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 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011


December 2011

Volume 90  Number 6



THE MERCHANT ON FACEBOOK SEARCH “THE MERCHANT MAGAZINE” ON FACEBOOK.COM CHANGE OF ADDRESS Send address label from recent issue if possible, new address and 9-digit zip to address below. POSTMASTER Send address changes to The Merchant Magazine, 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660-1872. The Merchant Magazine (ISSN 7399723) (USPS 796-560) is published monthly at 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660-1872 by Cutler Publishing, Inc. Periodicals Postage paid at Newport Beach, Ca., and additional post offices. It is an independently-owned publication for the retail, wholesale and distribution levels of the lumber and building products markets in 13 western states. Copyright®2011 by Cutler Publishing, Inc. Cover and entire contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission. All Rights Reserved. It reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter, and assumes no liability for materials furnished to it.

TOTALLY Random By Alan Oakes


Thank you for believing in us!

CANNOT BELIEVE we are already on our last issue of the year. The good news is that if you are reading this, you have survived another year, and that is no mean feat. As many of you have told me, this has been one of the most difficult years faced ever and here we are in year four to five of the downturn. Simply keeping the lights on and the telephone ringing has been a tough task for many, and for those that have survived it has been stressful and gut wrenching at times. When you look at the hard numbers, it is difficult and tragic to believe what this industry has had to contend with. So it would be a brave person who would predict the next 12 months for certain. I have often said to people how not so long ago in other companies we had to prepare not only one-year plans, but also three, five, and often 10. Today, in truth, I would not like to predict the next quarter. If we have learned anything this year, it is how intertwined our entire economy is with the rest of the world. Who could predict a country like Greece, which represents only a half-percent of the world’s GDP, could create such havoc internationally? And just when you believe steps are in place to solve that crisis, up pops Italy, and tomorrow probably Spain. The economic uncertainty, fueled by continued high unemployment, says we cannot rebound until such issues are solved. An election year typically suggests a hedging of bets until the next administration is confirmed, so it is assumed that it is unlikely that 2012 will be a turn-around year. Yet I believe that 2013— despite the unluckiness of the number 13—will actually be the start upwards. Past experience suggests that if I am anywhere near correct, 2012 will be a critical period in positioning your company to take advantage of the momentum. Trying to join the party after it has started without you will be too late. Many of our advertisers that have maintained presence and visibility say they expect to step up efforts next year. A caller this morning told me he looks at the current environment where companies are struggling as an opportunity to grow, and has undertaken a series of new initiatives that are beginning to pay off for them and will also position them well for the turn-around. It is already finding them new customers and profitable revenue. I have had companies inform me of 30% growth rates and others tell of adding staff. So there are pockets of good news. As the saying goes, “luck favors the brave.” During my final tradeshow visits of 2011, I witnessed additional success stories that give me optimism. I heard from someone the other day: “I am fed up with being fed up.” That is probably how many of us feel; we are ready to move on and up. Here’s to that! As we again come to year-end, I want to thank you, our readers and our advertisers, for your continued support. We are the only publications in our sector to publish every month. Your loyalty has allowed us to do that. In a few months, we reach 90 years old (The Merchant debuted in July 1922). Our mission is always to support this industry. Along the way, we meet thousands of readers every year, and I am always touched to hear feedback of how you enjoy our publications. On a personal note, I enjoy many, many industry friends who are a good representation of the industry that most of us so dearly love—despite its occasional flaws and warts. As I do every year, and do so with more determination this year, I guarantee we will support this industry and its people to our absolute maximum, offering all that we can to help you run your business more profitably and keep you abreast of changing times and tastes. When we do not, call me personally. Like all companies, we are only as good as the people surrounding us, and I am lucky to have a staff that is the most experienced in the business. To you, your families, and your colleagues, a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a successful, healthy New Year from us all at The Merchant. I hope to see you soon—perhaps at one of the hundreds of events listed in the 2012 Industry Calendar that can be pulled out from the center of this magazine.

Alan Oakes, Publisher


 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011




A publication of Cutler Publishing

4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Publisher Alan Oakes

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Director of Editorial & Production David Koenig Editor Karen Debats

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FEATURE Story Tune Up Your Fleet Maintenance

Delivery obstacles don’t deflate LBM distributor



a tornado struck the south side of La Crosse, Wi., and tore a two-block by seven-block-long swath, shearing roofs off buildings, downing power lines, and destroying homes. Although nowhere near as devastating as the tornado that ripped through Joplin, Mo., 620 miles to the south, the tornado that hit La Crosse May 22 did nearly $10 million in damage and displaced about 30 families. Building materials supplier Badger Corrugating Co. was based at ground zero. Despite sustaining a direct hit resulting in an estimated $1 million damage to 15 of its 17 buildings,

Badger still resumed operation the day after, supplying businesses and residences damaged by the storm. Even though tire-puncturing debris littered the roads and streets in and around the company’s West Avenue campus, none of the company’s trailers in its main delivery fleet sustained a flat tire due to punctures, according to Badger transporation manager Kevin Hanson. “That’s remarkable,” Hanson said. He credits high-tech tires and his local Goodyear dealer, Wingfoot Commercial Tire, for helping the company keep its fleet moving following the disaster. “We’re pleased with the perfor-

HIGH-TECH tires and an upgraded maintenance schedule have helped Badger Corrugating reduce downtime on its fleet of 22 straight trucks, boom trucks, and tractors, and 19 trailers.


 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

mance of these tires,” Hanson adds. “By using these tires on our trailers, our problems with flats have dropped dramatically. I’d say we’ve dropped our number of service calls by almost 95%.” The La Crosse-based distributor has been led by the Sexauer family since its inception and is currently in its fourth generation of family ownership. Badger was founded in 1903 primarily as a fabricator of metal products, such as ventilators, stock tanks, and a variety of products for the heating and building trades. Over the past 100 years, Badger has evolved into a full-line distributor of lumber, interior millwork, exterior millwork, cabinets, fireplaces, roofing, and agricultural products. The company’s customers include dealers, suppliers and contractors in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. The company operates a total of 22 straight trucks, boom trucks and tractors, and 19 trailers. Before Badger switched tires three years ago, its main delivery fleet of 10 tractor and trailer units suffered at least one flat tire per week, usually on the trailer position, Hanson reports. He opted for Goodyear tires with DuraSeal Technology, a gel-like, solvent-free compound built into the inner liner of the tire. It can instantly and consistently seal punctures up to 1/4-inch in the tread area, without the need to repair the tire until it is retreaded. This allows drivers to continue operating after a tire is punctured. With the new tires on its trailers, the company now gets one flat tire every one to two months. Hanson also

BADGER TRANSPORTATION manager Kevin Hanson (left) and Wingfoot Commercial Tire sales rep Tracy Ness check the tread depth on a trailer tire. The distributor has instituted a maintenance program that has the steer tires being pulled at between 5/32- and 6/32-inch tread depth and replaced. The drive tires are pulled at between 4/32- and 5/32-inch tread depth. The steer and drive tires are then retreaded using pre-cure and mold cure methods for the drive positions.

attributes close monitoring of the tires with routine pressure checks by drivers and monthly checks by Wingfoot Commercial Tire technicians for the company getting more miles to removal from its tires. Plus, the company has instituted a maintenance program that has the steer tires being pulled at between 5/32- and 6/32-inch tread depth and replaced. The drive tires are pulled at between 4/32- and 5/32-inch tread depth. The steer and drive tires are then retreaded using pre-cure and mold-cure methods for the drive positions. Fewer flats mean more miles to removal, plus Badger saves thousands of dollars in tire-related service costs—and helps the company realize its on-time delivery promises to customers. Each morning around 3 a.m., drivers leave the company’s main warehouse in La Crosse loaded with lumber, corrugated sheet metal, roofing supplies, and other building materials to make deliveries to customers. Drivers usually make anywhere from a handful to 10 or 12 stops, depending on the length of their routes. Drivers usually make their first deliveries by about 7 a.m. Hanson says flats generally occurred about an hour or two into runs. That’s because the trailer tires would get punctured by nails, screws, or other sharp objects in lumberyards.

They would develop slow leaks overnight, which would not be noticed until the next day when the trailers would suffer flats after getting back out on the road. “I’d get a call at 4 a.m. from our driver who was stuck out on the road with a flat trailer tire,” Hanson says. This led to delays in the delivery of materials to key customers. Hanson reports that an after-hour service call costs anywhere from $200 to $800, depending on the distances involved. Plus, it means a delay in deliveries of building materials to his customers. And that delay affects their customers. “Perhaps one of their customers was a contractor working on a house that needed to close later in the day at 2 p.m.,” he says. “If we’re an hour or two late in making our deliveries in the morning, that could mean the contractor wouldn’t get his supplies in time in order to finish his work before the 2 p.m. closing. And if the house doesn’t close, the deal falls through. “Delays on the back end can affect everything that’s happening all the way down the line,” Hanson continues. “Avoiding those kind of delays, particularly in this difficult economy, is very important. All it takes is to burn one bridge and word of mouth is enough to cause serious problems for you.”

