Obituary: Tom Leete, 64, LBM industry veteran
Tom Leete, whose career in LBM distribution included positions at Scotty’s, Home Depot, Pelican and, finally, ProBuild, died June 7. He was 64.
Leete’s resume also includes positions as a buyer at Scotty’s and Home Depot. He was senior VP and general merchandise manager at HomeCrafters Warehouse, no longer in existence. At Pelican Cos., he served as VP merchandising.
Paul Hylbert, former CEO of ProBuild, worked with Leete when he was VP of the company’s Central Florida region and later when Leete headed the Denver-based pro dealer’s ProEdge project.
"He was a real intellect with an incredible knowledge of history, music and culture, as well as an outdoorsman of some repute," Hylbert said.
I had the pleasure of working
I had the pleasure of working with Tom for a short time at Builders First Source. He was a great talent, personality and mentor. He will be greatly missed.
Tom has been a friend, mentor
Tom has been a friend, mentor and business partner for over 25 years. As I reflect on the many years of friendship, I am laughing out loud at all of Tom stories. Tom is greatly missed.
I had the pleasure of meeting
I had the pleasure of meeting Tom for the first time last November and was impressed with the level of integrity, depth of knowledge of the industry, and willingness to stick his neck out for what he believed was the right thing to do. I am greatly saddened by this news and will sorely miss him.
I am sorry to hear of Tom's
I am sorry to hear of Tom's passing. He was a true gentlemen. Few knew the industry as well as Tom or had as many friends in it. He will be missed! George MacConnell
Tom was one of the finest
Tom was one of the finest people I know. He had a brilliant mind, a keen eye for the smallest detail, and the desire and ability to connect with people, regardless of their standing in life. He was a mentor and servant to us all. Congratulations, Tom, on a life well-lived. We'll miss you. - Alan Gay
I was surprised and saddened
I was surprised and saddened to read about Tom's death. I had the honor to know Tom both professionally and personally. He was a credit to our industry and a generous and good friend. He will be truly missed. -Mike Morehouse
Moynihan Lumber worker retires after 57 years
Harry Barton, a worker at Knight Lumber in Beverly, Mass., retired last week on his 82nd birthday. It was his second attempt at retirement; the first one, at age 65, lasted less than a day. “I was bored,” Barton recalled.
Barton started at Knight Lumber, which was later purchased by Moynihan Lumber, fresh out of the U.S. Army at age 25. He first worked as a "lumper," unloading lumber from freight cars across the street. He moved up to driving a pickup truck, then a 14-ft. truck, then a trailer truck. Barton was later promoted to yard foreman, then moved inside to work the sales counter. For the last 15 years, Barton was the “shack man” in the entrance to the lumberyard, checking contractors in and out.
Barton said he plans to spend more time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandson. Company owners Gerald, Michael and Jack Moynihan presented Barton with a flat-screen TV as a retirement gift.
"He will be missed by all of us as well as his customer fan base — many of whom stopped in to say goodbye to him on his special day," said Jack Moynihan.
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Chinese LBM supplier to expand
Beijing New Building Material (Group) Co. (BNBM), China’s largest new home and building materials manufacturer, is planning to open 10 new production facilities overseas by the year 2015, according to an article in China Daily.
The Chengdu-based company exports its new building-material houses to 25 countries and regions, including the United States, Russia and New Zealand, through a subsidiary called BNBD Homes. In mid-March, BNBM signed a housing-export contract worth more than 600 million yuan (US$92.5 million) with the government of Zambia. Under the contract, BNBM Homes will design and construct 4,000 units of public housing in Zambia.
BNBM Homes generated some 100 million yuan (US$15.4 million) in sales last year, about half of which was from overseas business. The company hopes to further expand its overseas markets to 60% of its revenues.
BNBD recently won the first round of bidding for a 30-million-yuan (US$4.6 million) project for the post-earthquake reconstruction in Japan. The company will build 250 earthquake-resistant houses in the first phase of the project, executives said, using expertise it developed building earthquake-proof houses in China after the 2008 Sichuan and the 2010 Qinghai earthquakes.
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