BLD Connection Magazine - April/May 2024

Page 8

APRIL/MAY 2024 PLUS 2024 BizCon Recap Avoiding Inappropriate Interview Questions Reduce Sales vs. Operations Wars All Decked Out
Photo
courtesy of Trex

MAGAZINE STAFF

Publisher Cody Nuernberg cody@BLDConnection.org

Editor Tim Dressen tim@BLDConnection.org

Advertising Sales

Erica Nelson erica.nelson@ewald.com (763) 497-1778

ASSOCIATION STAFF

President Cody Nuernberg cody@BLDConnection.org

Event and Communications Specialist

Erica Bernards erica@BLDConnection.org

Regional Field Manager (Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin)

Tony Cook tony@BLDConnection.org

Director of Events Jodie Fleck, CMP jodie@BLDConnection.org

Director of Communications

Melanie Hultman melanie@BLDConnection.org

Director of Professional Development

Connie Johnson connie@BLDConnection.org

Bookkeeper/Executive Assistant Diane Sass diane@BLDConnection.org

Regional Field Manager (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska)

Heather Summy heather@BLDConnection.org

BLD Connection Magazine is published bimonthly by BLD Connection, 701 Decatur Avenue North, Suite 105, Golden Valley, Minnesota 55427, (763) 544-6822. It is the official publication of the BLD Connection. Copyright ©2023 by BLD Connection. Materials may not be reproduced without written permission. Annual subscription fee is $30.

POSTMASTER

Send address changes to:

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701 Decatur Avenue North, Suite 105 Golden Valley, MN 55427

BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024 1
EDITORIAL 4 ASSOCIATION CONNECTION 6 AVOIDING INAPPROPRIATE INTERVIEW 9 QUESTIONS ALL DECKED OUT 10 REDUCE SALES VS. OPERATIONS WARS 14 PRIORITIZING ERGONOMICS IN THE 16 LBM INDUSTRY MEMBER CONNECTION 18 ADVERTISERS 20 [ CONTENTS] 6 10 18 2 BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024

EDITORIAL]

Continued Connections

Happy Spring! Then again, did we really even have a winter? Whatever your weather pattern has looked like or how El Nino has impacted you, we hope that your winter months were prosperous and have prepared you for the 2024 building season.

Our “winter months” were extremely prosperous as we unveiled our new Connection Conferences and BizCon events. As with everything happening at BLD Connection, these annual events were retooled to provide our dealer and supplier members alike with even more opportunities to learn and connect with each other. Thank you to everyone who attended one of our conferences or BizCons and for trusting your association to help bring you closer to one another and the industry. I want to thank our amazing Associate Members – your vendors – for supporting our annual events and continuing to support the association and the industry.

Although the conferences and BizCons are now behind us, we are ramping up for another busy spring and summer packed with events and travel. Whether you joined us in Omaha, Bloomington, Altoona or Baraboo, we look forward to seeing all of our outstanding members and friends at the Swing into Spring (May 1-2), the Nebraska Golf Outing (June 4) and the Iowa Golf Outing (June 6). These annual outings present a fantastic opportunity for our members to step away from the day-to-day grind and enjoy a day or two with colleagues, contractors, friends and family. I know it feels as though we have barely had a minute to breathe – believe me, we feel the same way –but we hope you will take these opportunities to join us, take a load off and connect with BLD Connection and your fellow members if even for a few hours.

Speaking of connecting, it’s time to hit the road.

In the coming weeks and throughout the summer months, the BLD Connection Field Team will be “spinning the tires” to visit as many members as possible and continue sharing the association’s exciting news, information and offerings. We will share updated 2024/25 educational calendars, event dates and new program and service information during these visits (and via our emails and website) while also listening to you. Please take a few minutes when a BLD Connection Field Team member stops by to chat with us about the association and your business. The more we know and learn from you, the more we can provide to ensure your membership investment continues to benefit your business.

On behalf of our boards, committees and the BLD Connection team, thank you for your continued support, engagement and assistance in building a stronger community and industry.

