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LBM Journal’s 40 Under 40

One of the thorniest and most consistently challenging issues facing the LBM community is attracting, hiring, and retaining young talent. That’s why we’ve launched the LBM 40 Under 40—to recognize and celebrate the growing class of strong young leaders in the LBM community.

To be clear, the inaugural class of the LBM 40 Under 40 featured on the following pages are not “rising stars” or “future leaders.” The people on these pages have paid their dues and have put in the work. They are already leaders in their companies and communities, and they are driving our industry forward today.

Perhaps most importantly, they’re living, breathing proof that the LBM industry represents an incredible opportunity for young talent to build a rewarding career doing important work.

LBM Resources

White Paper: Drive Real Results for Your Business with Facebook

When it comes to social media, the building industry as a whole has been fairly slow to recognize the impact of this effective marketing tool. Findings and best practices show that one of the best ways to connect with your B2B or B2C audience is through meeting them where they’re at—social media.

Sponsored by PLM 

If you’d like to meet them in person, this year’s inductees have all been invited to attend our LBM Strategies Conference this fall to be recognized and to meet with other LBM leaders from across the U.S. Plus, several of them will take the stage, sharing their insights on attracting other young talent. This is just the beginning. Next year’s LBM 40 Under 40 will welcome 40 new members, and the judging will be done by this year’s inductees. Our goal is to provide them with a forum to share ideas, build relationships, and grow in their professional roles.

SO IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE THAT WE PRESENT, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, THE 2023 LBM 40 UNDER 40 INDUCTEES.

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John Perna

JOHN PERNA
President & CEO | Hamilton Building Supply

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
Continuing to grow our company at Hamilton Building Supply by engaging and developing our talented associates. We’re at $36 million and I believe we can get to $50 million+ out of our one location. Lastly, continue to be the best devoted husband and father that I can be and raise our family to be respectful and authentic.

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ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
This is by far the best industry you can build a very successful and meaningful career in. Management consulting, pharma, and tech industries are all overrated because they don’t build anything that’s truly tangible. We’re a part of something very real and that’s the supply, support, and management of home building in America. Better yet, many of the people in this industry are authentic, family-oriented, and truly want to see everyone around them succeed.

FUN FACT:
I have a second job as the CFO/HR Manager/Maintenance Guy for my wife’s company, Vivid Women’s Health, which is a women’s pelvic floor physical therapy provider based in Newtown, Pennsylvania. So, in addition to windows, doors, and lumber, I’m also well versed in vaginismus, diastasis recti, and vulvodynia!

 

Sunny Bowman

SUNNY BOWMAN
President & CEO | Dakota County Lumber

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
Running a $50 million+ lumberyard with 60 engaged employees excited to be at a destination workplace. Starting work on a secondary location and breaking into the luxury home market. Expanding the “Perfect Delivery Promise.”

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
This is an exciting industry to be a part of, full of amazing individuals! Don’t be afraid to jump in, ask questions, and learn! There’s a lot of room for advancement, and you can help lead the charge.

FUN FACT:
I love playing hockey, skiing in Colorado, adventuring with my husband and kids, and finding ways to do good in the world with my resources and blessings.

 

Matthew Holmes

MATTHEW HOLMES
President & CEO | Holmes Building Materials

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
At Holmes, we have been very fortunate to have a young and determined management staff. Because of this great group of people I am surrounded by, I see us honing our skills and striving to be the best building materials supplier in Southern Louisiana over the next five years.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Take it slow. If you perform and go the extra mile, your superiors will take note of it and give you as much opportunity to succeed as possible.

FUN FACT:
I love construction projects. I’ve lived in the same mid-century house for four years and have had a construction project going on the entire time (my wife is a good sport).

