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4 Questions with 40 Under 40: Dustin Byars

In June, LBM Journal introduced its 40 Under 40 awards. Now we’d like to introduce you to the members of the class. Our interviews spotlight the 40 Under 40 members’ LBM experience, thoughts on attracting young people to the industry, and visions for the future.

Dustin Byars, General Manager, Kay Supply Building Center

Before working at Kay Supply Building Center, Dustin worked to grow a local IT company and an oil and gas company in Texas, and also started a successful landscaping business serving Air Force bases across the U.S. Today, Dustin has worked to revamp operations at KSBC as well as to improve company culture to better serve employees.

How did you become involved in the LBM industry?
I have extensive experience across a diverse set of industries, but my primary focus was always on business organization, sales, and marketing. Following the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, my wife and I decided we wanted to be closer to our hometown, so I began looking for new opportunities. After moving our family to the small town of Snowflake, AZ, the owner of Kay Supply (also a friend of mine) expressed an interest in taking his building supply company to a new level, ultimately enlisting my help. I began my position as General Manager of Kay Supply Building Center in early 2021, breaking into the LBM industry.

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What is your favorite part of your job?
Coming out of the chaos caused by COVID-19, the LBM industry went through a lot of changes into early 2022. I love that every day brings new challenges, from staffing to purchasing and everything in between. But what really stands out for me is how tight-knit this industry is. It’s a close community where everyone, from supplier reps to experienced builders, are here to stay.

What advice would you give to companies looking to hire young professionals like yourself?
Don’t just focus on experience when hiring. Look for the right fit in terms of attitude and values. We’ve passed on people with tons of experience because they simply weren’t a fit for the environment. Overstaff and invest the time and resources to develop the staff you want.

What’s your personal mission statement?
I’m all about creating workplaces where both customers and employees feel valued and respected, and where honesty and integrity rule. Building a culture that genuinely cares about people is what drives me in my work.

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