TW Perry named HCN Pro Dealer of the Year
Gaithersburg, Md.-based TW Perry, a pro dealer celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011, was selected as the Home Channel News Pro Dealer of the Year.
The company will be recognized during a special awards dinner during the 2011 ProDealer Industry Summit held in San Antonio Oct. 26 to 28. The summit is hosted jointly by the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) and Home Channel News.
"TW Perry represents a new breed of lumberyard company — smart, entrepreneurial and able to make big decisions quickly," said Ken Clark, editor of Home Channel News. "The company has shown both success and leadership and is a deserving recipient of the Pro Dealer of the Year award."
TW Perry is ranked 33rd on the Home Channel News Pro Dealer Scoreboard, with 2010 sales of $107.7 million. The six-unit dealer had double-digit sales gains in 2010, and is expecting significant growth in 2011, as well. The company is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011.
In addition to core building materials and services, the company has continually pursued innovative ways to engage their customer base, including conducting its Green Building Workshop, an event that was held in February for the third straight year, as well as other events targeted toward the architectural profession, the Hispanic communities and homeowners/contractors networking.
On receiving the award, TW Perry’s CEO Michael Cassidy said: "The entire team at TW Perry is quite honored to receive this award and to join the many notable companies that preceded us in this honor. We will demonstrate our appreciation for this award by humbly rededicating ourselves to executing on the tried-and-true basics, while innovating wherever practical as we continue to work to support our customers during these challenging times."
The selection criteria includes high performance, innovation and commitment to the values of the lumber business. Past winners of the HCN Pro Dealer of the Year award include: MarJam Supply, 2010; McCoy’s Building Supply, 2009; Curtis Lumber, 2008; Carter Lumber, 2007; and ProBuild Holdings, 2006.
In addition to the Pro Dealer of the Year awards dinner, The ProDealer Industry Summit will feature the NLBMDA Officers Installation Dinner, a yard tour with McCoys Lumber, and educational sessions ranging from supply chain management to 2010 census trends. For more information, visit prodealer.com.
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And now this: Beetle infestation spreads
The damage done by the mountain pine beetle to the forests in British Columbia has received much attention, given the billions of dollars already lost to this pernicious pest. But Dendroctonus ponderosae knows no borders, and now the western United States is grappling with the same epidemic. The pine beetle has spread to Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Colorado.
Sawmills and wood product producers have dealt with various infestations before, but not during the worst U.S. housing downturn in history. Many mills have closed, and Colorado, perhaps the worst-hit state, watched its largest sawmill go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. One of the reasons behind the failure of Montrose, Colo.-based Intermountain Resources was its payments to the U.S. Forestry Service timber contracts. Two other remaining mills, along with smaller mom-and-pop operations, have found themselves in similar straits.
Enter Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who brought up the timber contracts last June during a Senate subcommittee hearing on the Colorado wildfires. Udall questioned whether beetle-killed trees — Colorado has an estimated 4 million acres of dead Lodgepole pines — had not fueled the fire. And wouldn’t it make sense for the idle sawmills to be processing these trees into wood pellets and other biomass products?
“Our sawmills are in real trouble, and the reason behind that are the legacy timber sales,” Udall testified. “They are no longer viable. They have become a liability.” In Udall’s view, releasing the mills from their forest service contracts would bolster their finances; then they could turn their attention to the less profitable, but just as important, job of clearing away dead and dying trees.
The head of the U.S. Forest Service, Tom Tidwell, defended the use of long-term “stewardship” contracts. “In order to maintain this integrity, the wood products industry needs to [have] some certainty that wood is going to be available,” he replied.
Udall kept up his campaign, however, stressing the risk of mills closing, jobs leaving the state and the need to clear hundreds of thousands of dead trees that pose a risk to power lines, campgrounds, roads and trails. Udall’s efforts paid off on Aug. 4, when Tidwell announced that the U.S. Forest Service would allow an unspecified number of mills in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming to either renegotiate or “mutually cancel” contracts made before the recession began.
