Hilltop Lumber Co., a four-unit LBM chain based in Alexandria, Minn., has been named the Minnesota Lumber and Building Material Dealer of the Year by the Northwestern Lumber Association.
Owners Paul and Brian Klimek, father and son, accepted at the 2013 Northwestern Building Products EXPO held in St. Cloud, Minn.
Paul Klimek grew up following his father into construction business. In 1987, after learning that a closed lumberyard in Glenwood was for sale, Klimek decided to reopen it in 1988. In 1994 he built a yard in Alexandria, and then bought two closed yards -- one in Parkers Prairie in 2000 and the other in Brandon in 2004. The Klimeks also did a major addition to their Alexandria store in 2005.
Alexandria became the company’s hub of operation and the site of the Do it Best dealer's “Idea House,” where customers can see actual products installed in a house-like setting. Said Brian Klimek: “People need to see, touch and feel the product to decide what they like. This is especially helpful for the women who come to make their selections.”
Brian Klimek joined his father in 1999 and has been responsible for continuing education for employees and IT functions, such as computerized estimating and design software, boom trucks, piggybacks and computers. Brian is has also developed the company’s online presence, including a Facebook page utilized by vacationers who own second homes in Hilltop’s markets. The company also supports local nonprofits and sports teams, such as the Beetles baseball team and Blizzard hockey team.
Founded in 1890, the Northwestern Lumber Association is a trade organization headquartered in Minneapolis which represents 725 independent lumber and building material retailers and their suppliers in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.