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Newt Gingrich, Ivy Zelman to address PDIS

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will deliver the keynote address at the 2008 ProDealer Industry Summit, scheduled for Oct. 1 to 3 at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Va. The three-day event, a joint conference of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) and Home Channel News (HCN), will also feature Ivy Zelman, one of the building industry’s most widely recognized analysts.

Zelman will deliver her housing outlook and then continue the discussion with two well-known industry experts, Joshua Rosenbaum, executive director of building products for UBS Securities, and Paul Jannke, vp-industry analyst and forecast for RISI. The panel will discuss home-building trends, non-residential construction, builder consolidation, commodity pricing and preparing for the turnaround from a financial and operations perspective.

Sam Rashkin, national director of the EPA’s Energy Star for Homes program, will also address conference attendees. His session, entitled “Energy Star: What’s Next?” will explore why the rules of home building have changed.

Rashkin will also give dealers valuable information on what products meet current and forthcoming requirements for Energy Star Qualified Homes, as well as what the EPA’s Indoor Air Plus label will mean for those in the home-building industry.

A supply chain session entitled “The Supply Chain Revolution” will bring together Ed Hudson from the NAHB Research Center, William Whiddon from Building Technology Inc, Tony Callahan from Beazer Homes and Paul Hylbert, CEO of ProBuild.

Hudson will share the results of his 2008 survey of U.S. home builders on how the down turn has changed their attitudes and expectations toward pricing, products and relationships with trade partners.

The Supply Chain Revolution panel will also include a presentation on a value engineering pilot project being conducted at Beazer Homes.

Dealers interested in tightening up their credit and collection operations can get some advice from Diana Perenza, vp and credit manager of Florence Building Materials. A former paralegal who has lobbied to reform lien and bankruptcy laws, Perenza will address strategies to improve accounts receivable, when to extend or cut off credit, how to double check a credit report and methods of evaluating new clients.

For more information about the ProDealer Industry Summit, visit www.prodealer.com.

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Toro’s earnings decline in third quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pointing to the weakness of the domestic economy, Toro reported fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $38.2 million, down 10.1 percent from $42.5 million last year.

New sales grew 3 percent to $492.6 million, up from $478.7 million the previous year, which the company attributed to the strength of its international business.

Professional segment net sales for the quarter increased 5.9 percent to $351.6 million, while residential sales declined 0.6 percent to $132.1 million.

The company expects overall economic conditions to remain difficult for the remainder of fiscal 2008. “In the current environment, we’ll maintain our focus on driving retail demand, managing inventory levels and addressing rising commodity costs,” said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO.

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Do it Best names e-commerce manager

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Do it Best has hired Joe Caldwell — who has a background in e-commerce infrastructure and more than five year’s experience in network administration — as its e-commerce manager.

In this position, Caldwell will oversee the development, administration and operation of the company’s Web site, doitbest.com, including coordinating on-site advertising with vendors and shipping orders. The company’s customer service center, which helps members with logistics, shipping and product information, also falls under his jurisdiction.

Caldwell will report to Bill Zielke, vp-marketing, for the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op.

Caldwell previously worked as facility manager with Brentwood, Tenn.-based American Color, one of North America’s largest full-service premedia and print companies, where he managed the print projects for Do it Best. Prior to that, he worked with Kruse International in Auburn, Ind., as a network administrator, coordinating the online and live auto auction administration.

Aresident of Fort Wayne, Ind., Caldwell is currently working toward his bachelor’s degree in internet information security at ITT Technical Institute.

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