Steve Swinney, CEO, Kodiak Building Partners
Steve Swinney, CEO, Kodiak Building Partners

Steve Swinney, CEO of Kodiak Building Partners, has joined Builders FirstSource's Chad Crow, Foundation Building Materials' Ruben Mendoza, and TAL Holdings' David Dittmer as a panelist at the ProSales 100 Conference this coming Feb. 28-March 2 at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio.

With Swinney's participation, the session will bring together three of the most active acquirers of LBM operations in recent years plus the company that made LBM's biggest-ever deal: Builders FirstSource's takeover of ProBuild. Michael Collins, a principal at Building Industry Advisors and ProSales' "Big Deals" columnist, will moderate.

The M&A panel will convene on the third day of the annual event that has become one of the premier gatherings for construction supply executives. It's one in which the attendees are as distinguished as the speakers. Aside from the panelists' companies below, signups to date include executives from BMC, Star Lumber, LMC, Huttig Stine Lumber, US LBM, Curtis Lumber, Mill Creek, Timberland Lumber, Parr Lumber, Cassity Jones Lumber, McCoy's Building Supply, Oldham Lumber, Orgill, Do it Best, Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber, Kimal, Gypsum Management and Supply (GMS), Palmer-Donavin, Brand Vaughan, Builders FirstSource, TW Perry, Your Building Centers, the Lester Group, Parker's Building Supply, J.P. Hart, Espy Lumber, Yoder's, Allen & Allen, Holmes Building Materials, Ritter Lumber, Tindell's, Big Creek, Heister House Millworks, and Ridgefield Supply.

Polar Explorer Ben Saunders
Leading Authorities Polar explorer Ben Saunders

The ProSales 100 Conference traditionally kicks off with a mind-expanding keynoter. For 2018, it'll be polar explorer Ben Saunders, the third person in history to ski solo to the North Pole and was leader of a 105-day roundtrip journey across Antarctica to the South Pole and back. He has covered more than 3,700 miles on foot in the Polar Regions since 2001. His appearance at the ProSales 100 Conference will take place just weeks after he made the first solo, unsupported, and unassisted crossing of Antarctica.

Attendees also can look forward to these sessions:

  • The CEO panel will include 2018 Dealer of the Year Robb Wilson of Wilson Lumber, SRS President Dan Tinker, Hayward Lumber COO Paulo Sitolini (a recent addition to the panel) and Tibbetts Lumber Chairman Kyle Hooker.
  • The members of our ProSales/Dealers Choice Four Under 40 Class of 2018 will give tips on selling an LBM career to millennials. This session will be led by Bill Myrick, who at age 36 became COO of 84 Lumber and who went on to run ProBuild and, more recently, American Builders Supply.
  • Consultant Jason Forrest will explain why so many companies' training programs fail and give tips on how to make them succeed.
  • Winning over employees is a big part of implementing lean operations. To that end, consultant Scott Morrison will look at recent lean projects implemented at BMC, Shaw/Stewart Lumber, and Shepley Lumber, including how they persuaded workers to embrace the changes.
  • What will it take to get more women into construction supply? Assistant editor Marisa Mendez will explore this and related topics with Natalia Dittmer, marketing director, TAL Holdings LLC; Ann Marie Chilcutt Miller, owner, New Home Building Stores; and Thea Dudley, vice president of financial services, SRS Distribution.
  • Mark Boud, chief economist at Metrostudy, will give his group's forecasts for 2018.
  • "Cutting Through the Digital Noise: Navigating Strategies for Online Marketing" is the theme for a session to be led by Scott Ericson and Jennifer Swick of Wheelhouse 2020, a consultancy based in Portland, Ore. "Relationships always have and always will be the foundation of the LBM business: as an industry we like phones and faces," Ericson and Swick say. "However, it is also important to recognize that evolving technology and communication tools are changing customer habits, the way they buy and the way they interact with LBM companies. With limited resources, recognizing a return on the investment means distilling what is really important for your customers and acknowledging which stage your company is at in the digital progression."

The event is open to dealers and distributors; only vendors who sign up as sponsors can attend. To register, visit here. Note that the room block at the Westin Riverwalk at the conference rate will expire on Feb. 9.

To become a sponsor, contact Dan Colunio.