Below are some of the speakers and panelists you will see at LBM Strategies Conference 2019.
More speakers will be added soon…stay tuned.
President & CEO | Zeeland Lumber and Supply
Mike Dykstra is president and CEO of Zeeland Lumber and Supply located in the Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Mike has been with Zeeland for more than 20 years and has been influential in its growth, focused on providing building materials, building components and installation solutions throughout Michigan and Indiana.
General Sales Manager | Manufacturers Reserve Supply (MRS)
Tina Breen is the general sales manager at Manufacturers Reserve Supply (MRS). She is focused on the strategic direction of MRS, developing her team to operate at their personal best, and negotiating programs for her customers that grow business and profits. Tina is a seasoned expert in sales strategy, change management, and leadership development. Tina is the chair for NAWLA’s group “WIN: Women In NAWLA”, and is passionate about helping women support women in business. Tina also focuses time on developing young women into leaders through Girl Scouts, an area in which she is passionate about.
Russ Kathrein is the president and CEO of Alexander Lumber Co., based outside Chicago. He was raised in his family’s lumber business, but despite getting his degree in finance from Michigan State and then working at NCR and United Airlines, he returned to the building materials industry, where he has worked for industry leaders, such as 84 Lumber, BMC West (now BMC), and ProBuild (now BFS). Russ is passionate about the art of leadership and the people side of business. He has successfully turned around many operations by first getting the people part correct and aligning the team, then focusing the team on the fundamental issues.
Jon Vaughan is the president and third-generation owner of Brand Vaughan Lumber Company, a five-location pro dealer that services Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Having grown up in the business, Jon has more than 20 years of experience from yard ops to purchasing to sales to leadership and strategy. Brand Vaughan Lumber was started in 1946 by Cy Vaughan and RL Brand in Southwest Atlanta, and Jon and his father, Chip, work together to preserve the founding principles and grow their influence in the markets in which they operate. Jon and his wife, Molly, have three young children and live in Marietta, Ga.
Rick Davis is the contributing sales editor to LBM Journal and regarded by many as the leading sales trainer and consultant in the LBM industry. He has been the owner of Building Leaders, Inc. for 20 years and trained tens of thousands of salespeople in our industry. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and applies his studies in economics and psychology to deliver scientific measurement of sales performance and the power of influence that produce predictable future results. His presentations are ones you won’t want to miss.
Julie Korth is the chief financial officer at Drexel Building Supply, which operates seven locations in Wisconsin. After graduating college with a double major in finance and human resource management, Julie started her career at what was then known as Campbellsport Building Supply in 2002. Julie now leads a finance team of 15 and continues to stay ahead of best accounting practices to position Drexel for future growth and their mission to “Supply. Happiness.” Julie resides in Kewaskum, Wis. with her husband and three young children.
CEO | New South Construction Supply and New South Real Estate Partners
Jim Sobeck is CEO of New South Construction Supply and New South Real Estate Partners. Jim is the author of “The Real Business 101: Lessons from the Trenches,” a collection of business tips he learned (mostly the hard way) in his more than 40-year business career. He served on the boards of Atlas Food Systems, Standard Supplies, and Southern Tide until their successful sales. He is presently on the boards of DHM Adhesives, The Greenville Rugby Club, and the Upstate SC Rugby Union. He has been a lecturer for Clemson University’s MBAe program, and he has mentored several MBAe students.
Showroom Designer and Vice President of Cabinet Sales | Kodiak Building Partners
Kitty P. Decareaux is the showroom designer and vice president of cabinet sales for the Interiors Group of Kodiak Building Partners. She has more than 25 years experience in the kitchen and bath industry, including her work as an interior design consultant, commercial millwork estimator, and space planner for residential design, among many other positions in the interior construction industry. Kitty enjoys staying involved in the design community and has participated in the Interior Design Internship program at Sam Houston State University, judged design projects at Kingwood Community College and the Art Institute of Houston, and was president of the Gulf Coast chapter of NKBA.
Sunny Bowman is president and owner of Dakota County Lumber, the 2019 Northwestern Lumber Association Dealer of the Year. She played hockey at Shattuck St. Mary’s in Fairbault, MN, a virtual production line for future NHL stars, and graduated with a dual B.A. in International Political Economics and French and Francophone studies from Colorado College. Since taking over at Dakota County Lumber in 2015, she has tripled sales while managing a growing sales force, taking the single-location dealership through a complete renovation, and instilling a leadership vision that creates commitment from team members and unbreakable customer loyalty.
The son of an LBM manager, Bradley Hartmann was born into the lumber business, where he worked during high school and college. After graduating from college and spending 11 years in purchasing with Pulte Homes, Hartmann launched his own training and consulting firm. As president of the Behind Your Back Sales Co., Hartmann’s four core service areas are sales and marketing strategy facilitation with executive teams, customized sales management coaching, sales rep coaching / workshops, and keynote speeches. Hartmann has written six books for the industry and hosts the Behind Your Back podcast, an LBM-specific sales leadership podcast sponsored by LBM Journal.
Lanny Moore, Jr. is a second-generation lumberman who has worked with his family’s business, SunCoast Contractors Supply in South Florida, for the past 34 years. Lanny recognizes that gross margin success is a team effort that depends on everyone from purchasing, receiving, warehousing, loading, delivering, back office, and sales working toward the common goal of delivering a customer experience that can’t easily be replicated by the competition. Lanny is a fan of Bill Lee’s book, “Gross Margin: 26 Factors Affecting Your Bottom Line”, and is always looking for people and ideas to improve his business.
