The Retail Lumber Dealers Association of Maine (RLDAM) have honored Jim Murphy of Riverside Millwork Center in Auburn, Maine, as 2017 Lumber Person of the Year. This award recognizes an individual for significant contributions to the lumber and building materials industry as well as to his local community.
An active member of RLDAM, Murphy’s career started in 1987, when he began working for a general contractor. One thing led to another when his employer built a facility for a pre-hung door company and he was hired him away to manage the place. Unfortunately, a housing slump forced the facility to close, leaving Murphy at a crossroad.
“At the time, I had four kids under the age of six and absolutely no money,” Murphy recalls. “But with a very understanding wife and some help from a couple partners, I purchased the assets and started my company.” Riverside Millwork Center has been his life’s work ever since.
Murphy’s involvement with the lumber and building materials industry runs deep. He has served on the board of the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association, as well as serving as vice president and president of RLDAM. Additionally, Murphy chaired several committees and served as treasurer of the organization’s political action committee and on the legislative committee.
Outside of the LBM world, Murphy was selectman and board chairman for the town of Bowdoin (where he lives), and has served on the town’s Board of Appeals since 2005. He is also involved with the Lewiston-Auburn Chamber of Commerce and sat on the board of Maine School Administrative District 75 in the 1980’s.
Murphy has been married to his wife, Jane Kearney, since 1980. They have four children, five grandchildren, and another on the way. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and working around his homes, both in Maine and Florida.
As a small business owner, Murphy finds that the challenges are more than worth the rewards – which go beyond financial. “It seems the older I get, the more I enjoy it,” he says. And his guiding principles are short and to the point: “Work hard, keep your word, be loyal, and value loyalty in others.”