Dealers honored at PDIS

Chantilly, Va. -- A day of networking was capped by a night of debating here at the 2008 ProDealer Industry Summit, just outside the Washington Beltway.

Ahighlight of day two was the Pro Dealer of the Year Awards Dinner.

Robbie Keim and Lavern Schlabach accepted the Independent Pro Dealer of the Year Award on behalf of Keim Lumber, a single-unit dealer based in Charm, Ohio.

“Thanks for being here, and we encourage you to keep plugging away,” said Schlabach, Keim’s CFO. He credited the work ethic and culture of his community -- in the heart of Amish country -- for the company’s success in difficult times.

In the multi-unit category, Curtis Lumber of Ballston Spa, N.Y., a 22-unit pro dealer, was honored. Fifth-generation owner Jay Curtis accepted the award on behalf of the 635 employees of Curtis Lumber. Both companies showed double-digit sales growth on the 2008 Home Channel News Top 350 Pro Dealer Scoreboard. The dinner was sponsored by iLevel by Weyerhaeuser.

Following the awards dinner, about a fourth of the summit’s 240 attendees gathered in the hotel’s theater to watch the vice presidential debate on the big screen, while a handful of others watched at the hotel bar. The theater -- the hotel’s “Lincoln Forum” -- was the same room where former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich kicked off the event with a keynote speech on Wednesday.

The Thursday networking also included a golf outing at the Westfields Golf Club. The winning foursome of the outing, sponsored by Dow Building Solutions, was Bruce Brushwood and Mike Fletcher, both of Moulding and Millwork; Alan Hubbell of DuPont; and Robert Scoble of Hyde. The men and women’s long drive contests were won by Tom Highley of Empire and Lisa Peterson of ProBuild, while closest to the pin was won by Scott Enright of Ply Gem.

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