I hope that every lumber dealer who reads this article will choose to join me at the NLBMDA/ProSales Industry Summit Oct. 26–28 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.
This event has grown dramatically in recent years and many of the top industry leaders will be present. Attendance represents a great opportunity to build relationships and participate in discussions about the future of our industry. I promise, if you put it on your calendar, you will be glad you made the commitment to attend.
The Industry Summit also serves as the annual meeting of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NLBMDA represents more than 8,000 lumber dealers across the United States. Our mission is to provide legislative representation and advocacy in Washington. We also provide representation for federal regulatory activity. Finally, NLBMDA serves as a national clearinghouse for ideas, information, and industry research. Simply put, NLBMDA is the voice of America's lumber dealers.
NLBMDA currently is engaged in a number of exciting initiatives on your behalf. This summer we introduced H.R. 5500 (otherwise know as the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act). This product liability reform bill is aimed at putting a stop to frivolous lawsuits that penalize or threaten to penalize innocent retailers who merely sell legally manufactured and distributed products to their customers. As bill co-sponsor Representative Ric Keller (R-Fla.) states, “Current law imposes liability without wrongdoing on sellers. This legislation would ensure that retailers would only be liable for damage or injury for which their company was directly responsible.”
NLBMDA also is working this year to establish the industry's first national foundation, the Lumber and Building Materials Institute (LBMI). The mission of the Institute is to provide research capacity, safety training, and education to our industry. We envision the Institute as a clearinghouse of information about our industry and as a place where we can all come together for training and education on issues of national significance. (See page 36 for more on the LBMI.)
Finally, NLBMDA is working successfully to grow our membership involvement. Every lumber dealer in America has access to NLBMDA. We want you to be involved and participate. One of the best ways to get active is to attend our annual Industry Summit and association meeting. Dealers from all corners of the country will be in attendance. Big and small ... rural market and urban market ... long-time participants and first-time attendees—all types of dealers will be joining in this event.
There is an important place for you at our annual Industry Summit. The fabric of our industry is woven by all of us. If you stay home you deprive your industry of the benefit of your unique perspective. American democracy is participatory, and the greater the participation the greater the strength of the organization. We need you in Arizona to represent your company and our industry at our annual meeting. I promise you will be glad you chose to attend!
We share a great industry that makes an incredible contribution to American society and that has been good to all of us both financially and spiritually. We all owe something back to the industry that enables our opportunities. Attending the Industry Summit and annual meeting is the perfect way to make a stewardship contribution back to the greater good of the industry. Please make the time to join us. You are the NLBMDA and we want you with us at our annual meeting! —Kevin Hancock is president of Hancock Lumber in Casco, Maine, and is chairman of NLBMDA.