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LBM Journal’s 2024 40 Under 40

In conversations with dealers and companies throughout the year, we often hear that finding young, dedicated talent can be difficult given the present labor market. However, this year’s LBM 40 Under 40 class proves that task may be difficult, but not impossible.

We received more than 100 nominees for the 2024 class, which were narrowed then down by members of the inaugural 2023 class, resulting in the list you’ll see in the following pages. We’re proud to share a list of outstanding professionals chosen by a group of their peers.

From growing up in the industry to joining later in their careers, this year’s class comes from a variety of backgrounds and positions at organizations across the U.S. Many of them are leaders in their respective companies, and we’ve asked them to share not only their goals for the future, but their advice for the next generation of LBM employees.

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Inductees from this year’s list have all been invited to attend this year’s LBM Strategies Conference 2024, to be held from Oct. 16-18 in Costa Mesa, CA, and a select few will take the stage to share how they’ve succeeded in the industry, and tips on how to attract other employees like them. For more information on the conference, visit lbmstrategies.com.

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For now, we’re excited to celebrate and present, in no particular order, the 2024 LBM 40 Under 40 inductees.

Emily Morgan

President & CEO
Ashby Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: I will most likely be doing the same thing but in a larger capacity—serving more employees, more customers, and having more involvement in our community.

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Advice for the next generation: Keep an open mind and ask a lot of questions. We all tend to be impatient early in our careers and there are a lot of great opportunities in our industry if you focus on learning and adding value—one day at a time!

Fun Fact: I studied Psychology and Interior Design and never thought I would work at Ashby Lumber. I started working part-time when I was 22, fell in love, and never left!

Brandon Golladay

President
Midwest Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: Our industry has ever-changing market conditions, so being able to adapt by continuing to grow and develop our team will be key. I believe the sky’s the limit for our company, because we truly have exceptional employees that make our company successful through their hard work and dedication. I see Midwest Lumber expanding to other locations and continuing to gain market share, all while keeping our unmatched culture.

Advice for the next generation: I believe the LBM industry has the
best of the best people. As someone who grew up in the industry, I would say all you have to do is ask for help. I was fortunate to encounter and learn from some amazing mentors over the years which included other owners in the industry, vendors, and colleagues. Every time I asked for advice, they were more than willing to extend me their time and wisdom from their experiences. As a member of the LBM industry, I believe we need younger people coming into the industry and we want them to succeed.

Fun Fact: I love spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy coaching my kids in sports and watching them grow up.

Kevin Jester

Owner
TK Building Supply LLC

Where do you see yourself in five years: I feel blessed enough that in five years I see myself doing much of the same things that I do now. We have built a company that has a relatively stress-free environment. We have a good staff around us and I have a great business partner. We continue to grow at a very steady rate. I could see us purchasing more equipment to increase our manufacturing abilities and we are also considering opening a second location.

Advice for the next generation: My advice would be, sell yourself. This industry allows you to sell a product that is tangible and has a real demand, but don’t forget to create relationships. People buy from people they like and trust. If you say you will do something, DO IT! Your word in this industry is everything!

Fun Fact: I am very active and competitive. I continue to play any sport I can.
I coach 3rd grade basketball and softball. I love karaoke and playing cornhole.

Chris Peters

Corporate Sales Manager
Morsches Builders Mart

Where do you see yourself in five years: In the next five years, I see myself continuing to grow our market share in our region and hopefully adding more locations to the five locations that we currently have.

Advice for the next generation: My best advice to the younger generation is to work as hard as you possibly can. Be the first to arrive to work and the last to leave. My goal was to learn and consume as much information as possible to set myself apart from others. To be successful in this industry doesn’t mean that you have the highest of academic accolades or even a college degree—hardworking and dedicated individuals are the most successful people of this industry.

Fun Fact: I enjoy playing golf with my free time. I find peace from the stress of everyday life being on the golf course with friends. Golf really challenges me from a mental standpoint.

Clara Collins

Operations Manager
S.W. Collins Company

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I see myself remaining active in our industry as well as my local community, and working every day to find new ways to grow and best serve the needs of our community. I envision myself continuing to play an active role in the operations side of the business as well as working on strategic, big picture initiatives to help our company work toward achieving our vision and goals.

