Painters Supply and Equipment, perhaps the largest PBE distributor in North America, is celebrating its 50th anniversary next month. The PBE jobber and PPG Platinum distributor headquartered in Taylor, Mich., has two warehouses and 36 locations in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario. Painters Supply and Equipment now operates nine locations in Southern Ontario, as well as a warehouse in London, Ont. Founded by Chester “Chet” Taurence and his wife Arlene, the first store opened in September of 1952 at 1411 Fort Street in Lincoln Park. In 1953, Taurence began expanding his business, opening another store in Garden City, followed over the years with locations in East Detroit, Pontiac, Warren, Toledo and on and on. In 1999 the company began purchasing locations and expanding in Ontario, Canada. Actually, Taurence has been selling PPG products (formerly the Ditzler brand) since 1937. Fresh out of high school he began working for D.Mellin Moran, an automotive parts distributor in Wyandotte, Michigan and has continued to sell Ditzler/PPG products for over 65 years. In 1997 Taurence brought Don Hannah aboard as president and CEO of the company. Hannah, a native of Toronto, Ont., began working in bodyshops in Toronto in 1949. He went to work for PPG Canada in 1960 as the company’s first technical service rep. By the 1980s, Hannah became national director of sales and eventually director of automotive refinish, North America. After his retirement from PPG, he went to work for his Painters Supply and was instrumental in expanding the business into Southern Ontario.