December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 


INDUSTRY Trends Engineered Wood Products

Domestic woes cause EWP makers to look abroad


domestic market, Louisiana-Pacific is stepping up efforts to produce and market its engineered wood products overseas. Although third quarter 2011 sales of EWP were up 45% over third quarter 2010 (including a 71% spike for LVL and LSL), the segment still lost $3 million for the quarter. The one bright spot has been growing international sales, particularly LSL to Australia. In addition, LP is pushing towards a 10-fold rise in business to China, although its goals are at the mercy of exchange rates, due to shipping costs. UFFETTED BY A DIFFICULT

Europe is another big target. LP introduced its SolidStart products— including I-joists, rimboard, laminated veneer lumber, and laminated strand lumber—to Great Britain late last year and in 2012 plans to expand EWP sales to the whole of Europe. LP Chile and LP Brazil are also enjoying the best years in their histories. “In Chile, both mills continue to run at near capacity and domestic demand remains strong,” said c.e.o. Rick Frost. “We are under some pricing pressure in Chile from imports.” Much of the increased demand in Chile arose from rebuilding in the wake of a 2010 earthquake. Half of

MANUFACTURERS such as LP are looking to increase exports and add production capacity overseas to shore up their engineered wood businesses.


 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

the homes now built in Chile use wood framing rather than concrete structures, which is considered more susceptible to collapse. Brazil has been a more difficult market to capture for LP, due to the need to change building codes. Consequently, LP has focused more on supplying products for existing designs, rather than pushing new construction techniques. In time, LP would like to build a second EWP mill in Brazil. Frost said, “In Brazil, we are operating our Ponta Grossa mill at about half of its capacity, and the decision to start up the second thermal oil line there will probably put off, be put off until Q2 of next year. That will be based upon the business level at that time. About 20% to 25% of the Brazil volume is going to China for interior use.” In the meantime, Frost is bracing for the typical seasonal dropoff that strikes domestic markets across all product lines every fourth quarter. “In general,” he said, “I think the housing market remains weak about anyway you slice it.” Other EWP producers are crafting their own strategies. Weyerhaeuser, too, had heady growth in exports, particularly from its B.C. mills to Japan and China. Nonetheless, Weyco also announced the permanent closure of four previously curtailed EWP facilities—LVL plants in Albany, Or., and Simsboro, La., and veneer operations in Pine Hill, Al., and Dodson, La. Boise Cascade increased third quarter sales of LVL by 23% and Ijoists by 13%, while benefitting from lower raw material costs and higher lumber sales prices.

GREEN Retailing By Jay Tompt

A green 2012: Innovation in interesting times


HIS DISMAL YEAR is almost over and most people won’t be sorry to see it go. On the other hand, if apocalyptic 2012 predictions are correct, the New Year will see the Mayan calendar coming to an end and so, apparently, will the world. Yikes! There’s a curse, reputed to be Chinese, that goes, “may you live in interesting times.” Well, we’re living it. But even in these interesting times, I still find reasons to be optimistic. You don’t have to be green to do well in our business, but green dealers tend to do better. That’s encouraging. This year, there were several innovative products and materials that were either launched or found traction in the market. That’s also encouraging because innovation is exactly what the home and shelter supply chain needs—in products, materials, merchandising—the whole package. And it seems to me that’s exactly what’s in the pipeline for next year and beyond. Here’s what I’ve got my eye on. For several years, we’ve seen small independents roll out green-only retail concepts and do well in their respective niche markets. But this year Green Depot ( took a step into the “big leagues” when they acquired EcoHaus on the West Coast, making them the first coast-to-coast green home improvement chain. They’ve demonstrated that green can scale. Who’s next? It might be new, Austin, Tx.-based TreeHouse ( It’s big, well designed, focused 100% on green building, and is an easily replicable concept. These are but two examples of the shape of things to come. On the product front, it’s hard not to get excited about the innovations in energy efficiency. Perhaps there’s no better way to gauge what’s happening here than to look at the least sexy product category: insulation. There’s a place for mass-produced, formaldehyde-free, high recycled content fiberglass, but for a paradigm shift, you’ve got to look at what small companies are doing. For example, we’ve talked about hemp as a building material, but now there’s hemp insulation, too. American Lime Technology’s ( Breathe insulation is made from hemp and flax fibers, is breathable and functional, with obvious green benefits over conventional materials. And

then there’s insulation made from fungus and agricultural waste— hard to get greener than that. Designed by Ecovative Design (, Greensulate is currently undergoing testing and may come to market next year. If insulation is the least sexy product category, then thermal mass, as such, is the least commercialized. As passive solar designers have known for decades, properly managing thermal mass and solar gain results in efficiency and comfort. For example, a granite south-facing wall absorbs heat during the day, keeping interior spaces cool, re-radiating that heat at night, keeping interiors warm and comfortable. Imagine if, instead of logistically unfriendly granite, thermal mass was a product that came in rolls, like bubble wrap, that was easily installed in walls and ceilings like, well, bubble wrap. Turns out someone already has. Phase Change Energy Solutions ( has developed BioPCmat, a roll of bubble wrap like material that is essentially thermal mass in a roll. Properly installed, BioPCmat can result in 30% energy savings. Products like these offer radical new approaches to products and materials. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Philips recently unveiled the Microbial Home design concept, including a kitchen that produces its own cooking gas—methane—from bathroom and kitchen waste. Whether these product innovations take off in the marketplace is an open question. But innovation breeds innovation. If this pace of new product development continues, 2012 could well be very interesting, but in a good way. Jay Tompt Managing Partner William Verde & Associates (415) 321-0848

December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 


COMPETITIVE Intelligence By Carla Waldemar

Old school dealer “malls” the competition


GERSON, OWNER AND GENIUS behind Mahoning Lumber Center, Youngstown, Oh., serves commercial builders. For shopping mall stores like Victoria’s Secret, Anthropologie, Ruby Tuesday, and a hundred others, he’s the go-to guy for all the bells and whistles. Yet he operates with few of them himself: no computer, no website, no email address. Not even a number in the phone book. (It’s unlisted to screen calls from individual homeowners and ILL

OHIO LUMBERMAN Bill Gerson has carved a niche out of supplying new construction of shopping malls, while maintaining his time-honored ways of doing business.

even the home builders he used to serve.) He pecks out his correspondence on a typewriter—remember those? And, I suspect, he answered this reporter’s call on a rotary phone. Yet, he’s served as prime supplier for 6,000 mall stores in all 50 states (and recently Puerto Rico) over the past 15 years.


No need, he says, for high-tech tricks. Or a college degree, for that matter. Like his father, Sam, before him, business insights were soaked up on the job. Sam Gerson, who left the old country to make his home in Cleveland, dropped out of elementary school to help support the family. By 1930 he owned the Broadway Wrecking Co., which segued into Broadway Lumber when customers wanted not only demo work but the materials to build anew as well. In 1940 Sam bought Mahoning in bankruptcy court for $1,750, which did well enough to send Bill to college, first at Ohio U, then Miami, where, in 1952, the kid dropped out to buy into a waterskiing outfit. That lasted until a visit from dad, who took him aside and made it clear: “I don’t want a beachcomber in the family. Come home.” He obeyed, of course, and almost immediately was transferred to Youngstown, where he lived in the YMCA (and later became a board member) while partnering with a driver to set up the lumber center. The company flourished, supplying materials for the high-end homes of the town’s steel executives, but gradually steered its focus from residential to commercial building. Brilliant—because the mills shut down in 1983. Home-building screeched to a halt and 80% of Mahoning’s customers disappeared. But fortunately, a right-time, rightplace stroke of business luck had already occurred in 1962, when bigtime developer De Bartolo (owner of the San Francisco Forty Niners, by the way) couldn’t find drywall for a theater he was building. “We gave it to him, and we were off and running. We built their first mall ever in Miami,”