BLD CONNECTION BOARD

Chairman

Brian Wendt

Anita Supply Center, Anita Iowa

1st Vice Chairman

Scott Enter

wRight Lumber & Millwork, Buffalo, Minnesota

2nd Vice Chairman

Adam Hendrix

Chic Lumber Co., St. Peters, Missouri

Treasurer

Jennifer Leachman

Leachman Lumber Company, Des Moines, Iowa

Past Chairman

Lynn Trask

Spahn & Rose Lumber/Moeller & Walter, Reinbeck Iowa

President/Secretary

Cody Nuernberg Minneapolis, Minnesota

DIRECTORS

Iowa Director

Brent Schneider

Spahn & Rose Lumber Co., Dubuque, Iowa

Minnesota Directors

Pat Hegseth

Scherer Bros Lumber Company, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Brian Klimek

Hilltop Lumber Co., Alexandria, Minnesota

MLA Directors

Brett Thorne

Thorne Lumber Co., Chillicothe, Missouri

Hatch McCray

McCray Lumber & Millwork, Kansas City, Kansas

Nebraska Director

Mark Russell

Millard Lumber Inc., Waverly, Nebraska

North Dakota Director

Samantha Nasset

Crane Johnson Lumber, Fargo, North Dakota

South Dakota Director

Jason Meester

Watertown Cashway Lumber Company, Watertown, South Dakota

Wisconsin Director

Nate Ehlen

Sav-Rite Building Center, Neillsville, Wisconsin

ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS

Nate Hanson, Simpson Strong-Tie Chris Harding, Boise Cascade

NLBMDA REPRESENTATIVE

Brett Hanson, Tri-State Building Center, Sisseton, South Dakota

BLD CONNECTION INC. OFFICERS

President: Bill Brotherton, Wall Lake Lumber Company, Wall Lake, Iowa

Vice President: Mike Bertrand, Lloyd Lumber Company, Mankato, Minnesota

Treasurer: Lynn Trask, Spahn & Rose Lumber, Moeller & Walter, Reinbeck, Iowa

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4 BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024

ASSOCIATION CONNECTION

BLD Connection BizCon North & South Recap

The BLD Connection BizCons, held in February, were a resounding success, drawing together LBM professionals, enthusiasts and industry leaders from throughout the Midwest. Both events showcased new products, groundbreaking ideas, and thought-provoking discussions aimed at shaping the future success of lumber dealers and their businesses throughout the region.

Keynote Speakers

The events kicked off and closed with inspiring keynote speeches from industry visionaries and motivators. Among them were:

• Opening Session at North: Joe Schmit, award winning broadcaster and Emmy-winner, discussed how to become more aware and intentional with the impact we all

have on each other to better your company culture and your own personal growth.

• Closing Session at North: Matt Saunders from John Burns Research & Consulting discussed the shortand long-term outlook for the new construction and remodeling markets.

• Opening Session at South: Kendall Gammon, a 15-year NFL veteran, led a discussion on fostering unity and ratifying internal cultures within organizations, especially in times marked by change and uncertainty.

• Closing Session at South: Grant Farnsworth, president of The Farnsworth Group, closed out the event with a dialogue about supply and demand fundamentals for everyone in the LBM industry,

BizCons By the Numbers

Bloomington, Minnesota Feb. 6-7, 2024

• 70 Exhibiting Companies and 77 booths

• 50 Lumber Yard Companies

• 194 Booth Representatives

• 128 Lumber Yard Individuals & Guests

• 14 Staff & Speakers

• 336 Total attendees

Altoona, Iowa Feb. 21-22, 2024

• 57 Exhibiting Companies and 62 booths

• 45 Lumber Yard Companies

• 136 Booth Representatives

• 134 Lumber Yard Individuals & Guests

• 3 School instructors (+29 students)

• 11 Staff & Speakers

• 284 Total attendees (+29 students)

]
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Brian Wendt, BLD Connection chairman of the board, spoke at the BizCon North opening luncheon. Joe Schmit provided the opening session keynote at BizCon North. Trent Peabody & Dena Cordova-Jack at BizCon North.
6 BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024

including customer attitudes and what suppliers must deliver to “win.”

