Frank Riddick, former president and CEO of Formica Corp., joined TowerBrook Capital Partners LP to advise it on potential investments in the building materials industry.

TowerBrook managing director Robin Esterson cites Riddick's "strong financial background" and "proven ability to drive growth even in difficult times" in bringing Riddick onboard. "We are confident that his industry experience will prove invaluable to TowerBrook as we explore opportunities within the building products and distribution areas," Esterson says.

During an interview with ProSales, Riddick said he has looked at distributors and lumberyards as well as product manufacturers. "I wouldn't rule out something akin to a [Dallas-based Builders FirstSource] or of that nature," he says. "There are some models out there in terms of sourcing products and raising the product line."

Riddick also had been president and CEO of Armstrong World Industries and held positions at General Motors Corp., Merrill Lynch & Co., and FMC Corp.

–Craig Webb

Poll Shows Coastal Residents Not Prepared for Storms

If your yard serves Atlantic coastal areas, get ready for a possible business boom–most residents aren't hurricane ready and aren't interested in becoming so.

The survey, by polling firm Mason-Dixon, found that half of the 1,100 people who responded said they don't have survival kits or a disaster plan in place, reported in late May. Nearly one in three respondents would not prepare their homes until the storm was within 24 hours of landfall, and one in eight said they wouldn't evacuate even if ordered to do so, the survey says.

Why? People say they're tired of getting ready for the impending doom, only for the weather event to be less than predicted or not materialize at all. Bill Read, director of the National Hurricane Center, says this is a mistake.

"If you wait until a day, day and a half before the storm gets there, long lines are at the stores and, by and large, your supplies of window coverings, food, and water run out, maybe before you have a chance to buy them," Read says.

The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 with tropical storm Arthur, which formed May 29 near Belize. It drenched the Yucatan Peninsula and then weakened to a depression. Government forecasters predict an "above normal" hurricane season with as many as five major hurricanes.

–Evamarie Socha


OrePac Building Products of Wilsonville, Ore., announced May 16 that it has acquired some distribution yards from Welco Lumber Co. USA of Shelton, Wash. The yards are in Tumwater, Wash.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Springfield, Mo. Sales at the Tumwater distribution yard will be merged with OrePac's Tacoma, Wash., and Wilsonville facilities.


ProBuild has named Lisa Buenzli Peterson as vice president of marketing. She most recently was director of global marketing and product portfolio management at Johns Manville. ... John Stroiber has taken office as president of the Window & Door Manufacturers Association. The change took place at the same time as WDMA engaged SmithBucklin Corp. to manage the group.

In Brief

Marvin's Building Supply & Home Center will close its Sheffield, Ala., branch by the end of June. ...A car crashed May 31 into the lumberyard at Lee Roy Jordan Lumber Co. in Dallas, killing the driver and engulfing part of the yard in flames. Lee Roy Jordan, a former Dallas Cowboy who played from 1963 to 1977, owns the yard. The cause of the crash was unknown as of press time. ...The Southern Pine Councilcontributed lumber to two projects in New Orleans that were highlighted in the season finale of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." ...The corporate parent of Stock Building Supply distributed relief packages containing leather gloves, plywood, tarps, hammers, shovels and nails to victims of this spring's tornadoes and storms in southeastern Virginia. ...AZEK Building Products named Boston Cedar & Millwork its Distributor of the Year. ...Beazer Homes USA recognized Timberlake Cabinetry as the Installed Sales National Account of the Year.

Spread the word!

Send your company's news, announcements, and events to Evamarie Socha, via or fax 202.785.1974.

223% or $38,432

The increase in the state tax bill for a typical lumberyard in Michigan, according to the Michigan Lumber and Building Materials Association, if a new business tax passes the state legislature.

SOURCE: ProSales Business Update

380 million

The number of compact fluorescent lightbulbs sold in 2007.

SOURCE: Environmental Protection Agency