LUMBERYARDS

WOLF promotes Ed O’Brien

BY HBSDEALER Staff

York, Pa.-based WOLF announced the promotion of Ed O’Brien to the post of VP operations.

WOLF describes itself as the largest supplier of kitchen and bath cabinets in the United States and a leading provider of building products along the East Coast. The company says the move, along with the promotion of Mike Sessinger, will help it achieve an expanded service area and help evolve its strategic focus.

Both Sessinger and O’Brien will report to WOLF president Brad Kostelich.

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LUMBERYARDS

NLBMDA honors Fromme

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) presented 2012 chair Cally Coleman Fromme, president and CEO of Zarsky Lumber Company in Victoria, Texas, with the 2013 Grassroots Dealer of the Year award during the ProDealer Industry Summit in Nashville, Tenn. 

Fromme earned the award for her efforts in helping to reintroduce the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act (H.R. 2746), a top legislative priority for the NLBMDA. The bill provides product liability protection to those businesses that sell products, but did not manufacture them. 

Fromme’s outreach to Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), in building support for the legislation, was critical to its reintroduction. Farenthold, a member of the House Committee on Judiciary, has worked to protect Americans from abusive litigation, and became familiar with the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act after meeting with Fromme about the legislation. His reintroduction of the legislation is an important step in addressing lawsuit abuse.   

“NLBMDA is appreciative of Congressman Farenthold’s work to bring balance back to our legal system," said Fromme. "Retailers whose only role in the supply chain is the sale of a product should not be held liable for product defects that they did not create."

Unfounded and unfair lawsuits are increasingly having a negative effect on the ability of building material dealers and distributors to run their businesses and contribute to their communities. According to a 2010 study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, small businesses bear 81% of business tort liability costs. The high costs of defending product liability lawsuits have caused many building material dealers to settle, regardless of the merits of the case.

"NLBMDA thanks Cally for her continued work in helping lumber and building material dealers," said 2013 NLBMDA chair Chuck Bankston, president of Bankston Lumber Company in Barnesville, Ga. "Abusive product liability cases are part of a growing litigation burden, and we appreciate Congressman Farenthold’s leadership on this issue."  

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Roy Armes and Michael Arnold join AGCO board

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO has added two new members to its board of directors.

Roy Armes, who is president, chairman and CEO of Cooper Tire and Rubber Company, as well as Michael Arnold, president and CEO of Ryerson Inc., have joined the board effective immediately.

"Roy and Michael both bring extensive leadership experience with manufacturing companies and will provide an important perspective and contribution to our board," said Martin Richenhagen, chairman, president and CEO of AGCO Corporation. "The addition of their global manufacturing experience to the collective knowledge of our Board better positions AGCO for the opportunities facing our industry."

Armes has been at the helm of Cooper since 2007 (and has been serving as chairman since 2008). Previously, he served in various executive capacities with Whirlpool Corporation. He is also a boardmember with The Manitowic Company.

Arnold has been with Ryerson since 2011, prior to which he held various positions of increasing responsibility with The Timken Company, where he worked for over 30 years. He has also served on the board of Gardner Denver, Inc.

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