Outgoing NLBMDA chairman Chuck Bankston took some time at the open of the ProDealer Industry Summit to formally pass the gavel to Chris Yenrick, who will replace him as chair in 2014.
"I hope I won't have to use this too much," quipped Yenrick as he accepted the gavel from Bankston.
Yenrick, who is president of Smith Phillips Building Supply in Winston-Salem, N.C., stressed the importance of succession planning, grassroots activism and pulling younger generations into the aging industry.
"We need to find young people to replace [older grassroots advocates] and fight for our place on the Hill," he said. "I want to make sure that this business is viable for [my son] down the road."
Yenrick recounted his own entry into the industry, which began when he ended his military service and took a job at a lumberyard through his father-in-law. It felt like a natural fit, he said, so it came as no surprise when he discovered that his grandfather had also worked at a lumberyard. "It was in my blood," he said.
Yenrick highlighted the organization's ongoing efforts to pass the Innocent Sellers Protection Act, its success in passing the exemption in the OSHA crane law, its work with Habitat for Humanity and the Helping a Hero program, and his intentions to continue strengthening the association's relationship with the NAHB.
"I look forward to working through the NLBMDA to increase the awareness and involvement of independent and national chain dealers to present a strong and united front to advocate for business conditions that will be conducive to our long-term success," said Yenrick in a statement. "Lumberyards and our industry have a time-honored tradition of serving a vital role in the American dream of home-ownership. NLBMDA is our voice to help preserve that role into the future."
Yenrick has previously served at the federal level with NLBMDA, and regionally with the Southern Building Material Association.