 

Cody Miller

CODY MILLER
Lumber Divisional Merchandise Manager | Hartville Hardware & Lumber

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
Our company is growing so much, so it’s hard to say where I’ll be five years from now
or what my next steps will be. I’ll continue to evaluate our vendor programs, negotiate rebates, and align our products and pricing tools across our locations. I also want to keep looking for more opportunities for growth, such as potentially adding new lumberyards.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
One thing I’ve learned, especially in the past couple of years, is just how important relationships are in the LBM industry. Treating others how you’d want to be treated, whether that’s employees, customers, or vendors, is important for anyone getting started professionally. That’s what will set you apart in LBM much more than in retail.

FUN FACT:
I enjoy golfing, home improvement projects, and woodworking. My wife and I raise six chickens at home and our two small children love chasing them around. I love to snow ski and I was actually named after a mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming—Cody Peak.

 

Alex Armstrong

ALEX ARMSTRONG
Location Manager | Peter Lumber Company

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
In the same seat I am in today. I love this company and its family values. Being the manager of the local lumberyard in a small town is rewarding, and helping the local customers complete their vision is a great feeling.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
If you enjoyed shop class (if it still exists) in high school, don’t be afraid to try a summer job at the local lumberyard.

FUN FACT:
I recently got 2nd place in a chili contest, and the winner made vegan chili! I will never get over this and think about it daily.

 

CJ Young

CJ YOUNG
Operations Manager | Ward Lumber

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
With Ward Lumber! Five years ago, I never would have imagined that’d be my reply. The culture of Ward Lumber has become one of the best things about it. Not only are employees encouraged to grow, they’ve taken on ownership of the company; some represent the company as board members, making impactful decisions about the future of Ward Lumber.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Don’t be afraid of starting at the bottom. There is a lot of fulfillment in entry-level positions.

FUN FACT:
At age 15, I knew I wanted to apply to the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, but my parents weren’t convinced. Instead of feeling defeated, I got affidavits from other adults, put together a presentation, and held a meeting with my parents and the Rotary Club once my application had been accepted. It worked!

 

Andy Mitchell

ANDY MITCHELL
Owner | Mitchell Lumber Co.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I envision myself running an even stronger company. I believe that laying a strong foundation for sustainable growth will pay off in the end. I hope to still be providing quality building materials to the people of my community.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Lumber is way more fun than it sounds. Stick with it, work hard, and you can go farther than you can imagine in this field.

FUN FACT:
I have displayed and continue to grow my dad’s antique tool and water ski collection.

 

David Qualls

DAVID QUALLS
Regional Sales | PARR

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I see myself continuing to grow my knowledge and experience in the LBM industry and hope to have developed a few key sales support roles into outside sales positions. I see myself moving into a director role within the next five years.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
We are blessed to work in such a great industry. Someone without a college degree can have lasting success in the LBM industry, and it is a “pay for performance” industry where the sky is the limit on what you can accomplish if you work hard and build trust.

FUN FACT:
My daughter and I started a podcast called “Lessons From my Father.” We created
it so that other teenagers out there that don’t have a father figure or parent to teach them about life can listen to our lessons and have an opportunity to not make the same mistakes I did early in my life.

 

Nick White

NICK WHITE
Systems Administrator | Gilcrest/Jewett Lumber Company

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I will be working either at Gilcrest/Jewett or for our parent company, US LBM. I aspire to serve in an advisement role where I can help develop budgets as well as help make important business decisions for the company.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Give the LBM industry a chance regardless of your background or education. With the rapid adoption of technology within the industry over the last several years, there are so many opportunities that don’t necessitate any prior knowledge of lumber, doors, concrete, etc. There is room for growth and advancement in many areas of the industry.

FUN FACT:
I have been an assistant high school girls’ soccer coach since 2013 and have helped coach three state championship teams.

 

Caleb Grothaus

CALEB GROTHAUS
Director of Business Development | Palmer Donavin

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I see myself in a vice president or executive-level role, helping our company reach the next level. I’d also like to further my network and relationships in the LBM industry, working with LBM consultants and writing articles and conducting keynotes for
LBM Journal.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
This industry does not get enough praise. It may not be the “sexy” choice, but there are great people in our industry, plenty of money to be made, and a lot of fun to be had. If you work hard and you address and solve issues (while relating to customers as people), you can make an incredible living in this field of work.

