The President and CEO of True Value, John Hartmann, is taking on Undercover Boss for the season premiere tonight. Hartmann lives and works in Chicago and was very happy about his experience on the show, stating:
It was just an amazing experience from what I learned about our business, from what I learned about how strong and passionate and hardworking our people are. It was thrilling to first of all be offered that kind of opportunity and meet and understand and see our associates around the country doing what they do everyday.
Read on for the facts on Hartmann, his FBI background, and his company True Value.
1. Hartmann Used to Be In the FBI
Hartmann believes that his background from working with the FBI will help him in his efforts on Undercover Boss. CBS writes:
The boss of True Value, John Hartmann, is a former FBI agent and is armed with plenty of undercover tactics learned at the bureau.
The fundamental skills of being an FBI agent, listening being inquisitive, asking questions, those are skills that supposed my effort of an Undercover Boss. It’s really rewarding as a leader of a company to see the issues or opportunities in need of improvement.
As far as Hartmann’s FBI and educational background, his company bio reads:
Upon graduating from law school, Hartmann spent 10 years as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hartmann holds a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law, and a bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. Hartmann also received a certificate in the Accelerated Leadership Program from Emory University, Goizueta Business School.
Employee Terrell has similar aspirations as Hartmann when it comes to the law as CBS sums up his description as this:
Terrell is an enthusiastic warehouse employee with a rough past. He has overcome so much and is able to put a smile on his face each day when he comes to work because he wants to give his daughter a better life than he had. His dream is to go to school for juvenile criminal justice in order to help youth who grew up with similar backgrounds.
2. True Value Is One of America’s Largest Hardware Stores
True Value is almost 100 years old and is one of America’s biggest hardware stores, with over $2 billion in revenue last year. The True Value website describes the company as:
True Value’s family of retailers and associates are the foundation of our success. In an age of retail chains and big boxes, we understand that customers still value quality products, exceptional service and expert advice. True Value is a company with a proud heritage of supporting the growth and success of independent retailers — it’s the reason why our cooperative was founded.
The company also has a foundation to help give back to the community.
Its primary efforts on underserved youth, and improving the lives of children, with an emphasis on education and community vitality.
3. Hartmann Used To Work In a Pizza Shop
According to CBS, Hartmann’s first job was picking corn, but he went on to working in a pizza shop and used that to help him in his disguise for Undercover Boss. CBS reports:
John started working at a young age. His first job was picking corn as a child, then went on to a paper route, a grocery bagger and then at Lapresi’s pizza shop. John’s undercover alias — Louis Lapresi — was chosen to honor the Lapresi family, the owners of the above pizza shop.
4. He Takes On Four Different Jobs For the Show
On his Undercover Boss gig, Hartmann takes on four jobs as sales associate, stocking associate, front end manager and cashier. He also runs into some trouble from the looks of the preview as one employee seems more focused on trying to score women’s phone numbers. Hartmann told WBNG News:
Being reality TV, you don’t know what you’re going to experience until it happens. I think when your viewers watch the episode on Sunday night, they’ll see one particular example of a young man who says some things I think most of us agree were not very appropriate.
CBS writes about employee Brad and states:
Brad is a Boston Bad Boy working as a Sales Associate for True Value. His love of pursuing women doesn’t stop when he gets to work. In fact, the hardware store is the best place to pick women up, according to Brad. However, he loves to help others and he does do his job well. He just needs to stop trying to get the phone number of every woman he helps!
Some of the other employees who are more cheerful are manager Chris and cashier Lexi. Chris’ father passed away 7 years ago and he struggles to support his wife and daughter, but he’s very enthusiastic and hard-working at his job. Lexi is a bubbly person who is paying for school to fulfill her dream to become an Aesthetician.
5. Prior To True Value, Hartmann Was Successful At Several Other Companies Including Home Depot
John Hartmann doesn’t just have a history at True Value. He’s worked at Home Depot, Fortune 25 Cardinal Health, HD Supply, and Mitre 10. His company bio reads:
Hartmann served as Chief Executive Officer for Mitre 10, a New Zealand-based cooperative where he built and executed a strategic plan that increased members’ profitable sales over 25 percent in a four-year period. Prior to Mitre 10, Hartmann spent eight years at Home Depot and HD Supply, in a variety of roles including long-range planning, strategic business development, operations and sourcing, and finished his tenure as Chief Operating Officer for the electrical and plumbing divisions of then private equity owned HD Supply. For more than four years, Hartmann served as Vice President of Corporate Services for Fortune 25 Cardinal Health.