The ProSales 100 is as much a collection of individual stories as it is a tale of an entire industry. Here’s a look at one of six members of the club who all merit special attention, and all for vastly different reasons.

Last June, we quoted Linton Tibbetts as saying he wanted Tibbetts Lumber to grow to rival the $400 million in sales that once made its predecessor yard, Cox Lumber, the biggest in Florida. To match such ambitions, we commissioned a sketch depicting Tibbetts as Florida’s LBM giant, a man whose stride stretched from Tallahassee to Sarasota.

Tibbetts died Oct. 6 at the age of 88, just a few days after witnessing the opening of new Tibbetts Lumber yards in Lehigh and Palm Bay, Fla., to go along with the headquarters in St. Petersburg, an export division in St. Petersburg, and a store in Land O’ Lakes. By year’s end, Tibbetts Lumber had grown in gross sales by 251%, to $20.4 million, 70% of them to pros. That’s the largest percentage growth of any ProSales 100 member.

Tibbetts led the PS100 in percentage sales growth in 2011.
brian walker Tibbetts led the PS100 in percentage sales growth in 2011.

Meanwhile, employment jumped from 12 to 109 people. Management includes two key Cox Lumber lieutenants—Juan Quesada and Arlen Tillis—and the staff features a number of people from the Cox days.

“We want to keep opening yards,” Tibbetts told ProSales last summer. “When we sold out, we controlled the lumber business in Florida. I’m sure going to be trying to reach the size of Cox Lumber.”

Tibbetts’ influence continues. When ProSales visited St. Petersburg earlier this year, several employees volunteered stories. And Tibbetts’ office remains, undisturbed, just off the main showroom.