Archive for the ‘Inside MacPherson’s’ Category

Welcoming David J. Schofield

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Today, we welcomed our new CEO, David J. Schofield!  We kicked off his first day in Emeryville with a Town Hall meeting and employee breakfast, and we’re all excited to have Dave on board! As we mentioned in our initial announcement earlier this month, Dave has already been working closely with our senior leadership team to ensure a smooth transition.  It’s an exciting time for MacPherson’s, and we hope you have a chance to meet or speak with Dave very soon.

Industry News- A Note from Frank Stapleton

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

This is a hard note to write. Besides my family, there’s nothing I love more than MacPherson’s and the community we serve. For 45 years (yikes), my chief passion has been building MacPherson’s from its humble beginnings, helping it flourish and finding creative ways to navigate and conquer the many challenges that come our way. I’m so proud of what we’ve built and of the heart, soul, and hard work of so many people over the years.

As our talented leadership team finds its way, it’s time for me to exit stage right and give them space to make their own successes, stumble occasionally, and learn from their experiences. I have every belief that this is exactly what will happen

It has been a wonderful 45-year ride! Thank you to my many friends in the industry, and thanks for your support in making our amazing company such a successful supplier to our industry’s retailers.

I have been asked to continue on as a member of MacPherson’s board of directors and to play a role in the transition of strategic responsibilities. These include acting as a mentor on the sales and vendor side, and being the editor of the Art Dog Blog.

MacPherson’s will now engage in a search for a great Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who I know will do us all proud. In the meantime, the top leadership of the company will be supported fully by our very capable and committed outside board of directors: Alison Norton Nelson and Renee Thomas Jacobs.

I encourage all to reach me at my personal email address for any reason;

All the best,

Frank Stapleton

MacPherson’s Holiday eMail Marketing – Sneak Peek

Friday, October 27th, 2017

sneak peak

Derwent: a Journey into the World of Pencils

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Derwent has been making high quality drawing materials including colored pastel pencils and graphite lead pencil sets since 1832, when they were known as the Cumberland Pencil Company. Rumor has it the story dates even further back to the 1500s, when a violent storm uprooted many trees and the shepherds discovered a black material under the soil with which they could mark their sheep. This turned out to be graphite, and a local business began making pencils with the discovered material. Today, Derwent has an unswerving reputation for innovation, inspiring artists with new products like Procolour, Inktense, Graphik Line Painters and Tinted Charcoal, alongside their classic range of Artists, Graphic and Watercolor Pencils.

MacPherson’s Dealer Workshop – with thanks from Colart!

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

MacPherson’s Dealer Workshop – with thanks from Colart!

Thank you to all the retailers who joined us at the MacPherson’s Annual Dealer Workshop and checked out the launch of the Liquitex Cadmium Free range and Winsor & Newton surfaces. The annual conference is always a special time to connect with our retail partners and offer you a glimpse of new products. This year was no different as we offered demos and workshops for Liquitex in one room and Winsor & Newton and Arches in another.


In the Liquitex room, Cadmium Free demos were the focus. Attendees tested the product side by side with the Cadmium paints and saw just how comparable the two are. In addition to the demos, we unveiled a blind sampling kit concept that customers can use in their local art communities. Attendees were also impressed with the Liquitex Cadmium Free merchandising kits for offering a complete introductory merchandising solution.


Liquitex also launched the new Basics sizes and Basics planogram at the event, and customers were excited about the various Liquitex sets, particularly the $14.99 BASICS Acrylic Mediums Textures & Effects Set. In the Winsor & Newton room, we explored the newly launched surfaces: the Stretched canvas and Watercolor paper. We also featured Arches’ new free-standing floor display, five-sheet pack, and the 16 x 20 oil sheets. Both were a big draw for attendees.

Throughout the workshop, we discussed the features and benefits of the new ranges, as well as product pricing, merchandising opportunities, launch materials strategy, and specials.

Thank you again to MacPherson’s and all the retailers that attended the conference.

