Editor's Product Pick


Lenox Two types of steel fused together give the Bi-Metal Utility Bit for wood boring its bite. With three cutting edges, the bit is durable enough to cut through nail-embedded wood as well as other materials, such as PVC pipe and composite decking, according to the manufacturer. The bit has a 3/8-inch shank, which is designed to fit between studs in common cordless drills. 800.628.8810.www.lenoxsaw.com.

NLBMDA Hires Association Management Company; Baalmann Becomes Board Chair

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) board of directors voted Oct. 4 to hire SmithBucklin Corp. to take over management of the organization. The move came three days after the departure of Shawn Conrad as the group's president. SmithBucklin's Russell Snyder, a corporate senior vicepresident and head of the company's Washingtonoffice, will serve as interim president.

"We are confident that the management model and experience provided by SmithBucklin's resources and staff will allow NLBMDA to continue as the leading voice of the lumber and building materials industry," NLBMDA Chair Harold Baalmann said in an e-mail to members Oct. 9. "SmithBucklin is the world's largest association management and professional services company, serving more than 235 client organizations, including associations, professional societies, and government institutes and agencies. We are excited to be able to tap into their staff of 750 professional employees that provide tailor-made management, administrative, membership, communications, education and certification, convention and meetings management, and government relations services.

"Snyder has worked for the past six weeks with former Chair Steve Kelly, the NLBMDA staff, and I to help prepare a judicious budget that will serve to improve NLBMDA's finances while allowing us to continue to provide valuable services to our diverse membership across the country," Baalmann said.

Baalmann, president of Wichita, Kan.-based B&B Lumber who took over as chairman at the NLBMDA Industry Summit, said NLBMDA is already working with Snyder to transition operations to SmithBucklin, a process that could take 30 to 60 days.

No reason was given when Kelly notified members that Conrad had left the association.

Palmer-Donavin Marks Its 100th Anniversary With a Special House

It makes sense for a building material supply company celebrating its 100th anniversary would do so by building a house. But Palmer-Donavin Manufacturing Co. went further by creating Palmer-Donavin House, a respite care facility for children with mental retardation and developmental disabilities in the Columbus, Ohio, area. The management team of the Columbus-based distributor of residential building supplies and heating and cooling equipment discussed how to mark the company's anniversary, says Ron Calhoun, president and COO, and one of them suggested building a house for someone.

"We all liked the concept, and [the company has] a strong relationship serving mental retardation," he says, stemming from 1967 when the three controlling shareholders of Palmer-Donavin took the helm. The common thread among them, says Calhoun, was mental retardation; they all had children who were affected. Since then, the company has been active in helping local mental retardation services, and Calhoun himself serves on the board of Franklin County Residential Services, which will operate the home.

The $750,000 facility can care for up to eight children for varying amounts of time, be it a few hours a day or up to two weeks. "If parents need to go grocery shopping, or even take a vacation, this gives them a place to take their children where they will be cared for" with the special attention they need, Calhoun says. Dedication of the Palmer-Donavin House is Oct. 25, and the doors officially were to open Nov. 1.

–Evamarie Socha

5 Super Yards + 4 Design Centers = One Big Operation

The Lumber Yard is going to supersize itself. The York, Pa.-based building materials supplier announced Oct. 9 the launch of The Lumber Yard XL, a business model that will see five "super yards" grow out of certain locations and keep four existing sales and service centers. Each of these nine locations will have a Design Center product showroom, for which the company will spend more than $2.5 million to develop. The expanded XL yards will be running by the end of this year, according to a company statement.

The XL concept is founded on The Lumber Yard's successful York location, which houses the flagship Design Center showroom. The 168,000 square-foot facility is right next to several major travel routes in Pennsylvania and features an indoor, drive-thru yard. (See story, page 50.)

Len Kopec, CEO of The Wolf Organization, parent company of The Lumber Yard, said the XL plan "reshapes our operations very deliberately to offer greater speed and selection to builders and remodelers." Thepress news release also stated that this plan may result in "job dislocations" for an undetermined number of The Lumber Yard's 300 employees. The release also did not disclose what may happen to the other nine shops; The Lumber Yard has 18 locations.

–Evamarie Socha


HD Supply, the wholesale construction and maintenance products distributor that was formerly a large piece of Home Depot, announced Oct. 17 it has named Mark Jamieson as its new senior vice president and CFO. ... Beacon Roofing Supply hired Paul M. Isabella as president and chief operating officer. Isabella spent 22 years at General Electric and then held executive management positions at Eastman Kodak, The Stanley Works, and Cooper Industries. ...Building material distributor Parksite Inc. namedChris Johnson as director of purchasing. ?Novato Building Supply will continue to operate under manager Bruce Gittings. ?The Southern Building Material Association has inducted its board of directors for 2007-08. The new chairman is Steve ColemanAnderson Lumber & Home Center, Alcoa, Tenn. Other board officers are: first vice chairman Steve SmithG.W. Smith Lumber, Lexington, N.C.; second vice chairman Todd Merriss, Dixie Lumber Co., Easley, S.C.; third vice chairman Mike Christian,Massey Builders Supply, Richmond, Va.; immediate past chairman Bruce EdwardsLamberth Building Materials, White Stone, Va. ?Joel Hoiland has left the Window & Door Manufacturers Association, the board of directors announced. John Prentice, marketing director, and Jeff Lowinski, vice president of technical services, will manage the trade association until a replacement is found for Hoiland, who had been president. ? Anthony Cavanna is interim chief financial officer for Trex Co., the company announced Sept. 10. Cavanna had been CEO until his retirement in July. Paul Fletcher resigned Sept. 7 as vice president and CFO of the Winchester, Va.-based composite decking, railing, and fencing maker.


The Oklahoma Lumbermen's Association celebrates its 60th anniversary in Oklahoma City Nov. 16-17, and wants to invite as many former presidents as it can. Know a former OLA leader who lives outside the Sooner State. Call OLA at 405.602.5384. ? More than 160 Trex Co. employees and building material distributor partners teamed up Oct. 11 with Habitat for Humanity for a day of work on Musician's Village in New Orleans' Upper Ninth Ward. The neighborhood houses New Orleans musicians and others displaced by Hurricane Katrina. ? ABC Supply Co. Inc. was honored Oct. 3 with a Pathfinder Recognition Award, which notes Wisconsin companies and citizens for their business or community efforts, as part of the 2007 Wisconsin 75 awards program. ...Cooper Hand Tools is marking the 100th anniversary of the Crescent brand of adjustable wrenches and hand tools. The original Crescent Tool Co. was incorporated in 1907.

40.2 Billion...

The number of square feet of North American structural wood panel expected to be produced this year, 2.2 billion feet less than in 2006.

Source: Engineered Wood Association


The drop in spending in August 2007 from a year earlier on kitchen renovations costing that cost more than $20,000. Total spent: $53.4 billion.

Source: National Kitchen and Bath Association, The Wall Street Journal


The number of workers from 1992 to 2005 who died from electrocution as a result of touching an overhead power line with a portable metal ladder.

Source: CDC Workplace Safety and Health


The number of marijuana plants Marion County, Ore., deputies seized from private forestland owned by Frank Lumber Co. Owner Dennis Frank said he was not aware of the grow operation and cooperated fully in the investigation. SOURCE: kptv.com