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Support the NLBMDA

BY Ken Clark

Lampert Yards is doing it.

Ferguson Lumber is doing it.

Zarsky Lumber is doing it.

They’re supporting the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA). We should all be doing it.

Speaking at the 2010 ProDealer Industry Summit—co-hosted by the NLBMDA and Home Channel News—Lampert Yards CEO Dan Fesler did the math.

There are 24 words in the Pythagorean theorem, he pointed out.

There are 179 words in the Ten Commandments.

And there are 26,911 words in the U.S. government regulations on the sale of cabbage.

“That’s why we need an organization like the NLBMDA,” Fesler said. “All legislation is bad, and what we really do is work to make it better. You’re either at the table having a discussion, or you’re what’s for dinner.”

During the NLBMDA’s transition ceremony, incoming chairman Joe Collings of Indiana-based Ferguson Lumber accepted the ceremonial gavel. Then, in a smooth radio voice—the kind of voice a politician would give his right arm for—Collings delivered the definitive argument for a strong, national association of lumberyards.

“The NLBMDA was founded to give dealers a national presence, clout with lawmakers and advocacy with regulatory agencies on a federal level,” he said. “To be the voice as well as the muscle needed to professionally represent membership in the unique environment of national government.”

Cases in point:

The NLBMDA pushed for and won exceptions to OSHA rules governing articulating boom trucks—exceptions that will save dealers, on average, thousands of dollars each.

The NLBMDA has taken legal action to support dealer interests against a woefully inept EPA lead remediation program.

The NLBMDA continues to push for Innocent Sellers Fairness Act. (And to show the need for a national voice on this topic, see “Toxic Drywall: Building a case”.)

“During the following year, you will see the association continue to build upon its unwavering founding principals, by continuing to be a first-class advocate for its members in governmental affairs,” Collings said.

Next year, Cally Coleman Fromme, of Victoria, Texas-based Zarsky Lumber, will take the gavel from Collings. She already has advice for LBM dealers: “Come to the table. Contribute. Be a part of the conversation to make a difference,” she said. “Let your voice be heard.”

Of course, the regional associations are the backbone of the lumber industry, providing guidance, networking, knowledge and support on the local level, where the rubber meets the road.

There exists a shining example of a successful organization composed of regional bodies, connected by a strong national federation. It’s called the United States of America. More than two centuries of peaceful power transfers and hundreds of millions of people enjoying the blessings of liberty and democracy through a combination of state and national organizations.

Support the NLBMDA. It’s the American thing to do.

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Tillman appointed to lighting company board

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Cree Inc., the Durham, N.C.-based manufacturer of LED lighting products, has elected Robert Tillman to its board of directors. Tillman, 67, is the former president and CEO of Lowe’s. After his retirement from Lowe’s in 2005, he became a member of the board of directors of the Bank of America Corp. until 2009.

Tillman will serve on the compensation committee of Cree’s board of directors, the announcement said.

Cree is a publicly traded company with annual revenues of $867 million. Its products include LED fixtures and bulbs for both the retail and commercial markets and semiconductor solutions for wireless and power applications.

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Quarterly sales slip 3.2% at Huttig

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Huttig Building Products, the St. Louis-based distributor, reported net sales of $127.2 million for its last fiscal quarter, which ended Sept. 30, a 3.2% decline from sales of $131.4 million in the same period of 2009.

Sales declined in building products but increased in all other product categories in 2010 from 2009, the company reported in an SEC filing. Millwork sales increased approximately 6% in 2010 to $58.4 million. Building product sales decreased approximately 15% in 2010 to $54.9 million. Wood products sales increased approximately 15% to $13.9 million in 2010.

The company posted a net loss of $4.5 million for the three-month period, compared with $1.1 million for the same period a year ago.

On Sept. 30, Huttig amended and restated its existing credit agreement with a four-year, $120 million, asset-based senior secured revolving credit facility, according to the filing.

Huttig is a two-step distributor of lumber, panels, decking, windows, doors, fasteners and other building materials. The company serves 41 states through 27 distribution centers. 

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