Bill Lee is president of Lee Resources, Inc., a Greenville, S.C.-based consulting, training and publishing organization. Starting out in 1965 as a field sales rep and then a sales manager with GAF Corp., he soon became a part-owner of one of Builder Marts of America (BMA). Bill and his partners grew BMA from a startup to sales of $640 million in just under 20 years. Today, Bill is a sought-after seminar leader, business consultant, and columnist for LBM Journal. Bill is renowned for his books, as well as his articles on sales and gross margin improvement and best management practices.
Jimmy Newman is a third-generation owner at Oxford Lumber Company and affiliated stores in East Alabama, where he serves as VP of finance and also manages key commercial and multifamily relationships. His previous experience was in the financial sector where he was the youngest market president in BB&T’s 147-year history, responsible for the commercial portfolio performance in East-Central Alabama. Jimmy holds an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University in economics, along with an entrepreneurship & social enterprise minor. He was a four-year starter on the football team and still holds many records at the university.
Dena Cordova Jack is executive vice president of the Mountain States Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association (MSLBMDA). She has held various positions in her 29+ year career, from trading commodities, purchasing and sales management for Georgia-Pacific and Boise Cascade, to regional sales director for Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber. She also worked with Blue Tarp Financial as the national corporate sales manager. She is a passionate believer in continuing education, legislative advocacy, and service to community. Dena was the first woman president of MSLBMDA in 2009, and has also held board and leadership positions at the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association.
Grant Leavitt is vice president at Marcus Lumber Company, a family-owned and operated home center with full-service flooring, plumbing and electrical divisions. As a fourth generation lumberman Grant brings diversity with experience out in the field, in retail and in wholesale. Approaching its 100th year in business, the Marcus Lumber team continues to look for ways to differentiate and push the service limits. Grant is also currently the president of the Iowa Lumberman Association board of directors.
Jeremy Baker is the manager of the lumber and building materials department for r.k. Miles, Inc. a family-owned building materials supplier based in Manchester, Vermont. He also manages the company’s growing delivery fleet for their six locations in Vermont and Massachusetts. New to the industry, Jeremy relies on his leadership and coaching experience to successfully recruit and develop a diverse team of knowledgeable professionals. He recently initiated a training program at rk Miles that focuses on building tomorrow’s leaders today through collaborative problem-solving and employee engagement. Jeremy serves on the Northeast Retail Lumberman Association’s education committee and the Vermont Retail Lumberman Association’s legislative committee.
Thea Dudley is an expert in the field of credit in the LBM industry. A career spanning three decades brought her to executive roles in companies such as Guardian Building Products and SRS Distribution. She is now an independent credit consultant and coach, as well as a columnist for LBM Journal. A frequent speaker and podcast contributor, Thea has been involved with the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, and is currently board treasurer at the Mountain States Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. She is active in National Women in Roofing, and a member of the National Association of Credit Managers.
System Administrator and Inventory Manager | Gilcrest-Jewett Lumber Company
Nick White is the system administrator and inventory manager at Gilcrest-Jewett Lumber Company, which operates four branches and a truss plant. Nick started with Gilcrest-Jewett part-time in 2004 when he was 16 years old. After earning degrees in math and Spanish, Nick returned to the lumber business full-time in 2014. A third-generation Gilcrest-Jewett employee, Nick was one of four key members of the company’s ERP software conversion team in 2018. Since the conversion, Nick has focused on teaching himself SQL and creating business intelligence to help the company run more efficiently and take advantage of the vast features the new software offers.
Kate Woodson Borroni is one of the fourth-generation family members who owns and operates Woodson Lumber Company, alongside her mother and two brothers in central Texas. They operate seven retail centers, a central corporate office, a door and gate shop where they employ approximately 130 people, and have been in business for over 105 years. Kate currently shares duties in operations, managing the Lexington retail center, and in administration through the marketing department, human resources, and accounting/finance. Her primary areas of interest are in benefits, employee retention, and being a good steward in Woodson Lumber’s communities.
Tyler Shanks is vice president of Western Building Center, a 12-store chain of full line lumberyards based in Kalispell, Mont. Tyler began his career at Western Building Center in 1994 by cutting screen and repairing windows. After graduating from Carroll College with degrees in public relations and communications studies, he returned to WBC where he worked at the contractor desk for 10 years. He was then promoted to store manager of the Kalispell location and was later able to become an owner and vice president. Tyler is also a veteran firefighter and EMT with the Columbia Falls, Mont. Fire Department.
John D. Wagner is a managing director for 1stWest Mergers & Acquisitions, which has transacted $1 billion+ in deal values and has a specialty practice in the distribution and LBM sectors. John is also the M&A columnist for LBM Journal. He has served as a sell-side and buy-side advisor on dozens of M&A deals reaching back to 1999. John is the author of 17 books and 2,500+ articles that have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and many other outlets. His most-recent book is M&A Basics For People in a Hurry!
Ted Rieple is the managing partner and founder of 1stWEST Mergers & Acquisitions. The company currently maintains operations in the US, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. Having founded 1stWEST M&A in 2008, Ted’s experience includes the completion of over $1 billion in M&A transactions around the globe. Prior to 1stWEST M&A, Ted was president & CEO of Strategic Distribution Inc., and Diversey Chemicals North American operations. Ted graduated from St. Mary’s University and is a U.S. Army veteran who was assigned to the Staff Judge Advocate (JAG Corps).
Rick’s introduction to the LBM industry began in 1990 with Building Material Retailer magazine, and continued with the launch of LBM Journal in 2003. Since then, Rick and a team of hardworking, high performing publishing pros have built LBM Journal into the leading national media brand serving the LBM distribution channel. With degrees in English and marketing, Rick is passionate about delivering insights and information to help readers run their businesses better and smarter.