The man who discovered the Titanic will join executives from several of the biggest companies in lumber and building materials at the W Hotel in New Orleans on March 6-8, 2013, for the revival of the annual ProSales 100 Conference, ProSales magazine announced today.

Dr. Robert Ballard will be keynote speaker for a three-day gathering that, keeping to its theme of "Shifting Gears," will give building material dealers new ideas on how to propel growth—even to the point of awarding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to one lucky attendee.

Other sessions will feature rare or unprecedented appearances by some of the most important people in building products distribution. For instance, one panel will feature:

  • Jeff Rea, president of Stock Building Supply;
  • Frank Cicero, COO of 84 Lumber;
  • Peter Alexander, president of BMC; and
  • Ron Ross, president of SRS Inc., the fast-growing specialty dealer.

Another session will highlight David Stine of Stine Lumber, one of America’s biggest home centers, who will discuss how his company revved up its operations by improving internal efficiencies. There also will be exclusive insights into the building material supply chain from Principia Consulting, which just conducted a major research study on the supply chain, and housing industry forecasts from Hanley Wood Market Intelligence. Other sessions will give tips on how dealers can pick the best sales reps, expand their financial options, and rebuild operations and management teams, and a distinguished group of builders and remodelers will reveal what they want from building material suppliers. "ProSales has served dealers for more than 20 years with the best, most detailed set of solutions for LBM executives," associate publisher Fred Chandler declared. "Now, with forecasts of a revival in the home construction market, we believe one of the best ways to help dealers flourish in these conditions is to provide a place where the nation’s top executives—many of whom we celebrate in the ProSales 100—can come together, learn best practices, and swap ideas. Smart dealers know it’s time to shift gears, and we’re proud to host an event where that can happen.”

Editor Craig Webb said his team built an events program that intentionally sought to bring participants world-class insights from speakers who rarely if ever have spoken at an LBM event.

"By day, it’s going to be a jam-packed working meeting, with a steady stream of great events," Webb said. "But we also want participants to take advantage of the opportunities for fine dining and fun that comes from our W Hotel location. We’re a short walk next to the French Quarter, but of course if you win our raffle for the Harley Davidson you can drive over in high style." The giveaway is sponsored by Kleer Lumber.

For details and to register for the conference, go to