Ganahl Lumber of Orange County, Calif., has been named ProSales Dealer of the Year, the magazine announced today.

The ProSales Dealer of the Year Award honors outstanding achievements in construction supply operations, management and innovations, as well as meritorious service to the dealer's community and to the lumber and building material industry. Only one construction supply dealer is chosen per year. As winner, Ganahl is featured in the cover story in ProSales' January issue and also is the subject of the issue's Editor's Notes column.

"Ganahl has built a corporate culture that mixes individual freedom, discipline, and self-motivation in a manner unseen at most other lumberyards, particularly during this recession,” Craig Webb, editor of ProSales, writes in his profile of the company. "Elsewhere, as housing tanked, many dealers protected their sales reps by boosting their base salaries. At Ganahl, the pay structure was skewed even more in favor of top performers. Elsewhere, dealers pruned staff slowly and based on seniority. At Ganahl, the cuts came far quicker and were based on merit. And elsewhere, other big dealers closed yards. Ganahl, in contrast, bought land in Pasadena and plans to open a new facility this year.

"There's one other big difference," Webb's story adds. “At a time when the typical dealer is nearly drowning in red ink, Ganahl has turned an operating profit every year--just as it has done for nearly three decades' worth of housing booms and busts. Today it's among the 20 biggest LBM operations on the ProSales 100, with 2009 revenues of $166 million from nine facilities, eight of them in Orange County and one in Riverside County. It expects to close the 2010 books with roughly the same revenue. And all this is taking place despite the fact that, since 2006, Orange County's payroll has dropped 12% and its issuance of building permits has plummeted 70%."

The Ganahl family opened its first lumberyard in Los Angeles in 1884 and in Anaheim in 1904. It had just two facilities and 40 employees in 1973 when company president John Ganahl Sr. died unexpectedly. One of Ganahl's sons--Peter, then 28--became president, while older brother John Ganahl Sr. joined the business as chief financial officer. They remain in those roles today and, along with recently retired Anaheim manager Jim Taft, are acknowledged as the key figures who have turned Ganahl into Orange County's dominant lumberyard. And with the planned opening of the Pasadena yard this year, Ganahl Lumber will return to Los Angeles County.

Ganahl also is known in the LBM community as a strong supporter of its regional LBM association, particularly its program for younger staffers. It does such a good job developing new managers that it has recruited only one executive in the past several decades. And Peter and John Ganahl Jr. are active members of industry roundtables and quite open in sharing their management expertise with other dealers.