Advice for the next generation: My advice to someone who is considering their career options is to be open minded to different industries. If you focus on finding a work environment that you thrive in, work that motivates you, and values of the people and company that align with yours, you could be surprised where you may find your fit. One of my favorite parts of my work and this industry is the relationships that I’ve developed and continue to grow with vendors, contractors, and coworkers.

Fun Fact: I love doing water sports in the summer, especially water skiing and wake surfing! When I was younger, I even did water ski pyramids!

Darius McCurty

Senior Vice President, Controller
Kodiak Building Partners

Where do you see yourself in five years: My team and I will undoubtedly continue to help Kodiak realize its vision of growth and success over the next five years and beyond. Making myself available to everyone within the company, I hope to be a sounding board and mentor helping others to achieve their full potential.

Advice for the next generation: I believe one important way to give back is to expose others who might not have the means or opportunity to expand their circle of knowledge through experiences. I work hard to share information and find teachable moments that can better the lives of young people.
Being able to help others that might go down a similar career path, sharing my experience and lessons learned is a big motivator for me. I want to give the next generation the tools and experiences I’ve gained to help lower the hurdles they might face.

Fun Fact: I love playing sports and have volunteered as a tackle football coach for kids for more than five years, in addition to other volunteer activities I’m quietly passionate about supporting.

Brandon Magor

Director of IT
Big C Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years I see myself contributing to the longer-term business strategy and helping lead the company as a member of the executive team, with a focus on developing our next generation of leaders.

Advice for the next generation: Embrace the culture—when you find a company where you feel like you belong, then plant your roots and begin to invest in your future by seeking out opportunities to learn and grow. Keep in mind, like any good investment, the dividends will take time to accumulate, but the more you invest the sooner you will begin to see the benefit. And remember that there are countless ways to be a leader regardless of your position.

Fun Fact: The biggest leadership challenge I have ever faced was coaching my five-year-old daughter’s soccer team.

Hannah Baldwin

Human Resources Director
Walker Lumber & Supply

Where do you see yourself in five years: Continuing to grow and thrive with Walker Lumber. I’m anxious to see where our 2nd Chance employee program will be in the coming years.

Advice for the next generation: The advice I would give to other young people considering their career options would be to find mentors in the industry and develop a relationship with them. Become a sponge and soak up every
bit of knowledge. I truly believe if you keep an open mind, the possibilities
are endless.

Fun Fact: This is always a fun question for me … I was struck by lightning at the age of 14! My family has a small farm and I was picking up hay for my father and a storm rolled in sooner than expected and BAM! I was struck and lived to tell the tale.

Aaron Cox

Market Manager
Higginbotham Brothers

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I see myself still working for Higginbotham Brothers/US LBM and giving my all to my team and my community, no matter the capacity or location of my role.

Advice for the next generation: The possibilities are endless. You can build your career from the ground up. I started as a part-time yard guy in 2008, loading lumber in vehicles and pulling deliveries. Don’t let any role in this industry scare you. I’ve worked in numerous roles: Yard Associate, Commercial Sales Support, Assistant Store Manager, Store Manager and now Market Manager, and to this day, I love everything about this industry. Build your career and you will reap the benefits!

Fun Fact: A few years ago, I started collecting shot glasses. When traveling to other states/towns, a shot glass—or four—always come back home with me.
My goal is to have a shot glass from every state in the country.

Andrew Boyd

Operations Manager
84 Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I see myself as a general manager of one of our stores. This has been my goal during my whole journey in this industry. I am in a great position now to learn all of the day-to-day responsibilities of running a facility/yard, and I will be ready for the opportunity once it presents itself in the future.

Advice for the next generation: There is more to the lumber industry than selling 2x4s—there are jobs that focus on market fluctuations, purchasing, selling, dispatching, estimating, and the list goes on. The industry will be ever-growing as the demand for building will never perish. It is a great industry to get into if you are looking to surround yourself with highly motivated, smart, and good-hearted people.

Fun Fact: I enjoy being outdoors in my free time—hunting, competition shooting clays, fishing, camping, and hiking.

Emily Holtshouser

Regional Sales Manager-Residential
Simpson Strong-Tie

Where do you see yourself in five years: I see myself in an elevated sales leadership role at Simpson Strong-Tie and continuing to grow my involvement and leadership in the LBM industry. As I’ve seen my Dad grow in this industry, it has become clear to me that if you work hard every day and do what you say you’re going to do, you will be successful. I also intend to make significant contributions to the industry through my role.

