltimore School of Business. He began his career in a corner hardware store which subsequently grew into a seven store chain called Home Center. In 1987 he joined Gerstein Hoffman Sales and became responsible for all the agencies’ business in Virginia as well as other major accounts in their mid southern territory. Murry became a partner in 1989. Murry resides in Phoenix, Maryland.

MICHAEL P. MITCHELL


Michael received his B.S. in Business Administration from Northeastern University and began his career shortly thereafter in 1992, as a territory representative for a New England sales agency. In 1999, he opened the New York office and worked to further the agency’s presence in the Metro NY market. In January of 2007, Michel joined Gerstein Hoffman Sales as a partner. He continues to broaden and deepen his excellent client relationships in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania territories. Michael resides in Scarsdale, New York.

AL PETERS

Al Peters
Al holds a B.S. in Marketing from Boston College. He began his career with Wagner SprayTech in 1977 where he was responsible for territories in upstate New York and the six New England states. He established his own sales agency, Al Peters & Associates in 1980 and then partnered with Ira Thomas in 1983 to form Peters & Thomas Sales. Al’s sales strengths have always been in his ability to maintain a “hands on” policy of servicing the dealer stores as well as sales calls from independent and national stores (either on a direct selling basis or by supporting the local distributors). Al is responsible for managing key accounts as well as the eastern Massachusetts territory which includes Boston and southern New Hampshire. Al serves as president of Peters & Thomas Sales where he oversees the daily operations. Al resides in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts.

IRA THOMAS

Ira is a 1973 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Business Administration. Prior to college he honorably served his country as a multi-toured Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. Ira began his career with Wagner Spray Tech in 1972 as a repair technician and held many other positions before leaving his Sales Administrator position to take a sales territory in 1979. In 1980 he was appointed the Central Regional Sales Manager, responsible for hiring and directing independent sales rep groups for the Wagner Consumer Division. Ira worked with rep groups to get product placement for the initial rollout of the multi-million dollar advertising campaign that started the exposure of Wagner as the household name it has become today. Ira left Wagner in April 1983 to become a partner with Al Peters, the owner of Al Peters & Associates, a sales agency servicing the paint and hardware industry in New England and Upstate New York. The company was incorporated as Peters & Thomas Sales Corp. on July 1, 1985. Ira oversees the territories of Connecticut, western Massachusetts and portions of New Hampshire and Vermont. Ira resides in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

AGENCY SALES TEAM

Paul Zimmerman

Paul holds a B.S in Marketing from Bryant College. He has 26 years of experience in the industry. He began his career as a sales territory representative for a distributor in Hartford, Connecticut. Paul eventually joined Peters & Thomas Sales in April 1994 and has been a valued member of the team ever since. Paul services accounts in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and central Massachusetts. Paul resides in Greenville, Rhode Island.

Carl Fischer

Carl FischerCarl graduated from Monroe County College, Monroe, NJ and has a diversified business background with experience in management, operations, customer service and merchandising. Prior to joining East Coast Sales Group, Carl was with Zinsser/Rustoleum for nearly a decade. He is a seasoned professional who is extremely knowledgeable with products, customer service, and the local markets. He is responsible for covering accounts in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. Carl resides in Brick, NJ.

Tony Tumolo

Tony TumoloTony has been in the paint and building materials industry for over 30 years. Tony’s territories include the Metropolitan New York are, Long Island, and New Jersey. Tony resides in Middlesex, New Jersey

Nadine Blair

Nadine BlairNadine has over 21 years in the paint industry. Over 17 years years with Duron Paints and Sherwin Williams. She has worked in purchasing and as a store manager. Her goal is To give excellent customer service and training to both the stores and the contractors that they sell to. Nadine primarily works Baltimore, Washington and Northern Virginia areas with Murry Rutkin. She resides in Fort Howard, MD.

Susan Kowalski

For the past 15 years we have had the distinct pleasure of having Susan as office administrator and internal sales coordinator. Susan is the executor of Peters & Thomas Sales’ marketing campaign which greatly benefits the manufacturers we represent. On a regular basis she targets new business via cold calling and by sending targeted mailings to accounts keeping them aware and informed of new products and programs.

Mel Gerstein

Mel studied at Drexel University and The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania and then spent 15 years gaining experience with major paint companies. He started his own sales agency in 1971 and then joined Hoffman Sales to form Gerstein Hoffman Sales in 1974. Mel covers southern New Jersey, as well as other select territories and customers. Mel resides in Berlin, New Jersey.

James K. Flynn

James received his BA in Business Administration from Hiram Scott College in 1971 and worked with Bristol Myers for 18 years working in Ohio and Michigan. In 1984, James accepted a position as District Manager in Mechanicsburg, PA with the Consumer Products Division. James has held positions as Regional Manager for Turtle Wax, Orange-Sol and Supreme Chemicals covering the east coast. James has excellent understanding of the paint sundry market with headquarter coverage and working trade shows. James resides in Mechanicsburg, PA.

We are a professional and experienced sales agency representing some of the industry’s most well known manufacturers and we have strong relationships with all the major accounts in our market. If you are looking to increase your sales volume and market penetration in the respective sales territories we service, please contact us.