 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

Bill recalls. But De Bartolo wanted his supplier close at hand—as in “Move to Miami.” “Fine,” said Bill. I had a condo, a place to live, so it was perfect”—except for the fact that the family preferred to stay put in Youngstown, so Bill began a life of long-term commuting. It proved well worth all the airport time. “We built 14 malls in 15 years and also supplied the millwork for the most luxurious hotel on that part of the coast. We’d bid on it, but didn’t get the job. However, the company that won out soon went bankrupt, so they called us for 450 doors ASAP. We had eight trucks and eight drivers and shuttled them back and forth”—a $55,000 payoff, by the way. Today, Mahoning operates with three trucks, three drivers, and an outside sales staff of “all girls,” Bill proclaims in non-PC language, but what the heck? “They’re phenomenal,” he declares. “They go after malls under construction and talk to the supers, and they get 60% of the business.” And that business is very competitive, he reports. Thus, Mahoning has leased satellite warehouses to assure the overnight delivery these developers demand. (Finish a day late and they’re slapped with a $10,000 penalty.) “We offer better service,” Bill presents as one key to his continued success. “You’re as good as your name,” he knows full well,” so we also can offer our reputation. Plus, we supply the lumber and plywood that other yards don’t carry. In fact,” he chuckle, “other yards didn’t even realize what we were up to. Malls weren’t being built until we got there. “Another thing—you’re gonna like this story, dear—I’ve worked with one of our best contractor customers in

Ohio for over 37 years and never once called him for money. “I only have seven customers,� he continues, “and that’s enough to keep me happy. One of the best is in Humboldt, Texas. Another in Canton, Ohio. And our main customer in Ft. Myers, Florida. How do I connect with them?� he repeats my query. “It’s a miracle! Here’s how we do it: It’s all through the supers. I’m friends with all of them. I fly out to meet them so they know I’m for real. They put me on with their contractors. “We give them the best quality. No callbacks.� Well, one. Almost. “I got a call from a guy for whom we’d delivered metal doors and frames, and boy, was he mad! ‘Bill, I trusted you to sell me doors, and these don’t even fit!’ I came out to take a look, and he’d hung them upside down. He was so embarrassed,� Bill laughs. Only seven customers—and only five major suppliers, including Midwest Wholesale Hardware, Dixieply for lumber and plywood, and Hering Corp. for doors and windows. “They love me because I pay my bills on time. So, we can negotiate deals. I’ve gotten 62 blueprints since January, including one for Beholden, a new bridal chain going into Chicago. But I couldn’t give them good delivery if my suppliers didn’t give me a break. If they didn’t, other companies would take it away from me. But if you pay your bills before they’re due, that gets their attention.� By now, Bill has moved back to Youngstown, thanks to the insistence of a wife and daughter who could hardly remember what he looked like. (Okay, they didn’t complain about visiting him on the Florida beaches—only the phone bills and airfare.) Yet Mahoning remains a Florida corporation to take advantage of the favorable business climate (no

personal property tax, etc.) Doing business in all 50 states, “I could live anywhere,� Bill claims. But he’s happy to be back in Ohio, where Mahoning also is licensed. And thriving. “Thirty-seven lumber companies closed in Youngstown, and not because of the big boxes,� he insists. “They closed because they couldn’t adapt when homebuilding died. There are only two of us left. And we are the only lumber company that does shopping mall stores.� No denying that Mahoning took a big hit when the economy tanked, however. “We died completely in 2009 and 2010. The phone stopped ringing and I was so scared, so worried.� But 2011 came along and mall owners, seeking an uptick, gave their tenants orders: Remodel or we’ll take a long, strong look at your lease. There are 35 Limited stores and 40 Victoria’s Secrets who had to listen, among others, so “we had one of our best years. Business was up 50% over 2010. Bill, who’d rather we didn’t announce his age, operates like a kid 30—or make that 50—years his junior. And he has no intention of slowing down. He’s glad to pass on the most important lesson he learned from his father, “a remarkable man. “I’ll put it this way,� he says. “Dad told me, ‘Son, the customer is always right. Use that premium and you’ll succeed.’� Carla Waldemar

Help your builders start smart, finish strong. Choose Universal as your key building products supplier. Universal has been a key supplier in Southern California for years. With the broadest lineup of lumber and specialty products in the area, it’s no wonder why dealers look to UFP as a key supply partner.

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December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 


OLSEN On Sales By James Olsen

Epiphanies in the life of a salesman


I THINK OF SELLERS who know/sell more than I do, I liken what they know to the view of someone who is at the right angle of a hallway. We can see them and they can see us, but we can’t see what they see when they look down the other end of the hall. They can describe it, but we can’t really experience it until we get to where they—the master sellers—are in the hallway. Through my own evolution and working with salespeople, I have found the following idea and attitude changes are crucial for sellers who want to reach the next level. Preparation works. Activity does not equal progress. A series of well-planned sales calls will yield a closing percentage. From here, we can do sales math and figure out how many calls we need to achieve our sales goals. Winging it is faster and much easier—in the short run— than planning our calls. In the long run, winging it leaves us running in place. Our careers do not advance because our skills do not advance. It’s like riding as a passenger in a car for years; you really don’t know how to get anywhere, because you haven’t been doing the driving. Price is just another detail. Salespeople bring up price first—ALWAYS—and then blame the customer for being a “price buyer” or “always countering me.” Can you imagine going to a car lot and when the salesman asks, “What color do you want?,” you respond, “Oh, I can’t tell you that. Just come back with your best color.”? Of course not. Color, like price, is just another detail we must know before we can put the order together. The customer will seldom buy without knowing the price, so in the end it must be covered, but it is just another detail. Being low doesn’t matter. Guarantee: You can quote everything with $5/MBF more for the next 20 years and HEN


 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

you will not sell less. You can quote everything with $5/MBF less for the next 20 years and you won’t sell more. The only thing that affects our income is the quality of our salesmanship, not how low our price is or isn’t. If we take the strongest seller from your office and make him sell at $5/MBF more than your weakest seller for a whole year, who will sell more? It’s about salesmanship, not about being the lowest. This idea also accelerates our sales days, years and careers. If we need to be the cheapest, we have to research price forever. If price is just another detail, we just need a price, not the cheapest price. The (best) price is something we work out with the customer, not something we deliver on our own. The customer has mutual responsibility to our partnership to arrive at the correct price. I can’t sell everyone. I don’t want to sell everyone. Master sellers spend much less time working with an account that doesn’t buy than do sellers who struggle. Hanging on to accounts too long is also the major symptom of a plateaued seller at any level, but especially the midhigh level. Comfort is the enemy of the master seller. My account base is never set. The desired myth of the struggling seller is for the “perfect” account base. Once the perfect account base is attained, we won’t have to strive anymore. Our customers will trust us and buy from us with ease. We never arrive at this mirage. Master sellers constantly, consistently reinvent themselves. They do not wait for cataclysmic changes in the weather (dinosaurs) or their account base (struggling sellers). Master sellers continually upgrade their account base. As Kipling said, “All men count with you, but none too much.” The same can be said for our accounts. We love them all, but we don’t fall in love with any of them. Thinking matters. What I think about and how I think about it affects my results, my career. Any kind of negativity must be stricken from our vocabulary and our lives. We must work at it. Are there negative things that happen? Yes. They are in the past. The present and the future are positive when we make them so. James Olsen Reality Sales Training (503) 544-3572


Private equity firm Gores Group, Los Angeles, Ca., has acquired the remaining 49% of Stock Building Supply, Raleigh, N.C., from Wolseley Plc.

Dunn Lumber has doubled the amount of inventory at its store in Kirkland, Wa. The chain earlier expanded its Everett, Wa., branch and plans to do likewise in all of its other locations, store by store. New products include a wider assortment of fasteners, tools, paints, caulks/adhesives, and cleaning, plumbing and electrical supplies. Aldrich Lumber has sold its home of 74 years in downtown Billings, Mt., and is relocating to the edge of town, where it will downsize into a specialty dealer of pole barns and riding arenas.

ROBORO’S new software makes it easier for customers to select and specify glulams.

Choosing Glulams Gets Easier

Rosboro has updated its technology platform with a new software system that allows customers to more easily select and specify glulam products. With isDesign, Rosboro clients can enter the span and load conditions for a project and automatically determine the best product for specific uses, as well as calculate multiple spans, point loads, cantilevers, and other applications. “With isDesign, we’re integrating what we find to be a flexible, user-friendly software solution,” said Geoff Crandlemire, distribution and product development manager for Springfield, Or.-based Rosboro. “Our customers will now have a simpler interface with intuitive navigation that saves them time and helps them select the right glulam products for their intended application.” An analysis/engineering software that incorporates the most recent .NET technology, the new system’s interface and features enable users to operate in a familiar and comfortable Windows environment. Rosboro’s custom glulam service is included. Curved lengths up to 100 ft., depths up to 53 inches, and a variety of textures and appearances are available.

