ATLANTA — At a press conference at the AHR Expo in Atlanta, DiversiTech Corp. announced that it has acquired Stride Tool LLC, a Glenwillow, Ohio-based OEM manufacturer of American-made specialty hand tools.

Bud Sjogren is chief sales and marketing officer at DiversiTech.

“In keeping with the investments in innovation … this complements everything that we do,” he said. “If you look at our tagline, which is ‘Simplify Your Work,’ [that] is what DiversiTech is all about, both from the wholesaler’s point of view and the technician’s point of view. We have a focus on the trades, and this is especially important as we embark on the tool business, where we actually get to talk and relate to the people that touch these products every day and make a living using items that we’re manufacturing.”

Stride Tool’s flagship brand, Imperial, was established in 1905; other notable brands include Milbar (wire twister tools and kits), Lakeland Products (tube fabricating equipment), and Bright Solutions International (leak detection products and specialty hand tools). Stride Tool maintains a manufacturing facility in Solon, Ohio, and manufactures a variety of other products for tube working, automotive, electrical, and industrial applications.

Ron Ortiz is the former president of Stride Tools and, as of Jan. 14, leads the DiversiTech Tool Group.

New products gained through the acquisition including tube working tools, HVACR manifolds and hoses, wire strippers, and other related products.

“Our acquisition of Stride Tool is a perfect strategic fit and furthers our mission to simplify the work of our wholesale customers and HVAC/R technicians,” said DiversiTech CEO Andy Bergdoll in a statement. “With Stride Tool, we are furthering our commitment to developing products made here in the U.S.A. and adding innovative brands that complement our existing product portfolio. We welcome Stride Tool to the DiversiTech family and look forward to continuing to better meet the needs of the HVACR marketplace with this venerable company in our fold.”

DiversiTech also announced its five winners of the 2019 Retool Your Future scholarship competition during the press conference. This year’s winners are Draik Huddleston, Joliet Junior College (Illinois), the first of his siblings to pursue a college education; Nichole Lemoine, Nova Scotia Community College (Canada), who spent more than 17 years in the food industry before making the switch to HVACR; Rafael Guevara, Guilford Technical Community College (North Carolina), a first-generation college student; Taylor Wansing, State Technical College of Missouri (Missouri), a Marine Corps veteran; and Jose Velazquez, Vista College (Texas), a former Army combat engineer.

Each winner receives $5,000, a starter kit of hilmor tools, a trip to this year’s AHR EXPO, and a Green Wall Merchandising Display for their school.

Since its inception six years ago, more than 2,500 students from over 300 trade schools have applied for the program, via essays describing how the HVACR industry will “retool their life.” Winners are selected based on their descriptions of how HVACR school is helping them start a new life, how they are preparing for a career in the industry, and their commitment to education.

“This year’s winners are shining examples of how our industry and education can drive positive change and new career possibilities,” said DiversiTech Brand Director Andrea Halpin. “We are honored to showcase each winner’s unique story and support their professional growth as they enter the HVAC/R field.” Entries for next year’s contest will be accepted on September 1, 2019. More information about the award is available at

Publication date: 1/14/2019

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