As I’m writing this note in the middle of February, Nor’easter Pax is dumping several inches of snow on the East Coast. I know you hardy souls in the North and upper Midwest look with pity on those of us who quake at the thought of 2 inches of snow, let alone a foot. But alas, the weatherman called for a foot and I believe we’ll get it.

Fortunately, spring is just around the corner. Another bright spot for us here at ProSales is the addition of assistant editor Tim Regan. He comes to us from Northern Virginia Magazine, where he covered arts and entertainment throughout the region. He was also a staff writer for Groupon, where he wrote copy for a variety of businesses. In his short time at ProSales, he’s covered some interesting stories, particularly the on-going effort by some in the U.S. Congress to deal with high flood insurance premiums which may have a devastating effect on the ability of homeowners to recover from natural disasters.

Apart from his savvy as a journalist, Tim has another set of skills that commended his new boss: He makes beer. This, along with his abundance of other talents, certainly placed him higher on the list than the competition for the job.

Suffice it to say, we’re glad to have Tim with us, and you’ll have an opportunity to meet him in the coming weeks and months. In particular, you’ll hear from him as he shepherds our annual ProSales 100 Survey. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sending out forms to collect the data that we use to compile this detailed look at the LBM industry.

Having gone through a several month’s long process of interviewing candidates before settling on Tim as our new assistant editor, I’m keenly aware of the challenges faced by many in the LBM industry as you search for talent. One thing I’ve heard consistently in my travels is that many of you are having a tough time recruiting staff.

This issue of ProSales takes a look at that dilemma from the perspective of building the next generation of LBM leadership. Where will we find the young people to fill the general manager, CFO, CEO, and VP posts as our increasingly aging ranks retire? And, once we find them, how do we train them? What skills do they need to take the reins in the coming years?

We don’t have all the answers, but we do have a starting point for discussions, and I look forward to getting feedback from you on the challenges we face as an industry.