Advice for the next generation: Be curious. The LBM industry is a long and historic industry, and this industry has so many people with decades of experience. My advice would be to recognize how important networking is. There are so many different avenues that you can pursue in this industry and everyone has a different journey. While networking, ask questions and be curious.

Fun Fact: I’m the middle child in my family and grew up watching my brother play ice hockey. My dad tricked me into playing, and fast-forward 18 years, I had the opportunity to play college hockey at Utica College in New York. I’m also an avid skier and try to get to the slopes as often as I can. I also have a mini Bernedoodle puppy named Tito that I adore.

Rob Riley

General Manager
Hancock Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I see myself being an impactful leader in my current company. The largest impact I aim to have on the company and LBM industry as a whole is helping develop the next generation of leaders.

Advice for the next generation: The LBM industry is full of endless growth possibilities. With opportunities in sales, management, and more, this sneaky industry can quickly become a great lifelong career.

Fun Fact: I am a father to two beautiful girls. On several occasions I have traveled across the country and have been fortunate to see over half of the states.

Sarah Durkalski

Forest Products Buyer-Spruce
Carter Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: Five years from now, I will have strengthened my skills through experience in the lumber industry. I expect to be in a leadership role and continue to drive innovation and creative solutions as I bring a new mindset from a new perspective and way of thinking to the industry.

Advice for the next generation: Keep your options open; the potential roles in the LBM industry vary widely. There is an opportunity for quite literally everyone, no matter what your background is. From field jobs, helping customers or working in a lumberyard to main office jobs like what I do in purchasing and everything you can imagine in between. I would suggest researching a few options that pique your interest and seek out a mentor.
For women specifically, think big and don’t put a limit on the options you explore. We can do everything the men can do.

Fun Fact: I’ve been an athlete all my life, so I enjoy staying active by doing CrossFit every morning before work. It helps with my mental well-being along with feeding my competitive nature. I also have a three-year-old lab mix I rescued two years ago, and we enjoy going on walks every day after work.

Jon Timmerman

Product Sales Manager, Lumber and Building Materials
Do it Best

Where do you see yourself in five years: Over the next five years I want to continue to grow professionally and help our team grow as well. We have a great core of people here at
Do it Best and over the next five years I would like to keep my focus on growing our team. We need to continue to get young professionals into the industry and show them how much opportunity there is within the industry.

Advice for the next generation: Ask questions. There are a lot of experienced individuals in the industry who have a wealth of knowledge and you can’t be afraid to ask questions.

Fun Fact: I am a big Cubs fan. I actually met my wife while watching the Cubs World Series run in 2016.

Janson Thomas

VP of Operations
Swift Supply, Inc.

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I expect to be in a role where I can leverage my experience and passion as a people-leader to help teams achieve their goals.

Advice for the next generation: My advice is the same regardless of industry: 1. Be curious. 2. Seek feedback. 3. Take initiative.

Fun Fact: I am the proud father to a rambunctious 3-year-old named Miles and husband to my wife of 10 years, Marissa. We live in beautiful Navarre, FL where we enjoy all things outdoors and beach-related.

Josh Fowler

Senior Outside Sales Rep.
Wilson Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: One goal I aim to achieve within the next five years is to be nominated for the Young Professional of the Year award. Winning is not the sole focus, but rather having the qualifications and experience to be considered for such an accolade. This aspiration reflects my commitment to personal and professional growth in the industry.

Advice for the next generation: The real world is shaped by genuine life experiences. Actively pursue apprenticeships or on-site experiences in your field of interest. Attain as much real-world exposure as possible, recognizing that many workers in the building industry are over the age of 50. The current trade industry represents the last of a diminishing workforce, leading to a significant demand for skilled workers in the coming decade. Always do more than you get paid to do, and never look down upon a situation or person. You never know when that next doorway for your career can present itself.

Fun Fact: I was in high school when I was hired on at Wilson Lumber Company. The millwork manager was looking for students wanting to work a few hours in the warehouse. We simply needed to be able to show up and be willing to work. The irony of how I was hired, and my whole career starting here, came down to literally the flip of the coin since I was one of three people applying for two jobs.