MacPherson’s News

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Shuyang OrientOver the past year MacPherson’s has built a strong and cohesive leadership team with high energy, diverse talents, experiences and fresh perspectives mostly outside the art material business. The team includes:

  • Eric Matthews – Controller
  • Michael Lin – Director of Operations
  • Jon Newsom – Director of Sales
  • Dionne Mallins – Director of Marketing
  • Peter Eichelberger – Director of Information Technology

They join the core senior leadership team at MacPherson’s of tested and proven managers. That well-known and experienced team includes Steve Robinson, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Jim Semitekol, Chief Operating Officer and Natasha Nicholson-Bjerre, Vice President responsible for our people.

With the coming year we have planned some important changes to coincide with the urgent and evolving needs of our customers, suppliers and employee-owners.  Beginning in December and rolling out over a few months you will see a new structure and new responsibilities emerging at MacPherson’s.


Steve Robinson

In my new position as Executive Chairman I will be turning over the day-to-day operations to Steve Robinson in his new role as our company President. I will still be working full-time though my responsibilities will become more focused on developing our future business while cultivating our strong customer and supplier partnerships. Reporting to Steve will be Jim Semitekol, Natasha Nicholson BjerreJon Newsom and Dionne Mallins.

Jim Semitekol

Jim Semitekol

Jim Semitekol will be spearheading a yearlong development of his team and their responsibilities in finance, accounting, operations, inventory and information technology that will allow him to transition to retirement at the end of 2017. In this time we will be seeking a new COO who hopefully will come from within MacPherson’s.

Our focused, energized and talent based leadership team is committed to delivering an ever improving package of products and solutions to help in our customers quest for success. Our promise to you, our customers and suppliers, is to fully communicate, always ask for your feedback and be responsive to your needs.

As always,

Frank Stapleton

Derwent Vision 2017 – Drawn to Perfection

Friday, September 16th, 2016

derwent Vision

For generations, artists have chosen and trusted the Derwent® brand for art materials around the world. With a proud history dating back to 1832, Derwent’s innovation comes from a deep understanding of artists. Derwent appreciates that their needs and aspirations may change over their artistic life, and with this in mind has produced a range of art materials that span from the first colouring pencil to the highest professional quality products ­– the majority of which are made in their British manufacturing plant in The Lake District, Cumbria, in the UK.

Quality, craftsmanship and innovation are key cornerstones of the Derwent brand. This is achieved by setting stringent quality control in the production of all products across a wide array of art categories. Perfecting the art of pencil manufacturing in the Lake District over generations, Derwent’s wide range of pencils is synonymous with quality and craftsmanship. Artistry is threaded through the core of every Derwent product, delivering world-class artists’ materials at every stage of the creative journey.

Derwent is excited to announce that 2017 will see the rollout of the new brand strategy which gives a clear segmentation of the ranges, supporting Derwent’s vision of bringing to market art materials at every stage of the creative journey. Derwent’s new marketing communications will also carry the strapline ‘Drawn to Perfection,’ which captures the essence of the historic brand and its commitment to the creation of innovative high quality art materials.

The involvement and collaboration of artists is fundamental to Derwent, featuring work from international artists on its full range of products, as well as representing consumers’ opinions in focus groups thereby reaffirming their long-standing commitment to the art and hobbyist community. Recently, a new selection of Artists pencils was launched, as a result of numerous requests from artists who needed a range of white and black pencils which could offer a spectrum of hues and tones. In summary, Derwent seeks to give consumers, above all else, a highly personalized experience which meets their individual artistic requirements.


MacPherson’s 2014 Dealer Workshop

Thursday, April 24th, 2014


Our Purchasing and Creative teams are gearing up for another fun-filled and educational Dealer Workshop. The event will be held at the Doubletree Hotel at the Berkeley Marina on Wednesday, June 11th and Thursday, June 12th. We’ll also have a handful of demos on Tuesday afternoon.

Think you’d like to join us? Click to request an invitation if you haven’t received one yet.

Hotel capacity is limited, so confirmed space will be decided on a first come, first served basis.

Important Announcement

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

MacPherson’s will be closing its Elgin Facility in June 2014 following the expiration of our lease. By our conversion to two DCs, in Reno and Atlanta, we can achieve substantial facilities savings while simplifying and reducing our large inventory investment. We have carefully planned this change so that our Midwest and North Eastern customers will not be disadvantaged.

We have made this decision with strong reservations given the effective and experienced team we have in Elgin.