Educational Seminars

• Sales Session at North & South: Mike McDole captivated the audience at both events as he dove deep into finding, researching and successfully communicating with prospects to increase sales in their business.

• Solutions Room at North & South: A new concept at both events, this seminar provided attendees with the opportunity to rotate between different “expert” tables on a variety of topics, including marketing, safety, leadership and culture,

financials, succession planning and lean operations, to better run their businesses.

Exhibits

Attendees had the opportunity to experience firsthand the latest building material products and advancements through interactive exhibits and demonstrations in the exhibit hall.

Networking Opportunities

The BizCons provided ample networking opportunities for attendees to connect with like-minded individuals, forge new partnerships and exchange ideas. From coffee breaks

to building charity kits to evening receptions, the event buzzed with energy as participants engaged in lively discussions and shared their passion for the LBM industry.

Join Us Next Year

As the BizCons drew to a close, participants left inspired and invigorated, armed with new insights, connections, inspiration and ideas to drive their businesses and careers forward. Plans are currently underway for the 2025 and 2026 BizCons. Watch for date and location announcements soon.

Women in the Industry Group at BizCon North. BLD Connction Field Managers Tony Cook and Heather Summy at BizCon South. Grant Farnsworth provided BizCon South closing keynote. Kim and Brian Wendt, Sen. Tom Shipley, Mary and Brian Carlson. BizCon South show floor was abuzz with activity.
BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024 7
Mary Ann Haver won the ILUMPAC drawing prize at BizCon South.

BLD Connection Events

APRIL

April 9

The #1 Thing You Can Do to Get More Qualified Job Applicants

Webinar

April 15-17

Pinnacle Roundtable

Bloomington, Minnesota

April 16

LBM Inventory Management Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

April 17

Risk Management for LBM Dealers Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

April 21-22

MLA Roundtable Group Spring Meeting

Branson, Missouri

April 23-25

Estimating 1-2-3

Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

MAY

May 1-2

Swing into Spring

Osage Beach, Missouri

JUNE

June 4

Nebraska Golf Outing

Papillion, Nebraska

June 6

Iowa Golf Outing Grimes, Iowa

8 BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024

Avoiding Inappropriate Interview Questions

In my last column, which appeared in BLD Connection’s Material Matters e-newsletter, I discussed three types of interview questions that can help you hire the best candidate for the job. But there are also questions you should avoid, including some that could get you into hot water, some that are simply unhelpful and some that could lead you to hire someone who isn’t the right fit.

Here are the types of questions you should never ask job candidates.

Illegal Questions

As the interviewer, you never want to offend your applicants (or bring on a lawsuit) by asking illegal interview questions. These include questions about an applicant’s personal life, such as their race, religion, age, marital status, disabilities, etc. You don’t want to pry too much into an applicant’s life outside of work. There are plenty of ways to get the information that you need.

It is important to ask questions that are related to whether or not an applicant can perform specific tasks related to the job. For example, instead of asking, “Do you have a car?” try asking, “This job may require you to come in early and stay late. Are you able to meet the necessary time commitments?”

Leading Questions

If you really want to get to the cream of the crop, give your candidates a challenge. Leading questions, such as, “Our sales pitches usually require a visual element. Would you add a visual element to a sales pitch?” should be avoided as much as possible.

Part of your job as an interviewer is ensuring the applicants really have the

skills and experience you need. So, don’t give them the answer and be surprised when they show up at work and aren’t nearly as effective as you expected. Instead, try asking questions about how they’d handle common situations or give them a simulation to work through.

Yes-or-No Questions

Yes-or-no questions offer very little insight into your applicant’s experience and skill set. Instead, ask open-ended questions that allow the applicant to select his or her best qualities or professional experiences that relate to the job at hand. Qualified job applicants should be able to think on their feet and come up with complex answers by listing examples, highlighting several key points and addressing the entire question efficiently and thoroughly.

