The Lumber Association of California and Nevada (LACN) and the Illlinois Lumber and Material Dealers Association (ILMDA) have terminated their membership in the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA), the executive directors of both groups have confirmed to ProSales.
"LACN has been concerned and troubled by continued fiscal accountability, inconsistent mission and program, lack of communication, association management issues, potential liability issues and a general lack of value for dues paid," LACN President Eric Ziedrich wrote in a June 18 letter to NLBMDA Chairman Harold Baalman and interim president Russell Snyder. "We are aware that various meetings are under way to attempt to resolve these and other issues, but our candid view is that, given the complexity of these issues coupled with bleak economic factors, it is not likely that resolutions will be accomplished under the current structure."
ILMDA Executive Director Barry Johnson told ProSales that his group's board decided on May 1 to drop out of the national association. Johnson stressed that ILMDA doesn't want to damage the national group, and he pointed out that the state group has backed NLBMDA's legislative, regulatory and public policy initiatives.
"When ISFA [the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act] is involved, we bring in our board," he said. "When NLBMDA started a political action committee, we were the first to contribute. When it did regulatory issues we were supportive." At the same time, however, Johnson said that for a decade it has urged NLBMDA to not compete with the activities staged by the regional associations--particularly the money-making areas. "That message has fallen on deaf ears," Johnson said. "That's primarily the reason for our departure."
Baalman, who spoke with ProSales while he was in Atlanta for a trade show, had no immediate comment regarding the departures beyond stressing that a number of people were working on new bylaws for the association. Snyder was unavailable for comment.
In its letter, LACN said it "strongly" believes in a federation of state and regional LBM associations that would comprise a national group. "Should NLBMDA formulate an organization that resolves the concerns expressed by LACN, we would consider a renewed affiliation," Ziedrich wrote. "We encourage and anticipate further communication with us as progress on a new organization is made."