Our Elgin employees will be encouraged to relocate to a larger facility in Atlanta that we expect to occupy next Spring.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to write or call,  (510) 761-5690


Frank Stapleton


MacPherson’s 2013 Dealer Workshop

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Our Purchasing and Creative teams are gearing up for another fun-filled and educational Dealer Workshop. The event will be held at the Doubletree Hotel at the Berkeley Marina on Wednesday, June 12th and Thursday, June 13th. We’ll also have a handful of demos on Tuesday afternoon.

Think you’d like to join us? Click here to request an invitation if you haven’t received one yet.

New From Art Alternatives

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Try out the new Art Alternatives clear acrylic plastic that locks shut making it easy to transport mixed colors between class, the studio, and the field. While most palettes are specific to one medium, this versatile palette works equally well with watercolor, oil, or acrylic paints, as it contains both a removable 24 well palette and 10 sheets of disposable palette paper. It additionally contains 3 small sponges that can be moistened to keep paints workable longer.  Refill sheets of palette paper are also available.  The palette is AA15363 (retail of $19.99) and the refills is AA15364 (retail of $8.99). Don’t forget to take advantage of the 70% off launch promo (use the SI code)!

MacPherson’s NAMTA News

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Click here for the full details : MacPhersonsAtNamta2012

MacPherson’s Celebrates Employee Ownership Month

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Founded in 1906, MacPherson’s has grown into the largest wholesale distributor of Fine Art Supplies to retail dealers in the United States and is proud to be 100% owned by its nearly 200 employees. Currently, there are over 11,500 ESOPs in place in the U.S. covering more than 10 million employee owners.

Many companies opt to sell stock to an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) when the current owners are getting ready to retire. Although none of us wants Stu or Frank to leave, we realize that at some point they will want to spend more time at home, enjoying the lives they’ve worked so very hard to build. At MacPherson’s, an ESOP provided a very attractive succession plan: Frank and Stu were pleased to share the wealth with the employees who worked so hard to make the company successful. As a result, the ESOP has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on the company, creating broadbased ownership among all employees and fostering an environment in which everyone understands his or her role in helping the company achieve its bottom line. In fact, more than 88% of ESOP Association members report that ESOP implementation was a good overall decision for the company, and another nearly two-thirds of Association members report that the ESOP has helped increase productivity. Our customers, vendors, and business partners now have the security of knowing that once Frank and Stu decide to take a break from the art supply business, there are almost 200 people who will still be here, working hard to help you make your businesses successful.

MacPherson’s implemented its ESOP in 2010. The ESOP provides a retirement benefit to the employee owners that is above and beyond a 401K. MacPherson’s is one of approximately 3,000 ESOPs in the United States that is 100% employee owned. Employee owners are not required to put any money into the ESOP. All of the money in the ESOP trust comes from the company’s profit.

MacPherson’s employee owners invite you to join them in celebrating October’s National Employee Ownership Month. A number of activities will take place throughout October in all four MacPherson’s locations nationwide, culminating in a celebratory luncheon and Q&A

For further information on ESOPs, please visit the ESOP Association website at: or call 202/293-2971.

MacPherson’s Dealer Workshop

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

We had a couple of cancellations so we have a few seats available at our big, fun Dealer Workshop in June. It’s being held in Berkeley, CA on June 16th & 17th. If you are interested in attending send us a message at We’ll take care of lodging and all meals – you just need to get yourself here. But hurry! We need to know by Monday, 5/21!

MacPherson’s Does Class Kits!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

It’s never too soon to be planning to make the Fall Back to School Season your store’s best ever. MacPherson’s recognizes the importance of aligning with the art professors and offering pre-made kits is a great way to help students start their first day of an art course with everything needed on the supply syllabus. Why not let MacPherson’s build the kits so you can concentrate on strengthening your relationship with the art instructors through more one on one face-time?  Our online kit‐building process turns your tedious kit process into an efficient turn‐and‐earn proposition.

• Kit contents and kit names will be saved for your reordering convenience
• All kits come individually packaged in an appropriately sized, see-through polybag
• Custom packaging is available upon request
• Unique kit bar code labels are available upon request
• 45-Day lead time is required for kit order fulfillment

Ask your MacPherson’s sales contact for all the details or visit MacPhersonArt.Com and go to ONLINE EXPRESS > KIT CENTER for a next day quote. Or, work with your MacPherson’s sales rep.


