These may be dark times for LBM dealers, but look across the country, and you'll find shining examples of quality, ingenuity, and innovation. This year's ProSales Excellence Awards winners certainly qualify. From New Hampshire to New Mexico, these dealers have built showrooms, facilities, Web sites, and programs that outshone the competition. Many took years of work to achieve.

We picked the six winners and four honorable mentions featured on the following pages out of dozens of entries sent to us earlier this year. Contestants bid for recognition in the categories of advertising, facilities design, marketing and customer service, showroom, technology, and Web site. Judging those entries were: Wayne Carver, president, Stephens Inc., Fuquay-Varina, N.C.; Rick Lierz, general manager and co-owner, Franklin Building Supply, Boise, Idaho; Mike Butts, ProSales New Dimension columnist and president of LBM Solutions, DeWitt, Mich.; and Rick Davis, ProSales Sell Sheet columnist and president of Building Leaders Inc., Chicago.

We will honor this year's winners at an awards breakfast Jan. 22, 2009, during the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. Each will receive $500 checks to give to the charities of their choice.