The Georgia-based Construction Suppliers Association will merge with the Oklahoma Lumbermen’s Association in a move described as a strategy to maintain “critical mass” for the association to deliver more programs to member dealers.
CSA President Jim Moody announced the merger to members in a letter this morning. The combined group will use the CSA name and Tyrone, Georgia, headquarters. It will gain a field office in Oklahoma, and OLA’s executive director will join the CSA staff as Oklahoma regional director.
It’s the second major merger for CSA in three years. In 2014, CSA and the Mid South Building Material Dealers Association merged their organizations into the current CSA.
In his letter to members, Moody explained the reasoning for the plan to merger:
“First, we all recognize that the number of independent lumber dealers is shrinking,” he wrote. “That trend is unlikely to change, and it may get worse. Market forces are demanding consolidation, and the deck is always stacked against family businesses – which make up the majority of our membership – past the third generation. Adding Oklahoma dealers into our membership ensures that we have critical mass to serve members well into the future.
“Second, we believe that the growth will give us revenue to create new and innovative programs that will benefit members in all five states. We’ll see increased revenue from membership, participation in our programs, and greater support from associate members who will appreciate the larger marketplace CSA offers with five states. We believe this because we’ve seen it happen before. The addition of a staff position to help with workforce development and our partnership with Chris Rader to offer insight and programs related to IT are both possible because of the growth we’ve seen from our 2014 merger with MBMDA.”
"We believe this merger opens new opportunities for Oklahoma dealers.”Key programs and services provided by OLA, including a full government affairs program, will continue. Oklahoma dealers will also gain the ability to participate in CSA programs, such as roundtables, safety and DOT consulting, HR consulting, and other educational opportunities.
“We believe this merger opens new opportunities for Oklahoma dealers,” said Sean Stevens, president of OLA. “We honor the 70-year history of OLA by continuing all of the great services Oklahoma dealers have come to appreciate, while giving them access to some great new programs that can really make a difference in their profitability.”
The boards of both the CSA and the OLA agreed to the deal Aug. 15.
Moody thanked the Merger Task Force for their effort: From the CSA: David Huntington, Huntington Lumber, Hazlehurst, Mississippi; Turner Townsend, Townsend Building Materials, Enterprise, Alabama; Ida Ross Hicks, Swift Supply, Daphne, Alabama; and Will Lummus, Lummus Supply, Atlanta, Georgia. And from the OLA: Sean Stevens, M&M Lumber, Tulsa; Whitney McKellar-Stevens, M&M Lumber, Tulsa; Dan Etzkorn, Hughes Lumber, Muskogee; Henry Bockus, Gordon White Lumber, Oklahoma City; Jonathan Kennedy, T.H. Rogers Lumber, Edmond; Reid Colley, Colley & Company, Pauls Valley; and Bill VanSant, Oklahoma Home Center, Guthrie.