Ordway Building Supply, Ordway, Co., suffered $40,000 to $50,000 in damage Nov. 20 when a motorist plowed through its lumberyard. Tomkins Hardware & Lumber, Creede, Co., has been sold by Robert Fredrick to Nick Lenzini and Delano Velasquez, who will serve as sales mgr.

84 Lumber Co.’s shuttered site in Santa Rosa, Ca., has been acquired by Bedrosians Tile & Stone, as the new home for its local showroom/design center.

Menards continues negotiating with the city to try to acquire a 24-acre site in Cheyenne, Wy., with hopes to begin construction on a new store in the spring. An earlier deal was killed in September when the county contested ownership of part of the property. Ace Hardware, Elk Grove, Ca., closed Nov. 23 due to big-box competition. Owners Mary and Robert Lawrence bought the 30+-yearold store—then a True Value franchise—five years ago. They continue to operate Aces in Galt and Sheldon, Ca. Ace Hardware Hawaii, Honolulu, Hi., has acquired Pahoa Hardware, Pahoa (Big Island), Hi., and converted it from True Value to Ace. Fourteen of the chain’s 25 stores are in Hawaii.

General Hardware, Mill Valley, Ca., shut down at the end of November after nearly 40 years. Kelly Kramer, owner for the past 21 years, was unable to reach a deal with his landlord on a new lease.

Habitat For Humanity opened a new ReStore discount LBM outlet Nov. 17 in Sunnyside, Or.

GLULAMS can be ordered in custom lengths, depths, textures and appearances.

Anniversaries: Sine Hardware, Glendale, Az., 100th … HPM Building Supply, Keaau, Hi., 90th … Pete’s Ace Hardware, Castro Valley, Ca., 85th … Ace Hardware Hawaii, Honolulu, Hi., 60th … Paul’s Ace Hardware, Scottsdale, Az., 55th … Superior Lumber Yard , Superior, Az., 45th … ADB Building Supply, Mesa, Az., 30th …

December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 



BlueLinx has shuttered its DCs in Seattle, Wa., and Sacramento, Ca., consolidating operations at its facilities in Beaverton, Or., and Fremont, Ca. The move was announced at the end of a third quarter in which the distributor lost $6.2 million. “We’ll continue to look at all markets and businesses within BlueLinx, and we’ll make the necessary changes in investments to improve our results,” said c.e.o. George Judd.

Kingston Cedar , Spokane, Wa., has purchased Malloy Lumber, Kingston, Id. Steve Gendron, sales mgr., Porcupine Wood Products, Salmo, B.C., will handle sales. Eco Building Products, Vista, Ca., signed a five-year lease to open a 30,000-sq. ft. coating facility with rail spur in Salem, Or.

Jeld-Wen, Klamath Falls, Or., is closing its window plant in Cheyenne, Wy., by the end of the year, eliminating 112 jobs. The manufacturer also received the 2011 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation & Disability Management Award for its safety improvement practices.

Weyerhaeuser Distribution is now supplying TAMKO’s EverGrain composite decking and railing and Tam-

Rail railing systems to Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Weyerhaeuser also has added a new fastening template and proprietary edge seal to its Edge Gold flooring panels.

Vandermeer Forest Products, Lynnwood, Wa., is now distributing a full line of AZEK products in Washington,

Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Hawaii.

EcoVantage LLC , St. Joe, In., earned the USDA Certified Bio-based product label for its EcoPrem thermally modified lumber.

Canfor Corp., Vancouver, B.C., agreed to pay $60 million for Tembec’s two eastern B.C. sawmills. The deal is set to close in late first quarter 2012. Canfor then plans on investing over $50 over the next few years to improve productivity at the mills in Elko and Canal Flats.

Haida’s Taan Forest division, Vancouver, B.C., has earned Forest Stewardship Council certification for all of its forestry and harvesting operations on Haida Gwaii, BC. Simpson Manufacturing Co. , Pleasanton, Ca., agreed to purchase all the shares of Swiss firms S&P Clever Reinforcement Co. AG and S&P Reinforcement International AP.

Trex inked a licensing deal with Backyard America to develop and market Trex Pergola kits.

Arch Chemicals, Norwalk, Ct., was recognized as a Ace Hardware Corp., along with DeWalt Power Tools, Towson, Md.; WJ Dennis, Elgin, Il.; Ace Paint, Oak Brook, Il.; Wayne Water Systems, Harrison, Oh., and Kaytee, Chilton, Wi. Vendor of the Year by


 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

G-P Shuffles EWP Division

Georgia-Pacific Wood Products is overhauling its engineered lumber business to create more direct involvement with its customer base and expansion of services. G-P will provide its engineered lumber customers with inside and outside account management personnel, business development support, engineering and technical services, and software development and support. G-P will continue to offer a complete portfolio, including LVL, solid sawn and LVL flanged I-joists, glulams, and rim board. “This new strategy will help expand market opportunities for GP, our customers, distributors, and supply partners,” said Mark Luetters, president of Georgia-Pacific Wood Products. “We feel this will help us better meet customer needs through a strong network of independent distributors with a primary focus on engineered lumber products.” The strategy coincides with the Feb. 12, 2012 expiration of G-P’s distribution agreement with BlueLinx, which will allow G-P to begin to phase out its Broadspan line of engineered wood products late in the first quarter of 2012. “We’re excited about being able to offer strong brands such as Wood I Beam joists, GP Lam LVL, GP Lam 3000 glulam, and Fiberstrong rim board to a broader set of customers,” said Paul Watterson, general manager for G-P Wood Products. “We’re looking forward to working more closely with our customers, and will remain committed to offering high-quality wood products and innovative solutions to the industry.”

Boise Cascade Buying Stimson Mill

Boise Cascade, Boise, Id., agreed to purchase the assets of Stimson Lumber’s sawmill in Arden, Wa. The mill processes pine and cedar into lumber and decking products. When the deal closes, around Dec. 31, the facility will become part of Boise Cascade’s Inland Region. “It is Boise Cascade’s intent to operate both the Kettle Falls Lumber operation and the Stimson Lumber mill, although the operating configuration has yet to be finalized,” said Inland Region manager Tom Insko. “The combination of the two mills will increase efficiencies and enhance the product mix capabilities of the Inland Region lumber operations.”

Tear out this industry calendar to plan your show visits during 2012.


FAMILY Business By James Olan Hutcheson

Resolving family business conflicts


OO OFTEN , SWEEPING potential conflict under the rug is what happens in family enterprises. Rather than respectfully addressing problems that could cause strife, they are ignored and allowed to fester until some combination of events makes them impossible to overlook. By then, the conflict may be so intense and deep-rooted, or the business may be in such a delicate and precarious position, that resolution is much more difficult. Any method of conflict resolution is probably okay as long as the solution you choose doesn’t belittle or demean anyone or force a winnerand-loser outcome. There is one simple, widely used method to resolve common conflict that goes by the acronym DESC: Describe, Express, Specify, and Consequences. Here’s a scenario that shows how you can apply DESC to resolve a simple conflict within your family enterprise. A family business member has consistently arrived late to meetings. Other family members are annoyed with the behavior, teamwork is deteriorating, and important decisions are being delayed. As the leader of the business, you are expected to do something about it. In fact, given what you know about the risk of delaying resolution, you really want to do something about it and move on. How can you best correct the situation?

Describe. Arrange a private meeting with the guilty party and start by describing the other person’s actions and/or behavior objectively. Try to quantify the concerns and avoid judgmental, absolute terms such

as, “You always…” and “You are never…” For example, do not say, “You are always late to the meeting.” Instead say something like, “You were 30 minutes late to last week’s board meeting. That was the fourth time this year.”

Express. Express your concern about the consequences of the behavior on the business and family. Keep it simple, and keep it believable. Don’t say, “You are destroying the company.” Instead, say “The problem with you coming in late is that it reduces the amount of time we can spend on important decisions, and it conveys to other board members the message that the meetings aren’t important.”

to the same principles. Just wait until things cool off, and then try it. Prior to attempting to solve any conflict, it is critical that you listen first to fully understand the situation. Then structure your message into a DESC format. Don’t just blast away because someone came late again to the board meeting. First, ask why the person was late. It’s always a good idea when there’s conflict to take a deep breath, rehearse what you need to do, and then gather information. At times like this, I like to recall Aristotle’s comment on anger: “Anybody can become angry, that is easy. But to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose and in the right way, that is not within everybody’s power. That is not easy.” You’ll be better at conflict resolution if you pay close attention to your own state of mind. When you are in an extreme mood, avoid making any

Specify. Specify the behavior you want. Be as specific as possible. Example: “It is critical that you be here on time when we call a family board meeting.”