FUN FACT:
I have four siblings (three brothers and a sister) and all of our names start with C: Caleb, Collin, Colton, Caiden, and Cenah. It’s been a nightmare for our teachers, as all of us look pretty similar!

 

Crystal Pieschel

CRYSTAL PIESCHEL
Director of Marketing | Mid-Cape Home Centers

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
Having built on my executive role by continuing to grow my industry knowledge and leadership skills, while further developing my marketing and business development skills within the LBM industry.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
The LBM industry is an opportunity in and of itself. There are countless ways to grow and develop impressive, life-long careers. Start with getting involved in both local and national industry associations, always be learning, make connections, and see first-hand how unique each success story is and create one of your own.

FUN FACT:
I’ve (safely!) shot a few automatic rifles.

 

Lance Latkiewicz

LANCE LATKIEWICZ
Director of Operations | Mans Lumber and Home

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I see myself as the president of Mans Lumber and Home, leading us into new growth areas and developing an operation that is in tune with itself and the sales operation for seamless information sharing and communication hand-off.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
I think young people need to do two things. Do not overthink the fact you may not know what you want to do. Then, be in the “yes” business. Say yes to a lot of chances, roles, opportunities, etc. Saying yes opens a high volume of opportunities. Ultimately, the only way to know what you will favor and may have natural talent in is by trying a lot of things.

FUN FACT:
I played Division 1 college football and spent a year as a football strength and conditioning coach with Ohio State football where I was part of a Big Ten football championship in 2008.

 

Clay Leavitt

CLAY LEAVITT
Vice President | Marcus Lumber

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I’d like to see my time management improved through the steps and processes I’m developing now so I can continue to make strides in that area in the future.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
“Show up. Be prepared. Take care of business.” These are three simple steps that sometimes aren’t so commonly applied, but when you do them consistently, you will set yourself apart. And, this industry rewards you for doing just that.

FUN FACT:
When my oldest son, Jack, was turning five, he talked constantly about working at the lumberyard with me. As a birthday present, I made him a “Marcus Lumber Company Yard Man” for a day. Jack was given MLC apparel to wear, and he helped customers by communicating across the company’s two-way radios.

 

Jace Mattinson

JACE MATTINSON
CFO | Nation’s Best Holdings

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
As a mentee, mentor, and leader in this industry, with a few more years of experience and an expanded tool belt to continue to drive value for our customers, vendors, partners, and team members.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Network and learn. This industry is big in that there are all sorts of different places you could find yourself. It is small in the sense that it is a very close-knit group of people, and the longer you are in it, the smaller that circle seems to be.

FUN FACT:
I’ve been to 30 countries, 36 states, lived in Eastern Europe for 2 years, and speak Bulgarian fluently.

 

Grant Leavitt

GRANT LEAVITT
General Manager | Marcus Lumber

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I’ll be at Marcus Lumber. My role will likely be the same, and although some of the products, people, and pricing will change, my commitment to helping serve others and helping others succeed will continue.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
LBM is an attractive career, as it can offer a very clear path to success. It is very rewarding to work in an industry that was deemed “essential” along with making relationships that last a lifetime.

FUN FACT:
I teach Dave Ramsey Financial Programs at church. I enjoy biking and running with
my wife, Rachel, and son, Grayson.

 

Kari Gaviria

KARI GAVIRIA
President | Madison Wood

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
Right here in my current role as president, growing and enhancing our current business model to meet the needs of future generations.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
The harder you work, the luckier you’ll be.

FUN FACT:
I have two boys that keep me on my toes. Currently Wednesday is the only day of the week that my evenings aren’t on some sort of field or court for sports.

