The continued homebuilding slump edged out the leadership and organizational shakeups at ProBuild as the most significant story in construction supply this year, a survey of ProSales readers released today found. Meanwhile, president Barack Obama and Congress were the runaway winners as the most significant individuals in LBM in 2011.

The economic woes got 31.1% of the 161 votes cast in the online survey launched in early December, while ProBuild's restructuring and the departure of CEO Bill Myrick trailed by just one vote, getting 30.4% of all votes.

Here's the rest of the ballot:

  • Washington's budget defict battles -- 24.2%
  • Southern pine design value changes -- 23.6%
  • Pro dealers diversify beyond the new home building market -- 13.0%
  • 84 Lumber gets federally backed loan -- 11.2%
  • US LBM and SRS Acquisition continue to expand -- 9.9%
  • EPA's lead paint policies create a stir -- 9.9%
  • OSHA updates rules and codes on fall protection -- 8.1%
  • Teamsters strike at ProBuild's Chicago facility -- 7.5%
  • Other -- 5.0%

As for the most important person or group, Obama and Congress were the clear winner, getting 36.4% of the votes. Cally Coleman Fromme of Zarsky Lumber, the first woman to become chairman of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, finished second at 20.1%.
The other votes went, in descending order, to:

  • Former ProBuild chief Paul Hylbert -- 18.8%
  • Myrick -- 13.6%
  • The Environmental Protection Agency for its lead-paint rules -- 13.0%
  • L.T. Gibson, head of US LBM -- 11.7%
  • Linton Tibbetts, Florida LBM giant who died this fall -- 5.8%

The "Other" category got 18.2% of the ballots. A total of 20 of the 28 "other" votes were for Brendan Deely, head of L&W Distribution. If he had been listed, Deely would have finished tied for sixth.