Consequences. Cite the consequences that will occur when the behavior is changed. Emphasize the opportunities or benefits that might otherwise be lost. Also cite positive consequences. For example: “When you show up on time, we will get through the meeting on time, resulting in a more productive team-building and morale-enhancing experience. If you continue to be late, people will believe that it’s not important enough for them to be there, or that they’re only there because they have to be.” In real life, your conflict resolution may not go as smoothly as this. You shouldn’t attempt to run a DESC script when people are screaming and yelling, although you can still adhere

promises or even making phone calls, writing letters, or sending emails. Often, when you are angry, it’s tempting to pen a stinging message. That’s the worst time to do that. Instead stop, pay attention to your own emotions, gather information, and run a DESC script. Good luck!

– James Olan Hutcheson is managing partner and founder of ReGeneration Partners, a family business consulting firm headquartered in Dallas, Tx. He can be reached at (800) 406-1112 or

Reprinted with permission of ReGeneration Partners. No portion of this article may be reproduced without its permission.

December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 


MOVERS & Shakers John Vranizan has been named president of American International Forest Products, Portland, Or. Robert Fonseca, ex-American Electric Supply, is now operations mgr. at Ganahl Lumber, Corona, Ca. Ron De Leon, ex-All American Home Center, has been named general merchandising mgr. of City Mill Co., Honolulu, Hi. Wil Kuester, ex-Buckeye Pacific, has joined the sales force at Seneca Sawmills, Eugene, Or. Don Riley, ex-Mohawk Industries, has been named executive v.p. of supply chain & technology for ProBuild Holdings, Denver, Co. Carl Artaz, general mgr., Glenwood Springs, Co., is now also overseeing ProBuild’s Aspen, Co., yard. Josh Omer, ex-Jeld-Wen, is new to sales in Littleton, Co. Allen Gaylord, cedar sales mgr., Clearwater Paper Corp., Lewiston, Id., has retired after 36 years in the industry, primarily with Potlatch. Robert Wormley is new to cabinet sales at Parr Lumber, Fife, Wa.

Gary Fenati has retired after 18 years as commercial sales mgr. for Sierra Pacific Windows, Lake Forest, Ca. Paul Aucunas, ex-J.E. Higgins Lumber, has been named sales mgr. for California Window & Door’s new showroom in Scottsdale, Az. Charlie Nakama, mgr., City Mill, Honolulu, Hi., is transferring to manage the Kaimuki, Hi., store Jan. 9. Vicki Lebowitz will then move to the Pearl City location, Aaron Kouchi to Mililani, Evile Ieriko to Kaneohe, and Sandra Hee to the Honolulu branch. Brenda Lancaster, ex-ProBuild, has rejoined BMC, Greeley, Co., in inside sales. Brad Strosahl, ex-BlueLinx, was named v.p.-major accounts for PrimeSource Building Products, Buffalo Grove, Il. Alice Palmer has joined the consulting staff at International Wood Markets Group, Vancouver, B.C, Ron Johal and Cameron MacKenzie are new to sales at iWood Lumber Products, Vancouver, B.C.

Brent Brownmiller, ex-Marathon Forest Products, is now assistant branch mgr. at Taiga Building Products, Langley, B.C. Sallie Bailey has joined LouisianaPacific, Nashville, Tn., as executive v.p. and chief financial officer, succeeding Curt Stevens, who is now executive v.p. and c.o.o. Blain Hicks, sales mgr., Dunkley Lumber, Prince George, B.C., is retiring at year’s end, after 40 years in the industry. Marc Brinkmeyer, Idaho Forest Group, Coeur d’Alene, Id., was appointed to the first National Softwood Lumber Board for the West region, along with Steven Zika, Hampton Affiliates, Portland, Or.; George Emmerson, Sierra Pacific Industries, Anderson, Ca.; Andrew Miller, Stimson Lumber, Portland, and Rick Re, Seneca Sawmill, Eugene, Or. Lotta Running is the new messenger at Mungus-Fungus Forest Products, Climax, Nv., report owners Hugh Mungus and Freddy Fungus.

Holiday Greetings from Parr on our 36th Christmas Jesus Aldrete Raul Aldrete Antonio Avina Paul Blevins Norm Boucher Edward Butz Jose Chicas Rosario Chicas Karen Currie Nick Ferguson Vince Galloway

Ricardo Garcia Fidenceo Gomez Elvira Hernandez Henry Herrera Leticia Herrera Chris Hexberg Jerry Long Joe McCarron Bert McKee Luis Moreno Brad Mortensen

Rafael Pantoja George Parden Timoteo Paredes Michael Parrella Peter Parrella Kurt Peterson Eduardo Pierre Janet Pimentel Nestor Pimentel Yolanda Rodriguez Alex Romero

Bill Sharp Angela Sorensen Lois Tavenner Melinda Taylor Peter Ulloa Enrique Vargas Oscar Villegas Robert Williams Pamela Winters Matt Wright Terry Yarbrough

Thank you to our Customers and Suppliers 18

 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

Wood Exports to China on Record Pace

Shipments of softwood lumber and logs from the U.S. and Canada to China will reach a record high in 2011, according to Wood Resource Quarterly. In 2010, the two countries exported $1.3 billion worth of softwood products. If the pace seen in the first seven months of 2011 continues, the two countries’ exports will more than double from last year, reaching a record $2.6 billion. Despite the disappointing developments in the U.S. housing sector during the past year, lumber production in both the U.S. and Canada has been higher in 2011 than in 2010. Many sawmills in the western U.S. and Canada have benefitted from the dramatic increase in demand from Chinese lumber consumers. Some sawmills are exporting up to 30% to 40% of their production to the fast developing market in Asia. The biggest increase in shipments the past year has been that of softwood lumber from British Columbia. Much of this lumber comes from the massive supply of timber that has been killed by the pine beetle over the past 15 years. The value of lumber shipments from Canada has increased from just $55 million in 2005 to an estimated $1.2 billion this year. While Canada has drastically raised lumber shipments to China in recent years, the U.S. has instead expanded exportation of logs to Chinese lumber manufacturers. This year, U.S. West Coast log exporters

are projected to ship logs valued at over $900 million, a jump from $42 million dollars just four years ago. The U.S. and Canada have also expanded their importance in the Chinese wood market. In 2005, only

4% of all softwood logs and lumber imported into China originated from North America. Last year, the share was 18%. North American wood suppliers have the opportunity to expand their export sales into the Chinese market in the coming years.

Season’s Greetings and Thank You Happy Holidays from all of us at Norman Distribution

Distributed By

P.O. Box 1802, Medford, OR 97501 • Fax 541-535-3288

(541) 535-3465 •

December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 


Allied Buys Hawaii Supplier

Allied Building Products Corp. has completed its acquisition of Snohomish, Wa.-based distributor Pacific Source, which supplies general contractors and homeowners throughout Hawaii. Pacific Source was founded in 1992 by five owners—Kim Halverson, Rob Bruce, Carol Kinison, Mark Mason, and Doug Martin—and now has branches on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kauai and Maui.

Sonora Dealer Winds Down

Andy’s Home Center, Sonora, Ca., is closing by year’s end, with the retirement of owner Steve Anderson. Anderson also cited a stagnant economy, miniscule housing starts, and increased big box competition. He started a liquidation sale Oct. 31 and is no longer open on weekends. The True Value affiliate was founded in 1957, but adopted the Andy’s name in 1983.

Idaho Forest Takes Over Clearwater Milling Complex

Idaho Forest Group, Coeur d’Alene, Id., has completed its acquisition of Clearwater Paper Corp.’s


sawmill, planer mill, and dry kilns in Lewiston, Id. The $30-million deal also includes log and finished good inventories, timber contracts, and a promise to continue supplying chips and sawdust to Clearwater’s pulp mill in Lewiston. IFG has set Dec. 14 as the date it hopes to restart the facility, which was idled in preparation for the change of ownership.

Beacon Gets Fowler & Peth

Beacon Roofing Supply, Peabody, Ma., acquired nine-unit roofing distributor Fowler & Peth, Denver, Co. Founded in 1948, Fowler & Peth has six locations in Colorado, two in Wyoming, and one in Nebraska, with annual sales of approximately $60 million. Co-owners Eric “Ric” Peth and Kurt Peth said the sale will facilitate quicker growth for the company and greater career growth opportunities for employees. “Fowler & Peth is an industry leader and allows Beacon to expand our presence in the very important Denver market beyond our existing Denver branch and to serve customers in the surrounding states,” said Beacon c.e.o. Paul Isabella. “Fowler &

 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

Peth is a key component to Beacon’s westward expansion plans and will be a gateway to further geographic growth for our company.”