 

Jeff Hills

JEFF HILLS
Project Manager, Process Improvement | Preston Feather Building Center

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I plan to continue my growth as a project manager and team leader to be able to
grow the next round of LBM professionals. As we as an industry continue to adapt new technologies, I want to find new ways to utilize the increased data to increase knowledge sharing, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce project cycle time.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Being in the lumber business isn’t just selling 2x4s; there are hundreds of different jobs one can do, and the best part is you get to see the output of your company everywhere: local businesses, family homes, and whatever crazy ideas people want to build. It’s also one of the few industries where you can make your career what you want without mandatory degrees or certifications.

FUN FACT:
When I’m not working on Preston Feather things I’m busy picking up new hobbies, cooking wild game, or building this year’s autocross derby car.

 

Markus Higgs

MARKUS HIGGS
Assistant Manager | Carter Lumber

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
In five years, I see myself as a general manager or area manager.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
It is important to be dependable, reliable, and always look to learn from those
around you. If you do these simple things, you will make yourself the obvious
choice for additional responsibilities and opportunities.

FUN FACT:
I love anything with a motor, specifically Harley Davidson and any General Motors LS platform. I also follow all things combat sports, including boxing, MMA, and Jiu Jitsu, and I am a prior service Army Infantry member.

 

Jake Henderson

JAKE HENDERSON
Corporate Purchasing Mobile Lumber & Millwork, Coast Design Kitchen & Bath, Grand Bay Lumber

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
As a third generation in a family-owned business, I am proud to serve this industry and the Gulf Coast for years to come.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Find a career that complements your skill set. If you choose a field and it’s not a good fit, you learn that about yourself; try a new field or position that better suits you. If you land yourself in a position that you’re passionate about, advancement could occur quickly.

FUN FACT:
I am an avid outdoorsman and enjoy traveling, hiking, nature, and family.

 

Tyler Garrett

TYLER GARRETT
President & CEO | Moscow Building Supply & Pullman Building Supply

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I see myself still growing and maturing our business into a healthy operation. As president and CEO, I’m committed to growing not only my company but my staff as well. I also want to continue building a strong top management team all around.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
This is not an industry for the faint of heart. If you want to make a go of it, surround yourself with good people, and do right by your customers and your employees every single day. Many might not see a clear-cut career path here, so it’s up to us to show them that there is an opportunity for growth and to make a great living.

FUN FACT:
I make the most of my vacation time. For example, I’ll go moose hunting for a couple of weeks in British Columbia or go on grizzly bear hunts in Alaska. One time, my buddy and I got dropped off in the middle of the Yukon, floated downriver while moose hunting, and got picked up by a plane 130 miles downstream.

 

Dustin Byars

DUSTIN BYARS
General Manager | Kay Supply Building Center

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I will have continued to acquire new businesses, adding value to our contractors and lumberyards. My reputation of being a leader who embodies initiative in business
and community will be well-established.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Be vocal and take action. This industry is a long game and success isn’t overnight. Bring your ideas forward and take the initiative to help them to move forward. Showing your enthusiasm for serving others in this industry will take you far.

FUN FACT:
I am an avid hat collector with more than 300 hats. Since I have such a variety, people notice that I wear a different ball cap each day.

 

Andrew Black

ANDREW BLACK
Senior Area Operations Manager | New South Construction Supply

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I see myself growing in my role in operations management and leadership with our company, and my plan is to coach and lead our young managers into great leaders at our company and beyond.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs and put the work in. Once you realize this, you can begin your journey and start the process. Begin with the end in mind, set your goals, then relentlessly pursue them every day, and you will find success!

FUN FACT:
I played rugby as a loosehead prop at Clemson University from 2007-2011, then on Hilton Head Rugby Club men’s team for a few years after that as a prop and outside center.

 

Dustan Wagner

DUSTAN WAGNER
Owner | Wagner Lumber & Supply

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
Acquiring or opening a second location. My focus towards this goal includes building a dependable team.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Go for it. It is very exciting to have a hands-on career where you get to build and create things that may have not existed otherwise. My biggest advice is to learn as much as possible. The industry is lacking skilled workers.

