LUMBERYARDS

Obit: founder of Ryan Homes, original partner in 84 Lumber

BY Ken Clark

Edward Ryan, an early partner of 84 Lumber founder Joe Hardy, and the founder of Ryan Homes, died from a stroke on June 1. He was 88 years old.

According to an obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ryan started building homes one at a time after World War II, where he served as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. (Ryan was shot down over Germany and spent time as a POW, for which he received the Purple Heart.) As his home construction company grew, he teamed up with boyhood friend Joe Hardy and opened a lumberyard in Upper St. Clair, Pa., called Green Hills Lumber.

Ryan later decided to concentrate on the home-building business, and Ryan Homes became one of the nation’s largest production builders. Ryan Homes is now part of NVR, which operates in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

Meanwhile, Hardy took over the lumber business and renamed 84 Lumber after its new location, according to the Post-Gazette. 84 Lumber is now a $1.43 billion company with 258 locations. 

Before and after his retirement, Ryan was active in a number of charity and relief efforts, including the rebuilding efforts in Homestead, Fla., following Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Once again, he teamed up with Hardy and opened an 84 Lumber store there to bring more jobs and building materials into the area.

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Weyerhaeuser I-joists endorsed by survey

BY Ken Clark

Trus Joist TJI Joists received a top rating of a recent survey of 10,800 builder-developers and general contractors.

The Builder Magazine survey recognized Trus Joist TJI Joists as a top-rated product for the 13th straight year.

The survey results “reflect the good things we hear daily from our builder and dealer customers about Weyerhaeuser and Trus Joist," said Don Schwabe, director of sales and marketing for Weyerhaeuser. "We’re committed to being the leader in the structural frame market, and that means being the go-to resource for any framing need or challenge. It’s all about quality products, innovative software and in-market technical support to help builders do their jobs better."

Participants in the magazine’s "2012 Brand Use Study" selected TJI joists as the brand they use most often and the engineered I-joist with the highest-quality rating.

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ABC Supply owner ignites tax controversy

BY HBSDealer Staff

Diane Hendricks, owner of ABC Supply Co. and the richest woman in Wisconsin, paid no state income tax in 2010, according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The report, also carried by the Associated Press, follows revelations that that Hendricks and Gov. Scott Walker held a strategy session on curtailing union activities. Voter backlash has resulted in a recall election for Walker next week.

Hendricks is a strong financial supporter of both Walker and conservative causes. She gave the governor more than $500,000, according to the newspaper, making her Walker’s largest donor.

A spokesman for ABC Supply, company tax director Scott Bianchini, told the Journal Sentinel that Hendricks state tax obligation dropped from $2.26 million for 2009 to zero for 2010 because of a change in the corporate structure of ABC Supply. The company paid taxes of $373,671 for the second half of 2010, the records show.

Bianchini explained that before 2010, ABC Supply was an "S" corporation, meaning the profits and the tax obligation flowed to Hendricks as the owner of the firm. In 2010, the company changed its structure so the profits and the tax obligation stay with the company.

"Now ABC is paying taxes on its own," Bianchini said. He declined to explain the disparity between the amount of taxes paid by the corporation and Hendricks herself, however.

Hendricks and her husband Ken, who died in 2007, built ABC Supply into one of the nation’s largest suppliers of roofing, siding and exterior building products. Revenues in 2011 were $4 billion.

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