This spells good news for Eric Sorenson, who operates the second largest sawmill in Colorado: Delta Timber, located just south of Grand Junction on the Western Slope. Sorenson signed a 10-year lease with the Forest Service when Louisiana-Pacific operated a wafer board plant up the road. In a joint agreement, LP and Delta shared low-grade Aspen logs to make wafer board and sawn lumber.
But LP closed its plant shortly after Sorenson signed the contract, and there wasn’t enough money in the timber end of the business. “It would eat our lunch every time we’d try to bring timber in here,” Sorenson recalled.
A second Forest Service contract, this one for Aspen and conifer used at a Delta mill in Montrose, was signed in 2004, when the market for tongue-and-groove interior paneling — about 25% of Delta’s business — was strong. Sorenson faced the same predicament with both contracts: operate at a loss or default.
“We’ve been here 21 years, and I’ve never defaulted on a timber contract,” Sorenson said proudly. He noted that 90% of his supply depends on logs from U.S. Forest Service land, and he really can’t risk ruining his reputation or his financial standing with the agency.
Sorenson has already received a letter from the Forest Service regarding an easing of the terms of his current contracts. “For us, it’s really going to help,” he said. “We’re facing so many challenges right now, from the markets to the lenders, and it’s one more thing off our plate.”
Sorenson is going to leave most of the beetle-kill logging to his competitors, who sell the blue-stained lumber as a niche product. But he has talked to investors about biomass plants and wood fiber fuel made from beetle-killed trees. “There are people interested in doing it,” he said.
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D.C. Hotline: Meet the NLBMDA’s newest lobbyist
Ben Gann took over his role as the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) director of legislative affairs and grassroots activities last month. Here’s his first HCN Q&A:
HCN: What are the key issues you’re pushing right now?
Gann: One of the issues we are very focused on is restoration and extension of the residential energy efficiency (25C) tax credit. That is set to expire at the end of the year. We are also pursuing a legislative fix regarding compliance with the EPA’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule. In addition, we are also working with Congress to extend the current Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Housing Administration loan limits of $729,750, set to expire Oct. 1. If Congress does not act, the base limit will remain at $417,000, but the formula for establishing limits for high-cost areas will drop to $625,500.
HCN: What is the one thing dealers can do to help their own case in D.C.?
Gann: The one thing right now is dealers should contact their representative in the House and ask for their support of an amendment (Section 450 of H.R. 2584) by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), in the Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The bill would withhold enforcement and implementation of funding for the EPA’s LRRP Rule until the EPA follows its own regulations and approves a commercially available lead test kit, as mandated by the LRRP.
HCN: Who is your all-time favorite Congressman?
Gann: That’s a tough question. I don’t know that I have an all-time favorite. There are some members for which I have a great deal of respect. Keeping it strictly to members of Congress who are now retired, and that I am from Ohio, I thought Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) did a good job of fighting for what he believed in but was willing to work with the other side of the aisle. On the Democratic side, Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) had a distinguished military career and was an astronaut before he served four terms in the Senate. He just has a remarkable record of service to his country.
Accurate, rapid, and
Accurate, rapid, and inexpensive lead-paint testing is readily available. Consultants all over the USA with XRF machines provide it, so this issue of the chemical "test kits" is based on a big lie. Rep. Rehberg is either badly misinformed, or knows this. XRF testing is the primary means of performing a lead-based paint insepction. Besides being inaccurate, the "test kits" cost more than an XRF inspection, produce damage spots (15 per room on average), and take radically more time. However, the problems with "test kits" are no excuse for delaying enforcement of RRP, as the XRF inspections are readily available. Testing usually produces good news, as lead-based paint is much less common than many people may think. We're running just under $60 per unit for apartment isnpections (more for small buildings, less for larger ones), and houses $450 to $550.