FUN FACT:
When I bought this company I had almost zero construction or building materials knowledge, but I knew how to run a business. I hit the ground running and I have continued to grow my knowledge every day.

 

Sallie Keene Denton

SALLIE KEENE DENTON
Business Development Representative | Wilson Lumber Company

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
The first time someone at Wilson Lumber asked me this, I cried. Due to challenges in my personal life in addition to a career change, I was in survival mode, unsure what my next five months looked like (let alone the next five years). I knew I wanted to be financially stable, in an environment where I could use “whatever talent I had to do my work to the best of my ability” (to paraphrase Ruth Bader Ginsburg). I now feel confident enough to say that, in the next five years, under my guidance, Wilson Lumber will be the haven for designers and architects across North Alabama and Tennessee to bring their clients.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
As a woman in a male-dominated industry, my first piece of advice is to not give up, even though there will be days you want to. Second, don’t hesitate to use your connections. Finally, interview the company while they interview you. Make sure it
has a plan for growth, a career path that you can follow, and a culture and work environment you want to be part of and thrive in!

FUN FACT:
In my spare time, I co-host a podcast with my best friend, Katie. It’s called
“The Ladies List,” and we interview women business owners in Huntsville.

 

Jacob Dufrene

JACOB DUFRENE
Part Owner | Dufrene Building Materials

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
Growing into 10 + stores and over $200 million in sales.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Do it! Retail is a tough business to run, but learning to be a leader to your team
is what will determine your success in this business.

FUN FACT:
I played sports growing up and earned a full ride scholarship to play football
at University of Kentucky.

 

Mark Blickenstaff

MARK BLICKENSTAFF
General Manager | Moore Lumber & Hardware

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I see myself still working with Moore Lumber & Hardware with a reputation that
allows for a bigger audience to promote the LBM industry.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Just keep pushing. Get educated. No, that doesn’t mean college necessarily, but always be focused on being the absolute best resource for your partners. Operate with integrity, have the hard conversations, but don’t ever lose your integrity.

FUN FACT:
I’m a proud Idaho Vandal! In my spare time I serve on the board of directors for
the University of Idaho Alumni Association.

 

Marshall Maurer

MARSHALL MAURER
Growth Product Manager | Yesler Solutions

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I see myself bringing leadership and creativity to whatever role I’m in, and bringing home the energy that comes only from a sense of purpose back to my family every night (ideally with rustic header beams above me).

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
There are jobs that seem fun from the outside and serve little purpose, and there are jobs that are fun on the inside and serve real purpose. Lumber is the latter. Lumber
is a great place to develop one’s leadership methods, build hard and soft skills, and bring one’s own values and energy to an industry that needs and welcomes the next generation of stewards and stalwarts.

FUN FACT:
I’m a crack ornithologist who enjoys writing bird stories for my son to unwind after
a long day in the lumber industry.

 

Jenny Vasquez

JENNY VASQUEZ
Senior Director of Human Resources | Kodiak Building Partners

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I would like to have expanded my knowledge and expertise in HR by pursuing additional certifications and attending industry events and conferences. I also see myself taking on greater leadership responsibilities within my organization, mentoring and coaching young professionals, and collaborating with other industry leaders to drive positive change.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow. I would also encourage them to network and build relationships with others in the industry, as these connections can be invaluable in terms of career development and growth.

FUN FACT:
I am an avid traveler and have visited more than 20 countries around the world. I believe travel is an excellent way to broaden your horizons and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for different cultures and ways of life.

 

Aaron Park

AARON PARK
Outside Sales | Main Street Lumber & Millwork

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I look forward to each day and challenge, and I will continue to grow my business and establish deeper relationships with each project that passes.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Homebuilding is fun. Don’t forget about all the sticks that make the home! Lumber
and millwork sales is a niche job that you typically won’t find on Indeed. The growth is endless, and it can be whatever you make of it. You will have daily challenges; be the person that faces them head on with a can’t-fail attitude and you will succeed. FUN FACT:
I am married to the love of my life, Julia, and we have been blessed with two beautiful daughters, Savannah and Reese. We are also proud parents to Queso (Yellow Lab),
a few cows, and a new pony (whose name is yet to be determined).

