LBM Advantage panel focuses on succession planning

The lumber and building materials cooperative hosts its most well-attended event to date.
LBM Advantage 2023 panel discussion
LBM Advantage members Dan Sullivan, Jason Cohen, Jay Ward, and Doug Hamshaw discuss succession planning in Orlando, Florida.

LBM Advantage, one of the nation’s leading lumber and building materials cooperatives recently completed its 2023 Annual Buying Show and Shareholders meeting.

Held Feb. 27 through March 1 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, turnout by both members and vendors exceeded 2022 numbers. LBM Advantage said this was its most well-attended event to date. 

The event focused on focus on providing beneficial purchasing opportunities for co-op members as well as live educational sessions. 

A pair of panel discussions were two of the most talked about segments of the event. 

“Succession Planning: Four Effective Strategies” centered on the importance of ensuring that independent lumber and building dealers remain independent. Four strategies were offered by LBM Advantage members who took the following succession pathways: worker-owned coop, ESOP, family succession, and acquisitions combined with family succession. 

Panelists, Jay Ward of Ward Lumber in New York, Doug Hamshaw of Hamshaw Lumber in New Hampshire, Dan Sullivan of  Kelly-Fradet in Connecticut, and Jason Cohen of Northeast Building Supply also in Connecticut each provided information and resources while offering members their time and guidance outside the show.  

“Credit Policies in Changing Times” provided points of view from Andrew Brown of Brown Lumber & Building Supply in Alabama, Tom Baalmann of B&B Lumber in Kansas, Janet Valentino of Cleveland Lumber in Ohio, and LBM Advantage Credit & Claims Supervisor, Kathy O’Neill. 

Topics included what keeps members up at night concerning credit, what credit policies were in place, usage of liens, and preparing for the 2023 economy. LBM Advantage said that audience members were highly engaged during the discussions on the management of late payers, return policies, and the reduction of credit card fees.  

“The LBM advantage Buying Show was very productive in strengthening existing relationships, developing new relationships, securing quality products at very competitive prices, finding new products, learning new ideas, and gaining knowledge from educational and motivational programs,” Ward said. “There was a huge value packed into a few days.”  

LBM Advantage has already begun planning its 2024 event, slated for Feb. 20-22, 2024 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida.  

LBM Advantage is a member-owned forest products and building materials cooperative comprised of the industry’s premier independent LBM retailers. The co-op operates four locations in New Windsor, New York; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Smithfield, North Carolina; and Conroe, Texas, offering national programs with regional expertise.

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