The wisdom of the Snark

The International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo is one of the world’s oldest service organizations.

When out of the blue, the “Snark of the Universe” of the International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo reaches out to you with a message of encouragement and appreciation, that’s worth writing about.

A word of explanation: The International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo is one of the world’s oldest service organizations, dating back to 1892. It’s the fraternal order of the forest products industry, and its highest elected member is called “Snark of the Universe.” (You can look it up.)

Highlights from the Snark’s letter:

• “The best part of our industry are the relationships we make, and more importantly keep. We are a very important part of the foundation and building of America, structurally and emotionally.”

• “Our values and morals along with many traditions still exist in many ways: Helping communities, companies, but most importantly, helping families grow.

• “… Hopefully this industry will always cherish those values every time we meet someone and help them.”

• “It’s more than just a job of selling. And those who understand this will benefit greatly in having a passion to do more than just succeed.”


Some 15 years ago while visiting Moynihan Lumber, I was befriended by a sales executive who gave me a lift from the convention center in Boston to the North Reading headquarters of the family business. Little did I know that that salesman, Jack Miller, was a future Snark of the Universe. And also little did I know that we would stay in touch for a decade and a half and counting.

Business is a game where you keep score in dollars.

That’s a popular theory circulating in business schools around the country. And we believe it.

That’s why we continue to throw our editorial weight behind the annual Industry Scoreboard, our Top 300 list of hardware and building supply dealers. It begins on page 20 with statistical highlights and rankings of the first 100, from Home Depot (no. 1) to Central Valley Builders Supply (no. 100).

The full Industry Scoreboard with the fiscal 2020 revenue-based rankings extending all the way to Gordon Lumber of Fremont, Ohio (no. 300) is available online at

But there’s another way to look at the business of hardware and building supply dealers: as a friend-making, community-building machine.

It’s a people business, and HBSDealer is hoping to tap into the ancient spirit of the Concatenated Order with some new digital projects. The HBSDealer One-on-One Video Series strives for fast, fun and informative interviews with industry leaders and news makers. Also, we’re launching the HBSDealer People Edition, a newsletter focused on executive moves and personal achievements of the men and women of our industry.

Share your people stories with us at [email protected] And as they say in Hoo-Hoo International: “Health, happiness and looooong life.”

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