Sara Tomasson

Marketing Manager
Seiffert Building Supplies

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I hope to still be a part of the Seiffert Building Supplies family. I feel like I have searched a long time for an organization that aligns so closely with my values. I hope that we are able to grow this business to something that we can all be even more proud of than we already are. I also have the greatest honor of being mommy to my one-year-old son. I hope that by the time he is six years old he is moving confidently throughout the world as a kind, respectful human, that others love having around.

Advice for the next generation: Be a HUGE nerd! Learn as much as you can. Soak in everything. Be curious about all aspects of your business, not just what you are responsible for. Understand how all the parts of your business interact and influence
each other.

Fun Fact: As a child, I was on the chase-crew for the Happy Joe’s Hot Air Balloon. My dad was the pilot, and my mom and I would chase the balloon, in the truck, while they flew.

Dave LeBlanc

Process Improvement Manager
Arnold Lumber Company

Where do you see yourself in five years: Continuing to expand my career at Arnold Lumber, helping the company and industry grow and improve.

Advice for the next generation: I would encourage individuals to start where they feel comfortable and to keep their options open because there will always be challenges and opportunities around every corner. Be passionate about doing things in a smart way that makes other people feel like it’s possible to excel. Take advantage of networking opportunities within our industry, there are many lessons to be learned from the knowledge of the experts.

Fun Fact: I am married with a 5-year-old son. It is always fun to watch him learn and grow. Fun fact—I’m an avid Jeep-lover, having owned 10 Jeeps under the age of 40!

Mike Linden

VP of Sales & Purchasing
Hamilton Building Supply

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I see myself continuing to grow in the LBM industry, recruiting talented people to our team, helping the people around me grow, and continuing to grow as a leader. New products and services are constantly being developed and released so we need to continue to evolve, learn, and grow with the environment around us.

Advice for the next generation: Over the past several years, the shortage of labor, combined with increasing college tuition prices, have made our industry a viable option for a career path. The LBM industry is structured, no pun intended, to assist all types of people looking to either build their career from a young age or for people looking to change career paths. A young person coming out of H.S. can immediately enter the workforce, demonstrate their work ethic and build a full career out of working in our industry. I always and will continue to recommend young people to join our industry, or the trades
in general.

Fun Fact: I’m a huge NY Football Giants fan, NJ Devils fan and 8x AWL. I get to spend majority of my summers at the Jersey Shore.

Kellianne Lundgren

HR Director
LBM Advantage

Where do you see yourself in five years: I see myself continuing to support our industry by ensuring that LBM Advantage has top-tier talent that will boost industry growth, challenge norms and make innovations that drive success and profits. I believe in the value of continuing education to stay relevant and ahead of current developments. To that end. I will continue to explore additional HR or management credentials. Finally, I plan to work alongside some of the top female talent in the industry developing mentorship programs for other women who wish to forge careers in our business.

Advice for the next generation: There is a tremendous amount of opportunity in our industry whether it be with a retailer, distributor, manufacturer or co-op and there is room for growth if you have the desire to learn. In no other industry will you find such kind, generous, and smart individuals who care about their communities, their employees,
co-workers, and LBM families. It may seem cliche, but being in the lumber and building industry is truly like coming to work with friends and family.

Fun Fact: My dad has ten siblings, and my mom has eight. As a result, I have almost 50 first cousins. My motto is always, “The more, the merrier!” I was an Irish step dancer for seven years as a child. Also, I have extremely neat handwriting. People have told me that I should create my own font!

Aaron McGrean

Business Analyst
Beisser Lumber Company

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I envision myself as an industry leader, navigating the evolving challenges brought on by technological advancements and changes in the workforce. I am particularly excited about leading the integration of artificial intelligence within our industry, aiming to revolutionize operational efficiency, and safety standards.

Advice for the next generation: Seize every networking opportunity. The connections you forge early in your career can provide invaluable support and opportunities throughout your professional journey. Networking is not just about building a career; it’s about building a community.

Fun Fact: I have rescued six animals with my wife (five cats and one dog). In January of 2024, we welcomed our first child into the world!

Joey Polingo

Sales Associate
Tri-County Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: At Tri-County Lumber, being a person that creates a spark in people’s lives professionally and personally, much like a mentor of mine did for me. In addition, I look forward to having balance and focus on being a great husband and father to my four daughters. I hope to be enjoying the challenge and joys of raising teenage daughters that everyone seems to warn me about.