Inappropriate Questions

I had a hiring manager who would randomly ask candidates to solve long-division equations during interviews. It invariably threw the candidate off and left a weird taste in their mouth about him and the company. I tried to talk him out of doing it, but he really loved it and thought it showed him how good people were at math.

True, math skills were important in that particular job, but they could have been verified more accurately with a pre-hire project simulation that showed how the candidate used math in a real-world scenario likely to be faced in that role. Likewise, don’t ask about management experience if the role doesn’t have any direct reports, and don’t ask about prospecting

experience if you are hiring an inbound salesperson. Keep questions focused on the skills and experiences needed to do this job well.

Finally, always keep a professional demeanor during the interview process, stay focused on the job and its requirements, and remember that both the interviewer and the applicant use interviews to determine if it’s a good fit.

Applicants won’t pursue a job opportunity if the interview is painful or unpleasant, and you don’t want to lose out on a great candidate due to mistakes made during the interview process. Do most of the work ahead of time and only interview people who are a strong fit in the first place.

Rikka Brandon is a leading recruiting and hiring expert in the LBM industry. She’s the founder of Building Gurus, a boutique training, consulting and executive search firm for building products manufacturers and distributors. She’s also the creator of Hire Power, an on-demand training for recruiting and hiring in the building products industry. If you’re interested in working with Rikka, schedule a call at BuildingGurus.com/Discovery.

Read Rikka’s previous article in this series in the March 2024 edition of BLD Connection’s Material Matters e-newsletter.

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CONNECTION
BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024 9
Decked
Outdoor Living
All
Out What’s New for
Season?
Trex 10 BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024
Photo
courtesy of

Days are getting longer, temperatures are rising and peak outdoor living season is rapidly approaching. Homeowners who hope to get the most out of the warm weather months may be considering adding or updating their decks or patios. Manufacturers and distributors of outdoor living products have been introducing new offerings to keep up with trends. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several of the latest products available to building material dealers to help them meet customer needs this spring and summer.

MoistureShield InstaDeck

MoistureShield recently introduced the InstaDeck, an outdoor flooring system comprised of heavy-duty plastic tiles that easily snap together to create a foundation for a freestanding, ground-level deck. InstaDeck tiles can be assembled using minimal tools on any level flat surface, including grass, concrete, existing patio surfaces and gravel. The product uses an integrated fastening system that allows compatible MoistureShield composite decking to be secured into place without the use of screws. Learn more at moistureshield.com

Envision Composite Decking

Envision Outdoor Living Products is combining comfort and beauty with three composite decking colors featuring its new Cool Tread Technology. Part of the Distinction collection of capped composite decking, the three new colors with Cool Tread Technology boast a surface that’s up to 25% cooler with 25% better traction and 61% less moisture

absorption than average leading competitors.

Developed in response to consumer demand and trends toward warmer greys and browns, the three new coastalinspired colors include: Nantucket Shore, with warm grey hues reminiscent of a light mist on the shorefront; Hampton Dunes, a beautiful blend of sandy tones found on a morning beach stroll; and Seaside Pier, a greige color that mimics the shades found in a perfectly weathered boardwalk. Like other decking options in the Distinction collection, the three new colors feature bold highlights and enticing richness designed to emulate the textures and natural color variations of exotic woods. Learn more at envisionoutdoorliving.com

Trex X-Series Railings

Among the most noteworthy introductions from Trex for 2024 is the addition of the new X-Series Cable Rail and X-Series Frameless Glass Rail to the

Trex Signature railing lineup. Delivering a modern, streamlined profile, this new series is anchored by the versatile X-Series Post, which can be configured to accommodate cable or glass infill.

Sold in easy-to-order kits and using the versatile X-Series Post, Trex Signature X-Series Cable Rail features spring-loaded cables for optimal tension management. Trex Signature X-Series Frameless Glass Rail is sold in a one-size-fits-all infill kit.

Like all Trex Signature railing options, the new X-Series offerings are crafted with premium-grade aluminum to deliver effortless style and exceptional strength. A durable powder-coated surface allows the railing to retain its color and resist corrosion. Learn more at trex.com.

