In the eight years that I have been covering the LBM industry I’ve heard more and more often that one of the biggest challenges faced by our readers is recruiting and retaining the next generation. Over the years I’ve written a lot of stories about business owners and operators who are looking to make sure they’ve got fresh leadership in place as they plan for retirement.
Sometimes the succession plan includes younger family members who, with sawdust already in their veins, just need a few more years of experience. Some businesses have worked to move department managers up the ranks, while still others have found themselves hiring leadership from outside the company.
No matter how they get there, it’s important to recognize that the next generation of LBM leaders are likely already among us. They’re the next in line at the family company learning all they can on the job; they’re the budding sales rep looking to step into a manager position, and the dispatcher increasingly taking on more operations duties.
For many, years will pass before we get to publish an announcement of their new leader- ship or even ownership role. But we don’t want to wait that long to give our industry’s young prospects the recognition they deserve. As you’ve probably seen in this magazine, on our website, and over our social media channels, we’ve introduced the LBM Journal 40 Under 40 program. Our goal is to recognize and celebrate the growing class of strong, young leaders in the LBM community, and to provide them with space to share ideas, build relationships, and grow in their professional roles.
The award program is designed to recognize 40 LBM pros under the age of 40 who demonstrate leadership and exemplify commitment and excellence in service to their companies, their customers, and the LBM community. Employees or owners of a lumberyard, specialty dealer/distributor, wholesale distributor, manufacturer or service provider who are over 20 years old and under 40 years of age during the 2023 calendar year are eligible.
Nominations are open at LBMJournal.com/40U40. And it’s okay to nominate yourself. In fact, many of the questions are written specifically with that in mind. There is no cost to enter. The deadline for the LBM Journal 40 Under 40 is March 31.
The inaugural list will be published in the June 2023 issue of LBM Journal and on LBMJournal.com, social media, podcasts, and everywhere else you get your LBM news. If you have any questions about the program or the nomination process, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can reach me at James@LBMJournal.com.
— James Anderson