Advice for the next generation: There is an abundance of opportunities in the LBM industry. If you prove you are willing to work hard and have an eagerness to learn, in my experience, people in this industry are willing to pass on their knowledge. Create those relationships and the LBM Industry starts to feel like a huge family of lumberyard team members, suppliers, vendors, and contractors all working together to succeed. For me personally, the people I have met are what makes the LBM industry a great career option.

Fun Fact: I learned what great teamwork can accomplish while I was on the Saint John’s University (MN) golf team that won back-to-back Division III National Championships in 2007 and 2008.

Grady Wolford

Contractor Sales
Miami Lumber, Inc.

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I see myself continuing to help lead Miami Lumber and hopefully exceeding expectations for the owners that came before me.

Advice for the next generation: Learn from the bottom up. As I’ve grown in my career, I wish I had the opportunity when I first started to work really closely with our outside specialists. Hindsight is always 20/20, but immersing myself in all the aspects of the yard from the very beginning would have helped me gain a better understanding faster. My No. 1 tip for young people: don’t ever be afraid to ask questions.

Fun Fact: I majored in Marketing and Advertising in college and didn’t grow up around the building industry.

Phil Tieszen

Executive Director of Marketing
The Keim Company

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I see myself taking on more leadership opportunities as our company continues to grow. Ideally, the role would be focused on strategy, new initiatives, and partnerships.

Advice for the next generation: Working in the LBM industry provides a strong sense of satisfaction because you are meeting the real needs that people have. You also get to build long-term relationships with some quality people. Over time, as you learn more about the industry, you can become a valuable resource to others because of your experience.

Fun Fact: I take ice baths.

Matthew Spinks

Assistant Manager
Lumber King Building Supplies

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I hope to be actively participating in the role of a store manager at one of our five locations in the company. I hope to have gained more knowledge and many positive and influential experiences. I truly believe that an impact can be made at any level, whether it is an entry level position or a senior executive position. That being said, at the end of the next five years, I hope to be competing for a corporate position where I feel I can make the most impact.

Advice for the next generation: Having grown up in an LBM environment and now worked with an LBM company for 12 years, I can absolutely say that the industry is worth all serious considerations among young people today. Most companies and establishments are willing to train and develop individuals to become successful and key players within the industry. I think young people today will be impressed by how quickly their careers will move along if they dedicate themselves and invest in their skill sets.

Fun Fact: A fun fact about me is that I am a cat dad! We have rescued four cats; three of them were rescued from the lumberyard in which I work. Their names are Leo, Toby, Graycee, and Rocky.

Kylie Holland

Executive VP/Co-Owner
Curtis Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: I hope to still be surrounded by the amazing leadership team here at Curtis Lumber that is equally dedicated to our own successes as well as to making an impact within our industry. We push ourselves to do things differently and to learn from and share with others.

Advice for the next generation: The people you work with are the most important component to any job or career. The money, the fulfillment, the skillset, all the other aspirations will all come organically when you are surrounded by people who you enjoy being with. People who encourage you, embrace you, and challenge you are going to be what propels you towards success—and this industry is full of amazing people that do just that.

Fun Fact: I love videogaming! My husband and I have a 4-screen set up next to each other and enjoy spending our free time (when our kids are asleep!) gaming on our computers.

Araina Hyatt

Accounts Payable Supervisor
Golden State Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: Striving with the same company, with some more dogs and maybe even a family.

Advice for the next generation: Do something that you are passionate about. I have always loved numbers from a young age, and building lasting relationships.

Fun Fact: I am an OG video gamer, it gives me a way to connect with my nieces and nephews.

Dan Magno

General Manager
Builders FirstSource

Where do you see yourself in five years: I envision myself as a transformative leader within the LBM industry, recognized not only for driving operational excellence and sustainable growth, but also for cultivating a culture of innovation. My goal is to be at the forefront of embracing technology that enhances efficiency and customer experience. I see myself leading initiatives that not only contribute to the bottom line but also set new standards for our future leaders.

Advice for the next generation: This sector is not just about lumber and building materials; it’s a vibrant community of incredible individuals and a hub of untapped potential and innovation. Now, more than ever, it’s an exhilarating time to be a part of this world. From technology and sustainability to design and customer service, there’s a niche for every passion. It’s an ecosystem where you can make a tangible impact on the way we live and interact with spaces.It’s a chance to be at the forefront of change, to grow with a sector that values contribution and innovation, and to be part of a community that feels like family.