Trex Solar Post Cap

A new addition to the Trex Outdoor Lighting line-up for 2024 is the Solar Post Cap. This energy-efficient component harnesses the power of the sun to deliver all the ambiance customers want without any electrical wiring. Compatible with Trex 4x4 composite post sleeves, the Trex Solar Post Cap is extremely easy to install and automatically lights up when the sun goes down – no timer needed.

Illumination can last as long as 19 hours with ample lighting conditions delivering a longer run-time than most solar caps on the market. Backed by an industry-leading warranty, these caps are available in Trex’s three most

BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024 11

popular railing colors – Vintage Lantern, Charcoal Black and Classic White, making them an easy upgrade to a deck that already has composite posts and the perfect finishing touch to any new deck build. Learn more at trex. com.

TimberTech Aluminum Framing

Designed as a modern, betterperforming alternative to traditional wood framing for decks, TimberTech’s

Aluminum Framing offers notable benefits to both deck builders and homeowners. Homeowners get a solid deck substructure that will not split, rot or decay, meaning a long life and 25-year limited product warranty. Builders are provided a full solution with engineered components designed to work together and install easily. Compatible with all TimberTech Decking and Railing systems, TimberTech’s Aluminum Framing is made in part from recycled aluminum and can be reused or recycled at end of life. And, because it’s made of aluminum, it’s a better choice for fire-prone regions than wood framing. Learn more at timbertech.com.

TimberTech Lounge Rocker

Among the most noteworthy TimberTech also recently added a new Lounge Rocker to the Invite Collection of outdoor furniture. The Lounge Rocker is a stylish evolution of the Adirondack Chair, perfected in a rocking chair format and made with a minimum of 25% post-consumer recycled material. Like all TimberTech products, the focus is on beauty, longevity and sustainability. With TimberTech’s Invite Collection, homeowners and consumers can expect comfort, no special maintenance, and years of enjoyment. Learn more at timbertech. com.

12 BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024

Deckorators Privacy Screens

Homeowners looking to elevate their outdoor space, seamlessly adding definition and privacy while offering creative freedom to mix and match screens, slats and decking components for a truly unique backyard style, need only look to the new Privacy Screen System from Deckorators.

The Privacy Screen System allows homeowners to introduce both design elements and seclusion to outdoor living spaces by mixing and matching screens, slats and decking. The system is easy to install and versatile, making it a standout product in the industry. Learn more at deckorators.com

Struxure Cabana X MOD

Struxure’s Cabana X is the ultimatetech, ultra-versatile cabana. The 10’ x 10’ footprint of Cabana X was designed to go wherever needed and provide protection from the elements via remotely controlled louvers and accessories that deliver comfort and shelter.

Now, with the innovation of the Cabana X MOD extensions, you can expand a custom-covered space in any direction with the same Cabana X ease and quality. Cabana X MOD offers

adaptive configurations, customizable amenities and flexible layouts, as well as simple and straightforward assembly that’s permit-free in most locations. Learn more at struxure.com.

BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024 13

Reduce Sales vs. Operations Wars

Early in my career at the Fortune 500 company where I traded commodity lumber, the logistics manager gave me a nickname: Sales Problem No. 1.

I earned that title. I was ambitious, sales-driven and always pushed the envelope – all factors that threatened accomplishing on-time, in-full deliveries.

But along with giving me a nickname, the company’s leaders decided to give me education on operations and logistics. I was taken off the trading floor and spent a week in the logistics office. I learned the difficulties of dealing with railroad deliveries, demurrage, LTLs, creating loads for trucks with commodity lumber and engineered wood, transportation restrictions, staging, and inventory

control and management. I learned about embracing a “same-team” approach to business.

When I returned to the trading floor the next week, I was crystal clear on the communication dynamics, logistical challenges, and associated costs, and I understood the business in its entirety, not just my one small corner of the trading floor. The practices that inspired the nickname faded away.