Distributor Swaps Home Base

Looking to downsize its headquarters, Lumber Products, Tualatin, Or., has swapped its three-building property for a single building nearby. Lumber Products, which has DCs in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, bought a building owned by air-holding equipment manufacturer Huntair for $7.25 million. Huntair then paid $17.7 million for Lumber Product’s larger property.

Yard Burglar Sniffed Out

With an assist from a canine unit, police arrested a man accused of breaking into Parr Lumber’s store in Hillsboro, Or., on Sept. 30. Authorities say the suspect broke a store window and entered about 1:20 a.m., triggering a silent alarm. After police arrived, a tracking dog named Odie found Paul A. True, 33, hiding in the lumberyard. He was arrested and charged with second-degree burglary. An accomplice is being sought.

All-American Closing Mega-Center

After 52 years in Downey, Ca., All-American Home Center is liquidating its inventory and will close its doors before the end of the year. Founded in 1959 by father and son Irving and Lanny Gertler, All-American began as a corner market, selling a variety of home products and knick-knacks. In 1970, the Gertlers purchased land and built a 40,000-sq. ft. building, which expanded into a nearly 175,000-sq. ft. facility with more than 25 departments. Tamar Kane took over the business after her father, Lanny Gertler, died in February 2010. The 175 employees who are losing their jobs are also mourning the loss of longtime employee Joseph Barum, 49, who committed suicide Oct. 18 at his home in Norwalk, Ca. He had worked at All-American for more than 25 years and had recently grown concerned about “economic issues and feared losing his home,” according to county coroner investigators.

Death Penalty for Home Depot Killer

The man convicted of killing a manager during a February 2007 robbery at Home Depot, Tustin, Ca., has been sentenced to death. Jason Russell Richardson, 41, was convicted of shooting Thomas Egan to death after ordering him to empty the store’s safe. After the shooting, Richardson stole $500 from another store employee and fled. Authorities linked Richardson to the murder with DNA evidence found in a sock in which he was carrying ammunition. According to prosecutors, Richardson had a criminal history for kidnapping and rape and deserved the death penalty for killing Egan like he was “swatting a fly.”



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New Rule Nears for Exports to EU

By Jan. 1, most European Union countries will require structural lumber sold in those countries to bear a CE mark, reflecting that the product meets the standards outlined in the European structural timber standard, EN 14081-1. Producers who export structurally graded lumber to Europe will need to have been issued CE grademarks or risk having their products turned back at the port of entry. Although the implementation date for the standard has been in flux for some time (it was originally to go into effect in July 2007), it appears now that the January 2012 implementation date is a hard deadline for most EU countries (the U.K. deadline is July 2013). At this point, the requirement applies only to structural lumber. CE marking has been used throughout Europe since 1993 to indicate that products have met legal requirements. In order to attain CE marking capability, producers must subscribe to an approved inspection agency, such as Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau.

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December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 


Comments Sought for New Southern Pine Design Values

The Southern Forest Products Association has posted the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau’s proposed design values for visually graded dimension lumber on its website, On Oct. 7, SPIB announced their submittal of proposed design values, now pending approval by American Lumber Standard Committee’s board of review. Prior to its next meeting—set for Jan. 5 in Washington, D.C.—ALSC is soliciting written comments from interested parties, to be received at least 10 days prior to the meeting. Direct comments to ALSC president Tom Searles, by or fax 301-540-8004. “These proposed design values from SPIB will help the

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dialog progress to a better understanding of the process, the data, and the impacts on our industry,”said SFPA president Adrian Blocker. The last major change for visually graded dimension lumber came in 1991, when design values for southern pine and other North American species were published based on in-grade testing of full-size samples of commercially produced lumber. Since 1994, SPIB has conducted an annual resource monitoring program developed in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Products Lab. Although the level established to trigger additional testing was never reached, overall trends in the annual test data suggested a shift in the resource mix. These trends, along with anecdotal external information, prompted SPIB to conduct a year-long program of testing and data review. SPIB is the first rules-writing agency to submit new values. Agencies responsible for other species are in different stages of evaluating design values.

Parr Comes Through for Habitat

Parr Lumber, Hillsboro, Or., donated a truck to Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East to replace a pick-up that was stolen from a Habitat construction site in Gresham, Or. “Most of our trucks are getting very old,” said Habitat executive director Steve Messinetti. “Having this opportunity to replace a vehicle that is on its last life is so valuable for this organization.” Although the stolen truck was recovered, it was damaged and its lumber rack was missing. Tools and construction materials were also stolen.

Swanson Mills Extend Downtime

Swanson Lumber instituted extended shutdowns at its plants last month, which affected 700 workers. The company’s sawmills in Glendale and Roseburg shut down for two weeks starting Nov. 14. Its plywood mills in Springfield and Glendale shut down for a week starting Nov. 21. All of these mills typically close for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Company president Steve Swanson said demand from China has driven up the price of logs, which in turn drives up the cost of raw materials for mills in the U.S. He added that China’s demand is not much higher than it was back in the 1990s, but with such low amounts of logs coming off federal lands, it makes prices spike.


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 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

ProBuild Alumni Form New Distributor

Several former ProBuild Holdings executives have started a building materials distribution company called Kodiak Building Partners, based— like ProBuild—in Denver, Co. Kodiak plans to invest in building products companies serving new residential, repair and remodeling, and

IN Memoriam

Alvin Scarborough, 64, co-owner and president of Scarborough Lumber & Building Supply, Scotts Valley, Ca., died Nov. 18 in South Lake Tahoe, Ca. He began working for his father’s company, Standard Lumber Mills, Scotts Valley, at a young age. He served in Vietnam in 1967. A year later, he joined his brother Mike, sister Linda, and her husband, Bill Gilbert, in opening Scarborough Lumber & Hardware next to the mill. The business has since grown to four building supply centers, as well as a garden center on the site of the original mill.

commercial construction markets across the U.S. Kodiak will provide capital and strategic support to allow its operating partners to make decisions locally, reflecting conditions in their individual markets. “We believe the time is right to acquire assets in this space,” said Paul Hylbert, Kodiak c.e.o. and chairman and ProBuild’s former c.e.o. “While construction activity in general remains very weak, we believe that this busi-

ness will recover and are looking to partner with strong management teams to participate in the upturn.” Steve Swinney, formerly vice president of finance at ProBuild, will serve as president and chief operating office. Kyle Barker, Brian Cleveringa, and Eric Miller, who worked in ProBuild’s financial division, will be managing directors. In July, Kodiak purchased Barton Supply, a Colorado-based fabricator and distributor of structural and reinforcing steel products and accessories.

James B. Flores, 81, longtime manager with Boise Cascade, died of cancer Nov. 6 in Lewiston, Id. He began his career at Boise Cascade’s mill in Winchester, Or., transferring to the Boise, Id., corporate office in 1964 and to the Portland, Or., regional office in 1966 as Northwest lumber sales control manager. He returned to Boise in 1985, and spent several years as a consultant until retiring in 1994.

Deanna Jane “Buzz” Holmberg, 72, retired co-owner and office manager of Douglas Lumber, Castle Rock, Co., and D&L Lumber, Eastlake, Co., died Oct. 7. She and her husband, Larry, started Douglas Lumber in the early 1980s, selling it to John Jones in 2007. Cheryll Ann Jones, 67, manager of Jones Lumber, Delta, Co., died Aug. 18 in Olathe, Co.

Sandra Dora “Sandy” Doucette, 56, an estimator at Kingston Lumber Supply, Kingston, Wa., died Nov. 6 in Tacoma, Wa. Before joining Kingston, she worked for Parker Lumber.

December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 


NEW Products

Illuminating Railing

Ambience Rail from Phoenix Manufacturing combines lights and PVC railing in one product. Lengths of 2’ to 10’ are available, with either LED or low-voltage lights. Each kit includes a top rail, lighting track, bottom rail, balusters, brackets, stainless-steel screws, caps, and a splicer to connect the sections. Transformers are sold separately, as are colored, snap-in lenses.

 PVCRAILS.COM (732) 380-1666

Keeps Gutters Clean

E-Z Gutter Control is a perforated aluminum guard that keeps out debris without disturbing roof shingles. Produced by Midwest Enterprises, the product rests on hidden hangers at the back and fastens to the front with stainless-steel screws.