Fun Fact: I’m an avid gamer with a deep appreciation for the classics. My love for retro games runs so deep that I have a tattoo of an NES controller on my left hand as a tribute to the countless hours spent mastering the classics.

Garad Derie

Manager-Vancouver
Parr Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: Coaching people is one of my greatest joys, and I hope to continue to do so. In five years, I would like to be a regional manager whose focus is helping more leaders develop in our industry.

Advice for the next generation: I honestly never gave it much thought growing up. I met people in the LBM field who really enjoyed their jobs, and I wanted to enjoy my work as well, so I joined them at Parr Lumber. Sometimes, we picture the LBM field and imagine just materials … but there is so much more to it. The behind-the-scenes planning, details, and opportunities are substantial. We need people in IT, Logistics Planning, Data Analytics, Human Resources, and the list goes on. It’s a great field and very fulfilling.

Fun Fact: When I started working at Parr Lumber I didn’t know the difference between a 2×4 and a 2×6.

Matt Michael

Director of Operations
YBC

Where do you see yourself in five years: Working at Your Building Center, this is the best company I have ever worked for and I love getting to
be part of this team.

Advice for the next generation: Be patient when it comes to career advancement. There is a lot to learn in the industry, but that knowledge
doesn’t come to you overnight.

Fun Fact: My favorite thing to do outside of work is coaching my kids in their after-school sports.

Caitlin Stone

Finance and Communications Analyst
Big C Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: It’s hard to say exactly where I see myself in five years, but a goal of mine would be to hold a management position, contributing to decision-making processes that positively influence Big C Lumber and promote company growth.

Advice for the next generation: Find a company where you genuinely enjoy working with your colleagues and feel encouraged to reach your full potential. Surround yourself with a positive culture and a work environment where you’re motivated to contribute and make a difference. When you find yourself excited to get involved, supported by your coworkers, and inspired to help improve the workplace, you’ll know you’ve found the right fit.

Fun Fact: I was on the co-ed cheerleading team at Indiana University Bloomington, where I had the privilege of cheering at a bowl game and several Big 10 tournaments, including one held at Madison Square Garden.

Todd Henning

Manager
Wieber Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: I envision myself continuing to play a pivotal role within Wieber Lumber, perhaps even in an expanded capacity. My goal is to contribute significantly to the company’s growth trajectory, helping to double our annual sales from $10 million to $20 million. Alongside driving sales, I aim to focus on cultivating and training the next generation of employees, instilling in them the same values of quality and standards that have defined this family business for generations.

Advice for the next generation: My advice would be to prioritize adaptability, resilience, and mentorship. This industry is dynamic and ever-changing, so it’s crucial to stay flexible and resilient in the face of challenges and changes. Seek out mentors who have experience in the field and can offer guidance, support, and valuable insights. Their wisdom can be invaluable as you navigate your career path and strive for success in the LBM industry.

Fun Fact: My wife and I have five adventurous kids who share our passion for hiking and exploring the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Jason Cohen

President & CEO
Northeast LLC

Where do you see yourself in five years: First, I see Northeast getting closer to achieving our vision—to be the first choice in the Northeast region for premium, customized building solutions and home products. Second, I anticipate expanding our geographic footprint for all three business segments. Most importantly, I will continue to proudly be at the helm of a company that has created a place of purpose for its people.

Advice for the next generation: If you’re a family member in a multi-generational building supply business, work somewhere else for some time. If you’re just starting your career, don’t sleep on the breadth of roles within this industry. If you’re already working in the industry, practice ground-up thinking by finding solutions to everyday challenges and presenting them to your leadership team.

Fun Fact: I’ve lived in London, traveled solo extensively through South America, and spent a few months in Southeast Asia. My experiences throughout the world have shaped me.

Kristen Gilchrist

Owner
Kingstree Hardware

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I would love to be able to expand our building to allow for an even larger sales floor as well as have my daughters working in the store with me.

Advice for the next generation: Definitely explore it! The LBM industry will be around because things always need to be built. It’s a solid industry to look into due to the rewarding nature and expansion possibilities.

Fun Fact: Growing up, as I worked in the store, I swore I would never come back to this place. I’ve now been back home in this rural community with a small farm at home and couldn’t be happier!