MacPherson’s Takes Over North American Montana Distribution

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

MacPherson’s is proud to announce that we have acquired the exclusive distribution rights for Montana products in North America. We began distributing Montana products to the non-art and craft channels in early May when End to End ceased operations.
Although there are no changes specifically relating to our long time Montana customers, the MAP program in place for Montana Gold is now expanding to cover all customers who purchase Montana Gold in North America. As a strategic partner with Montana we are dedicated to the growth of the brand, expansion of this exciting new art form and ultimately the complete satisfaction of consumer who chooses a Montana product.
Please see the complete announcement for all the details:Microsoft Word - Montana_End2End_Anno#34D6CF.doc

What’s New! A Brand New eService from MacPherson’s

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Check it out, Art Dawg!

MacPherson’s creative team has done it again. If you are signed up you will receive a once a month email announcing the latest in new items and promos to to help power your store’s engine of success. Click on the image below to see what we’re talking about!


Check Out the New Look!

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

We’ve heard that you think our Website is already the best in the business, but that hasn’t stopped us from working for nearly a year to make it even better. Take a look, run it through its paces, and tell us what you think!


Inside MacPherson’s: Atlanta Buyer Bryan Ferguson, Up Close & Personal

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

We love to share the stories of the people who make up our amazing team.

Today our featured person is Bryan Ferguson, Buyer, Atlanta

dsc02505Bryan is from the small town of Bethlehem, Georgia, where watching the cows break through their fences is the most exciting thing that happens. Aspiring to be a creative writer, Bryan settled for creating extraordinary french fries and burgers at the fine dining palace called Burger King for his first job. Bryan started at MacPherson’s 16 years ago. With 13 years in the warehouse, picking, packing, receiving, shipping, and every other thing you can think of, he was truly a warehouse “jack of all trades.” Always looking for a new challenge, with his extensive knowledge of our warehouse and items, Bryan joined the purchasing department when the opportunity arose 3 years ago.

What does he like most about the job? Bryan loves his co-workers and their wonderfully diverse personalities.  He has been married for 3 years to his wife Wendy, and has two stepkids, Mallory (22) and Jacob (19). In those 3 years, the kids have gone on their own, making Bryan and Wendy “empty nesters”.  Well, not really empty by any means, as their 2 dogs (Crash and Bobo) and 4 cats ( Chleopetra [not Cleopatra, yet the resemblance is uncanny], Alfie, Luna, and Levi) make for an eventful evening.

On his off days, Bryan hangs out with his other family, the kids from his church and teaches High School Sunday School. You’re a busy man, Bryan! If he could impart any words of wisdom to his fellow citizens of the world, here’s what he suggests, “Pray for, forgive and love your enemies and those who hurt you. This is one of the hardest things to do, but can be one of the most rewarding.” Well said, Bryan, well said.

Inside MacPherson’s: Unsung Heroes of the DCs – Jackie Shelby

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

From time to time we  like to share the stories of the people who make up our amazing team. Today our featured person is Jackie Shelby, an Order Picker in our Reno DC.


Jackie Shelby has been a team member at our Reno Distribution Center for nearly three years. Before coming to work for MacPherson’s, Jackie’s first job was as a gas station attendant, where she learned the ins and outs of cars including fixing flat tires, changing oil and replacing spark plugs. Not only is Jackie well versed in many aspects of warehouse operation and  auto repair, she has many hobbies outside of work. In her spare time she enjoys crafts, gardening, riding her motorcycle, cooking, baking, and decorating cakes; in short, she is  a ” Jackie of all trades.” Jackie has four children, three daughters and a son, along with two grandchildren. She shares her home, and her wonderful cooking, with Rick her husband of twenty six years, a Cockatiel and two miniature Schnauzers. Once she retires she hopes to travel the country with her husband on their motorcycles, or a motor home. When asked what advice she would give to her fellow MacPhersonites, she said to, “Love with every ounce of energy you have, family and friends alike, treat others with kindness, don’t sweat the small stuff, and laugh a lot.” Well said and well lived!