 E-ZGUTTER.COM (800) 748-7736

New Wood Screws

Two new fasteners from Simpson Strong-Tie provide alternatives to through bolting and traditional lag screws. The SDWS ledger screw is designed for structural wood-to-wood applications, including securing deck ledgers. It also provides a high-strength alternative to traditional lag bolts. The hex-head SDWH screw is designed for structural and general purpose fastening applications. A corrosion-resistant coating makes it suitable for both interior and exterior applications, including with treated wood.

 STRONGTIE.COM (800) 999-5099


 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

Power Lifts

Four models of Nissan’s QX 80-volt electric lifts can handle capacities ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 lbs. Standard safety features include programmable PIN access and an automatic mast-lock system. An onboard diagnostic system provides instant performance information, to reduce troubleshooting.

 NISSANFORKLIFT.COM (815) 568-0061

Vest of All Trades

Paktek’s ToolVest eliminates the need for bulky tool belts. The vest frame is made from breathable mesh, with tool panels of durable Cordura. Twenty easy-to-reach pockets keep tools close at hand, while four quickrelease buckles adjust for a perfect fit. The entire garment zips on and off like a jacket.

 TOOLPAK.COM (253) 584-4914

Wall Tools for Pros

Pro Stainless tools from Hyde have rust-resistant blades, finger stops, and comfort handles. New to the line is a 1” chisel scraper with a bevel edge for getting under paint coatings in tight spaces, a 4” stiff scraper for wallpaper, and 8” and 10” flexible joint knifes for taping drywall.

 HYDETOOLS.COM (800) 872-4933

December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 


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Alternative Decking Fasteners

Tiger Deck’s hidden deck fasteners now come for use with grooved composite and plastic decking. The universal design can be used with most grooved deck boards, for faster installation, consistent space, and freedom from unsightly screws.

 TIGERDECK.COM (503) 625-1747

Manke Lumber Company is familyowned and has been serving the needs of the lumber industry since 1953. We take pride in milling and stocking quality lumber in a full range of commodity sizes and larger dimension timbers. We also answer your market needs for a wide variety of treated lumber products. Our forest products are milled from carefully harvested Northwest trees ready for distribution to you—on time and at the right price. Located in the Port of Tacoma, we have ready access to deep water shipping, rail heads or trucking terminals for longer haul loads. Manke operates its own fleet of trucks and is at your service for straight or mixed loads by truck, rail or sea. We manufacture primarily Douglas fir and western hemlock, including • 2x4 thru 2x12, Lengths 8-20’ • 3x4 thru 3x12, Lengths 8-26’ • 4x4 and wider, Lengths 8-26’ • 6x6 and wider, Lengths 8-26’ • 8x8 and wider, Lengths 8-26’ • Timber sizes up to 12x12

Manke Lumber Company Call 1-800-426-8488 1717 Marine View Dr., Tacoma, WA 98422

Phone 253- 572-6252

Fax 253-383-2489


 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

Bamboo Flooring, In a Snap

Cali Bamboo’s engineered wood flooring snaps together without glue or nails. Able to withstand nearly 5,300 lbs., the bamboo panels come in three colors (natural, marbled, java).

 CALIBAMBOO.COM (888) 788-2254

Wood-like Tiles

Mountain Timber glazed porcelain tiles from Mediterranea use Dynamic HD imaging to replicate the look and appeal of fossilized wood. Three colors come in 6’x24” and 12’x24” sizes, with 2”x2” mesh-backed mosaics.

 MEDITERRANEA-USA.COM (305) 718-5091


Lumber Association of California & Nevada welcomed Richard McArthur, Ojai Lumber, Ojai, Ca., as its new president during its recent convention in Rancho Mirage, Ca. Other new officers are 1st v.p. Augie Venezia, Fairfax Lumber & Hardware, Fairfax, Ca., and 2nd v.p., Mark Ganahl, Ganahl Lumber, Corona, Ca. Treasurer Bobby Senften and past president J.D. Saunders, Economy Lumber, Campbell, Ca., retained their positions. New directors include Jeff Pardini, Hills Flat Lumber, Grass Valley, Ca.; Jim Turrentine, Cargotec USA, Fontana, Ca.; Chris Thoman, Simpson Strong-Tie, Pleasanton, Ca.; Victor Fresca, ProBuild, San Diego, Ca., and Sean Fogarty, Osborne Lumber, Newark, Ca. Bob Palacioz, Thunderbolt Wood Treating, Riverbank, Ca., was named LACN Associate of the Year and will serve as LACN associates council chair for 2012. The association’s 2011 President’s Award was presented to Sierra Pacific Industries, Anderson, Ca., while the Lifetime Achievement Award went to John A. Saunders, Economy Lumber.

Western Building Material Association will overlap its yearly convention and Young Westerners Club conference this winter at the Tulalip Resort, Tulalip, Wa. The 108th annual convention takes place Feb. 8-10, the 40th Young Westerners conference Feb. 9-11.

Mountain States Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association has slated its annual expo for March 8-9 at the Denver Merchandise Mart, Denver, Co. Los Angeles Hardwood Lumberman’s Club will start the year with a Jan. 12 meeting at Heroes Bar & Grill, Fullerton, Ca. Next up is the annual pool tournament, Feb. 9 at Danny K’s, Orange, Ca. March 8 will be golf at El Prado Golf Courses, Chino Hills, Ca.

National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association elected Cally Coleman Fromme, Zarsky Lumber, Woodsboro, Tx., as its new chair—the first woman to lead the association in its 94-year history. Joining her on the executive

mittee are chair-elect Chuck Bankston, Bankston Lumber, Barnesville, Ga.; 1st vice chair Chris Yenrick, SmithPhillips Building Supply, WinstonSalem, N.C.; 2nd vice chair J.D. Saunders, Economy Lumber, Campbell, Ca.; treasurer Linda Nussbaum, Kleet Lumber, Huntington, N.Y.; manufacturers & services council chair Bob Harden, Dow, Jenkintown, Pa.; federated association executives chair Jim Moody, Construction Suppliers Association, Tyrone, Ga., and immediate past chair Joe Collings, Ferguson Lumber, Rockville, In.

APA-The Engineered Wood Association welcomed new officers during its recent annual meeting in New Orleans, La. Mary Jo Nyblad, Boise Cascade, is now chairman, succeeding Jeff Wagner, LP, who continues to serve as a trustee. New vice chair is Tom Temple, Potlatch; marketing advisory committee chair Mike St. John, Pacific Woodtech; I-joist/SCL management committee chair Jim Enright, Murphy Engineered Wood Products, and trustees Jim Lake, Ainsworth, and Mike Dawson, Norbord. Outgoing trustees are Rick Huff, Ainsworth, and Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord.

Happy Holidays and Thank You.

With All Our Best Wishes for 2012. building


Tel. (800) 348-1400 • (916) 624-9293



December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 


CLASSIFIED Marketplace Rates: $1.20 per word (25 word min.). Phone number counts as 1 word, address as 6. Centered copy/headline, $9 per line. Border, $9. Private box, $15. Column inch rate: $55 if advertiser sets the type, $65 if we set type.

Send ad to Fax 949-852-0231 or dkoenig@ For more info, call (949) 852-1990. Deadline: 18th of previous month. Make checks payable to Cutler Publishing, 4500 Campus Dr., #480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660.



OFFICE & WAREHOUSE FOR LEASE: Northern California Sacramento region. Approximately 2,000-sq. ft. office attached to 30,000-sq. ft. warehouse. Warehouse clear span height 20 ft. Office & restrooms ADA accessible. Warehouse includes three-man doors with large 20-ft. roll-up door. 220V power available. Fire sprinkler system throughout. Truck shop facilities provided, including minor repair work, oil changes, steam cleaning, etc., at favorable rates. Ample truck parking space in back of facility. Office & 30,000-sq. ft. front warehouse available at .29¢ per sq. ft. If interested, please call Tom Williams, (530) 742-2168, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RAIL-SERVED Building Materials Distribution & Lumber Milling Facility for Lease: Seven (7) acre rail served building materials distribution and milling facility available in Temple City, Ca. (Los Angeles). This facility is ideal for wholesale building materials distribution or large contractor retail services. Complete with office building, fully operational custom milling equipment, and five (5) carload capacity rail spur served by the Union Pacific. This fully paved facility is turn-key and ready to go. Please contact Jerry Higman at (714) 848-8222 or

Order Blank

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING – Fax to 949-852-0231 or email to –

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Name ______________________ Phone (

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COPY ________________________________________________




IDAHO TIMBER is seeking a highly motivated, energetic salesperson with experience and knowledge in the areas of dimensional lumber and studs, along with cedar boards. Candidate will be responsible for product marketing, sales, new product development, as well as growing and maintaining relationships with regional and national accounts. Position requires self-motivation, ability to communicate well, creativity, teamwork, and knowledge of the lumber products industry. Position is in Boise, Idaho, and offers competitive benefits including salary (DOE), bonus program, 401(k), profit sharing, health and dental insurance, and opportunity for growth with an innovative and aggressive industry leader. For consideration, please send resume and cover letter to Idaho Timber, Attn.: Julie Clements, P.O. Box 67, Boise, Id. 83707.