 

Neil Agarwal

NEIL AGARWAL
President/CEO | GE Frisco

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I’d like to leverage my background in mergers and acquisitions to acquire other businesses and expand into new products and services, and grow our lumber and special services divisions such that we would be a good candidate to bring in outside capital to infuse and power significant growth at the company.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Keep your ears and eyes open to continuously learn, ask questions, and find a mentor/champion in the industry. Also, maintain a good attitude with a penchant for learning and hard work. Finally, understand that there are tough moments in any job. Sometimes we have to do work that may not be as fun, but that’s part of becoming better and stronger at what you do.

FUN FACT:
Our family at one point owned a sawmill, so I started driving a car there at the age of 6. I started on my dad’s lap and “graduated” to fully controlling the vehicle by 9 years old. I know this sounds dangerous, but it was a wide open space on private property, and luckily I didn’t go too fast or far.

 

Taylor Gross

TAYLOR GROSS
President | Gross-Yowell

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
If I’m lucky I’ll be doing much of the same, and pursuing growth as we continue.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Soak it all in! I was blessed to grow up in this business at a very young age. I’ve done it all. Don’t discount the entry level jobs. Learn from them. They will pay huge dividends later.

FUN FACT:
When not spending time with my family I enjoy spending time at one of the ranches.

 

Caleb Drenning

CALEB DRENNING
Vice President of Purchasing and Marketing | YBC (Your Building Centers)

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I look to be doing exactly what I am doing today, but be even better at it. I want to be a sponge and learn everything possible about the LBM industry. I want to continue to network with the experienced professionals of this industry.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
For anyone looking to get into a new career, the LBM industry is the perfect option. There are many opportunities to grow your role and develop a long term career. Every person I have met has been more than willing to share their knowledge and expertise with me as I continue to evolve into my role.

FUN FACT:
10% of people in world are left handed and I happen to be one of them! I enjoy remodeling old homes in my community, I have a truck full of tools, and I often spend time bringing older homes back to life.

 

Matt Goebel

MATT GOEBEL
Inventory Manager | Star Lumber & Supply

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
At Star Lumber in our executive leadership in some capacity.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Start at the bottom if you are able to do so. Your company’s services are rendered at the bottom and knowing how these duties are performed will help you on every step up the ladder.

FUN FACT:
I grew up working on a dairy farm as the oldest of six boys.

 

Lindsey DiGangi

LINDSEY DiGANGI
AVP, Marketing | Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company (PLM)

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I see myself as a senior leader at PLM, leading a group of hungry and humble PLM employees who understand the importance of what we do to support the industry and the importance of what our insureds’ do to support their communities. I see myself as the face of PLM and active in various associations. I am passionate about the next generation and women’s groups that are forming within industry associations and am actively committing financially to support the growth and development of these groups today.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
You are entering the working world at a very interesting time. Don’t assume you already know where your degree or your trade skill will fit from an industry perspective. If you stay curious and don’t make assumptions, you will quickly learn that everything and everyone has a story. Those stories have incredible value in your understanding of your role in the larger ecosystem of the company and industry you are in.

FUN FACT:
When I’m not at work, I love to make things! I’m a baker and a potter. If my brain can dream it up, I want to make it with clay or decorate it with frosting.

 

Tim Lucas

TIM LUCAS
Product Line Manager, Windows & Exterior Doors | GBS Building Supply

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
Working on getting replacement windows off at GBS. I would like to take what I’m doing in the custom home realm and roll it into a replacement market so GBS can offer both custom and replacement windows.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
For people trying to grow in the lumber business, find something you are passionate about and stay hungry. Keep your enthusiasm, passion, and hunger during the training phase.

