In just about one month, dealers from across the United States will head west to attend the NLBMDA/LBM Institute 2007 Industry Summit in Las Vegas. As I think about this meeting, I feel a strange mix of excitement and sadness. I am excited about this year's Industry Summit because of its educational sessions and interesting speakers, and because it gives me an opportunity to meet with old friends and peers as well as make new ones. On the other hand, I am sad to be leaving my post as chairman of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. I am, however, glad to be leaving you in the good hands of our chair-elect and my good friend, Harold Baalmann of B&B Lumber in Wichita, Kan.

Steve Kelly NLBMDA has had a great year. I hope that dealers will join us in Las Vegas to learn the strides we have made and to take advantage of everything the Industry Summit has to offer. This year's theme is "The 16% Solution." It will focus on how you can maximize your value in builders' eyes and will explore the key areas to focus on to capture market share and maximize your profitability by making builders more efficient. Dealers are the solution–that's the bottom line.

In addition to the Industry Summit's dynamic sessions and networking opportunities, you can enjoy the luxurious amenities of the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, as well as tours and a golf tournament at beautiful Angel Park. Enjoy Las Vegas to its fullest, from its casinos and shows to the outstanding natural wonders.

And on behalf of NLBMDA, I would like to personally thank all our event sponsors. It is only through their generosity and support that the success of the Industry Summit is possible.

It has been an honor and pleasure being chairman of NLBMDA, and I look forward to continuing my work in an industry that has brought me a great deal of success, joy, and personal satisfaction. Dealers represent my friends and peers, and I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with or a better industry to be associated with than the LBM industry.

For more conference and registration information, go to See you in Vegas!

–Steve Kelly is NLBMDA chair and president of Kelly Brothers Lumber in Covington, Ky.