Creating your company culture requires intentional leadership. You have likely witnessed these clashes between these facets of your operation, but what can be done to alleviate the issue? Here’s how to win the sales vs. operations battle.

Implement Mutual Goals, Incentives and KPI Measurements

Ensure that the leadership of both departments understands the overall company goals and that their compensation is based on those goals specifically. The end goals for the company are the end goals of the departments.

Clarify Your Role and the Responsibilities of the Sales and Operations Leaders

Leadership should fully understand the operations and goals of sales and operations. They are responsible for educating, training and developing

14 BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024

their teams to have a working knowledge of all facets of the business, not just the one in which they exist. All leadership should be present and participate in strategy meetings and budget planning.

Both Teams Should Spend Time with Customers

Successful companies understand salespeople do not own customer relationships. The most important customer/company relationships come from your clients knowing the team at all levels of the organization, from truck drivers to leadership. Create opportunities for your team to contact your customers and for your customers to understand your overall process. When developing client relationships, make it a point to include both leadership and support staff.

These steps can help manage culture conflict between any facets of your business and are worth investing time to create healthy communication and a same-team approach within your culture.

Leadership and communication are the keys to resolving the issue and ensuring that the heart of your company’s culture promotes continuous improvement to a same-team approach. Looking back at the Sales Problem No. 1 scenario, cultural improvement came when leadership observed the frequent exchanges between sales and operations, and acted quickly to reduce that friction.

Fast forward to my experiences in other companies. I have found sales vs. operations clashes to be common. When I saw problems in my newer jobs, I brought the perspective that I had learned early on. Without fail, teamwork improved exponentially.

This young trader learned her lesson well in the importance of a non-siloed approach to business, and I have since deployed that approach with success in my career. Because the time was invested in me to teach me the importance of understanding and executing a 360-degree approach to business. I passed down that knowledge to others that I was responsible for training and developing, creating a positive ripple effect. Not only did the company culture benefit, but the bottom line did as well, not to mention less frustration for the customers, as they were now given clear expectations.

I never completely escaped the

nickname of “Sales Problem No. 1” during my time at that company, but eventually, it became a term of endearment and camaraderie. I will take that any day.

Dena Cordova-Jack is a 30+ year veteran of the LBM industry. She has held various positions in her career, from trading commodities, purchasing and sales management, regional sales director to her current role as vice president, organizational development with the Misura Group. She is a passionate advocate of building people and companies, as well as leadership development, mentoring, legislative advocacy and service to community.

BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024 15

SAFETY CONNECTION

Prioritizing Ergonomics in the LBM Industry

Ergonomics play a crucial role in the lumber industry to ensure the well-being and safety of workers, as well as to enhance overall productivity. The lumber industry involves various tasks, such as cutting, stacking, loading,and transporting heavy materials, which can lead to musculoskeletal disorders and other health issues if not properly addressed. Here are some key aspects of ergonomics in the lumber industry:

Workstation Design

• Design workstations to accommodate the physical dimensions and movements of

workers. Adjustable work surfaces and tool heights can help reduce awkward postures and strain on the body.

• Provide anti-fatigue mats to reduce the impact on workers’ feet and lower limbs, especially in areas where workers stand for long periods.

Tool and Equipment Design

• Ensure that tools and equipment are ergonomically designed to minimize vibration, reduce excessive force requirements and decrease the risk of repetitive strain injuries.

• Use lightweight and well-balanced tools to reduce the physical strain on

workers during tasks such as cutting and lifting.

Lifting and Material Handling

• Implement proper lifting techniques and provide training to workers on how to lift and handle heavy materials safely.

• Use mechanical aids, such as forklifts or conveyors, to minimize manual lifting and reduce the risk of back injuries.

• Implement a buddy system or team lift for heavy, bulky material handling.

Training and Education

• Provide comprehensive training on

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16 BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024

ergonomic principles and safe work practices to all workers.

• Promote awareness of the importance of proper posture and body mechanics during various tasks.

Personal Protective Equipment

• Ensure that workers have access to and properly use appropriate PPE, such as gloves and safety boots, to protect against injuries.

