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Building-supply store owner takes low-key approach to charitable work

Restored warbird — A restored Grumman TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bomber is parked in front of a DeLand Naval Air Station Museum hangar that was donated by All Quality Products and named for company owner Ron Herman.

Restored warbird — A restored Grumman TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bomber is parked in front of a DeLand Naval Air Station Museum hangar that was donated by All Quality Products and named for company owner Ron Herman.

Restored warbird — A restored Grumman TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bomber is parked in front of a DeLand Naval Air Station Museum hangar that was donated by All Quality Products and named for company owner Ron Herman.

Open-air workspace — A display featuring information about the pilot who was flying the Avenger when it caught fire over Lake Michigan in 1943 occupies one corner of an assembly pavilion donated to the DeLand Naval Air Station aviation museum by Ron Herman and All Quality Products.

BEACON PHOTOS/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

Ron Herman doesn’t support charitable causes in order to reap accolades. No, the owner of All Quality Products, a building-supply store in DeLand that marked its 40th anniversary in business May 13, does it to support a community that has helped his business — and him — succeed for four decades.

Herman gets pleasure from the appreciation of those he has helped, whether it’s an organization that helps people get their own home or former Little League players who visit him years after they’ve left the ball field.

“I was accepted in this wonderful world in DeLand [by people] who became not just good customers but also good friends,” he said in a recent interview in his office at the store on West Minnesota Avenue. “It’s my turn to give back to the community, and I am intent on doing that.”

One organization that is particularly near and dear to him is the DeLand Naval Air Station Museum, which recently unveiled a restored Grumman TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bomber that sank in Lake Michigan during World War II.

Several years ago, Herman’s company built a 60-foot-by-70-foot hangar for the aviation museum, which volunteers promptly dubbed the “Ronald N. Herman Restoration Facility.”

Last year, the museum board of directors mentioned it would be nice to have more space in which to operate.

Herman went back to work, and at the April 22 ceremony celebrating the nearly complete restoration of the warbird, the museum also unveiled a covered, open-air structure built by All Quality Products. Naturally, it was named the “Ronald N. Herman Assembly Pavilion.”

“I’m kind of behind the scenes, trying to support them,” Herman said of the museum. “My grandfather flew, and my dad flew. I’m going to do what I can to have a place where people can learn about our history.”

But Herman’s generosity flows copiously in many other directions, too.

He has volunteered with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and has donated materials to many youths working on their Eagle Scout projects, for instance.

“They’re the leaders of tomorrow. I always have and still enjoy working with that program,” Herman said.

He has supported local Soap Box Derby entrants, including his own daughter, Veronica, who came in eighth in the world in the master’s division in 1997, and Justin Pillow of DeLand, who was Florida’s first-ever world champion in 1999.

Herman also has been a longtime supporter of Habitat for Humanity chapters in DeLand and Orange City, helping supply materials for more than 60 homes over the years.

Herman is a proud Master Mason and a Christian. He also is a certified baseball umpire and a former Little League coach. He has helped run children’s fishing tournaments at Lake Woodruff.

Herman has contributed to the community in countless other ways, too, but you almost have to pry out of him details about what he has done.

“I’m just a regular guy blessed with the opportunity to do well,” Herman said matter-of-factly. “I didn’t do it all by myself. A lot of people allowed me to be their vendor, their friend and their partner, and that’s not going to change.”

- Joe Crews, joe@beacononlinenews.com

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