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Community Highlights: Meet Ted Kozikowski of Galleher

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ted Kozikowski of Galleher. He and his team share their story with us below:

In 1937, Burt Galleher founded our company which is the oldest floor-covering distributor in Southern California and the largest wholesale wood-flooring distributor west of the Mississippi. Since our humble beginnings in a small warehouse in South Central Los Angeles, we have grown into a strong organization with 36 locations in seven states and over 400 employees.

Galleher’s three brands, Monarch Plank Hardwood, Reward Hardwood, and GemCore are sold at a wide range of flooring retailers across Southern California and the product of choice for builders, interior designers, and contractors nationwide. (Our products are not sold directly to consumers.) More information about Galleher is available online at www.galleher.com.

Galleher CEO Ted Kozikowski is also a proud U.S. veteran. Under his leadership, Galleher has partnered with Building Homes for Heroes, a national non-profit organization that recognizes the tremendous sacrifices of men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces by supporting the housing needs of severely wounded or disabled veterans. Galleher donates its signature GemCore flooring to be used in new and modified homes for injured veterans. To support the work done by Building Homes for Heroes or to learn more about Galleher’s non-profit partners, visit www.buildinghomesforheroes.org.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Like all growing companies, we’ve had our ups and downs – luckily, more ups than downs! Prior to World War II, wood flooring was the primary flooring product used when building homes in the suburbs close to downtown Los Angeles. Places like Huntington Park, Lakewood, and Inglewood were the growing cities at the time. Burt Galleher saw this opportunity and began his mission to supply hardwood flooring to the burgeoning housing market in Southern California.

During the 1960s, the popularity in wood flooring declined due to the introduction of inexpensive mass-produced carpeting and easy-care residential vinyl tiles. At that point, Galleher began to sell hardwood lumber and the wood used to make the same flooring in truck bodies. In 1980, nearly a decade after Burt Galleher passed away, his family sold the company to the Hamar family, who led the growth of Galleher through 2020. Ted Kozikowski became CEO in 2021 and oversees our company today. We are headquartered in Santa Fe Springs.

We’ve been impressed with Galleher, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Galleher is the largest flooring distributor in the west and third largest in the U.S. Galleher’s long-term growth strategy is aligned with the growth goals of our customers. Our primary goal is to continue meeting the expanding needs of our customers in terms of product mix, price options, geographic coverage, and the ability to provide one-stop shopping for all their flooring and installation needs. Our company’s vision is to become the flooring industry’s leading provider of flooring products and value-added services that make a lasting, positive difference in our customers’ lives. Our three proprietary flooring brands (Monarch Plank, Reward Flooring and GemCore) meet the various flooring needs of a wide range of customers.

Our CEO Ted Kozikowski is also a proud U.S. veteran. Recognizing and giving back to injured veterans is a cause that is extremely important to him and his Galleher colleagues. Under Ted’s leadership, Galleher has partnered with Building Homes for Heroes, a national non-profit organization that recognizes the tremendous sacrifices of men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces by supporting the housing needs of severely wounded or disabled veterans. Galleher donates its signature GemCore flooring to be used in new and modified homes for inured veterans. GemCore is Galleher’s signature line of resilient flooring that is waterproof, scratch resistant, and easy to maintain, while having the beauty of hardwood or stone.

Galleher is in a unique position to provide this resilient GemCore flooring for use in new and refurbished homes for injured veterans. The flooring is easy to care for, particularly for homeowners with limited mobility, using wheelchairs, walking aids, etc. Having these floors donated for veterans is a tremendous saving for the builders and allows Building Homes for Heroes to help more injured veterans in need and continue to support them as they begin to rebuild their lives.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
To paraphrase Randy Newman, “We love L.A.!” We’ve been in L.A. for over 85 years and this city, county, and region are an integral part of our DNA.

We love the vibrancy, diversity, and deep talent pool that L.A. offers. We have some of the best people in the flooring industry working for Galleher and that talent pool has contributed to our growth and prosperity over the years. It helps us meet the needs of our growing customer base and makes Galleher the special place it is. We are convinced that we would not be the company we are with the success we’ve had if we were based in another part of the U.S.
L.A. is a special place with special people — we love it here!

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Image Credits
Galleher CEO Ted Kozikowski headshot image credit to Galleher LLC. Galleher flooring product “Reward” flooring offers classic, timeless hardwood floor designs to cutting-edge composite technologies. Image credit to Galleher LLC. Galleher flooring product “Monarch Plank” flooring offers exquisite hardwood flooring designs, leveraging the most sophisticated modern finishing techniques. Image credit to Galleher LLC.

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