Environmental Factors

• Maintain a comfortable working environment, considering factors like temperature, humidity, and lighting, to enhance overall worker comfort and reduce the risk of fatigue and discomfort.

Job Rotation and Breaks

• Implement job rotation to allow workers to change tasks and reduce the risk of overexertion from repetitive activities.

• Schedule regular breaks to prevent fatigue and give workers an opportunity to rest and stretch.

Health and Wellness Programs

• Offer health and wellness programs, such as a stretching program, that focus on fitness, flexibility, and overall well-being to support the physical health of workers.

By integrating ergonomic principles into the design of workstations, tools

and processes, the lumber industry can create a safer and more efficient working environment, ultimately reducing the risk of injuries and promoting the well-being of its workforce. Regular assessments and feedback from workers can help identify areas for improvement in ergonomics within the industry.

Contact OECS, BLD Connection’s preferred OSHA safety consultant, at (763) 417-9599 for more information.

BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024 17

MEMBER CONNECTION ]

Portage Lumber Merges with Bliffert Lumber

Bliffert Lumber, has merged with Portage Lumber Do-It-Best in Portage, Wisconsin. Portage Lumber was founded in 1953 and has been a dominant force in the building material, hardware and home decor industry in the Portage market for the majority of its 70 years in business.

Portage Lumber Do-It-Best attributes its strong position in their market to its focus on customer service.

“We believe that merging with the Bliffert family of companies allows us to continue to serve our customers and community for generations to come,” said Dennis Dorn, CEO of Portage Lumber.

Kimberly Dorn, the general manager of Portage Lumber, represents the third generation of the Dorn family’s ownership and management, and will continue to run this branch.

“At Bliffert Lumber we are always looking to merge in other great lumber families, like the Dorn’s, that share our values,” said Eli Bliffert, vice president of Bliffert Lumber. “We are very excited to extend our reach into Central Wisconsin and beyond. Old lumber families go together like baseball and cold beer. We are absolutely stronger together.”

The transaction closed on Jan. 31, 2024.

Jim Dickerson Retires after 61 Years

Farmers Lumber Company in Fontanelle, Iowa, said goodbye to longtime general manager Jim Dickerson in January, as he retired after 61 years with the company.

Dickerson served many roles at Farmers Lumber since his start in 1963. He became general manager in 2004.

“I’d like to thank everyone for supporting the lumber yard and for supporting me over the years,” he told the Creston News Advertiser. “It’s a farmerowned lumber yard and it’s pretty well run by the farmers. It’s a farmer’s thing — everything’s related to farming.”

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18 BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024
BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024 19
News to Share? Do you have company news or a product announcement to share with BLD Connection members? We’d love to hear about it. Email news releases to tim@bldconnection.org for possible inclusion. Alpine Truss LLC 12 Bayer Built Woodworks Inc. 13, 15 Bayer Truck & Equipment 13 Bigfoot Systems Inc. 8 Black Tie Components 8 Central Nebraska Wood Preservers 3 Central States Manufacturing Inc. 8 Data Business Equipment Inc. 18 The Design Connection 17 Federated Insurance Inside Front Cover Forest Products Supply 1 LBM Advantage 12 Midwest Perma-Column Inc. 19 OECS 16 Precision Equipment Manufacturing 1 Starwood Rafters 1 Thermo-Tech Premium Windows & Doors 17 UFP Retail Solutions White Bear Lake Inside Back Cover West Fraser Outside Back Cover [ ADVERTISERS] Display Ad Index Classified Ads FOR SALE Truck and Elevators: Truck: 2020 International MV607 4X2, L9 Cummins 270 HP, 28’ Bed 1,652 hours/30,161 miles; Elevator: 2002 Roofing Elevator 41’ Cleasby FBR-6-41; Well-used, sold as-is: 14’ Werner Elevator and 20’ Power Ladder. Make an offer. Becker Millwork, Freeburg, Missouri, pbeckermillwork@gmail.com. 20 BLD Connection Magazine April/May 2024
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