FUN FACT:
I like to spend any free time I have woodworking. I’ve made the conference room tables at GBS, retirement gifts, pens, and furniture. I set up a shop in my garage, my wife hates it. My love of woodworking comes from my grandfather. He taught me everything he knew. He passed away in 2014 and I like to think I’m carrying on that family legacy.

 

Jami Lee Wright

JAMI LEE WRIGHT
Team Cheerleader | Wright Building Center

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I’d be hard pressed to tell you where I’ll be at 5:00 tonight let alone 5 years from now.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Work hard, own your mistakes, and know the value of honest, timely communication.

FUN FACT:
My daily work attire consists of a buffalo plaid robe (much to my Mama’s dismay). I even added a Wright Building Center patch to make it official. Trust me—it’s pretty sweet.

 

John Muzzy

JOHN MUZZY
Retail Division Human Resources Manager | Hancock Lumber

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
Hopefully in a very similar position as I’m currently in! I’m incredibly fortunate to have an amazing family, live in a great state, and spend my professional time working in a capacity that I truly believe has a positive impact on my teammates and their families.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Think about the types of work that you find satisfying. Maybe you get satisfaction helping people. Perhaps you’re most fulfilled when you see what you’ve accomplished with your own two hands. Maybe you work best with data and problem solving. If all I knew about someone was one of those things, I’d be able to talk to them about possible paths at Hancock Lumber. I would also recommend taking the time to really consider what types of industries accomplish something that they personally find purpose in. It’s not just selling materials; we are a big part of putting people in their homes, of helping their vision and dreams turn into reality.

FUN FACT:
Just like Hancock Lumber is a seventh-generation company, I was the seventh generation of my family born into the same house in a small town where I graduated high school with just 17 other kids.

 

Isaac Weber

ISAAC WEBER
President | Lugbill Supply Center

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I see Lugbill Supply Center opening more locations. I have a vision of four locations
in planned areas. My goal would be to open two to three in the next five years.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
First and foremost, do what you love and always put God first in everything you do. Always be willing to listen to someone’s advice—that doesn’t always mean take someone’s advice, but through others experiences and failures you can learn, and
in return not make the same mistakes others have.

FUN FACT:
One of my favorite things to do is try new restaurants and foods I’ve never tasted before.

 

Alan Walters

ALAN WALTERS
Owner | Miller Lumber Sales

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
Miller Lumber owns property adjacent to our current facility where we look forward to growing our business. We plan to use this area to expand our carrying capacity, minimize loss, and provide a better customer experience by building additional sheds, increasing space for shipping and receiving, and providing a more ergonomic flow for both our customers and employees in the yard.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
Listen and be teachable. Pay attention to the small things that successful people around you do. Another piece of advice I would give is understanding the jobs around you will set you up for success, regardless of your role as an employee.

FUN FACT:
Over the course of 15 years, my dad and I went to watch every team in Major League Baseball play a game at their home stadium.

 

Jeffrey Hopfenbeck

JEFFREY HOPFENBECK
Co-Founder & CEO | Simple Homes

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS:
I intend to grow Simple Homes into a national player in the offsite construction space and see a future where we are helping our customers deliver thousands of units per year across multiple markets. In the process, I hope we are able to help collaborate with other industry participants to figure out new ways to use design, technology, and innovative building methods to deliver desperately-needed housing units in a world where skilled labor continues to be scarce.

ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION:
As someone who was not previously in the LBM world, I have absolutely fallen in love with the industry and intend to build the rest of my career here. I think the biggest thing that has surprised me is the length and depth of the relationships in the industry. Whereas some industries can be quite transactional, long-term relationships are a core part of the LBM industry, which is something I really love.

FUN FACT:
I love to travel and have been to over 50 countries. My goal is to reach over 100
by the time I am 50.

 

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Not surprisingly, we received far more nominees than we could recognize in LBM Journal’s 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. And 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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