Kristin Peterson

Marketing Manager
Nation’s Best Holdings

Where do you see yourself in five years: I envision myself leading a dynamic and forward-thinking marketing team, steering the ship towards new horizons. I see myself championing marketing strategies that break the mold, where we’re not just following trends but setting them.

Advice for the next generation: For those diving into a career in the LBM industry, my advice would be to embrace the wisdom that comes from those who have not only been in the game for decades, but have grown up with the industry. There’s an invaluable wealth of knowledge among these seasoned professionals, and the art of asking questions is an important part to understanding it. The LBM industry, like any other, is ever-evolving. So, as you gather insights from industry veterans, challenge yourself to infuse a fresh perspective. How can the traditional methods be enhanced or reimagined? What innovative approaches can be applied to address current and future challenges?

Fun Fact: I don’t have any hidden talents but I try to travel to a new country every year and cross them off my bucket list! Last year was Portugal.

Javan Lapp

CEO
Linden Grove Industries: Keylink, Superior Outdoor Products, Artifex

Where do you see yourself in five years: My goal is to grow a sustainable, transformational, organizational culture where people thrive and mentor the next generation of leaders.

Advice for the next generation: I watched my father succeed in the LBM industry, but by the time the Great Recession happened I was convinced that I wanted to pursue a career in a different industry. I was looking for something more exciting, more high-tech, and more socially impactful. Everything I was looking for was right here in the LBM industry all along. The opportunity to do meaningful work, that literally builds communities, improves neighborhoods, and makes a difference in people’s everyday life experiences is right here in LBM.

Fun Fact: Fun isn’t usually the first thing people think about me so this one was a bit tougher to answer. I’m a father of three. I’m an avid reader. I grew up Amish Mennonite (no tv or radio allowed).

Nick Zimmerman

Regional Purchasing Leader
White Cap

Where do you see yourself in five years: I like to think that I will have impacted enough people in a positive manner and that I will continue to grow into different leadership capacities within the building materials industry and for White Cap. I would like to run my own department or category in a director role.

Advice for the next generation: Be a sponge. They should ask a TON of questions. This industry is filled with people who want to have a lasting and positive impact on people. They are eager to help train and educate young people with their knowledge and experience. If you are a person who is willing to work hard, listen, and ask questions, then your options within the LBM industry are truly limitless.

Fun Fact: I am heavily involved in youth sports within my community. I coach soccer, basketball, baseball and volleyball for both my son and daughter and their friends at the youth level. I love teaching kids about sports and how sports can relate to everyday life. Not too many days go by where I am not on a sports surface of some kind!

Katie Katrinic

HR & Office Manager
Mortimer Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: In five years, I hope to see myself wiser than I am now.

Advice for the next generation: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, try a little bit of everything, and choose a path that makes you happy.

Fun Fact: I love to dance. I’ve been dancing since I was very little (ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and contemporary) and now teach dance at a local studio on a part-time basis and occasionally perform in local community theatre productions.

Alyssa Richter

Assistant Manager
Bliffert Lumber

Where do you see yourself in five years: I hope to be continuing to grow in this industry by advancing my knowledge of building materials and customer service.

Advice for the next generation: The building materials industry is very fast paced and exciting. I did not go to school for anything construction-related, but I very much enjoy what I do and it is something to consider if you ever have the opportunity to take a position in this field.

Fun Fact: My life goal is to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. I have already been to 18 of 30!

Adam Thomas

National Account Manager
National Nail

Where do you see yourself in five years: Five years from now I see myself here at National Nail celebrating our 2028 mission that we have set out to achieve. I see myself transitioning to the executive team alongside several other great young leaders with the same aspirations and drive for success.

Advice for the next generation: Choose an industry that respects and values people first. Choose a company that sees you as a future leader, has a plan for your growth, and is willing to listen and learn from its youth.

Fun Fact: I have played hockey in 10 different countries and golf in 30 states, but pickleball is my newfound love outside of work and family!

Looking to the future

Not surprisingly, we received far more nominees than we could recognize in the 2024 LBM 40 Under 40. It’s why each year we’ll welcome an entirely new group of professionals to our list of inductees. If your name (or the name of an associate you nominated) wasn’t included this year, we encourage you to re-nominate again next year, when this year’s winners will serve as judges. It is our sincere hope that everyone will continue their influential work that serves to influence and inspire other young LBM professionals.

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