What a wild year it’s been, and an unpredictable decade it continues to be. We begin 2023 with mortgage interest rates at 15-year highs, and a steady drumbeat of headlines about an impending recession, and a chronic shortage of prospective employees. It doesn’t sound good…but we’ve been here before. So, what are we going to do? Simple. We’re going to do what this industry always does: we’re going to power through. We’re going to take care of the people on our teams, because without them, nothing happens. We’re going to work with our customers, because we’ll succeed only to the extent that we help them succeed. And we’re going to work closely with our vendors, because we need them as much as they need us.
With this issue, I’m excited to introduce a new column on Building Culture by Dena Cordova-Jack. Dena brings a wealth of real-world experience to her writing, having worked for Georgia-Pacific, Boise Cascade, Carolina Builders, Foxworth Galbraith, BlueTarp, MSLBMDA, Kodiak Building Partners, and now serves as vice president for Misura Group. She understands the importance of a healthy company culture, and we’re fortunate to welcome her to our editorial team.
On the webinar side, seasoned industry pro Paul Dean will be launching a monthly webinar focused on technology. Paul built his career with NRLA, Activant Solutions (predecessor to Epicor), Holbrook Lumber, PAL and LBM Advantage, then stints with MaterialsXchange and BuilderWire. As founder, president and CEO of The BrainForest, Paul works with companies in our industry on vision, leadership, and supply chain innovation. Paul’s expertise and experience makes him ideally suited to join the LBM Journal team.
We’ve contracted with The Farnsworth Group to update the LBM Sales Compensation + Benefits Report. Much has changed since our last report in 2019, and the updated project will be more usable than ever before, thanks to input from LBM dealers. Watch for an email from LBM Journal in January with a link to the survey.
Raising the bar on our industry’s premier conference and networking event, LBM Strategies 2023 in Charlotte, N.C. will be taking over the NASCAR Hall of Fame for one unforgettable evening of food, drink, interactive experiences (including the infamous pit crew challenge), and more. That event, plus breakfasts, lunches, networking breaks and cocktail receptions are all included in your registration, thanks to generous support from our industry’s leading vendors. As good as all that sounds…the main event is two days of practical, tactical presentations by LBM pros like you taking the stage to share their successes and challenges. Registration is open now at LBMStrategies.com.
Our industry has changed dramatically since Jodie Cook Redwood, Rich Hart, and I launched LBM Journal from a spare room in my little house in July 2003. Like many of you, we’ve defied the odds and powered through when we were expected to fail. And we’re just getting started. Here’s to working together to build your sales, your business, and your brand in 2023…and beyond.
— Rick Schumacher
Executive Editor & Publisher