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A backstory on how HAR became an H.B. Fuller 2020 National & 2021 Regional Distributor of the Year

HAR Adhesive Technologies; A backstory on how HAR became an H.B. Fuller 2020 National and 2021 Regional Distributor of the Year

In 1999, the H.B. Fuller Company decided to begin a distributor program for its line of Packaged Adhesives, Converting Adhesives, and Product Assembly Adhesives. 

More than 300 companies from across the country were considered over a nearly two-year process. H.B. Fuller even hired a consulting firm to help them select the final companies that would form their initial distributor network. 

Now, for those who may be unfamiliar with H.B. Fuller, they have been a leading global adhesives provider focusing on perfecting adhesives, sealants, and other specialty chemical products to improve products and lives for 130+ years. AKA: They are the big-name worldwide pro in the industry.  They sell to the largest companies in the world.  Early in 1999, HB Fuller recognized the need to better support and develop relationships with an underserved tier of customers through National network of distributors.

HAR Adhesive Technologies was an unlikely choice

HAR was initially told the consulting firm highly recommended that H.B. Fuller select large, well-recognized packaging distributors that came with an established sales force and an existing customer base. At the time, HAR was considered too small with only one outside salesman on the roster.  

Joe Cerino, President of HAR knew he needed to make an impression.  So he decided to travel to St. Paul, MN to meet with the Distribution Manager in person and other HB Fuller executives.  At the meeting, Joe was told his chances were not good. Still, the HB Fuller Distribution Manager decided to send a Regional Distributor Manager to Bedford, Ohio to check out Joe and his company in person.  That individual was Pat Cooney, a seasoned H.B. Fuller veteran. 

At the meeting, Pat shared with Joe that he was the only individual in the country to fly the St Paul and to meet the HB Fuller team in person.  Pat, an old relationship based salesmen at heart seemed to be impressed by that move  Both Cleveland natives.  Pat the son of Irish immigrants.  Joe the son of Italian immigrants.  Joe remembers Pat saying; “that there was something about HAR that reminded him of the HB Fuller he had joined years ago”

Pat went to bat for Joe.

In January of 2000, HAR became an official H.B. Fuller Distributor. Selected by the way, over the objection of the consulting firm. Making the cut over an impressive list of regional companies and becoming one of about 30 regional US distributors was a defining moment in the HAR story.

The keys to our success

Today, less than five companies remain from that initial list of over 30 distributors. None of those that are left were the favored packaging distributors. Why?

At HAR, we did not grow by simply bundling a shopping basket of “me too” products and offering prospects some convenience and a savings of a few pennies a pound. No, we focused only on our industry and we are proud to have offered much more important solutions to our customers.   We have hundreds of stories from over the past 22 years about helping companies generate thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and in a few cases millions of bottom line dollars due to improved efficiencies, faster speeds, or significant growth of existing and new business.

We believe in order to truly succeed in our industry and the market we serve, we must own all of the following; 1) Trust – providing the assurance that we have seen it before and were able to help, 2) Understanding –  Having the knowledge to ask the right questions and the discipline to listen, 3) Support – a sensitivity to work with the customer or prospect at their pace and comfort level.  4) Execution – Establishing an agreement with the customer on how we will proceed and then coming through.  4) Reliable Communication – always saying what we will do and then doing what we say… every day and on every order. 

For over 20 years, this has been our promise; ”Providing Adhesive and Adhesive Application Equipment Solutions and Support beyond your imagination”.     

So what really sets HAR apart

HAR has become one of only a few companies in America that specializes and has a deep understanding of both Adhesives and Adhesive Application Equipment, while also offering, when needed, integrated engineering solutions.   Our customer need to be experts on their business and they need us to be experts on ours.  This synergy has set HAR apart from the competition and fueled our growth with companies large and small.   

HAR has come a long way since 1999 when Joe Cerino first traveled to Minneapolis to meet with H.B. Fuller.  Over the years we are proud to have proven the consultants were wrong and HB Fuller was right when they chose HAR.   The trophies in our office are the evidence. 


HAR Adhesive Technologies, H.B. Fuller’s 2020 National Distributor of the Year and HB Fuller’s 2021 Regional Distributor of the Year.

Readers are invited to use the links below to find and contact a local adhesives representative that can help with your company's industrial adhesives needs: HAR Adhesive Technologies has a presence in seven distinct states, uniquely focused on serving the adhesives, adhesive application, and equipment needs of each region in: OhioIndianaKentuckyMichiganNew YorkPennsylvaniaWest Virginia


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