Acceptance speech 101: Five steps
Jonathan Kennedy and Eric Ziedrich, respective representatives of the 2016 Pro Dealer of the Year and Independent Pro Dealer of the Year awards, took to the podium during the ProDealer Industry Summit in Charleston, S.C., and hit all the right notes.
Here are the five easy steps to their podium prowess, and a guide for anyone in a similar position:
1. Thank everyone
This means the sponsor, Weyerhaeuser, organizers at the NLBMDA and HBSDealer; co-workers who make it happen back home; and families for their support. Check, check, check, check and check.
2. Exercise humility
Ziedrich, president of three-unit Healdsburg Lumber Company, referred to the first contact with the award organizers. Was somebody putting him on, he thought?
“I thought, ‘We’re good, but we’re not great,’” Ziedrich said from the podium. “But upon reflection, I think the one thing in our heart is that we’re never satisfied with what we are or what we do, we’re always striving to better our performance for the industry.”
3. Share an amusing story
Kennedy is a 19-year company veteran, president and general manager of 34-unit T.H. Rogers Lumber Co., based in Oklahoma. He’s the great grandson of T.H. Rogers himself. But he wasn’t always enamored of the LBM industry.
“I grew up not knowing what I wanted to do, but I knew I didn’t want to work for the lumberyard,” he shared. “They put me to work in the warehouse when I was 15. And I was playing baseball, and the deal was if I made the all star team, I would have to travel and I could quit six weeks early. I was running down foul balls, I was diving head first into first base, and I made the team. And I was very happy about that.”
4. Offer heartfelt advice
Ziedrich explained the difference between ego-centric growth — striving to the biggest — and customer-centric growth: “So everything we do today is customer-centric growth. Before we make any decisions, we strive to weigh in if its better for our customer or not. And if it’s not better for our customer than we hunker down and steady the ship, and we don’t move ahead unless our existing customers are rewarded by the decisions that we make.
“So, that’s worked for 145 years, we’re probably going to keep doing it.”
5. Celebrate the industry
Kennedy switched from banking to building materials. How’s this for a comparison: “I’ve been with our company in this industry for 19 years, and I’m still called the new guy. Like a lot of you, we have employees who have been around for 20, 30 and 40 years. It’s just a unique group of people. They are hard working and they’re honest and they have great attitudes. And I can tell you, coming out of banking, it’s not like that everywhere.”
All that’s left is to say is, “good night.”
Connecticut honors a lumber person
The Lumber Dealers Association of Connecticut honored Evan MacDermott, Coastal Forest Products, as 2016 Lumber Person of the Year.
This award recognizes an individual for significant contributions to the lumber and building materials industry as well as to his or her local community.
Since graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1984 with a degree in Forestry Science, MacDermott has worked with several companies in the lumber and building materials industry, including the past 17 years at Coastal Forest Products. As an industry leader, MacDermott is in high demand in the lumber industry, and has served on the LDAC board for the past eight years.
For over 100 years, the Lumber Dealers Association of Connecticut (LDAC) has been committed to the advocacy and protection of lumber dealers’ rights.
Accolades for the Brothers Moynihan
Michael, Gerard and Jack Moynihan are three brothers who have turned their passion for building, their acumen for business and their skills with people into successful careers in the LBM industry.
And during the Massachusetts Retail Lumber Dealers Association annual meeting, the three brothers were recognized with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. One of their major contributions, and testament to their collective abilities, is the growth and success of Moynihan Lumber Company, based in North Reading, Massachusetts.
TheMRLDA award honors individuals for their cumulative contributions to the business and to the communities in which they serve.
The MRLDA described the Moynihans with the following biography:
The “Moynihan Boys” were raised in Saugus, Mass., and got their start in the LBM industry at very young ages, working odd jobs at their uncles’ lumberyard. After graduating from Saugus High School, each brother would go on to graduate from the College of the Holy Cross. In 1959, Moynihan Lumber was born and Michael, the eldest brother, having returned from the military was helping his Uncle John run the Watertown yard. By the early 70’s Gerard and Jack joined their brother full-time as Moynihan Lumber was poised for an exceptional period of growth.
“In 1976, Moynihan Lumber became the first lumberyard in New England accepted by Ace Hardware. In 1981, a store was added to the property to feature Ace hardware products, tools, and paints, as well as a door and window showroom. Expansion of Moynihan Lumber continued as they purchased a family-owned lumberyard in 1986 in Beverly, and expanded to a third location in Plaistow, N.H. in 1995.
“Industry service and involvement has always been a top priority for the Moynihan Brothers as well. Michael was active on the MRLDA board in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Gerard has served on the Board of Directors of both the MRLDA and Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA) and was named the Lumber Person of the Year in 1999 by MRLDA. Gerard was also an active member of the Harry L. Folsom Hoo Hoo Club, a service organization dedicated to the welfare and promotion of the forest products industry, serving as its President in 1991-92. Jack has been on the Board of Directors of the buying group ENAP (now LBM Advantage) for 15 years, serving as Chair in 2004-05 and currently serves as Chair of its Forest Products Committee.”