Big Creek Lumber Company, a leading supplier of lumber and building materials in central California, seeks an executive level Division Manager for our retail operations. Big Creek operates five retail lumberyards with locations in central California (Atwater, Half Moon Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville). Combined retail gross sales are in the range of $30-50 million annually. Retail Division Manager is responsible for all aspects of retail division performance to ensure the long-term financial health of the company. Works in collaboration with owners, senior managers, and retail branch managers to develop short- and long-range plans for the retail division, achieve company goals and promote a culture of company-wide cooperation. Maintains high-quality, accurate, timely, cost effective services from all retail operations. Promotes retail operations in a manner consistent with Big Creek’s values. Seeks innovative approaches and viable opportunities for business growth. Develops leadership to meet retail division needs. To learn more about Big Creek, see a complete job description, and submit your resume, go to





Roofing Shingles • Cement • Sheetrock & Plywood Pallet Bags Bags 4 x 4 x 4' • 4 x 4 x 8' • 4 x 4 x 12'


Custom Printed Covers, Quoted


FAX 718-793-4316 •





 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

Rolls 10 x 300' L.I.INDUSTRIES CALL 800-526-6465


Listings are often submitted months in advance. Always verify dates and locations with sponsor before making plans to attend.

Los Angeles Hardwood Lumberman’s Club – Dec. 17, Christmas party, Mr. Stox, Anaheim, Ca.; (626) 445-8556;

American Lumber Standard Committee – Jan. 5, board of review meeting, Washington, D.C.; Colorado Springs Home Building & Remodeling Show – Jan. 68, Norris-Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs, Co.; (800) 374-6463;

Portland Build, Remodel & Landscape Show – Jan. 6-8, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Or.; (800) 374-6463; Remodeling & Decorating Show – Jan. 6-8, South Town Expo Center, Sandy, Ut.; (818) 571-9012;

Los Angeles Hardwood Lumberman’s Club – Jan. 12, monthly meeting, Heroes Bar & Grill, Fullerton, Ca.; (626) 445-8556;

Western Pallet Association – Jan. 14-17, annual meeting, Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, Ca.; (360) 335-0208;

National Retail Federation – Jan. 15-18, expo, Javits Convention Center, New York, N.Y.; (800) 673-4692;

Black Bart Hoo-Hoo Club – Jan. 18, industry night, Broiler Steak House, Redwood Valley, Ca.; (800) 337-3343, ext. 102; www.

Truck Loggers Association – Jan. 18-20, convention & show, Victoria Conference Center & Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria, B.C.; (604) 684-4291;

Humboldt Hoo-Hoo Club – Jan. 19, crab feed, Elks Lodge, Eureka, Ca.; (707) 601-9128.

Surfaces – Jan. 24-26, annual floor covering show, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nv.; (866) 860-1975;

Budma 2012 – Jan. 24-27, international construction fair, Poznan Fairgrounds, Poznan, Poland; (317) 293-0406;

American Fence Association – Jan. 25-27, FenceTech/DeckTech, Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Fl.; (800) 8224342;

Do it Best Corp. – Jan. 25-27, winter conference, Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Lake Buena Vista, Fl.; (260) 748-5300; Portland Renovation & Remodeling Show – Jan. 27-29, Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Or.; (800) 374-6463;

Guardian Building Products – Jan. 29-31, show, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nv.; (800) 569-4262;

Orgill Inc. – Feb. 2-4, market, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fl.; (800) 347-2860; Willamette Valley Hoo-Hoo Club – Feb. 3, crab feed, Shadow Hills Country Club, Junction City, Or.; (541) 688-6675.

Material Handling Industry of America – February 6-9, annual expo, Atlanta, Ga.; (704) 676-1190;

Western Building Material Association – Feb. 8-10, annual convention; Feb. 9-11, Young Westerners conference, Tulalip Resort, Tulalip, Wa.; (360) 943-3054; International Builders Show – Feb. 8-11, sponsored by National Association of Home Builders, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fl.; (800) 368-5242;

Cal Coast Wholesale Lumber, Inc. Pressure Treated Forest Products Alkaline Copper Quat (ACQ) Custom Treating Selected Inventory Available

P.O. Box 673 • 3150 Taylor Drive • Ukiah, Ca. 95482 Phone 707-468-0141 • Fax 707-468-0660 Gene Pietila

Sales for Coast Wood Preserving


1 1/2” to 12” Diameter in Stock.


December 2011  The Merchant Magazine 


IDEA File Lumber Dealer’s Hair-Raising Holiday Promotion

In preparation

for the holidays, many dealers deck their halls with festive decorations and put out holiday trees. But that wasn’t enough for Maze Lumber, Peru, Il., where employees decided that emulating Santa’s facial hair would be good for business—and raise money for a local toy drive. It all started on Nov. 1, when about 15 Maze Lumber employees shaved for the last time. Starting with a clean shave was harder for those who’d had beards or mustaches—or both—for some time. “The hard part was convincing some people to shave everything,” said Dave Munson, who handles inside sales at Maze Lumber. “Some guys complained about the itchiness, but we’re all going to have a good time with it.” Until Dec. 15, the growing facial hair will be photographed once a week and the images will be displayed in the store. For a single dollar, customers can vote for their favorites—the fullest or least full, the most unruly or the best kept—and the money raised will go to the Marine Corps League’s Christmas for Kids project. “It’s nicer to keep things local,” said Munson, who added that this is the first fund-raising effort in the store’s 163-year history.

ADVERTISERS Index For more information on advertisers, call them directly or visit their websites [in brackets].

Advantage Trim & Lumber []..........19 AERT []..................................................Calendar 14

Arch Wood Protection []..3, Calendar 4

Cal Coast Wholesale Lumber ........................................................29

California Timberline [] ............................4 C&E Lumber [] ......................................29

Capital []..................................................9

Capitol Plywood [] ................................7 Fontana Wholesale Lumber [].....30 Great Southern Wood Preserving [].......Calendar 12

Huff Lumber ....................................................................................23

Ipe Clip Co., The []...................................Cover III

Kelleher Corp. [] ......................................Cover I Keller Lumber .................................................................................27

LP Building Products []........................Calendar 18

Manke Lumber []....................................26

Matthews Marking Products [].....Calendar 6

Maze Nails []....................................Calendar 10 Norman Distribution [] ..............................19

North American Wholesale Lumber Assn. []..Calendar 22

Nyloboard [] ......................................Calendar 8

Parr Lumber [] ..................................18 Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance [] .....25

Plycem []........................................Calendar 26

Redwood Empire []....................Calendar 16

Reel Lumber Service [] ..............................21

Regal Custom Millwork [] ..........................21 Rosboro [] ........................................................20

Roseburg Forest Products [] ................................5

Simpson Strong-Tie [] ........................Cover IV

Sunbelt [] ....................................Calendar 20

Swanson Group Sales [].......Cover II Taiga Building Products [].....................27

Thunderbolt Wood Treating [] ....22

Universal Forest Products [] .................................13 Wynndel Lumber []................Calendar 26 Yakama Forest Products []..................22


 The Merchant Magazine  December 2011

Feature your Business Card in The Merchant Say Happy New Year and help find cures to save children’s lives Use this low-cost opportunity to send New Yearʼs wishes to customers, friends and suppliers—and help St. Jude Childrenʼs Research Hospital, which relentlessly pursues cures for kids with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Your business card—reprinted in color and reduced slightly—will appear in a special section in our January issue. The cost for each ad is just $100, $25 of which is tax deductible and will be matched by us—for a total donation of $50 to St. Jude. Discoveries made at St. Jude have changed how the world treats stricken children. Itʼs a place where doctors send their sickest patients and toughest cases. A place where cutting-edge research and discoveries happen every day. All patients accepted for treatment are treated without regard to the familyʼs ability to pay.

Doing Your Part Is Easy:

Just send your business card(s) by Dec. 23, along with a check for $100 per card (or $200 per card to appear in both The Merchant Magazine and its eastern counterpart, Building Products Digest) to Cutler Publishing, 4500 Campus Dr., Suite 480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660.


Call Alan at (949) 852-1990

The Merchant Magazine - December 2011  

December 2011 issue of The Merchant, a 90-year-old trade monthly serving lumber and building material dealers and distributors in 13 western...

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