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ProBuild names new exec VP

BY Brae Canlen

ProBuild Holdings has named Don Riley, the former CIO of Mohawk, as its new executive VP supply chain and technology. In this role, Riley will be responsible for integrating ProBuild’s supply chain, information technology and manufacturing organizations, including developing strategies and programs to improve the company’s overall operational effectiveness, grow market share and maximize profitability.

Reporting to Riley will be Paul Dodge, senior VP supply chain; Lonnie Bernardoni, senior VP manufacturing and business process improvement lead; and John Huber, chief information officer.

Riley’s duties will also include the planning and implementation of enterprise IT systems in support of business operations in order to improve cost-effectiveness and service quality. Additionally, Riley will direct and manage ProBuild’s technology infrastructure and environment, including the design and development of business-focused application solutions to support ProBuild’s business operations.

Riley comes to ProBuild from Mohawk Industries, a global producer and distributor of floor coverings. At Mohawk, Don served as CIO and senior VP logistics, where he was responsible for Mohawk’s global information systems and strategies, along with the company’s North American logistics functions.

“Don brings significant experience to ProBuild, having led the successful implementation and extension of enterprise systems in previous roles,” said Fred Marino, president and CEO of ProBuild. “A critical element of our vision is the successful integration of technology into all areas of our business. We believe that technology will transform the home-building industry, and it is our goal to take a significant leadership role in that transformation. We look forward to the expertise and leadership Don brings to help us achieve our vision.”

Headquartered in Denver, ProBuild is the nation’s largest LBM chain, with more than 435 locations serving 45 U.S. states.

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Toll Brothers enters Seattle market

BY Brae Canlen

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers has announced the acquisition of CamWest Development, one of the largest privately held home-building companies in the Pacific Northwest. The purchase price, which was not disclosed, was paid in cash.

This acquisition expands Toll Brothers territory into the Seattle market. Douglas Yearley Jr., Toll Brothers’ CEO, described CamWest as, “one of the premier luxury home builders in the region with a long history of delivering exceptional quality and value to its homeowners. Seattle is a high barrier-to-entry home-building market with a robust employment base and a concentration of affluence.”

CamWest develops a variety of home types, including luxury single-family homes, condominiums and town homes, throughout the Seattle metropolitan area, primarily in King and Snohomish Counties. The firm has been recognized by the home-building industry through various awards for innovation in housing, green building practices and excellence in marketing. Its homes typically sell from the mid-$300,000s to $700,000s, with some homes selling for more than $1 million. The average price of its homes currently in backlog is approximately $500,000.

The company was established in 1989 by Eric Campbell and has delivered more than 2,800 homes in the Seattle market since then. For calendar year 2011, CamWest anticipates delivering approximately 180 homes and producing revenues of approximately $90 million.

In addition to the existing backlog, the assets acquired by Toll Brothers include approximately 1,300 lots owned and 200 lots controlled in King and Snohomish Counties. The acquisition will increase Toll Brothers’ selling communities count by approximately 15 communities. Toll Brothers expects the acquisition to be accretive in FY 2012. 

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Lumber exports to China rising

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Log and lumber exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska in the first three quarters of 2011 already surpass the total exports of 2010 according to the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station.

"The increasing shipments to China are the main driver of the hike in log and lumber exports from the west coast," says Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station. "The log exports to China in 2010 (664.2 million board feet) was over 40 times of that in 2005 (15.8 million board feet). The lumber exports to China during the same period expanded 76 percent from 98.5 million board feet in 2005 to 173.5 million board feet in 2010. And this trend continues in 2011." 

The total log shipment value in the first nine months of 2011 was $1,036 million compared to $844 million total in 2010. The lumber export value this year from January to September was $528 million, which surpasses the total lumber shipment value of $509 million in 2010.

Zhou compiled the statistics from the U.S. International Trade Commission and Production, Prices, Employment, and Trade in Northwest Forest Industries, a station publication that provides current information on the region’s lumber and plywood production prices as well as employment in forest industries. The 2010 report is available online at http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/38431.

The Forest Service pointed to major reasons West Coast exports to China have risen:

• Increasing Russian timber export tariffs (from 6.5 percent in 2006 to 20 percent in 2007; 25 percent in 2008 and 80 percent since 2009), which caused China to shift business to the U.S.;
• Tightening timber export policy of the neighboring countries; 
• Decreasing U.S. domestic demand which leads to higher exporting supply; and  
• Increased demand for timber resources in China owing to urbanization and domestic infrastructure.

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